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WNC Back to School Drive Ends with Packing Party

WLOS-- August 13, 2019

The Pack-n-Sort Party marked the end of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County's back to school drive, which is in its twelfth year.
Volunteers packed and sorted more than 1,000 backpacks for middle and elementary schools. The backpacks will be distributed to local students.

Dan Leroy named next president and CEO of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

Mountain Xpress-- March 29, 2019

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County announced on Wednesday that it has hired Dan Leroy as its next president and CEO. A search committee consisting of board and staff leadership, and led by Walker-Wilson Consulting, conducted a nationwide search after current CEO, David Bailey, announced his retirement following 23 years of service with the organization.

“It is an incredible honor to follow David Bailey as the next president and CEO of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. ” Leroy said. “David and his outstanding team of staff, board members and volunteers have done a brilliant job positioning UWABC to be a powerful agent of systems-level change in Buncombe County. I couldn’t be more excited to join them in their efforts to ensure every person in our community has access to good jobs, quality health care and a first-rate education.”

Read the full press release.



United Way Holds Learn United Disccussion in Preparation of Author Bryan Stevenson's Visit

Mountain Xpress--April 23, 2019

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County received donated copies of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption collected by UNC Asheville faculty and staff through a campus fundraiser in preparation for Author Bryan Stevenson's talk. United Way was only one of the recipients of the 115 books, which they put to good use in their Learn United program, a professional learning series open to the public focused on books and articles related to disparity in education, income, and health.

Elisabeth Bocklet, United Way’s director of marketing and communications, says Learn United helps participants achieve a deeper understanding of problems many local residents face. From racial inequity to hunger, from housing policies to education, each session is a chance to gain greater insight into some challenging social issue. 

The discussion preceded Stevenson's on-campus discussion of the book on April 25th. Read the full article.




The Faces of Aligned Forces: Asheville Buncombe Middle Grades Network

Capital At Play-- November, 2018

Today, the Asheville Middle Grades Network--the collaborative effort of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools, and more than 50 nonprofit, higher education, public and private health and human service providers, faith communities, and business leaders--is working to transform our area middle schools so that they can serve as hubs with serices that support students, strengthen families, and engage communities. Learn more about the Asheville Buncombe Middle Grades Network as well as how your business or nonprofit can get involved.




UNCA Men's Basketball Team Volunteers at Asheville Middle Homework Diners

WLOS-- September, 2018

We're looking forward to another school year of weekly family engagement events at Asheville Middle School, Clyde A Erwin Middle, Charles D. Owen Middle School, and Enka Middle School. Thanks to WLOS ABC 13 for featuring the UNC Asheville Men's Basketball team in action last week at Asheville Middle as they helped serve the meal to students and families. Watch the full clip here.
Want to lend a helping hand, learn how you can become a mentor or learn more about when these are offered to join as a participant? Learn more.



Local couple is Devoted to Collecting School Supplies for Kids in Need

WLOS-- July 2018

At the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, there is a room full of school supplies. They are a luxury far too many families cannot afford. The Backpack to the Future drive helps 2,400 local children start the school year prepared. Our Persons of the Week, Himanshu Karvir and his wife Swati Patel, have made the drive their annual passion project. They help collect hundreds of backpacks every year. Learn more about theis inspiring family dedicated to community on WLOS.




'Close-knit' group of women uses its talents to help Asheville charities

WLOS-- June 2018

"Once a month, a group of women with United Way of Asheville get together to knit a variety of items for different charities in the area. It's part of the Knit n Give Project. The women craft hand-made hats for newborns and their mothers, along with adults. They also make blankets and scarves to keep folks warm during the winter months. The items are then given to Western North Carolina Community Health, AHOPE, Homeward Bound, and Mountain Area Health Education Center." See the full story and video on WLOS.





"WWII Vet Helps Erwin Middle Students with Math Homework to Show Them The Sky's the Limit"

     WLOS-- February, 2018


"Our Person of the Week, Ken Maultsby, is a World War II veteran now serving his community by reaching out to the next generation. "They can do anything they set their mind and hearts to. They are gifted," said Maultsby, who goes by Mr. Ken. Maultsby is a volunteer at the weekly Homework Diner at Erwin Middle, which gives students and their families a hot meal and a little extra help. It's a program sponsored by the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. United Way contracts Green Opportunities kitchen staff to provide the food. It doesn't take a math whiz to know life is like a box of variables, because you never know what you're going to get.

Mr. Ken is part of the Greatest Generation that's often a forgotten resource. He believes the equation that defines who kids become is built on discipline. "Hopefully I'm a factor in helping them make good decisions," said Mr. Ken, who's the unexpected "X factor." Read the full story on WLOS.






"United Way Program Broadens Owen Middle School's Scope this Fall" 

Black Mountain News-- May, 2017


"United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is planning to make Owen Middle the fourth middle school in the area to have a community resource coordinator who will connect families of students at risk of failing to services that help the students work toward high school graduation. United Way’s Middle School Success Initiative is already in place at Asheville, Erwin and Enka middle schools. United Way hopes to replicate it at all seven middle schools in Buncombe County.

The “community school” strategy, a national model upon which the initiative is based, addresses more than a student’s performance. It also supports the health and financial well-being of a student’s family. Doing so helps local families and elevates the community in which they live, so the thinking goes, making the whole region stronger." Continue reading at Black Mountain News for the full story.




"Feed Your Brain: Homework Diner Program Offers Families Dinner, Academic Support"

 Mountain Xpress-- May, 2017


"Rolled out as a pilot project at Enka Middle School in the fall, the program is about to finish out the school year with tutoring sessions and free, hot dinners being hosted weekly in the cafeterias at Enka, Erwin and Asheville middle schools. Plans are also in the works to extend the effort to Owen Middle School next school year. Although middle schools are employed as the host sites, Homework Diner sessions are open to students and families from all grade levels in the Asheville and Buncombe County school districts.

But the program is a collaboration that goes beyond the United Way and school district leadership. The Green Opportunities catering team, which is staffed with graduates from the organization’s Kitchen Ready culinary training program, comes in each week to prepare healthy, high-quality meals for attendees. And for the tutoring component, teachers from schools within each host district are paid to be there to offer students one-on-one help with tricky homework assignments and subjects that have stumped them in the classroom." Continue reading the full story at Mountain Xpress.




"Gov. Cooper Visits Enka Middle for National Volunteers Week"

   WLOS-- April, 2017


"Gov. Roy Cooper visited students and parents at Enka Middle School on Tuesday. The visit was part of his efforts to bring attention to National Volunteer Week.

The middle school offers free tutoring and dinner weekly through a partnership with the United Way, Green Opportunities, the county, the school district and Asheville-Buncombe Middle Grades Network. The program is called Homework Diner. Seventh-grader Eli Dougherty has been attending the program with his parents since early in the school year. They were one of several families who got to sit down with the governor Tuesday evening. Dougherty's mother Traci Wallace appreciates the extra help."

"I don't have to spend time trying to make the meal and help with homework," said Wallace. "And some of the homework questions I don't understand, they can help him." Continue reading on WLOS.