From the chair – Asheville is a tough environment for faith based charities. The “progressive’ environment has demonstrated antagonism to organizations that put God in front of their mission. Case in point, you can no longer track which agencies the United Way funds through their resource application process.

“Every donor has the option to designate their gift to ANY 501c3. You do not need a “sanctioned” list from us to do so. We will direct your gift to any 501c3 as you wish, be they in Asheville and Buncombe County or halfway across the globe. Because you do not need a sanctioned list from us, we feel that creating one is unnecessary and ultimately distracts donors from our actual goal of building the Community Investment Fund.”

There’s an unspoken reason for this policy – as of our most recent opportunity to track United Way applications a few years back, there were no faith based organizations being funded by this organization in Asheville and Buncombe County. We don’t believe the United Way wants that to be public information – and for obvious reasons. Might that be a partial explanation of why the YWCA is now called the “Y” and the Christian part of their equation has gone MIA?

Fortunately, in spite of antagonisms, there are many great local and national faith based charitable organizations that continue to thrive and make a difference in our community. One that works very hard to be sincere to their Christian affinities is the Salvation Army!

You know these folks by their large charitable footprint on Asheville and Buncombe County – and their Bell Ringer program at Christmas time. Buncombe’s Republican Party just made a commitment to help in a direct fashion. When WLOS noted the Salvation Army’s recent loss through a retail outlet shift to a non-faith based charity, we thought this might be a small way to help out.

On December 22nd and 23rd, 10 Republican Party volunteers will be ringing bells for the Salvation Army from 10:00 – 8:00 at the Sam’s Club in Asheville. Those volunteers include-

Bill Lack, Tom Van Slambrouck, Linda Humphries, Lenny Rogers, Ken Hawkins, Tim Elkin, Melody Koebernik, Lisa & Carl Mumpower – Standby folks include David Shaw, Anita Metcalf, Eddie Bussard, Seth Blankenship & Lisa McNally.

Many thanks to these folks for stepping up. We can’t think of a better way to kick-off Christmas than picking up one of those bells to support the multiple contributions the Salvation Army makes in our community.

Might there be a learning moment in all this for conservatives? Yes – be thoughtful about where you invest your donor dollars. There are a lot of us contributing to schools, charity groups and organizations that are antagonistic to everything we believe – including the idea of keeping our God in front of what we do. The Salvation Army is a notable exception…

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