Avoiding the post-holiday blues

Congratulations: You survived the holidays. You ate, drank and were merry; maybe you even found yourself snagged under the mistletoe. You rang in the new year with style and shared your resolutions with friends and family. But what about now? Feeling a bit overwhelmed by those overzealous New Year’s resolutions?

Relax: It’s OK. Don’t let the post-holiday blues bring you down. Hands On Asheville-Buncombe can help you start the new year on the right foot by getting out in your community and making a difference in the lives of others—right now!

Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, a program of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, makes it easy to lend a hand and help others in our community by volunteering with local nonprofits. Choose the volunteer opportunity that works for you: your passions, your skills, your schedule. Projects usually last just two to three hours, occur on evenings and weekends, and don’t require a long-term commitment.

Here’s just a sampling of the many currently available opportunities:

Interlace Dinner

Help prepare a meal for women and children in the Interlace program who are attending a monthly meeting. Interlace provides transitional housing and services for women and children who are homeless due to domestic violence.

Project Coordinator: Peggy Lewis (peggyspagesinc@bellsouth.net)
Date & Time: Monday, Jan. 28, 5 to 7 p.m.
Requirements: 4 to 7 people needed; ages 16+ welcome

Meals for Hope

New Choices is an empowerment program for displaced homemakers who need counseling and assistance to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Volunteers help cook and serve a meal for 15 to 25 women and children attending the biweekly meetings. The YWCA provides all supplies.

Project Coordinator: Rose Jacolucci (rosejac58@yahoo.com)
Date & Time: Thursday, Jan. 10 and Jan. 24, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Requirements: 2 to 4 people needed; ages 16+ welcome (13+ with adult supervision)

Shake and Bake

Cook and serve a hot, homemade meal for the veterans staying at the ABCCM Men’s Shelter. Take an evening to give back to those who’ve served our country and are now in need of assistance. Both men and women are encouraged to participate.

Project Coordinator: Peggy Lewis (peggyspagesinc@bellsouth.net)
Date & Time: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Requirements: 3 to 5 people needed; ages 16+ welcome

Cooking for Comfort

Support hospice patients and their families by cooking and serving a meal at the John F. Keever Jr. Solace Center. This is a wonderful way to nurture these families and give them an opportunity to support one another while enjoying a home-cooked meal.

Project Coordinator: Charlie Pearce (elle.pearce@gmail.com)
Date & Time: Saturday, Jan. 12, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Requirements: 5 to 7 people needed; ages 18+ welcome (14+ with adult supervision)

Cooking with Kids

Help the children staying at the ABCCM Women’s Shelter learn valuable cooking skills while preparing a dish of their own choosing.

Project Coordinator: Alicia Schoonmaker (aliciads124@aol.com)
Date & Time: Thursday, Jan. 10, 7 to 9 p.m.
Requirements: 2 to 6 people needed; ages 16+ welcome (under 16 with adult supervision)

Kids’ Corner

Spend quality time with children while their mothers attend monthly Interlace meetings. Interlace provides transitional housing and services for women and children who are homeless due to domestic violence.

Project Coordinator: Jennifer Gentry (jennifer.gentry@mahec.net)
Date & Time: Monday, Jan. 28, 5:45 to 8:30 p.m.
Requirements: 2 to 6 people needed; ages 18+ welcome

Pack & Sort at MANNA

Help sort and pack food for MANNA FoodBank to distribute to agencies serving hungry people in 17 Western North Carolina counties.

Project Coordinator: Anne Lanzi (alanzi@haywood.k12.nc.us)
Date & Time: Tuesday, Jan. 8 and Jan. 22, 6 to 8 p.m.
Requirements: 5 to 20 people needed; ages 16+ welcome (5+ with adult supervision)

Become a Hands On Project Coordinator

Could you spare three to four hours a month? Do you have a passion for helping others? Would you enjoy leading individuals and groups through meaningful volunteer service activities? If you answered “yes” to these questions and would like to get more thoroughly involved in our community, consider becoming a Hands On Asheville-Buncombe project coordinator. These dedicated volunteers assist local nonprofits by coordinating the recurring service projects listed in our monthly newsletter.

Whatever level of involvement you’re looking for, and whether you want to volunteer on your own or with your family, business or faith community, Hands On Asheville-Buncombe makes it easy to connect with others who care about the issues that are important to you—and to make a difference.

[Candler resident Ryan Taylor is the marketing manager for United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.]


To learn more about volunteering with Hands On Asheville-Buncombe, becoming a project coordinator, or listing your nonprofit group’s volunteer opportunities, visit www.handsonasheville.org or call Hands On at 255-0696.

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