1,754 head to school with needed supplies

Submitted by Elisabeth on Tue, 08/30/2016 - 10:51am

A record 1,754 fully-stocked backpacks were distributed to local students! At an estimated $35 per bag, the worth of 2016 supply drive donations equals $61,390. That's amazing and here's a bit about how it happened.

Check out the photos here - students, volunteers and lots of great school supplies.

Strong because of our community.

The following companies all held drives among their employees and customers - this is a true community led event!

  • 14th Weather Squadron
  • Asheville Chamber of Commerce
  • Asheville Radio Group/Mix 96.5
  • Asheville Savings Bank
  • Asheville Tourists
  • Biltmore Inn
  • Borg Warner
  • CarePartners Foundation
  • Clean Environments
  • Deerfield Retirement Community
  • Diamond Brand Outfitters
  • Eaton
  • FLS Energy
  • Galaxy Digital
  • Hard Exercise Works
  • Harry’s on the Hill
  • Holiday Inn Biltmore West
  • Hilton Inn
  • ISA
  • J Crew
  • JPS
  • Merryl Lynch
  • Mission Hospital
  • Mountain Physical Therapy
  • Nypro
  • Omni Grove Park Inn
  • Parsec Financial
  • Publix
  • Silver Line
  • Southeastern Container
  • ThermoFisher
  • Vanity Fair Outlet
  • Walmart
  • Wells Fargo
  • YMCA

Some especially wonderful moments:

  • Local hoteliers rallied for a first ever competition to support our donation drive and generated more than 200 fully-stocked backpacks to the final total. Omni Grove Park Inn led the charge, followed by Biltmore Inn.  Huge shout out to Himanshu Karvir of Holiday Inn Biltmore West who encouraged family, friends and fellow hoteliers to contribute generously.
  • Employee donation drives at local companies continue to be our most important source of supplies.  The following companies stand out for their generous donation of backpacks – fully-stocked and ready to deliver: Mission Hospital (325), Borg Warner (200), Eaton (150) and Deerfield Retirement Community (130)!
  • Significant cash donations from several members of our very own Alexis de Tocqueville Society helped tremendously in our purchasing power. And our two affinity groups, Women’s Leadership Council and Highlands Circle, did a tremendous job assembling the loose supplies into fully stocked backpacks - more than 400!
  • Our longstanding partnership with 96.5 FM (Asheville Radio Group) helped us expand our audience and better promote the drive with creative radio spots.
  • Our continued partnership with Walmart allowed us to expand our reach, increase our visibility, and boost loose supply donations.  Walmart stores (East and Skyland) hosted in-store donation bins and two successful “Fill the Bus” events.

Who benefitted from these supplies?

1,754 students served by the following agencies, and representing practically every single public school in Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools, received backpacks:

  • Asheville City Schools: Homebase Program for Homeless Student
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina
  • Buncombe County Schools: Youth In Transition Support for Homeless Students
  • Buncombe County Schools: Migrant Education Program
  • Buncombe County Dept. of Juvenile Justice
  • Catholic Charities
  • Caring for Children
  • Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County
  • Community Care of WNC
  • Enka Intermediate
  • Literacy Council of Buncombe County
  • The Salvation Army
  • Verner Center for Early Learning
  • YMCA
  • YWCA