This year's School Supply Drive hosted United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County drive showcasing the power of compassion and collaboration, touching the lives of countless students and embarking on a new academic journey. Amidst the heartwarming stories that emerged, one stood out as a poignant reminder of the generational cycle of kindness.
Heather Wingart, Director of Major gits here at UWABC, experienced a heartfelt moment as she volunteered alongside her son for his very first time. The significance of this occasion wasn't lost on Heather, as it brought back fond memories of her own youth. Heather's first foray into volunteering was at the same age her son is now, and remarkably, it was with United Way. This serendipitous alignment of events brought tears of joy to Heather's eyes as she shared this touching journey with her son.
The camaraderie among the volunteers was nothing short of inspiring. The collective effort of volunteers, including a strong presence from Mission Health and Aeroflow, illuminated the spirit of togetherness. The volunteers' commitment was exemplary, with some dedicating their time to multiple shifts. A standout moment arrived when Project Lighten Up, a unique summer day camp and afterschool program led by Alma Atkins, joined forces for a shift. Their infectious energy and enthusiastic work ethic added an extra layer of vibrancy to the atmosphere.
As the drive reached its crescendo, the sight of backpacks leaving Harrah's floor was spectacular. Each bag, filled with school essentials, symbolized a young student anywhere from first grade to their senior year of high school, starting the school year with all the necessary supplies they would need. The procession of vehicles from local nonprofits, there to distribute the fully stocked backpacks out the children they work with directly, formed a caravan that traveled through the basement of Harrah’s. The willingness of local nonprofits and organizations to work with UWABC is a testament to our collective want to ensure that the impact of this drive would ripple through Buncombe County.
The success of the School Supply Drive 2023 extends beyond mere numbers. It's a testament to the human spirit's capacity for empathy, unity, and the desire to make a positive difference. Heather Wingart's touching moment, the dedication of volunteers like Mission Health, and the infectious energy brought by Project Lighten Up collectively remind us that kindness knows no bounds. In a world where it's easy to focus on individual achievements, this drive was a powerful reminder that when we unite for a shared purpose.
Don't Stop There...
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