With the 2017-2018 school year a little more than half way through, the Eblen
Charities’ Student Clothing Project and If the Shoe Fits Program in the Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools continue to see the need grow, as these two programs have again reached record numbers in the students we serve.
These programs have served more than 2,500 students since the school year began last August through this unique partnership and once again our wonderful friends at the Walnut Cove Members Association has joined Eblen with their kindness and a $7,500 grant to help ensure that the student’s in our community will not have to attend school in worn-out, ragged and ill-fitting clothes and shoes that may not keep them warm.
“The Walnut Cove Members Association has continually reached our to those in need in our community which they have called home for nearly two decades. Few groups have had the impact on western North Carolina as these wonder men and women have and so many can breathe easier because of their kindness”
states Bill Murdock, executive director of Eblen Charities. “ In these troubled times, many in our community face monthly bills that take everything they have, and when extra expenses arise, they have little if anything to spend. This is especially difficult for families with children, when they outgrow their clothes and shoes, and cannot afford to buy them new clothes.”
“Being part of the connection between Eblen Charities and the Walnut Cove Members Association is a great honor and we are so appreciative of the opportunities afforded those in our area most in need through these endeavors. Thank you WCMA for listening and responding!” adds Eblen Board Member Susan Ableidinger and her husband Bob.
Now in our tenth year, the Eblen Student Clothing Project and the If the Shoe Fits Program (in partnership with the Asheville Tourist’s Children Fund) have grown from assisting around 100 students a year to assisting more than 3,000 students last year with new clothes and shoes.
How The Programs Works:
It is easy to access the Student Clothing Project and the If the Shoe Fits Program. Eblen Charities receives calls from a school teacher, counselor, or administrator requesting help. We then contact one of our partner stores, and the student along with someone from the school visits the store and shops for the clothes that the student needs.
Eblen Charities then reimburses the store for the purchase. The programs are open to all students in
need of clothing in Buncombe County and Asheville City school systems. This program not only provides the clothes students need but gives the students the choice and dignity that that their classmates have and they don’t have to depend on hand-me-downs or other second-hand clothing to wear to school.
Thanks to school counselors and our clothing supporters, children needing clothes for school are
able to go shopping with their counselors to buy much needed clothing.
“The students were so excited to pick out their own clothes, and when they were told they could pick out more clothes they surprisingly asked “more?” states a Buncombe County School counselor.
Eblen Charities is grateful to be working with Goodwill, Payless Shoes, K-Mart, Target, and WalMart to provide clothing for the students we have the honor to work with in this endeavor. Thanks to the generosity of these stores and Eblen supporters, all students in our community can attend school with dignity and can old their heads high.
If you would like to join us in reaching out in helping students in our community to get the clothing they need or for more information on the Student Clothing Project or If the Shoe Fits of the Eblen Charities, please contact Susan Riddle at 828-255-3066 extension 11 or via email at [email protected]