GE Aviation is a committed partner of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. Over the years, our partnership has touched countless lives and made a real difference in our community. Another example of that commitment was recently demonstrated when GE Aviation employees participated in their first United Way We Care Experience.
What made this event so unique was that its participants included GE employees from across the globe who were in town for a conference. The event, held at the AC Hotel in Asheville, helped create 432 snack packs for local youth experiencing hunger. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who volunteered at this event.
As one of four key strategies
that make up our work to reduce the impact of poverty on students, their families and communities, Hands On Asheville-Buncombe creates both short-term and long-term opportunities for community members to support one another.
One of those opportunities is called a We Care Experience. We Care Experiences provide volunteers with opportunities to reduce the impact of poverty and educate themselves on community needs — all in the most convenient manner possible. Hands On brings the projects to the interested business, facilitates the opportunity and ensures the snack packs assembled make it to the people who need it most.
We all know how hard it is to concentrate at work when you're hungry, facing high stress situations or have a personal crisis impacting you or your family. Now imagine trying to pay attention in class when you're dealing with these problems as a pre-teen or teenager. With 1 in 5 students under the age of 18 living in poverty, the situation just mentioned is far too common and completely unacceptable. We believe it's the community's responsibility to align itself with schools and families to support students by helping them to remove the baggage they're carrying. We believe once this is accomplished students are free to focus on learning, teachers on teaching and families receive the additional support needed to improve their situation. On Wednesday, June 27th GE Aviation employees from around the globe came together to learn about these issues in our community from Christine Craft, Buncombe County Schools Youth in Transition Coordinator as well as United Way Resource Coordinator Bruce Waller. Craft shared that 600+ students were identified as homeless in Buncombe County Schools during the 2017-2018 school year.
The ability of people to work together for the betterment of their community and themselves is one of the most valuable resources society has. Amazing things happen when individuals from all walks of life roll up their sleeves and commit to making a meaningful contribution to a better community. GE Aviation volunteers and donors are central to this effort. For your support, we say thank you!
Giving back to the community that sustains us is much more than mere window-dressing for GE Aviation, it's deeply ingrained in their culture — it's a part of who they are and guides their organization's overall strategy and philosophy. GE Aviation hosts an annual Golf Tournament with proceeds in excess of $25,000 supporting local students, their families and community. In addition, they participate in the United Way Employee Campaign and provide a corporate match of .50 cents for every dollar donated by an employee. But their engagement is so much more than financial. GE Aviation and its employees also give of their time, buying and serving dinners for hundreds of families annually and volunteering at Homework Diners. That is an incredible investment in our shared values and goals. Thank you, GE Aviation.
We know our friends at GE Aviation understand that large-scale change isn't accomplished by a single individual or group and that it doesn't happen overnight. They understand and are committed to long-term engagement. As such, we strongly encourage GE Aviation employees to take one or more of the steps listed below. We look forward to working with GE Aviation in 2018 and beyond! Thank you for all you do!
***Take a peek at live vidoes from the event that day on Instagram and stay connected with us on Facebook for future events, volunteer opportunities and the amazing work of fellow nonprofits in Asheville and Buncombe County related to the health, education, and financial stability of our community.