MARCH 2023


It’s hard to believe that the first quarter of 2023 is behind us, but as I look out the window I see trees budding and birds carrying sticks and strings to make a nest. Spring is here!

As spring arrives, lots of changes arrive as well. For one, LIEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) ends on March 31, 2023. This program is funded through a contract with Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services, and helps people living in poverty receive financial assistance for heat, power, running water and housing.

February also saw the end of of one of the last major COVID relief programs, the expansion of SNAP benefits (aka food stamps). For people living in and at the edge of poverty, this program is critical, and the loss of these benefits will decrease their food budget by anywhere from $95 to $250 per household a month. After these cuts, food benefits are about $6.10 per person, per day. That doesn’t go far with today’s food prices.

The nearly 14% of Buncombe County residents who live in poverty, will struggle even more to cover the costs of their basic needs as a result. People will delay getting needed medical care to pay for food. Folks will choose between buying groceries or filling their car’s tank.

The news is not all bleak though. This month’s Prom Dress Express helped 325 people receive free formal wear for the prom or a formal event, folks that couldn’t afford the cost of a dress or suit. Earlier this month we partnered with Ingles for our Hoops Against Hunger program so local children in Buncombe County have food to take home over spring break. And next month we’ll begin collecting clothing for our winter clothing giveaway later this year in partnership with WLOS.

If you helped us with donations, goods or volunteer time for these events – thank you! And if you have questions or ideas for us, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy Spring!

View the 2022 Annual Impact Report

Hoops for Hunger was a big success again this year! The Hoops Against Hunger Hotel challenge collected food goods to help stock the Buncombe County Family Resource Center to provide food for students needing a little extra help during spring break. Thanks to all of our participating hotels and congratulations to the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown for winning 1st place and the Doubletree Biltmore for 2nd place! And a great big thank you to our friends at Ingles Markets for teaming with SoCon to make this all possible! We are so appreciative of your support!

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown - 1st

Biltmore Doubletree - 2nd

Thank you, Trane Technologies leadership team for helping to set up our Prom Dress Express shop and for building our photo backdrop.

We appreciate your support!

This year's Prom Dress Express shop was a big hit! We gave away over 300 dresses as well as suits and accessories. If you are still in need of formal wear please email to schedule an appointment.

And congrats to our lucky winners!

Mikayla Tuttle - Strada dinner for 2

Ellie Thaxter - Strada dinner for 2

Adeline Brown - Serenity+Scott makeup session

Syndey Ball - manicure and updo at Kindred Salon

Are you a golfer? Does the idea of playing on one of the top courses in the country while supporting the work that Eblen Charities does for our community sound like a great idea? The 2023 Brad Johnson/Wicked Weed Celebrity Golf Tournament will be held on Tuesday, June 13 at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. Sponsorships at various levels are available and limited. We have over half of our spots filled, so don't delay, contact Kathy Soule at for more information or to register.

Thank you, Standard Pizza and Helpmate!

Each month the Eblen staff gathers for a lunch meeting to reconnect and grow as a team to better serve the people of Buncombe County. In January, local restaurants starting donating the meal. Thank you to Standard Pizza for providing lunch in March! If you would like to provide lunch for our staff, please contact Beth at

We were also privileged to have Ilze Zageris from Helpmate join us to educate our staff about the services that they offer in our area.

DID YOU KNOW? We are hiring an Intake Caseworker and a Development and Volunteer Coordinator. To learn more, visit our website.

To apply send a resume and cover letter to

You can help us serve our neighbors.

Your donation can go a long way at Eblen Charities! Your help is appreciated! We hope you will consider one of these ways to offer support from making a gift, offering your time and skills as a volunteer, or having your company sponsor one of our events.

The Faces of Eblen

Sue Renison has been a part of the Eblen family since October, 2014. After taking an early retirement package from DSS where she had worked in Adult Medicaid for 21 years, she felt the need to earn a little extra income. Eblen was a good fit as it functions similarly to DSS with services and programs to assist folks in our community that have fallen on hard times, single parents that need a hand up and the elderly and disabled when they can't quite make ends meet. Sue remembers a young lady that came to Eblen several years ago. She had two children and a full time job but could not pay her bills. Not knowing what to do, she came to Eblen for assistance. Sue doesn't recall the specifics but before she left, they were both in tears. Eblen was able to take a burden off this young lady's shoulders and Sue felt it a pleasure to be there for her and others who find themselves overwhelmed.

Sue enjoys eating out, shopping, walking and visiting with family and friends. She will be retiring full time from Eblen at the end of March but is excited to be a full-time grandmother. We will miss Sue and wish her all the best!

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