Thanksgiving is a time for all of us to reflect on the blessings we have received this past year. During these difficult times, so many here in our community will be facing an empty table on Thanksgiving Day. But thanks to so many wonderful people, companies, and organizations, these families who have struggled so much through these troubled days will be able to enjoy a memorable Thanksgiving with their family and friends.

Twelve years ago Eblen Charities had the privilege to work with long-time friend, board member, NBA star, NASCAR analyst and team owner Brad Daugherty, in creating the Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving program.

In partnership with Ingles Markets, the Eblen Charities’ Board of Directors, the Asheville Radio Group, and the generosity of countless others, Thanksgiving meals have been provided to tens of thousands of people in our community.

Four years ago board member, long-time friend and supporter, former collegiate and NFL star quarterback and United States Congressman, Heath Shuler and the newly established Heath Shuler Foundation joined with Ingles Markets, Wells Fargo Advisors, the Eblen Charities board of directors, the Asheville Radio Group, and many generous individuals and companies to provide more than 13,000 meals on Thanksgiving day.

“I have so much to be thankful for and the best way I know to show it is to share my blessings with others who may not be as fortunate,” states Heath Shuler. “I have been on the board of Eblen Charities for a number of years and have seen tens of thousands of the families that we assist each year, so there was no question what was the best way to reach the families I wanted to help during these tough times.”

“It is an honor to have been working with Eblen Charities and being part of all they do for those who are less fortunate. I entered Congress to serve our community and when I elected not to run again, it didn’t mean that I was through reaching out to those in need in our community. Establishing the Heath Shuler Foundation with Eblen, we can expand the work we are already doing and reach more families in these demanding times.”

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

The Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving will be held this Wednesday, November 22nd, the day before Thanksgiving, from 9 am to 5 pm in front of the Ingles Toy Store at the Westgate Shopping Center.

Thanks to Heath, Ingles Markets, the Heath Shuler Foundation, Duke Energy, Wicked Weed, Friday’s Staffing, and the Asheville Radio Group, and a great number of the Eblen Charities Board and volunteers, we will again be expanding the program to provide the ‘fixins’ to the turkeys to provide an entire Thanksgiving meal to an additional 200 families this year.

Each turkey weighs between ten and fourteen pounds which allows even the largest table to feed their families and friends. The Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving Meal will include: turkey, green beans, instant potatoes, dinner rolls, cake mix, and frosting.

“This program has grown so much in the past ten years thanks to Bobby Ingle, Jim Lanning, Tom Outlaw, and Melissa Leavell at Ingles; Heath Shuler, Rick Guthy of Wicked Weed, Deborah Pressley of Friday’s Staffing, Jason Walls at Duke Energy; everyone at Asheville Radio Group, and all of our board members and everyone who has donated to share Thanksgiving with the families we serve,” remarked Bill Murdock, Executive Director of Eblen Charities. “I can’t imagine a better way to spend a day than to do what we are going to do this Wednesday. It is a great honor to serve our community. Thanks to all those who have generously donated so many more families will be able to enjoy the holidays. And most of all we thank the families who allow us to share Thanksgiving with them and their loved ones.”

There is still time to join us in reaching out to our families by helping us purchase turkeys this Thanksgiving by donating $1, $5, $10, or more on-line at or dropping by or mailing a donation to our office at 50 Westgate Parkway, Asheville, NC 28806.For more information please contact Bill Murdock at 828-242-2848 or by email at [email protected]

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