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    We are HONORED to renew our partnership with OpenDoors of Asheville for 2021. A percentage of each sale goes to help this amazing local, grassroots organization. 

    For many of us the current COVID-19 situation is temporary, but for underprivileged families this reality is a challenge they face almost daily. And the impact of this crisis can very easily thwart any future dreams and plans that have been so carefully laid in place. 

    Executive Director Jenn Ramming said, "We made a commitment to these kids to get them into and through college–no matter what–and that's what we intend to do."

    What does OpenDoors of Asheville do?

    OpenDoors of Asheville connects local children living in multi-generational poverty with an active, individualized network of support and opportunities for education and enrichment. Their missions is to "break the cycle of poverty through education, one child at a time."

    They value education and believe that "when students are appropriately resourced, inspired and respected, they become active, engaged, lifelong learners who are college and/or career ready.  Students from poverty can focus on their academic pursuits and overcome challenges, with success, if they have year-round academic support and equitable opportunities."

    They value enrichment and believe that "opportunities beyond the classroom increase student’s ability to discover their “spark” and actualize their potential.  Providing students access to a broad range of experiences enables them to acquire social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills necessary for classroom and career growth."

    They value an engaged community and believe that "when we invest in our children they, in-turn, invest in themselves and strengthen the community. Children growing up in poverty thrive when we build connections between diverse individuals, families, neighborhoods, groups, and organizations." 

    Learn more about OpenDoors Asheville

    Overview of our 2020 Fundraisers & Initiatives

    Soon after the pandemic started, from April to June we asked for you help—and you crushed it! Through your generous contributions you raised $5,695!

    With these funds you helped provide:

    • 550 meals
    • 515 basic toiletry items
    • 65 weeks of phone/internet service
    • 16 tanks of gas
    • 7 summer essential packs (including swimsuits, towels, water bottles, water shoes, clean sheets, etc)

    In August a local high school junior, Connor Mailander, ran a century run (100 miles in 40 hours) with the goal of raising funds for OpenDoor in sponsorship donations. You came out for this too! And while we don't know the exact amount that SoulKu customers contributed to the overall donation total, Connor raised over $90K for OpenDoors!

    Throughout the year we continued to sell our Harmony bracelet, a bracelet inspired by a former OpenDoors student named Harmony who was killed in a senseless act of domestic violence. Designed by her closest friends, SoulKu gives 100% of the proceeds to OpenDoors. This year Harmony bracelet sales resulted in $9,331 for OpenDoors.

    This year we also worked with OpenDoors to coordinate free Driver's Ed classes with our local driver's education organization, WRESAWRESA generously donates scholarships to any OpenDoors student who wants to learn to drive. Online classes will be starting soon. Having a driver's license is a life changer for these students, and we are so grateful to WRESA for their help!

    On Giving Tuesday we reached out to you again asking for you to donate to OpenDoors in several  different categories. So far you have donated $818.

    With these funds you helped provide:

    • 126 Healthy Lunches
    • 18 Earbuds & Face Masks
    • 17 School Transportations
    • 7 Financial Literacy Training Sessions
    • 3 Executive Functioning Training Sessions

    On December 17th, SoulKu hosted some of the OpenDoors students for a special (and safe) holiday shopping experience. Each student received $100 worth of product to give as gifts to their family and friends.

    Lastly SoulKu will donate an additional $50,000 to OpenDoors as a percentage of our 2020 profits.

    What a BEAUTIFUL year of giving! Thank you beyond words for supporting our small business and allowing us to help support this incredible local non-profit that we believe in with all our hearts. You are amazing!