Greetings Eblen Charities friends and family!

Would you like to hear some good news? Then this is the Newsletter for you!

The good news is.. that you are all AMAZING!
Through the years you have proven yourself to be thousands of awesome pillars holding up this community. In so many ways, for all your efforts in this past year, life is going to be at least a little bit easier for a lot of families as they face this new crisis in their lives.

Because you are reading this, that means you are someone who can't help but want to help others; So however you are out there helping - please do so safely!
Our hopes and prayers are with you and your loved ones as they are with the rest of the world.
And remember - there will be lots to look forward to once we get through this!

Please feel free to forward us to your family and friends, and we thank you for all that you do with Eblen Charities! 
This Week at Eblen
Postponements / Cancellations:
 Operation Prom Dress on March 21st: Postponed
Jersey Mike's "Day of Giving" on March 25th: Cancelled
MORE GOOD NEWS!
Hoops Against Hunger Hauls Record Food Donations with Hotel Challenge & Ingles SoCon Basketball Championships!

Read full story below.
Jersey Mike's Month of Giving Raises $3,000 so far for Eblen Charities, prior to Day of Giving Cancellation. "Month of Giving" continues curb side.

Read full story below..
How We Can Help Through the Pandemic
Our Community's Kindness:
Before, After and During the Pandemic

The need for food is only the beginning. Fortunately, just last week more than 10,000 snacks and meals were collected through the Hoops Against Hunger program by thirteen different Asheville area SoCon host hotels. We are also very grateful to Ingles Markets for their $1,000 donation at the Ingles SoCon Basketball championships where we received $1,300 in a combined total after cash donations from the event. These funds are being used towards free milk certificates that were purchased from Ingles.

We are working closely with Buncombe County and Asheville City schools to distribute the food, as we do annually around this Spring Break time period.

In the past week we at Eblen Charities have found it awe inspiring to see school systems, businesses, other organizations and even individuals join us in our mission to help children in those times they are away from school. In the coming days, however, there will be a great need beyond food.

Eblen may be known for its large gatherings and massive toy, food and school supply drives, but we feel the challenge ahead is to inform our community that the safest and most effective way to help is through online donations at eblencharities.org as we develop future online fundraisers.

The ripple effect this pandemic will have is both predictable and yet still unimaginable for many of our clients. We also expect an influx of clients who may be seeking non-profit help for their very first time. Many of our friends, knowing this, are also anxious to help. This is why we will be taking whatever precautions necessary to abide by the social distancing guidelines in order to keep our community safe, while focusing on ways to help it recover both after and during the crisis.

We are immediately reminded, given the current circumstances, that it is the service industry hotel workers who were the forces behind collecting all this wonderful food. It would seem that the same things they collected and purchased at the beginning of the month are among the most popular items flying off the shelves right now. It's possible that the very food they just gave away, they themselves may be seeking today for their families. Our hearts go out to them as they too will be struggling from their industries troubles, and we can't emphasize enough the impact that their timely contributions will have. We will be here for them, just as they have been there for us.

Perhaps the 10,000 plus snacks and meals that they collected, as well as any of our other annual events, can help serve as an example to the power of our community and it's ability to help change the lives of others. Together, we can and will get through this time of uncertainty even if we will need to pull together from a distance to do so. This is what Eblen Charities does best, and we thank you for all that you do, even while helping from home.

Visit eblencharities.org and follow our social media for more.
We welcome your donation, but we completely understand if you do not feel you have the means to do so.
We Are So LUCKY to Have the "WEDNESDAY CREW"!
The Weekly Wednesday Volunteer Staff
Eblen Charities is lucky to have this group of volunteers who have committed their Wednesday mornings to work in the Warehouse. Whether it’s sorting and hanging coats, boxing up food, putting out Christmas toys or prom dresses, this crew is one of the hardest working groups of volunteers. They put in more than 2,000 volunteer hours combined each year and have been doing so together for the past 10 years. The group has grown over the years, and there is no doubt they make a big difference in our community. They take responsibility in sorting every donation that comes to Eblen Charities through our generous community. Wednesday mornings are their dedicated time to work together, but just this past week, they showed up Monday morning ready to box more than 10,000 snacks and meals for the kids in our community. This shows the dedication they feel to helping those in our community! 

"I love going through things, organizing and sorting things and giving it to someone in need.  It is especially fun to work on coats and Christmas items all year long and see all those things end up with people that need them.  When I see a coat or Christmas present in someone’s cart, I know that it’s gone through my hands. That makes me happy."
- Cindy Estes
Picture order from the left:
Art Taylor, Pete Broh, Tommy Koontz, Emily Freeman, Jan Burleson, Cindy Estes, Suzanne Nelon (not pictured), Cindy Jordan (not pictured)
Special Event Update
The MVP's for March Madness
Over 10,000 snacks and meals provided by Hoops Against Hunger from the Ingles SoCon Basketball Championships!

We would again like to give Special Thanks to our partners at Ingles Markets & the Southern Conference for making this event possible. They are not only wonderful contributors, but gracious hosts as well. The Halftime Relays proved to be an excellent way to educate the fans about the cause while keeping them glued to their seats as they were not to be missed. The Ingles Fan Experience was also a very fun addition as Team Eblen and Team Ingles were practically synonymous. Thank you to our volunteers and to all who came by and donated!
Congratulations To Our Hoops Against Hunger Hotel Challenge Winners!
Hilton Garden Inn: a total of 3,239 food items while transforming their lobby into an actual "Food Court"
Hyatt Place Asheville: totaling around 2,300 food items while taking "Food Pyramid" to a new level!
These totals were taken at the time of judging and together they combined for nearly half of all donations
We would also like to give honorable mentions to Doubletree Hotel & Holiday Inn Biltmore West for their spirited efforts!
Hilton Biltmore Park, one our winners last year, had a slow start at the time of judging but we were awestruck when they posted their team photo of all the food they collected for the cause even after the competition was over, proving once and for all to "Never Underestimate the Heart of a Champion!"
Thank you to all our participating host hotels:
Crowne Plaza, Cambria Hotel, Doubletree Hotel, Hampton Inn Biltmore, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Biltmore Park, Hyatt Place, Renaissance Hotel, Sheraton Four Points, Holiday Inn Biltmore West, Holiday Inn Express & Suites SW Outlet Center, Comfort Suites Outlets, Quality Inn & Suites Biltmore East

We are so appreciative to all who joined together for the 3rd Annual Hoops Against Hunger Hotel Challenge in collecting food for kids who may not have enough to eat while away from school on Spring Break. 
This year was the biggest collection of food yet! 
More than 10,000 snacks and meals were collected at the hotels and the Ingles SoCon Basketball Tournament.
As you now know, this food collection turned out to be a very important and timely event, as this food will serve children who are away from school longer than ever expected. Thank you again for your support and participation!
We would like to thank our partners who make the Hoops Against Hunger Program possible:
Announcement: Looking Forward..
It's TeeTime!
The Wicked Weed / Brad Johnson Celebrity Golf Classic 2020 at Etowah Valley Golf and Resort

Spring time at Eblen Charities means it is time for the Wicked Weed/ Brad Johnson Celebrity Golf Classic!
“Never before will a successful tournament mean so much to our organization”-says Susan Riddle of Eblen Charities, “We anticipate many new requests for assistance, from people in our community that have been impacted by the measures taken to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Eblen Charities helps during times of crisis and wants to be able to help our local families get back to their normal lives after this COVID virus has past. A successful tournament will allow us to assist families to do just that.”

The 2020 event will be on June 9, hosted by Etowah Valley Golf and Resort with Tee Times at 8:30am and 2pm. Players have their choice of a morning or afternoon round and will enjoy a variety of Asheville’s own Wicked Weed beer as well as other course refreshments and meals.
Sponsorships are available and will include a new exclusive sponsors reception hosted at Wicked Weed West on the evening prior to the tournament. A limited number of these $1,500 sponsorships are available so if you or your company would like to join us please reserve your place by emailing jjohnson@eblencharities.org

Many other opportunities are available including $500 hole sponsors, $1000 teams, as well as a Round Sponsorship and a tee gift sponsor. All sponsors will receive a variety of recognition on the course and Eblen outlets.
We hope you will join us for the tournament… enjoying a great day on the course while helping our community recover from these difficult times.

This Week at Eblen
Jersey Mike's Month of Giving Raises $3,000 so far for Eblen Charities
March 25th "Day of Giving" has been cancelled.

Jersey Mike’s has decided to cancel the Day of Giving, Wednesday March 25th, the day that culminates Jersey Mikes Month of Giving. These decisions have resulted due to the ban on crowd sizes and dine in restrictions related to COVID-19.
Jersey Mike’s will remain open for take-out and will still be taking donations for Eblen Charities in their four Asheville stores through the end of the month.

Patrick Dillingham of Jersey Mike’s writes, “We are still raising money from the customers that come in and have raised around $3,000 so far this month. Supporters can come in and make a donation to Eblen at our 4 locations. They do not need to make a purchase in order to make a donation.”

This would have been the second year that Jersey Mike’s donated 100% of the proceeds to benefit Eblen Charities through their Day of Giving Campaign. We are thankful for the support of Jersey Mike’s and the community.

Asheville Locations:
River Hills Shops, West Asheville, Hendersonville Rd, and the Rutledge Commons Shopping Center on Airport Rd.,

Postponed: Operation Prom Dress 2020

Due to COVID-19, Eblen Charities will be postponing Operation Prom Dress 2020 scheduled to be held this Saturday, March 21st. We will announce a new date as soon as we are able to reschedule. Prom dresses and attire, along with shoes, jewelry and handbags can still be dropped off at the Eblen Charities office at 50 Westgate Parkway in the Westgate Shopping Center, Monday thru Friday, 8am-5pm. If you know of any young lady in need of a prom dress, or have one you would like to donate, and need more information please contact Susan Riddle at Eblen Charities at 828-255-3066 ext.21 or via email at sriddle@eblencharities.org

Upcoming Events
Month of March:
Jersey Mike's Month of Giving for Eblen Charities
Formerly March 21: ( postponed )
Eblen Charities Operation Prom Dress

Coat Drive:
Thursday, April 23rd
4:30AM to 7PM
Program Updates
 
  • The Crisis Intervention Program ( CIP ) has helped heat 3,023 homes since expanding in late October. We have spent $767,289.26 to date.

  • LIEAP: 2,606 households…$900,400 spent to date.
 
Contact Us
Mary Ann McMinn
mcminn120@gmail.com to volunteer.
Eddie Gumm ( Creative) egumm@eblencharities.org
We thank you so much for the wonderful feedback on our Newsletter reboot and please, don't hesitate to contact us as we'd love to hear your thoughts or suggestions.

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