ASHEVILLE, NC, JANUARY 2022 – Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) kicks off their annual Safe & Warm Campaign on Wednesday, January 26 at 12 noon and 5 pm at Carolina Furniture Concepts, 100 Airport Road in Arden.
The Safe & Warm Campaign raises funds to provide heating assistance, blankets and coats to area residents in need. Sponsors are:
- Carolina Furniture Concepts
- HomeTrust Bank
- First Citizens Bank
- Champion Credit Union
- College Hunks Moving Junk
With the help of these sponsors, the campaign collects coats and blankets as well as funds to provide heating assistance for families and the homeless in Buncombe County. College Hunks Moving Junk will be collecting donations of blankets and clothing at the kickoff event.
This year donations are needed more than ever. Many Buncombe families live below the Federal Poverty Level and work low wage jobs. Heating costs have risen since last year with natural gas up 15% and heating oil up 43%. Once a family comes to ABCCM Crisis Ministry for heating assistance, they are within 5-8 days of being disconnected, or they are already disconnected. Many whose service is disconnected are at least two months behind, and the monetary assistance can be from $150 to $250 to reconnect the service, along with the bill.
If a family is critically low on heating oil, a hundred gallons can cost nearly $350, a 43% increase over last year, and that may last only a month or so, depending upon the size of their home and the number of cold weather nights the area is experiencing.
Of those requesting aid, about 50% are families with children, 25% are elderly, and 25% are disabled Veterans. ABCCM sees around 10 families weekly that are without heat and require assistance.
Last year, ABCCM helped 836 households with heating assistance, including those facing cut-off and those already disconnected, for a cost of nearly $70,000.
“With January starting off as one of the coldest on record along with the recent big snow, the importance of keeping all our neighbors safe and warm is greatly underscored,” said Rev. Scott Rogers, ABCCM Executive Director. “We need you in 2022 to keep the heat on for families and the frail elderly. We need you in 2022 to keep shelters for homeless men, women, and moms with children safe and warm. We need you in 2022 to be a heartwarmer – to help keep everyone safe and warm.”
Anyone wanting to help can drop off new and gently used blankets and winter clothing to any of our locations. Please vist abccm.org/safeandwarm for an updated list of locations and to make a donation to help vulnerable area residents stay safe and warm this winter.
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More About ABCCM:
Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) is one of the key non-profit organizations addressing poverty, hunger, homelessness and access to health care for the uninsured and under-served in Buncombe County, serving annually around 20,515, or 1 in 12 persons in Buncombe County in 2020
Begun as a small collaboration of churches in 1969, ABCCM has played a significant role in meeting emergency assistance needs for families in crisis, coordinating religious services and education activities at the jail, providing transitional and permanent supportive housing for the homeless through 300 beds, increasing access to health care for half the uninsured and medically underserved; as well as work readiness, mentoring and job placement services. We serve Veterans across 75 counties across NC.
ABCCM is generously supported by 300 churches of all denominations with over 6,100 trained volunteers in 2020 providing emergency assistance to anyone in need regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or disability.
ABCCM has a great stewardship track record where 93.1¢ of every dollar donation goes directly to service those in need, compared to the national average of 75%.
Through the work of 6,068 volunteers, over 144,000 hours of service were given in 2020 to listen and care for every person’s needs, leading to effective short-term and long-term solutions.
Thanks to the gifts of food, clothes, household items, furniture, medicine and time, every dollar given had an additional $2.77 of direct help and services.
ABCCM serves individuals, and families in crisis regardless of race, religion, sex, nationality throughout Buncombe County North Carolina.
ABCCM Crisis Ministry – four locations
ABCCM Crisis Ministry served an average of 21,500 over the last three years, filling the gaps for families who cannot make ends meet, mostly by providing food and clothing along with nutritious emergency food boxes/bags. Emergency assistance funds provide utility assistance to keep the lights and water on; and rental assistance to help prevent families from eviction. ABCCM Sonrise Daily Bread provides hot meals from 11:30 to 1, Mon-Fri. at 1543 Patton Ave. The Crisis Ministry helps our neighbors meet the basic necessities of life.
ABCCM Daily Bread at Sonrise, 1543 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC provides hot soup, sandwich and dessert To-Go lunches Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
ABCCM Medical Ministry
ABCCM offers the only free clinic so the uninsured have access to medical care and medicine. Those without insurance of any kind are served by two pharmacies that distributed about $2.7 million in prescriptions and about $2.8 million in medical/dental care, for an impact of $5.5 million in health care in Buncombe County
ABCCM – Transformation Village
ABCCM provides 100 beds of transitional housing and 6 beds for emergency shelter. Transforming lives is through four developmental phases called Steps to Success. These include stabilization with all the basic necessities provided; life skills training with 24 volunteer courses per month to choose from including Bible studies; education and professional training certifications that lead to living wage jobs; and reintegration that leads to permanent housing. We are honored to report that 8 out of 10 leave us with a living wage job and permanent housing.
ABCCM – VRQ (Veteran’s Restorations Quarters)
ABCCM provides 160 beds of transitional housing and 40 beds for emergency shelter and 50 units for permanent supportive housing for a total of 250 beds. Restoring lives is through four developmental phases called Steps to Success. These include stabilization, with all the basic necessities provided; life skills training, with over 60 volunteer courses to choose from including Bible studies; education and professional training certifications that lead to living wage jobs; and reintegration that leads to permanent housing. We are honored to report that 8 out of 10 leave us with a living wage job and permanent housing.
ABCCM – VSC (Veterans Services of the Carolinas)
ABCCM VSC serves Veterans in 74 counties across North Carolina) in 4 four regions; Western (13 Counties), Foothills (15 counties), Piedmont (10 counties), and Eastern (36 counties). VSC provides rapid rehousing and homeless prevention to help Veterans maintain current housing or help find new and affordable housing. Employment and training services help Veterans enter, reenter, remain, or advance in the workforce, 80% are placed into living wage career level jobs. Veterans HOPE program outreaches to connect with the chronically homeless. VSC has the first coordinated network of public, private and non-profit organizations working together to serve service members and their families; fielding 800 calls a month.
Serving Veterans with Hope, Healing, Honor and a Home.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rev. Scott Rogers