“One street from where you woke up this morning, someone is calling 2-1-1.”
That’s how this year’s LIVE UNITED Celebration opened, with a powerful message of how United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is working towards our mission each and every day. In the hour that we were together, we celebrated the financial gifts and the hours of volunteer work that our partners and volunteers have contributed, and honored the partnerships that have strengthened our community.
United Way’s mission is to Unite People, Improve Lives, and Strengthen Community.
We firmly believe in our mission and our work is guided by it every day. At Celebration, attendees heard from highly dedicated staff members and community partners as they shared highlights from the year. Especially powerful moments:
- Anna, our 2-1-1 Information and Referral Specialist shared the power of connection, and our staff’s commitment to really listening to our neighbors as they reveal moments when they are most vulnerable.
- Beth Russo of Homeward Bound spoke about their tireless work to end homelessness and how critical it is for groups like Highlands Circle to get involved with their work. The impact they have on an individual’s life is profound and their stories inspire others to do the same.
- In addition to our competitive grants, we have other important partnerships that strengthen our community by improving the Education, Income and Health of our neighbors.
In 2015 we became formal partners of the Success Equation, a collective impact advocacy initiative led by Children First/Communities in Schools. And we made the decision to transition United Way’s partnership with In Real Life, an after school program at Asheville Middle School, from our competitive grants program into our Middle School Success initiative.
Erwin Middle School Assistant Principal, April Norton, testified to the important and powerful role volunteers play in the lives of her students.
United Way staff, donors and volunteers believe that everyone should go to bed with a full belly, that this bed should be in a safe home, that this home is in a community where we are all respected, and respectful, in our relationships, and that the people around us provide support that allows us to become educated, healthy and well.
Thank you for all you do to strengthen our community and we look forward to working with you to build a phenomenal 2016!
Thank you to everyone who joined us as we honored the great volunteers that made a difference in 2015 and prepared for what we will make possible in 2016.
Largest Employee/Corporate Donation
Spirit of the Mountains
- Duke Energy Progress
- Asheville Savings Bank
Spirit of North Carolina
Above and Beyond
"I'll Raise My Voice for United Way"
- Heather Goldstein, Van Winkle Law Firm
- Ross Sloan, TD Bank
"I'll Do Anything for United Way"
- The Van Winkle Law Firm
- COA Transportation Department
ECC Rookie of the Year
- Asheville Middle School
- Betsy Ray