No matter what differences we may have here in western North Carolina there is one thing we know without any doubt, and that is they mean very little when situations arise that calls us all to come together.

And sadly that happened once again the evening of April 18th as Erica Smith and two of her children 15 year old Keithan Whitmire and 13 year old Harmony Smith were shot and killed at home and three of Erica’s other children were also injured.

In the wake of these horrific events, Eblen Charities quickly set up the Erica Smith Family Memorial Fund to assist her children and family devastated by the tragic shooting and killings that stopped our entire community.

The fund will be used to aid the family with funeral costs and other needs the children and family may have during the difficult aftermath of the heartbreaking incidents this past Wednesday night.

“We are saddened, as is our entire community, about the horrific events that claimed the lives of Erica and her two children and that injured her other three children. We are privileged to be working beside the wonderful administration, faculty, and staff of Asheville City Schools, and those who are giving so generously to the family.” states Bill Murdock, executive director of Eblen Charities. “Whatever the needs are, we’ll help take care of them and we’ll be doing this for a while, not just in the short-term.”

“I don’t think that anyone can imagine what it’s like to be in the midst of this tragedy. So many have already given to Eblen for Erica’s fund. And when I say Eblen, I mean it’s the whole community coming together. We’re just the conduit.”

Erica and her children were laid to rest Friday after their memorial service at First baptist Church.

Donations may be sent to Eblen Charities at 50 Westgate Parkway, Asheville, NC 28806. Checks should be made out to Eblen Charities with Erica Smith Family Fund noted on the memo.

Donations may also be sent through by clicking on the “Donate” button and scrolling down and highlighting Erica Smith Family Fund. One hundred per-cent of all donations will go to assist the Smith family.

For more information please contact Bill Murdock at 828-242-2848 or via email at [email protected]

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