Tis the season of giving and spreading holiday cheer. Many of us are in high holiday spirits and want to give this time of year, but may not know which organization to support.
The holiday season is a time for family — and unfortunately, some families won't be celebrating so much this year. But that doesn't mean you can't help bring a smile to their face.
Below is a list of charities that help children and families in need during emergencies or just in general. Making a donation to one of these organizations could not only make the holiday more magical, it will also be a blessing to many families all year long.
Sleep Tight Kids
Sleep Tight Kids donates Comfort Bags with newly purchased bedtime-related items for children including blankets, stuffed animals, dental care kits, and books either directly to needy families or through partnerships with other non-profit organizations supporting needy families, with a focus on families in Western North Carolina. Visit www.sleeptightkids.org.
United Way of Buncombe County
United Way of Buncombe stands committed to reducing the impact that poverty has on the lives of children, families and communities in Asheville and Buncombe County. They are dedicated to co-creating a community where all neighbors share equal access to the resources necessary to attain the education, financial stability and health needed to thrive. We are grateful to do this work alongside donors, volunteers, community partners, and those most affected by inequity and poverty.
Open Doors Asheville
OpenDoors of Asheville connects local children living in multi-generational poverty with an active, individualized network of support and Opportunities for education and enrichment. At OpenDoors, we invest in kids who live in poverty so they will learn to invest in themselves and in the end, break the cycle of poverty for themselves and for our community. Visit www.opendoorsasheville.org.
Caring for Children
Founded in 1975, Caring for Children was originally based on a community need to provide emergency shelter care to children who had been removed from their homes by the local Department of Social Services due to abuse and neglect. Over four decades later, CARING for Children has evolved into an organization with diverse programs and services that meet the needs of more than 1,800 children and families annually. Visit https://eckerd.org/family-children-services/caring-for-children/.
YWCA of Asheville
The YWCA of Asheville wants to help families nurture and care for their children. The YWCA provides a licensed, 5-Star Early Learning Program and Primary Enrichment Program, offering excellent learning enrichment, homework help, and recreation in a diverse supportive environment. To help working families afford our child care services, the YWCA participates in the NC Subsidized Child Care program.
Other families need short-term child care while the parent is working on their education, looking for a job, or otherwise seeking economic self-sufficiency. The YWCA Empowerment Child Care provides up to 12 hours a week of free, quality child care for parents in transition. We also offer convenient Pay-by-the-Hour Child Care to support more families in our community.
The YWCA also wants to help young families get a good start. The MotherLove program helps pregnant and parenting teens stay in school, access higher education and vocational training, develop the skills and knowledge needed to become strong parents and delay another teen pregnancy. Visit www.ywcaofasheville.org.
Buncombe Partnership for Children
Because today‘s children are tomorrow’s leaders, parents, and workers, everyone has a stake in making sure that all of Buncombe’s children have what they need to thrive. Buncombe Partnership for Children’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of educators, families, and the community to build a strong foundation for children’s learning and development beginning at birth. We value lifelong learning and believe that each child’s first 2,000 days are crucial to success in life. Visit www.buncombepfc.org.
Eliada’s mission is Helping Children Succeed. We provide a cradle to career continuum of services for over 700 children and youth annually. In partnership with families, we meet basic needs and provide positive child and youth development programming to all ages. We also have high level intervention and prevention services for children and adolescents that focus on social and emotional well being, life skills development, career readiness, and trauma informed treatment. Eliada maintains a 5-Star Child Development Center (child care, prek, afterschool, and summer camp), Residential and Day Treatment mental health programs, Foster Care services, and Workforce Development programming.
In Eliada’s 113 year history, the agency has adapted to the needs of the community. Originally an orphanage, Eliada developed Foster Care programming when there was a nation-wide shift away from the traditional children’s home model. As mental health issues in children came into greater focus, Eliada also developed state of the art Residential Treatment Facilities and expanded Foster Care services to include Therapeutic Foster Care. As women entered the workforce, Eliada added child care and preschool services. In Eliada’s recent history, we recognized that youth were aging out of Foster Care and failing in traditional post-secondary education. So the organization once again adapted to meet this community need with the Eliada Student’s Training for Advancement Program which provides transitional living, academic assistance, and workforce development programming for this population of youth. Visit www.eliada.org.
The Eblen Charities reaches out to children, adults, and families in western North Carolina in times of need. Through numerous innovative programs and partnerships tens of thousands of families are assisted each year.
Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) is one of the key non-profit organizations addressing poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the under-served in Buncombe County, serving annually around 50,000. Begun as a small collaboration of churches in 1969, ABCCM has played a significant role in meeting emergency assistance needs for families in crisis, coordinating religious services and education activities at the jail, providing transitional and permanent supportive housing of the homeless through 300 beds, increasing access to health care for half the uninsured and medically underserved; as well as work readiness, mentoring and job placement services. We serve veterans across 26 WNC counties.
ABCCM is generously supported by 282 congregations of all denominations and faith groups along with more than 6,000 trained volunteers, and provides emergency assistance to anyone in need regardless of age, sex, religion or ethnic background.
United Way of Buncombe County
We stand committed to reducing the impact that poverty has on the lives of children, families and communities in Asheville and Buncombe County. We are dedicated to co-creating a community where ALL our neighbors share equal access to the resources necessary to attain the education, financial stability and health needed to thrive. We are grateful to do this work alongside donors, volunteers, community partners, and those most affected by inequity and poverty. Visit www.abccm.org.
Loving Food Resources
Loving Food Resources (LFR) is a food pantry that provides food, health, and personal care items to people in 18 counties of WNC who are living with HIV/AIDS or who are in home hospice care with any diagnosis. Loving Food Resources commits itself to a future with a greater positive impact in the lives of our clients and community.Organizing a food drive for LFR can help fill our shelves for clients as well as spread the word about the pantry. Visit www.lovingfood.org.