Origami with Intent



Within the walls of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce building, you would usually find members working together to discuss the health and well-being of the local economy and tactics to strengthen local businesses. However, on Friday afternoon United Way of Asheville and Buncombe Co. (UWABC) brought a very different type of discussion and activity to the members of the Chamber of Commerce.

(read more below)

Sheneika Smith, UWABC Volunteer Engagement Director, and Audrey Blackburn, UWABC volunteer engagement manager, brought two hand wagons full of art supplies and snacks. These supplies were for the Asheville Chamber of Commerce to pack into Art kits and snack-care packages for the students and families who benefit from the services of the  Buncombe County Migrant Education Program(BCS Migrant Education Program). All art supplies, snacks, and packaging were purchased by UWABC, in partnership with BCS Migrant Education Program for this specific volunteer event.

Before the packing festivities began, however, there was the much-needed explanation of why it was so vital that the Chamber of Commerce took time to volunteer with UWABC in this way. To help give context to the volunteer activity, Katrina Fabbro, coordinator of the BCS Migrant Education Program joined Smith and Blackburn. 

“The free program assists migratory farm working students in achieving academic success,” said Fabbro, “We provide a homeplace to connect the family to community services, school supplies, and information regarding the child's progress in school.




The Chamber members, eagerly listed and asked Fabbro about the program. And members shared contact with Fabbro, so that she may further expand the community she is engaging with the BCS Migrant Education Program, which currently helps to support over 100 families in Buncombe County. Through participating in UWABC’s workplace campaign and volunteer engagement activities the Asheville Chamber of Commerce was able to meaningfully connect with another community member who is equally dedicated to seeing Buncombe county thrive. 



The goal of volunteer engagement is always to make connections to one another and our greater community. And for that reason as well, the chamber members took time and care to create origami owls with handwritten notes of encouragement. Each one was unique and made to be placed in individual care packages. With their origami owls decorated the snacks and art supplies, began to be packed by the Chamber members. Within the hour, Fabbro was leaving the Chamber of Commerce with 75 packed art kits and over 100 snack packs for the children and families supported by the BCS Migrant Education Program.

Interested in donating your time? Visit our volunteer engagement website HERE