Its hard to advocate for social connection during this time when we are actively isolating to try to keep the COVID-19 Virus from spreading. "Social distancing" is the new trend of the times. It makes me concerned for a lot of folks, not only because of the potential for catching this novel virus, but from the perspective of our collective mental health. We Live On has evolved into an organization that is actively pursuing "collective volunteerism" -that is volunteering TOGETHER - to make the world a better place, but also, to HEAL. We believe this meaningful time spent together makes a powerful impact on our psyches. But, with that being said, we know we must protect the vulnerable, so while we are in this new reality, we have compiled a short list of organizations that can still use your help. Many groups that rely on volunteers are hurting because the people who do most of the volunteering are retired, and are therefore older, and at a higher risk for infection and its complications. Here are some opportunities to DONATE, SUPPORT, AND/OR VOLUNTEER in the Asheville/Hendersonville area. If you are over 60, or are at higher risk for complications due to COVID-19, know that volunteering at this time is probably not for you. But you can still support and donate to help those less fortunate. When this is over, we will be so happy to serve with you all again!
These are just some of the organizations that you can donate to that are addressing the needs of our local residents during this pandemic:
United Way of Buncombe County and the Community Foundation of Western NC has created an Emergency and Disaster Response Fund to address COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts in Western NC. You can donate to this Fund at:
United Way of Henderson County and Community Foundation of Henderson County - have created the COVID-19 Response Fund - and are collecting money for grants given to Henderson County Nonprofits providing support for those impacted by the pandemic. Donations to this Fund can be made at:
The Salvation Army/Asheville and Buncombe County - Anticipate a significant increase in need of emergency assistance for low-wage employees facing layoffs due to COVID-19. They provide support for rent/mortgage, utility, and food assistance in our area. Donations can be made at:
The YMCA of WNC - While schools are closed, The YMCA is offering emergency child care for children of employees of organizations that provide essential services. They have created a Community Emergency Response Fund. You can donate at:
The Haywood Street Congregation - is a well-known community in Asheville responsible for providing meals, clothing, and fellowship to the homeless and working-poor community. With the COVID-19 pandemic, their focus has had to change from communal hot meals to brown bagged lunches. They are partnering with other restaurants in the area to help provide, and donations to this ministry would be well used. Visit:
All of the following are resources for helping our neighbors through
this hard time. There are ways to help, and to be helped:
Sunrise Community - is continuing to offer support groups for recovery, wellness, and peer-support ONLINE. They also could always use donations to keep their services available. PLEASE if you rely on these support systems to function in a healthy way visit their website at:
Asheville Strong is an effort that was organized to help support local Asheville businesses during the COVID-19 shutdown. They have created a website where you can buy gift cards to help keep our local business owners afloat. The website also has inspiring stories and ideas for dealing with this difficult time. Visit:
Love Hendo is an organization that is seeking to support small business owners in Hendersonville that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Our local small businesses rely on the purchasing of goods and services on a daily basis to survive. Social distancing has caused many businesses to slow to a halt. Love Hendo has links to resources and ideas, including buying gift cards from these businesses for future use. Visit:
Keep Music Live Project is an initiative produced to provide live online concerts during the current pandemic isolation in order to entertain, as well as maintain some revenue for local musicians. Donations are accepted as many musicians have been completely unable to make a living due to the ban on public gatherings. Visit:
These organizations generally rely on the public to operate and
are currently asking for volunteers:
Buncombe County Government has responded to COVID-19 by establishing 5 separate food distribution points around Asheville, and are asking for volunteers to help with this effort. For more information, or to sign up, please visit Hands On Asheville-Buncombe at:
ABCCM - 24 Cumberland Avenue Asheville, NC 28801
Ramping up efforts to provide food assistance, and are asking for volunteers to help package food supplies, clothing, and cleaning supplies for their COVID-19 Response. Contact Caleb Bradshaw, Volunteer Administrator at (828) 398-6836 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manna Food Bank - 627 Swannanoa River Road Asheville, NC 28805
The largest distributor to food staples for families in need in our area is currently working to address the sudden escalation of need, and are asking that volunteers sign up for shifts at their website at:
Homeward Bound of WNC - 19 N. Ann Street Asheville, NC 28801 - Requesting donations of baked goods,sandwiches, and snacks for the homeless population. Please contact Joe Hoffman at 828-772-1820.
Calvary Episcopal Church Food Pantry - 2840 Hendersonville Rd. Fletcher, NC 28732 - Needs volunteers to package and distribute food items to those in need. Sign up at:
The Free Clinics - 841 Case Street Hendersonville, NC 28792 - Needs volunteer front desk reception, and other clinical and non-clinical help. Contact Sarah Friedell, Volunteer Coordinator at 828-697-8422.
Interfaith Assistance Ministry - 300 Freeman Street Hendersonville, NC 28792 - Needs volunteers for their Food Pantry, Clothing Closet, and Intake. Contact Dianne King, Volunteer Coordinator at 828-697-7029.
Henderson County Council on Aging Meals on Wheels Program - 105 King Creek Blvd. Hendersonville, NC 28792 - Are asking for volunteers for Meals on Wheels delivery, however when I checked last week I was told they had all of their positions covered. You might check with them on a weekly basis. Contact them at 828-692-4203.
Please keep in touch and let us know if you have other
ideas for helping out during this crisis. God Bless!
Susan & Adam Ward