From Eblen Charities, posted March 27:

Tens of thousands of children in Western North Carolina will be able to continue going through the school day without facing hunger thanks to the remarkable efforts of our area credit unions.

As many of you know, Western North Carolina credit unions have banded together the past several years to help solve the problem of student hunger by supporting Eblen Charities Food for Thought program. Their commitment this past year went to a new level with a raffle for a specially-constructed playhouse.

The playhouse was designed so any boy or girl would have hours of fun and let their imagination run free as they could choose from a cabin, school house, credit union, or cottage, as each side of the playhouse was a different theme complete with windows and working doors.

Last Tuesday at their annual dinner, the Western North Carolina Chapter of Credit Unions presented Eblen Charities with a check for $10,000 to benefit the Food for Thought Program.

For more than six months, this wonderful playhouse was transported from county to county, credit union to credit union across Western North Carolina in a flatbed truck so everyone could see the fantastic handiwork, commitment, and dedication that culminated in the finished playhouse; all to make sure that every child in our area would be able to have snacks during the day the same as their friends and classmates.

“We will never be able to thank Connie and everyone that worked so hard on this unbelievable project. It was not just in the time that it took to it took to build the playhouse but the hundreds of hours that it took to bring the playhouse to every community in our area, put it on display, and to sell tickets for the drawing,” states Bill Murdock, executive director of Eblen Charities. “This is one of the greatest examples of a labor of love that we have ever seen. A love for children in our community who face hunger each day.”

“Eblen Charities serves the same communities as the credit unions in the Western North Carolina Chapters of Credit Unions, for a perfect partnership for a greater service to our communities,” states Connie Corn of the executive staff of the CMCU Division.

Since school began this August, Eblen Charities has distributed more than 60,000 snacks to area schools to ensure that all children will not have to face the day without snacks while their classmates eat the ones they have brought from home. Throughout the past two years, Food for Thought has distributed more than 160,000 snacks to students in five counties.

Thanks to our partnership with Ingles Markets and the Western North Carolina Credit Unions, every student in Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, and Madison Counties and Asheville City Schools now don’t have to worry about being hungry during the day. This partnership also makes sure that during these difficult times the Food for Thought continues to serve every student in need.

Many thanks to the Credit Unions and to all who poured their heart into this fantastic project:

  • Carolina Mountain Credit Union
  • Mountain Credit Union
  • Premier Credit Union
  • Oteen VA Federal Credit
  • Union Ecusta Credit Union
  • Telco Credit Union
  • Champion Credit Union

For more information on Food for Thought, please contact Susan Riddle at the Eblen Charities at (828) 255- 3066, Ext. 11 or at, or Connie Corn at (828) 884-8835.

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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