For almost 100 years, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has counted on the leaders of companies like yours to help us raise the money needed to address crucial issues facing our community.
- You've opened your doors, allowing us to share our story with your employees.
- You've given your time, your voice, your people power, and your financial contributions.
- And you've made an impact on the lives of our neighbors.
We know our 2020 fundraising campaign will look very different in the face of this global health crisis. But we've got people like you on our side - we can do this!
Let's Review A Few Things
When the pandemic hit, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County immediately mobilized and we're still in action.
And below are a few highlights of how your support positioned us to assist:
Since March 18, NC 211 Community Resource Specialists handled over 107,000* calls.
To put this in perspective, these same specialists handled 134,000 calls in 2019.
24/7 our 211 team members at our Asheville Call Center worked to connect the people of WNC to health and human resources like food, health care, housing, and employment services. We also provided verified information about local, state, and federal guidelines about the pandemic, and helped to dispel rumors that arose.
We worked closely with the City of Asheville and Buncomb e County Emergency Operations Center who promoted United Way's 211 and our volunteer center as the places to find accurate information on how to give and get help. We worked together to create a special landing page with links to up to date information for the top kinds of needs. We were also able to expand our call center team with the help of reassigned Asheville City staff members.
* as of 9/10/20
In Their Own Words
“I’ve been helping people for years and was at a loss today due to so many resources being closed, and I thought I needed a miracle; turns out I just needed to call 2-1-1.”
“Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today, you’ve broken down all the steps I need to take into baby steps and now they don’t seem as scary.”
“I am beyond grateful, thank you for being the first person in a while to give me hope.”
"If it wasn't for the Lord, my husband, and 2-1-1, I would feel totally alone. Thank you for answering the phone, when no one else has."
We've been building an infrastructure of support for students, families, and communities using four middle schools as hubs.
Since this crisis unfolded we've worked with our school and community partners holding twice-weekly network calls since March 20 with 550+ participations focusing on problem-solving, future visioning, and resource-sharing.
We're also meeting with community leaders who are helping us develop a Bold Community Goal that all of our work will rally around and developing the Results-based Accountability Framework to measure this work.
Our Coordinators at Asheville, Enka, Erwin, and Owen Middle Schools have been hosting virtual meetings with
- Parent circles
- Student clubs
- Individual check-ins
- Community Partner support
- Homework Diners
They've also been helping with the coordination of efforts to meet the basic needs of families in each district including food boxes.
In Their Own Words
“The weekly calls with United Way’s Community School partners reconnect our community during a time of physical distance. I hear about all the wonderful work that our community partners are doing to serve families, schools, children and community members. I take what I learn in these meetings and relay important information to our participants who are even more disconnected from resources. These calls bridge a gap between the work that is being done and the people who can benefit from the support.” Kelley Hubbell, Women’s Empowerment Director, YWCA
COVID-19 community volunteer response:
- Volunteers have filled 1,733 volunteer slots.
- 15,200 hours of volunteer service have been logged to date.
- 24 agencies providing essential services around food-insecurity, transportation, health and safety, homelessness, and mobilization of essential resources benefited from these volunteers' efforts, saving them $375,744 in the process.
In Their Own Words
“Many of our regular volunteers are elderly or have health issues so they can’t help us like they used to. We simply could not serve the growing number of people we are helping right now without the help of United Way’s volunteer center.” Janice Ianniello, Emergency Market at Montmorenci UMC, Candler
Our board just approved a three-year strategic plan. Among the items approved are our new vision and mission.
A united and resilient community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives.
This is what we build our work upon. That work was hard before the events of 2020 unfolded. It will be harder now.
We mobilize and support a robust network of people, partners, and resources to collectively fight the root causes and consequences of poverty.
This mission keeps us grounded in what our role is and what we must focus our attention on.
How do we get there?
By 2035, 95% of all students will graduate ready for college and/or career, and community, with no gaps based on race or income.
We worked with community leaders to set a community goal that will serve both as a rallying cry as well as a public-facing promise to our community. So why this community goal?
- We can’t have a healthy or strong community unless everyone living here has an opportunity to thrive.
- There is significant evidence that graduating high school - college and/or career, and community ready - is a powerful predictor of economic and health outcomes.
- Our local opportunity gap isn’t solely a school problem, it is a community problem which is why effective solutions must include meaningful interventions in how our most vulnerable students are educated, AND in the factors outside of school that affect student learning.
Our newly adopted three-year strategic plan is clear: the community school strategy is the way we will elevate student success, support families, and engage communities throughout Buncombe County.
We cannot have a thriving community unless all of our young people can graduate from high school ready for college, career, and community. But academic success is too often undermined by issues related to hunger, homelessness, and health problems. These factors are known as the “social determinants of health” and we would argue are also the social determinants of education. And we understand that the global coronavirus health crisis has revealed, even more clearly, the racial and economic disparities present in our communities.
The community school strategy allows schools and community to work with students, their families, and their communities as they are - interdependent.
- A moldy home | asthma
- No home | heatstroke, frostbite and physical violence
- Limited access to fresh food | high blood pressure and obesity
- Working three jobs, and still unable to pay the bills | sleep deprivation and anxiety
- Elders who live in isolation | depression and suicide
NCCARE360 unites healthcare providers and human services organizations with a shared technology platform, allowing for a coordinated, community-oriented, person-centered approach for delivering care in North Carolina.
Since the early 1970s, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has operated an information and referral call center in our region and now our staff will play an integral role in the implementation of NCCARE360 in the western part of our state by serving as dedicated NCCARE360 Navigators.
As Navigators, we will be able to assist medical providers and community-based organizations find services for their patients and clients by helping to navigate the NCCARE360 platform. We will also be able to place our Navigators in the Community School sites to help connect students and families to the resources they need to improve their health.