Eblen Charities September 2020 Newsletter

Greetings, Eblen friends and family!

I’m honored to join you all in the vital work to keep people in our community housed, warm, safe and healthy!

In just one month since I became the new executive director at Eblen, I’ve already developed a deep respect and appreciation for the critical role this organization plays in our region. I’m touched by the stories of the individuals and families Eblen has helped for nearly 30 years. And I’m impressed by the dedicated staff and volunteers.

Today, our mission is even more relevant because of COVID-19. Requests for help to pay rent, utility bills and prescription medications, have increased greatly, especially with people struggling with layoffs and school closures.

For more than 23 years, I’ve had the privilege of advocating for people battling life-threatening and chronic illnesses and the financial hardships that go hand in hand. I’ve worked with some of the leading nonprofits in the nation, including the National MS Society, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and, the Asheville-based Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

But I can tell you it’s even more meaningful, especially now, to be able to lead a nonprofit like Eblen that is making a positive impact in the lives of so many people in the place I call home.

I’m excited and confident about Eblen’s future as we work to meet the growing challenges of people in Western North Carolina. We’re grateful for all you do for Eblen and hope we can count on your continued support!
This Week at Eblen
Our Signature Fundraiser is Going Virtual!

The Eblen Charities Pumpkin Campaign is our longest-running fundraiser, which started out with hand-cut ghosts, and evolved into pumpkins and ghosts that could be seen in local Ingle’s Markets, local schools, area banks, credit unions, dry cleaners, restaurants and other local businesses. Each colorful pumpkin or friendly ghost, sold for a dollar, added to the Halloween decor of participating businesses and schools for nearly three decades. 

This year the pandemic has changed the way we do things almost daily. The BOOsters and Pumpkins fundraiser is one of Eblen's key fundraisers, helping hundreds of families receive assistance throughout the year. Eblen meets needs not covered by federal funds for heating, utilities and housing. These requests include clothing, shoes, eye glasses, medication, gas for medical appointments. This program brightens the lives of so many families each year who receive assistance from Eblen's General Fund Programs

Look for BOOSters and Pumpkins, along with our new virtual campaign, the whole month of October. This new virtual platform is fun, easy to use, and great for friendly competitions. If your organization is interested in hosting a virtual fundraiser, contact Amanda Putnam at aputnam@eblencharities.org. More details to follow.
Ingles Tools for Schools Supply Drive & Distribution through Eblen Charities

Thanks to everyone who joined us this year for the 12th annual Ingles Tools for Schools drive-thru supply drive and social distance distribution day. While things looked very different from years past, the end result was the same: hundreds of students received the school supplies they needed, whether starting virtual at home or in the classroom. 

This is one of the biggest outreach projects we do, and we could not do it without our sponsors, donors and volunteers, who donated more than 125 hours of their precious time to this project. 

Fifty volunteers masked up to help unload the truck of supplies, sort and fill bags with paper, pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, erasers, folders, notebooks and more! Together we helped more than 600 children get school supplies, easing the financial burden on the family, helping teachers and helping the children feel confident and happy to start school!

Thanks to Ingles Pharmacy, the Buncombe County Health Department, and Dr. Drew Schnyder for providing immunizations for children starting kindergarten, 7th and 12th  grades, flu shots, and wellness checkups during the fourth annual Ingles Pharmacy/ Eblen Immunization Project.

Special thanks to Ingles Markets, WLOS, iHeartradio, and the Asheville Citizen-Times for making the Ingles Tools for School Supply Drive a success. 
The Walk is on The Move!
... To Spring 2021

For the last 19 years, we've been busy planning for our annual fall 5K/10K Walk. This year COVID has different plans, with limited number of folks able to gather and social distancing requirements. For our 20th Anniversary, we are making a big move to the spring! All your Walk favorites will be bigger and better as we prepare for our 20th Anniversary. We want this to be a true community event supporting the families of Western North Carolina. More details to follow!
A Summer Saved by Kindness

Staff and volunteers have been working hard to help those in need of assistance, including people affected by COVID-19. Case workers have remained steadfast in their concern and care for the community and have been serving clients via phone, fax and email. Volunteers have been manning the phones to gather information to assist caseworkers. 

Eblen distributes federal funds, to cover power bills and past due rent through the Crisis Intervention and Emergency Assistance Programs. In July alone, applications for Emergency Assistance were up 40 percent over last July. General Funds offer resources to help people not covered by government programs. Nearly 5,000 households have received assistance so far this calendar year. 

The Need This Autumn

For many, school started back this month and that means requests are coming in from school counselors for clothing and shoe vouchers. We've also seen an increase in medication assistance and requests for gas to get to medical appointments. These are all programs that use general funds. With thousands of people out of work and many children at home, the challenges for struggling families are greater than ever. 

COVID-19 has halted all fall group fundraising events. To offset these losses, we're launching a new BOOsters and Pumpkins Virtual Fundraiser in October! If you would like to help by making a donation, please visit the website at eblencharities.org/donations
Helping from Home
Small Donations will add up on
AmazonSmile!

If you are already using Amazon, we would like to remind you that if you use AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com and choose Eblen Charities as your charity this is just one more way to help our community at no extra cost to you.
Donating Through Microsoft Rewards

Give with Bing is a new way to support the causes you care about, simply by searching with Bing. Join Microsoft Rewards and start giving with Bing. Your Bing searches will earn Reward points that are automatically donated directly to the cause of your choice.

For more information visit: https://www.bing.com/give/join

Microsoft Rewards is a free program that rewards you for doing the stuff you already do every day. You can earn points by searching, shopping, and gaming with Microsoft and redeem them for gift cards, sweepstakes entries, nonprofit donations, and more.
Host your own Fundraiser!
If you are interested in hosting a fundraiser, using our new crowdfunding application, please contact Amanda Putnam at aputnam@eblencharities.org. This new program is fun, simple to use and a great way to get your organization involved in helping our local community with needs during these difficult times.

Enhanced Giving Incentives for Taxpayers
The CARES Act
Temporary Changes to Charitable Giving Laws


On March 27, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides tax incentives for charitable giving for both individuals and businesses. As you look for ways to help the people we serve, be sure to consider the provisions of the CARES act.

For example, if you itemize your deductions, the adjusted grow income (AGI) limit for cash contributions has been increased for individual donors. For cash contributions made in 2020, you can now elect to deduct up to 100 percent of your AGI (up from 60 percent).

The AGI limit for cash contributions was also increased for corporate donors. Corporations can now deduct up to 25 percent of taxable income (up from 10 percent).

And, if you’re not itemizing, the CARES Act allows for an additional “above the line” deduction for charitable gifts made in cash of up to $300.

These new incentives do not apply to contributions made to a donor advised fund or a supporting organization.
COVID-19 UPDATE

Eblen Charities remains open but has modified operations to abide by the guidelines of social distancing.
As much as possible, case workers - who have remained steadfast in their concern and care for the community - will assist clients via phone, fax and email.
(office phone 828-255-3066, fax 828-255-3775, info@eblencharities.org)

PLEASE NOTE THAT EBLEN CHARITIES HAS TRANSITIONED TO SUMMER HOURS. OUR HOURS ARE 9-5 MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY
- - - - - - - Contact Us - - - - - - -
Susan Riddle
Amanda Putnam
Projects and Events
Eddie Gumm ( Creative) egumm@eblencharities.org
- - - - - - - Volunteer - - - - - - -
Contact Volunteer Coordinator
Mary Ann McMinn
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