Welcome the Holiday Season With Giving Tuesday

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Every year, Americans participate in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, which help you find great deals and support local businesses. Today marks a different way to get in the holiday spirit.

Giving Tuesday is a global day to celebrate and encourage giving. It’s is an opportunity to promote philanthropy, give back to your community, and support causes you care about.

The volunteer center of United Way, Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, makes it easy to get involved, offering meaningful volunteer opportunities with local nonprofit organizations and schools throughout Asheville and Buncombe County. With hundreds of opportunities made available by local nonprofits, middle schools and partner organizations, they’ve compiled a list of meaningful ways to spend a few hours giving back by yourself or with a group of friends or coworkers.

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  1. MANNA Packs for Kids. Help the Mountain Area Nutritional Needs Alliance, aka: MANNA,  support our local students. MANNA’s ‘Packs for Kids Program’ gives students from low-income families, who are dependent on free and reduced cost lunch, food to take home over the weekend and might otherwise go hungry over the weekend. Volunteers participate by packing food items into backpack-sized parcels that are distributed to local schools. Register to lend a hand and support local students in need.
  2. Sponsor a Little Brother or Sister for the holidays. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina has provided caring, adult role models to youth from single-parent homes since 1982. The large majority of ‘Littles’ in the program are on free/ reduced lunch, and poverty is often one of the challenges the family faces. Volunteers will have the opportunity to shop for and wrap gifts for ‘Littles’. A list of gift ideas and sizes will be provided (i.e.. new toys, books, and clothing). USED items will NOT be accepted. Sign up to support a local Little for the holidays.
  3. Donate Books During the Holiday Book Drive to Support Local Students. For the sixth year, United Way’s Women United, with help from the volunteer center Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, will collect new books for middle and elementary school youth and get them to programs and schools serving kids in need. Interested in hosting an internal drive to inspire your co-workers, friends and family members to buy a book to support a local student over the holidays? Find out more and get involved. 
  4. Prepare and Serve a Meal for Local Veterans at Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s Veterans Restoration Quarters. Take some time to give back to those who have served our country and are now in need of assistance by serving a hot meal to the men staying at the ABCCM Veterans Restoration Quarters & Inn.
  5. Provide Toiletries to  AHOPE to Support Homeless. The AHOPE Day Center provides a variety of basic need services each day to our neighbors experiencing homelessness in our community. One of those services is the use of on-site showers, which are constantly in-use and require regularly stocked toiletry items. Create a collection to support our neighbors in need. Learn more.

Visit handsonasheville.org/need/ for additional opportunities near you.

Prepared by United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.