Epilogue: A Single Pair of Shoes

This past Saturday I had a great privilege to speak at the mid-year commencement of Buncombe County Schools. With the 2017-2018 school year half way through I was reminded of a story of a courageous family that was brought to us by Sharon Fish, one of our amazing Graduation Initiative counselors.

She told us about a young girl in one of our schools who had come to a councilor’s attention as she was going through files of students who were in jeopardy of not graduating due to missing too many days of school.

Now this student was not a disciplinary problem and her grades were even better than one would expect for one who was missing an inordinate number of school. The odd thing about this case was the fact that this student was missing every other day of school. Consistently, she was attending classes just every other day.

Certainly something was not adding up, so the councilor looked to see if this young lady had any brothers and in checking her records she found that she had a younger sister in middle school. She also found that her sister was also missing quite a bit of school and, like her sister, was missing every other day of school, but alternate days than her sister.

Calling Eblen and hearing the story, we thought, and as many would think, that being from a single parent home, that there was a little brother or sister that the two girls had to take turns taking care of while their mother worked.

But that was far from being the case. There was no younger brother or sister at home. The reason that they were not attending school every day was that they only had one pair of shoes.

They were sharing a single pair of shoes so they could both go to school.

When we received the call we also quickly learned that they needed much more help than just the pair of shoes and thanks to Susan and our tremendous staff we were able to help this wonderful family and get them the things they needed to help ease their burden and get both the girls back to school.

Now this story, as you know, did not happen in some major city or some third-world country. It happened right here in our own community- not so much in our back yard but right in the middle of our living room.

And this is why we need to continue to not only reach out, but to continue to seek those in our community that need our help.

We see this every day at Eblen Charities with so many families quietly struggling and finding help so many times just beyond their reach. That is why they come to us and that is why our responsibility to our community and those in need has grown throughout these past twenty-five years.

As more children, adults, and families seek our help, it is all the more important that we continue our outreach especially to those who are most vulnerable and who many times are forgotten. .

Our wonderful staff and volunteers selflessly open our doors and their hearts to all who come into or call the Waddell Client Service Center. My deepest heart-felt gratitude to all of you who have joined us for so long and to those of you who have touched so many lives who many times have no where else to turn.

Thank you to all who have been a part of helping to build Eblen Charities to the wonderful organization that it has become.

Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, certainly said it best,:

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if the drop was not there, I think that the ocean would be less by missing that drop. We don’t have to think in numbers. We can only love one person at a time-serve one person at a time.”

Come and join us…

Come and join us…

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