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Author: Laura Elliot, Director of Community Schools, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County  This work was originally published in, or is adapted from, an article published in the February 2018 issue of Phi Delta Kappan magazine.   Turn to any travel magazine, and you might see an article placing Asheville and Western North Carolina in a top 10 list of locations to relax or retire. There’s good reason for that. Asheville is nestled in a... Read More
    Just five years ago, in the spring of 2013, United Way took on a team of Americorps interns to begin supporting Enka Middle School with after-school programming opportunities, drawing in community partners to offer students stimulating activities, like knitting, yoga and sign language. The idea at the time was to increase the quality and quantity of after school programing for middle school youth, which quickly evolved as school faculty,... Read More
  One pressing issue in western North Carolina for many years, has been and continues to be, access to affordable housing. In the last 180 days (May-July, 2018), the highest amount of inquiries to our NC 2-1-1 call center were related to affordable housing and shelter, with 2,429 calls received during that time period, according to NC2-1-1 Counts.   This year, because of the generosity of people like you, we were able to invest $168,064 from... Read More
  We'd like to extend a warm congratulations to Mills Manufacturing Corporation, one of the world's largest military parachute manufacturers here in Buncombe County. Giving back to the community is something the Mills and Turner families value and we're grateful to have people and business leaders like them in the community. We have been fortunate to have the support of the MIlls Family for decades. Pam Mills has been an active member of our... Read More
    United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County currently employs four Resource Coordinators who work full time in four Asheville City and Buncombe County schools: Asheville, Enka, Erwin and Owen Middle. While our organization has held a presence in these local middle schools (and others via the Early Warning and Response System), for several years, the Resource Coordinator role is one that was born within the last three. Their position was... Read More
Campaign season will be upon us soon — and with it, a whirlwind of events, socials, and informational meetings. We wanted to share a bit about the important players and moving parts that make it all possible.   The Employee Workplace Campaign gives local businesses and organizations — from mom and pop shops to the largest employers in Buncombe County — the opportunity to fight for the education, health and financial stability of our community by... Read More
UNITED WAY CHAMPION AND ADVOCATE Ask Julie Smith about community and you’ll see her passion come to life. A self described advocate and Brand Champion of United Way, Julie believes that it’s her personal responsibility to give back; to leave the community a better place for future generations. In fact, Julie believes it’s everyone’s responsibility.   Born and raised in Waynesville, Julie’s work ethic of “Do it right, or don’t do it at all,” has... Read More
((PICTURED: Beloved former NC 2-1-1 coworker Danica Spencer's son lending a hand at Fill the Bus, part of the annual School Supply Drive.))   Alleviating Need in Asheville and Buncombe County One Backpack at a Time Nationally, over 1.36 million school age children K-12 have been identified as homeless. Buncombe County Public Schools and Asheville City Schools combined identified 800 homeless students during the 2017-2018 school year. Still... Read More
“Increase our diversity and equity knowledge to strengthen our behaviors, practices and values.”   This statement is one of the thirteen objectives you will find in our recently approved, three-year strategic plan that will guide our work in 2018-20.   Learning and Taking Action What our DEI plan will look like in practice is still being developed by both our staff and our board. Among the activities that have already begun or are about to... Read More
  With the first day of summer quickly approaching, the possibilities to get outside and explore in western North Carolina are endless. One practice you may not be able to enjoy in community outside as often as you'd like, will now be added to the list of activities as well--yoga. Asheville Yoga Center is excited to lead series of classes outdoors this summer for their 6th Annual Yoga in the Park series, running once a month from June-September... Read More