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Starting Strong with Tools for Schools
Starting Strong with Tools for Schools
Posted on 08/06/2020
Eblen volunteers Peggy, left, and Tommy hold school supplies.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Businesses and nonprofits have united again to provide school supplies to students in the coming school year.

Each year, Eblen Charities distributes school supplies to more than 1,400 children thanks to the Ingles Tools for Schools Supply Drive and partnerships with Ingles Markets, WLOS, Asheville Citizen Times, and iHeartMedia. On Wednesday, at the Ingles on Tunnel Road, volunteers accepted supply and cash donations in a physically-distanced “drive-thru.”

“We help people and support the community in many ways,” said Eblen Projects and Events Coordinator Amanda Putnam. “Tools for Schools will help children feel confident that they have what they need to start school this year.”

Local donors dropped off everything from book bags and notebooks to crayons, hand sanitizer, rulers, and scissors. Volunteers sorted supplies and packed them into boxes while wearing face coverings and frequently sanitizing their hands.

“I get some fun out of it, and I like helping people,” said former T.C. Roberson High School Principal and Eblen volunteer Tommy Koontz. “Eblen sees the need out there and helps anyone who needs it.”

In addition to Tools for Schools, Eblen provides many other community supports, including medical and dental assistance, help with utility payments, food and clothing distribution, and housing. Eblen is a key partner in the Williams-Baldwin Teacher Campus, which provides housing to Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools teachers for lower than the area’s median rental rate.

The Tools for Schools Supply Giveaway will be August 12 by appointment only. The Eblen Charities/Ingles Pharmacy annual vaccination clinic will coincide with this school supply distribution. Professionals will be on-site to provide health screenings and access to life-saving vaccines. This clinic is for children who are uninsured or underinsured. Please visit to sign up for both of these events.

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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