ABCCM partners with Ingles, other community partners on Safe & Warm campaign this winter


Buncombe County Safe & Warm

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – As bone chilling temperatures have descended on Buncombe County, the need for heating assistance and donations of blankets has escalated. Ingles Markets, Inc., in partnership with Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM), is appealing to the community for donations of blankets, along with funding for utility assistance as we prepare to keep Buncombe County safe and warm.

The Safe & Warm campaign will kick off Monday, January 29, running through February 10. “ABCCM is honored to partner with Ingles in this critical moment when record cold has gripped WNC and placed hundreds of lives at risk. Just as Ingles reaches most families in our community, ABCCM reaches those families and the homeless with life-saving blankets and heating assistance; working with churches, businesses and volunteers to make a difference in these critical times,” says Reverend Scott Rogers, Executive Director, ABCCM. Joining Ingles and ABCCM in this effort are Gentry Heating, Inc., Blossman Gas, iHeart Media Asheville, and Journey Christian Magazine.

Ingles is making it very easy for our entire community to participate in the Safe & Warm campaign,” says Renee Brooks, Marketing Director for ABCCM. “You can bring in a new or gently used blanket while you’re shopping at Ingles and drop it in the donation bin. They will also have blankets to purchase right in the store as well. Or, shoppers can buy Safe & Warm icons at the register for a dollar. This donation will go directly toward heating assistance for families in crisis. And, by presenting your Ingles Advantage Card along with that donation, you’ll be registered to win an updated heating system from Gentry Heating or Blossman Gas.”

Ingles values our long term relationship with ABCCM as they continue to help in our community. We are happy to be part of such an important task… Keeping those in need safe and warm,” says Ron Freeman, CFO Ingles Markets.

Ingles Markets is a leading supermarket chain operating in six Southeastern States. With 200 stores in operation, Ingles is headquartered in Asheville North Carolina. For more information visit the Ingles website at

Safe & Warm is an effort to support households whose private and public access to heating assistance has been depleted. “ABCCM is the first stop for blankets for the homeless and for families. We go out in a van every night it is below freezing in an attempt to get everyone off the streets; we offer blankets and food to those that choose to stay outside. For families or individuals in their own home, after we ensure that an individual has exhausted personal and public funds, ABCCM steps in to fill the gap,” says Sheryl Olson, Director of ABCCM Crisis Ministry. “ABCCM provides personalized support to each individual and family that comes in. We advocate for the client with different agencies, and we support them directly with their heating needs. Blankets and warm clothes help them keep their heating bills lower. We generally provide #2 fuel oil, kerosene, propane or electricity, depending on their specific need.”

ABCCM’s Crisis Ministry provides more than just temporary relief. Crisis Ministry volunteer counselors seek to understand each family’s situation and help them bridge the gap and find solutions that have long-term impacts. “We are a listening Ministry and our goal is to help each family find a solution that is right for them,” says Olsen. “Clients say they feel loved––they feel like we listened. It’s not just a band-aid.” The blankets received from this drive will be given away at all four Crisis Ministry sites.

Gentry Heating, Inc has partnered with Carrier Corporation to provide an upgraded heating system for one of the winners of the Safe & Warm icon campaign – a $5000.00 value. “Our business is about more than just making money. We feel compelled by the gospel to care for those less fortunate in our community and are excited to be part of this worthy cause” says Duane Gentry of Gentry Heating, Inc. You can learn more about Gentry Heating at

Blossman Gas & Appliance has been providing comfort to families by keeping them safe and warm throughout the Southeast for more than 60 years with their highest values being safety and reliable service. Propane is a naturally safe, clean energy source that is used in millions of homes. Blossman is a full-service company that provides everything from propane delivery to appliance sales, installation and service. We are honored to support ABCCM in their efforts to keep families in Buncombe County warm during this severely cold season by gifting a propane heating system valued at $5,000 during the Ingles Safe & Warm icon campaign. For more information about Blossman Gas, call 1.888.Blossman or visit

Needs are great now in Buncombe County for heating assistance. To help ABCCM meet these immediate needs donations can be made now to the Safe & Warm campaign at

The two week Ingles blanket and icon campaign from January 29-February 10 will be highlighted by six radio remote broadcasts sponsored by iHeart Media held at selected Ingles locations. Journey Christian Magazine has joined the campaign to bring awareness to the community about the needs of our neighbors and how to best meet those needs. Ingles and ABCCM anticipate a great outpouring of community support to ensure Buncombe County stays safe and warm.

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