BCS Advantage Magazine Winter 2017 - Page 17

Making a Difference: Eblen Charities By Bill Murdock, Eblen Charities Executive Director Since the founding of Eblen Charities in 1991, there has been no stronger partnership that has benefited hundreds of thousands of students and their families in our community than that of Eblen Charities, the Eblen Center for Social Enterprise, and Buncombe County Schools. Through this unique partnership, Eblen offers a number of programs to students, faculty, and all involved in education. We provide food through the Ingles/Eblen Food for Thought program, the Arby’s/Eblen JoyFULL Holidays at Home, Headlock, Hoops, and Huddle Against Hunger. We provide shoes, clothing, school supplies, and emergency assistance to families in need. Eblen Charities works tirelessly to help ensure that the students, faculty, and staff of Buncombe County Schools have what they need- both in and out of school. The Eblen Center for Social Enterprise also partners with Buncombe County Schools in providing extraordinary programs that include the Andrew Institute for Leadership and Public Service that provides leadership programs to students and educators by providing access to world renowned leaders from education, business, sports, literature, and public service. The Graduation Initiative has achieved phenomenal success in reducing the dropout rate in Buncombe County by more than 50% in the past seven years. And, the new Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus will be ready in the spring of the 2017 to provide two bedroom/two bath apartments for teachers at an affordable rental rate. We at Eblen are honored to be part of the tremendous work and outreach of Buncombe County Schools. There certainly is no job more important than that of our educators. It is indeed a privilege to be in their corner and to be part of what they do each day to ensure not only the future of the students, but the future of our community as well. 15