John C. here.

It's really difficult to write this post but it needs to be addressed.

Last week the Upcountry Family and many in West Asheville were shocked by the devastating news that a close friend of ours had taken her life. This one really hurt. Unfortunately depression and suicide are more common than we realize. Far too many of us have dealt with instances of depression and suicide with our loved ones; some of us more than once. I for one am tired of it and want to find a way to help. 

One of our Company Values at UpCountry Brewing is COMMUNITY. And while we have always happily participated in fundraisers for various organizations in our community, it's never been a truly focused effort around a singular goal. That changes now. In order to elevate our community support to the next level, we are creating a new monthly program called UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand. (UpCo for UPcountry COmmunity. Grata for GRATEFUL.) Here's how it will work. 

UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand will operate in both the West Asheville and Brevard taprooms. Each month we will choose a cause or organization to support. Everything we do that month will focus on raising funds for that one cause. For the month of September all funds raised will go toward suicide prevention. We are still researching exactly which group(s) to support so any suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

  • Each Monday in Brevard (starting Sept 14th) we are hosting Service Industry Night with all Upcountry Beers only $3.50. We will now donate $.50 for every beer sold on SIN night to UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand.
  • Each Wednesday in West Asheville we offer via dine-in only a special $12 combo of a beer and a 2-topping pizza. $1 of every $12 special you enjoy will now go toward UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand.
  • Each Thursday in West Asheville and Brevard we offer a $30 beer case special (regular case price $43.96). $2 of each $30 case you enjoy will now go toward UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand.
  • Each Thursday in Asheville we also offer 1/2 off all pizza toppings. $1 from each of Grata Pizzeria's BYO pizzas that you enjoy will now go toward UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand.
  • All week long in West Asheville UpCountry Brewing and Grata Pizzeria join to offer via carry-out only a Quarantine Survival Kit (one 6pack and one 1-topping pizza) for $15.99 or a Quarantine Family Survival Kit (one 6pack and two 1-topping pizzas) for $20.99. $1 of each Quarantine Survival Kit and $2 of each Quarantine Family Survival Kit you enjoy will now go toward UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand. FYI these Survial Kits are also available for delivery througout the Asheville area via Takeout Central. CLICK HERE for more info. 
  • For every merch item sold in West Asheville, Brevard, or via our ONLINE STORE, we will now donate 10% of the purchase proceeds toward UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand. Have you always wanted that cool UpCountry hammock or hoodie? How about the sweet Grata t-shirt you've had your eyes on? Well, now it's a win-win. You not only get the item but a portion of the price also goes to help a good cause. 
  • In both West Asheville and Brevard, we have created a menu item called "UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand". This is to allow patrons to donate directly to the funds being raised each month. We will commit each and every month to match dollar for dollar any funds raised via this menu item up to $100.

This is just the start. I'm sure with your help we will get more creative and find even more ways to earn funds for UpCo/ Grata Helping Hand each month. For now, your support in September for the cause of Suicide Prevention is greatly appreciated.

What else can you do? Spread the word about suicide prevention. Share #BeThe1To’s 5 action steps. Learn about each step and why the steps are effective here.

#BeThe1To Ask - Ask the tough question. When somebody you know is in emotional pain, ask them directly: "Are you thinking about killing yourself?"

#BeThe1To Keep Them Safe - Is your friend thinking about suicide? Ask if they've thought about how they would do it and separate them from anything they could use to hurt themselves.

#BeThe1To Be There - If your friend is thinking about suicide, listen to their reasons for feeling hopeless and in pain. Listen with compassion and empathy and without dismissing or judging.

#BeThe1To Help Them Connect - Help your friend connect to a support system, whether it's 800-273- TALK(8255), family, friends, clergy, coaches, co-workers or therapists, so they have a network to reach out to for help.

#BeThe1To Follow Up - Check in with the person you care about on a regular basis. Making contact with a friend in the days and weeks after a crisis can make a difference in keeping them alive.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please keep your eyes and ears open and be there for your loved ones. Don't be afraid to ask them the tough question. The answer may surprise you.

Cheers/God Bless/Love and Light - John Cochran

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