NAMI of WNC Creates Care Kits for Students


NAMI WNC Partners with United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County to Create Care Kits for Students

In Buncombe County, nearly 1,000 adults living with a disability reside in adult care homes. Many of them are active volunteers in the community, however due to the ongoing threat of COVID they have been confined to their care facilities for over eight months. When the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western North Carolina reached out to our volunteer center to find meaningful ways to bring community projects to the residents of local care homes, we knew just what to do.

With our Community School Coordinators working with teachers, students, and families to help meet their mental, emotional, and basic care needs, we knew that students were seeking personal hygiene items at home. Our team created a personal care kit project that could easily be put together by a community partner to help provide these easily deliverable/curbside pickup bags for students to have access to personal care items through the months to come. NAMI of WNC thought this would be a great way for residents bound to their homes to dig in and be part of the community while remaining safe during the threat of COVID.


Integrating Safely in Community 

Chris Fink, Community Inclusion Coordinator at NAMI WNC says it's been especially challenging for those living with mental health diagnoses during COVID. "Many folks are immuno-compromised and face even greater challenges finding ways to integrate into our communities right now just like all of us," he says. "To be able to go out and enjoy community events with everyone else, feel welcome, and make a valuable contribution is so important."

NAMI secured grant funding through N.C. Health and Human Services as part of the Community Inclusion Program to have residents at Richmond Hill Congregate Home in West Asheville assemble kits and then deliver them directly to our local Community Schools to be given to students who need them most. "This is an effort to bring a productive and valuable experience to the mental health community to help meet a need for our local students, so it's just a win for everybody."


Staying Safely Engaged...

In addition NAMI has partnered with local movie theater Grail Moviehouse for an on-campus screening of the original Star Wars film. "COVID has made it a long and winding road this year, however we're excited about this partnership and hope we can continue to work together to keep these folks actively and safely engaged in the community."

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