Just in time for Valentine’s: Go Local gets sweet on local nonprofits

Asheville Grown Business Alliance staffers (from left) Emma Hutchens, Franzi Charen and Michele Bryan. Photo by Carrie Eidson

Looking for a gift for your sweetheart? Asheville Grown Business Alliance suggests giving the gift of local discounts with a Go Local card, the loyalty card that raises money for AGBA and Asheville City Schools. Any Go Local cards purchased in February and March will help support a local nonprofit of your choosing, with half of the price of the $16 card going to that organization.

“Our local businesses and our children benefit so much from the work these organizations do,” says Franzi Charen, founder of the Asheville Grown Business Alliance. “During the cold, slow months of winter, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we want to spread the love.”

Besides, adds Charen, “it makes a really great Valentine’s gift.”

Full details below.

From Asheville Grown Business Alliance

Press Release

Every year during the months of February and March, we select a group of nonprofits and community organizations that benefit from the proceeds of the Go Local Card. The nonprofits we select have programs that work directly with our youth and their families or strengthen our local economy by encouraging local sourcing and building businesses with a triple bottom line.

When you purchase a card online during these two months, you will be able to choose the nonprofit you wish to support. Half of your $16 card purchase will go this organization. You may also select “All City Public Schools” for your purchase to go directly to our schools. A few of these organizations will also sell the card at their headquarters or upcoming events.

This powerful little card makes a perfect Valentine’s gift for your loved ones and for our community.

We are thrilled to announce this year’s nonprofit recipients:

FEAST – works to promote healthy eating and food security through hands-on cooking and gardening classes that encourage and empower participants by teaching skills needed to make fresh, wholesome and tasty food.

Cards that benefit FEAST can also be purchased at the West End Bakery. Cards will also be available for purchase at their Valentine’s Fundraiser concert on Sunday February 15th from 5-7pm where the Café String Quartet will present “The Food of Love.”

Just Economics – born out of the Asheville-Buncombe Living Wage Campaign, Just Economics of WNC educates, advocates, and organizes for a just and sustainable economy that works for all in Western North Carolina. They run the largest Living Wage Employer Certification program in the nation; the program promotes employers in our area that are committed to providing a Living Wage to all their staff.

Cards that benefit Just Economics can also be purchased at their Living Wage Employer networking event (open to the public) at 6:30pm on Feb 18th at Medea’s Espresso and Juice Bar, 200 Julian Lane Suite 220 in Arden, NC. 28704.

Mountain BizWorks – generates jobs and ensures economic resiliency in Western North Carolina by helping small businesses start, thrive, and grow. They do this by providing loans and peer-to-peer business coaching to those businesses that may find it difficult to secure funding from banks and other traditional sources.

Cards that benefit Mountain BizWorks can also be purchased at their headquarters at 153 South Lexington Ave. in downtown Asheville.

Asheville City Schools Foundation – champions strong public schools in Asheville through advocacy, grantmaking and parent and community engagement. They uphold that public education is a vital part of a successful democracy and a key element in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Evergreen Charter School – a Kindergarten through eighth-grade community charter school employing the Expeditionary Learning School (ELS) design model. ELS originated from Outward Bound and strives to develop both the character and the intellect of students. Through their commitment to environmental education, Evergreen students become responsible citizens and stewards of the environment.

Cards that benefit Evergreen can also be purchased from their main office at 50 Bell Road, Asheville, NC 28805.

Children First / Communities In Schools of Buncombe County – empowers children and their families to reach their full potential through advocacy, education and services. Their goal is to surround students with a community of support, equipping them with the tools to stay in school and achieve in life.

Homeward Bound – is working to end homelessness in Western North Carolina by moving people into housing of their own and providing the support they need to stay housed for good. Of the over 1050 people they’ve housed since 2005, 89% of them haven’t become homeless again.

Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (AIR) – an association of local, independent restaurants dedicated to keeping Asheville’s food scene eclectic, authentic, interesting, fresh and flavorful.

Now is a wonderful time to purchase your own Go Local Card and show your love for our local community. It is sure to warm your heart in these winter months knowing your purchase supports the unique and vibrant culture of our city, these select non-profits and our city’s schools.

About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at ceidson@mountainx.com. Follow me @carrieeidson

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