26 Local Nonprofits that Give Kids a Strong Foundation in Life

Let's take a look at organizations dedicated to improving the lives of local youth.

When you were young, who did you look up to? Who made a difference in your life? Who set you on the path you’re following today? At Beverly-Hanks, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity and means to Live Abundantly in WNC, even from a young age. But unfortunately, for many children, that choice is out of their hands.

Western North Carolina communities are loved for their inspiring landscapes, strong small businesses, and dedicated nonprofits. This spring, let’s take a look at organizations dedicated to improving the lives of local youth. We encourage you to learn more about the nonprofits on this list and consider a gift of time or money to support the programs that ensure these mountain communities remain fantastic places to call home.

Every child deserves a strong foundation. Here is just a short list of our many favorite WNC nonprofits dedicated to providing a strong foundation for local children.


Skip ahead! Find local children’s nonprofits near you:


13 Children's Nonprofits near Asheville

13 Children’s Nonprofits near Asheville

Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth, and Families

Founded in 1904, Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth, and Families serves children from birth through college graduation who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. The staff at Black Mountain Home view their children as being “at promise” rather than “at risk.” This view informs their work to help each child fulfill that promise. The ministry serves children and youth through family foster care, residential care, transitional living, and independent living. Learn more.

80 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain | (828) 686-3451 | blackmountainhome.org

Buncombe Partnership for Children

Buncombe Partnership for Children believes that each child’s first 2,000 days (roughly until they begin kindergarten) are crucial. That is why they partner with other local organizations to increase access to affordable, high-quality early care; expand early literacy opportunities; and provide family support, among other things. For example, Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups meet weekly for families of children 3 months to 5 years old who are not enrolled in child care. And Reach Out and Read provides free books to children ages 6 months to 5 years old at all Well Child doctor’s office visits.

2229 Riverside Drive, Asheville | (828) 285-9333 | buncombepfc.org 

CARING for Children

Since 1975, CARING for Children has made its name its mission. Over the years, they have helped thousands of children and families in crisis. Their caring, professional staff work every day to offer a diverse set of meaningful and innovative services, including residential care, foster care, outpatient mental health, and family support and respite. One of the locations CARING for Children manages is Trinity Place Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter. Located in Downtown Asheville, Trinity Place this short-term shelter for runaway and homeless youth aged 7–17. CARING for Children also has a satellite office in Hendersonville. Learn more.

Administrative Office: 1550 Hendersonville Road, Suite 202, Asheville | (828) 785-1590 | eckerd.org/family-children-services/caring-for-children

Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County

Since 1976, the mission of Communities in Schools has been to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Student Support Specialists connect daily with students in five area Title I schools to help them succeed in the classroom. Their Learning Centers provide a safe place after school for elementary-aged children living in Pisgah View Apartments and Woodridge Apartments, a public housing and Section 8 development, respectively. And rising third through sixth grade students can participate in a six-week summer camp, among other programs.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 16695, Asheville

Physical Address: 37 Brickyard Rd, Asheville

(828) 259-9717 | childrenfirstcisbc.org 

Eblen Charities

Eblen Charities provides medical, financial, or emergency assistance to families and individuals in our community during times of crisis and hardship. A number of their programs focus on students, faculty, and all involved in education. Eblen Charities gives out more than one million school supplies through the Ingles Tools for School Program. The Graduation Initiative supports Buncombe County students who may be at risk of leaving school before graduation. And their annual Saint Nicholas Project provides gifts, clothes, books, and other items to families who are struggling to provide Christmas for their children, among many other initiatives.

Editor’s Note: Join Beverly-Hanks in supporting Eblen Charities this month during their 20th Anniversary Walk, Run, or Roll event! Register today.

50 Westgate Parkway, Asheville | (828) 255-3066 | eblencharities.org 

Eliada Home

In Eliada’s 117-year history, the agency has adapted to the needs of the community. Originally an orphanage, today the organization provides a cradle-to-career continuum of services for more than 600 children and youth annually. Services include psychiatric residential treatment, foster care and therapeutic foster care, day treatment, workforce development and homeless services, and early learning. Children in the community can attend their five-star child development center, pre-kindergarten, afterschool, or summer camp programs. Eliada also offers equine assisted therapy for qualifying youths ages 12–21.

2 Compton Drive, Asheville | (828) 254-5356 | eliada.org 

Girls on the Run WNC

Girls on the Run® was established in 1996 in Charlotte, NC as a life-changing nonprofit for girls in grades 3–8. Today, the GOTR 5K series is the largest in the country! Girls on the Run also manages a middle school program, Heart & Sole, which is dedicated to the unique needs of adolescent girls. The 20-lesson Girls on the Run curriculum combines training for a 5K (3.1 miles) running event with lessons that inspire girls to become independent thinkers, enhance their problem solving skills, and make healthy decisions. In addition to their Asheville program, GOTR WNC also hosts programs in Jackson and Yancey counties. Learn more.

(828) 713-4290 | gotrwnc.org

Irene Wortham Center

For nearly 60 years, Irene Wortham Center has helped children and adults with developmental and/or socioeconomic challenges lead healthier, happier, and more independent lives. They provide exceptional care to clients and their families through an early learning center, adult day activities, supported employment, and residential homes. Irene Wortham’s early learning center is a five-star-rated developmental day program, the state’s highest rating. Children from six weeks in age through pre-kindergarten with or without developmental challenges learn, play, and grow together in an integrated setting. Learn more.

916 W Chapel Road, Asheville | (828) 274-7518 | ireneworthamcenter.org 

My Daddy Taught Me That

The Mission of My Daddy Taught Me That is to assist in developing young males into righteous, respectable, and responsible men. The organization provides mentoring programs for middle and high school youth in the greater Asheville area. MDTMT forms partnerships with local schools, low-income housing developments, the juvenile court system, faith groups, social service agencies, and many more to facilitate their mission. Discussion groups, community meals, experiential field trips, tutoring, and career training promote pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, good decision-making, acceptance of responsibility, and accountability.

3 S Tunnel Road, Asheville | (828) 582-2261 | mydaddytaughtmethat.org 

OpenDoors of Asheville

Working alongside parents and educators, OpenDoors works to strengthen community by eliminating the race-based student achievement gap. Their whole-child approach ensures that students have the stability, resources, equity, and inclusion they need to thrive. Programs such as Saturday Math Club, One Neighborhood Arts, or the @ODA Afterschool Homework Lab address family needs, reduce institutional barriers, and provide academic support. The organization also works with high school juniors, seniors, and college students via their To & Through college program.

290 Haywood Road, Suite 204, Asheville | (828) 239-8811 | opendoorsasheville.org 

Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe

One of the most potent ways to support a child’s academic and life success is by supporting their literacy achievement at an early age. Read to Succeed is on a mission to close the race-based opportunity gap through community-powered literacy programming that engages children, families, and community partners. The agency advocates for children’s literacy through kindergarten-readiness programming, one-to-one tutoring with K–3 students, and community-powered literacy programming. Their volunteer reading tutors are trained to effectively support their students’ literacy achievement. 

Mailing address: P.O. Box 18652, Asheville

Physical address: 16A Stewart Street, Asheville

(828) 747-2277 | r2sasheville.org 

Sleep Tight Kids

Every child deserves sweet dreams. Sleep Tight Kids donates “comfort bags” with newly purchased bedtime-related items for children in need. These bags include blankets, stuffed animals, dental care kits, and books. Often, the children served have nothing but a diaper or shorts when being pulled from a variety of home circumstances. Sleep Tight Kids works in partnership with other local agencies and the DSS to provide comfort at the moments when children need it most. To date, Sleep Tight Kids has reached 9% of the children who are in DSS/Foster Care Services.

P.O. Box 695, Skyland | sleeptightkids.org 

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County envisions a united and resilient community where everyone belongs and everyone thrives. The organization mobilizes and supports a robust network of people, partners, and resources to co-create opportunities for every person in our community to live free from poverty and injustice. Their community school strategy serves as the organizing framework for elevating student success, supporting families, and engaging communities throughout Buncombe County. They believe community schools help provide students and families with the resources, opportunities, and support systems they need to succeed. Learn more.

50 South French Broad Avenue, Asheville | (828) 255-0696 | unitedwayabc.org

Give more by giving back! Find a home near a children’s nonprofit that is meaningful to you. Search homes for sale in Asheville.


3 Children's Nonprofits near Brevard
Photo from the Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County

3 Children’s Nonprofits near Brevard

Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County

The Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club offers a safe place for young people to learn, grow, and reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. This engaging youth development organization joins together school-aged youth ages 5–18, especially those most in need of their services, in wholesome recreation and companionship. The club facilitates ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals, life enhancing programs, and character development experiences. More than that, it offers hope and opportunity. Learn more.

11 Gallimore Road, Brevard | (828) 885-7800 | bgctransylvania.org 

Muddy Sneakers

The mission of Muddy Sneakers is “to awaken in children a deeply felt connection with the natural world—one that inspires curiosity, stimulates learning, and brings new life to classroom performance.” In other words, they are a Brevard-based environmental education program that teaches the NC core curriculum by taking kids out of the classroom and into the forest. Muddy Sneakers relies on hands-on, experiential methods to connect students with their lessons. Through the summer, Muddy Sneakers offers a range of daily summer camp options for rising first through eighth graders. Learn more.

44 W Jordan Street, Brevard | (828) 862-5560 | muddysneakers.org

Transylvania County Schools Giving Closet

Students in each of the nine Transylvania County Schools experience a lack of basic needs—sometimes for a day, other times on a consistent basis. To help students meet those needs, each school maintains a “Giving Closet” filled with supplies. These supplies help ensure that every student has a productive, safe, and healthy day, every day. In addition, the Back Pack Buddies Program provides food packs on Friday afternoons to over 200 students each week who are likely to have inadequate food for the weekend. Learn more.

225 Rosenwald Lane, Brevard | (828) 884-6173 | tcsnc.org

Give more by giving back! Find a home near a children’s nonprofit that is meaningful to you. Search homes for sale in Brevard.


5 Children's Nonprofits near Hendersonville

5 Children’s Nonprofits near Hendersonville

Feed the Kids Coalition

In early 2009, teams from many faith-based and civic organizations in Henderson County came together to provide a hot, nutritious meal for 120 children at the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County. Now, more than ten years later, Feed the Kids Coalition is an independent, volunteer-led nonprofit that feeds approximately 300 kids every Friday afternoon. The group also provides about ten days of lunches for students during the school year. According to the organization, both the kids and the volunteers have made new friends throughout the process. Learn more.

P.O. Box 1572, Hendersonville | [email protected] | feedthekidscoalition.org

Hands On! Children’s Museum

Hands On! Museum: A Child’s Gallery is a site where learning comes to play. The interactive, STEAM-focused museum lets children aged 1–10 indulge their tactile curiosities. The goal is to get children involved in learning first hand to stimulate their imaginations and boost their skills in a fun, safe environment. In addition to exhibits, Hands On! hosts a variety of programs. Opportunities for field trips, special events, and birthday parties round out kids’ opportunities to experience new exhibits and grow their skills. Learn more.

318 N Main Street, Hendersonville | (828) 697-8333 | handsonwnc.org 

St. Gerard House

If you are raising a child with autism or related disabilities, you are not alone. St. Gerard House offers evidence-based programs and treatment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other behavioral health needs. They also provide training and support for family members, guardians, and teachers who care for the individual. For instance, the Grotto Therapeutic Center provides full-day, year-round therapeutic services and academic training for children aged 2–12 with ASD and other developmental disabilities. And Feed the Need is a prevocational training program for teens and young adults on the autism spectrum to learn varied skills in St. Gerard House’s community garden. Learn more.

620 Oakland Street, Hendersonville | (828) 693-4223 | stgerardhouse.org

Smart Start Partnership for Children

Smart Start Partnership for Children supports, educates, and advocates for strong foundations for young children in Hendersonville. They recognize that the first 2,000 days of a child’s life (before they begin kindergarten) is an important period of brain development. The foundation set during this time helps kids prepare for school, have higher graduation rates, and grow into productive citizens and valuable employees. Their many programs are designed to provide the opportunities children need to be successful in school and life. Learn more.

722 5th Ave West, Hendersonville | (828) 693-1580 | smartstartpfc.org

United Way of Henderson County

United Way of Henderson County believes that by working together on critical issues, we can move forward together to ensure everyone has a safe place to live, work, and play. UWHC brings together partners from business, education, government, faith-based, and nonprofit organizations to work toward common goals, resulting in a better quality of life for all. One of their key impact areas is education. To that end, they sponsor kindergarten readiness and school success programs.

32 Smyth Avenue, Suite 100, Hendersonville | (828) 692-1636 | liveunitedhc.org

Give more by giving back! Find a home near a children’s nonprofit that is meaningful to you. Search homes for sale in Hendersonville.


3 Children's Nonprofits near Waynesville

3 Children’s Nonprofits near Waynesville

Broyhill Home

Since 1971, Broyhill Home has served WNC as a residential facility for children from infancy to age 21. The 91-acre facility allows childcare workers to live with children in the cottage and provide daily support, encouragement, and direction. Additional services include emergency care, transitional living, after care, family foster care, and clarification/value change. Broyhill Home is one of several locations managed by Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. Each location uses the Children And Residential Experiences (CARE) Model developed by Cornell University. Learn more.

Western Area Family Services, 111 Sneed Drive, Clyde | (828) 627-9254 | broyhillhome.org

Kiwanis Club of Waynesville

Founded in 1915, today Kiwanis sponsors 150,000 projects around the world that cover a wide spectrum of services and raise over $100 million for their communities. Locally, Kiwanis clubs create opportunities for children to be curious, safe, and healthy. The Kiwanis Club of Waynesville is no exception. From hosting barbecues and spelling bees to educational contests and holiday events, they are involved in a variety of fundraising, community service, and enrichment programs throughout the year. Learn more.

P.O. Box 815, Waynesville | (703) 609-4542 | waynesville-nc.kiwanisone.org

Youth Villages Intercept

Youth Villages is a national leader in children’s mental and behavioral health. Each year, they bring help and hope to more than 25,000 children, families, and young people across the country through evidence- and research-based programs. Since 2005, Youth Villages has expanded rapidly across North Carolina. The organization now offers intensive in-home and YVLifeSet services (for former foster youth) from two locations in WNC, including Youth Village Intercept in Waynesville. Learn more.

367 Dellwood City Road, Building A, Suite 2-A, Waynesville | (828) 454-6140 | youthvillages.org

Give more by giving back! Find a home near a children’s nonprofit that is meaningful to you. Search homes for sale in Waynesville.


2 Children's Nonprofits serving greater WNC

2 Children’s Nonprofits Serving Greater WNC

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina

BBBS of Western North Carolina is our local branch of BBBS America. Their mission is to “ensure every child in WNC has an enjoyable, long-term relationship with a caring adult who believes in them and sees their potential.” The organization provides ongoing activities, training, and support services for both families and volunteers. And when children are matched with a “Big,” they gain a long-term role model. 

BBBS of Western North Carolina has offices in Cashiers and Highlands, as well as Buncombe, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Polk, and Swain counties. Learn more.

50 South French Broad Avenue, Suite #213, Asheville | (828) 253-1470 | bbbswnc.org

Western North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance (WNCDSA)

The WNC Down Syndrome Alliance creates a community that is educated, supportive, and inclusive of individuals with Down syndrome through an ongoing series of programs and events. For instance, the WNCDSA Buddy Camp is a free summer day camp for children with Down syndrome ages 6–14. The camp matches counselors with students and includes canoeing, crafts, field games, hiking, puppets shows, and swimming.

WNCDSA serves 17 counties across WNC, including Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey counties. Learn more.

P.O. Box 8338, Asheville | (828) 490-1423 | wncdsa.org


How do you give more by giving back? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

One Response to “26 Local Nonprofits that Give Kids a Strong Foundation in Life”

  1. I have been involved with this national organization since 2001. Volunteers donate homemade blankets to comfort children from birth to 18 who are ill or traumatized.
    The very active WNC chapter has distributed over 80,000 blankets locally in the last 20 years.

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