A Hero’s Fight for Independence: Meet Charles


Happy (3)A Life of Adventure

From jumping out of planes to ministering to soldiers who are dealing with the realities of war, Reverend Charles Pittman has lived a life characterized by courage and devotion.

Now retired from being a United Methodist minister, Charles received his first church appointment at only 19 years old. During his 48 years of ministry, he also served on active duty as an Army chaplain in Ethiopia and Thailand. Upon returning to the United States, he served in the Alabama-West Florida Conference as an ordained minister.

Later in life, Charles was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which the VA says is a direct result of spinal trauma during his time in the military. Due to the damage to his spinal cord, he has limited mobility. Now a resident of Brooks-Howell Home, Charles receives occupational therapy (OT) as part of his support needs. The OT Assistant who works with Charles at Brooks-Howell realized that Charles’ support needs could be best addressed by a combination of natural supports, assistive technology, and community relationships.

Connecting with Support

Accustomed to fighting for freedom, Charles was determined not to let his disability take his own independence. He longed to be more active and mobile throughout the Brooks-Howell community. Through the No Place Like Home program, Charles received an iPad that was mounted on his wheelchair. His new tablet gives him more freedom to move around the community and to connect with friends and family through his touchscreen tablet.

“I like to go out in the sunshine. With my iPad, I can listen to music. It has been a great help to me because I can use it on the go. I’m not bound to my old computer in my room all the time,” said Charles.

SimplyHome, Community Homes®, and Eblen Charities founded the No Place Like Home program with the mission of ensuring that Veterans and their caregivers have the opportunity to access technology that will support their independence and create a new sense of freedom. Nothing can replace being independent and feeling at home, especially for Veterans who have had to leave home to serve their country and who, like Charles, may be living with disabilities as a result of their service.

Get Assistance; Give Assistance

The No Place Like Home program offers new and refurbished systems to disabled Veterans anywhere in the United States. If you would like to learn more about how you can access technology, please email info@simply-home.com or call 1.877.684.3581.

Make a Donation -Whether you would like to make a monetary contribution to the program or donate your system, your support will empower a Veteran to live a life on their terms.

About Eblen Charities

Founded in 1991, Eblen Charities is a non-profit organization whose outreach through its numerous programs has helped thousands of families each year with medical and emergency assistance. Eblen Charities is based in Western North Carolina and offers more than 70 programs to assist families in a variety of categories, such as health, housing, energy, education, and emergency assistance.

About Brooks-Howell Home

Brooks-Howell is a nonprofit, charitable Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) located in Asheville, North Carolina, and supported by United Methodist Women of the United Methodist Church. Originally established as a retirement home for United Methodist deaconesses and missionaries, it has evolved into a community that includes local residents from Western North Carolina, clergy and spouses and service personnel from other denominations.

Auction Raises Money for Eblen Charities No Place Like Home Program

PhotoheaderWe are happy to report that the No Place Like Home fundraiser was a success, held by Yesterday’s Tree of Asheville, NC. At $15 a piece, all of the ticket sales went directly to the program. We are now excited to distribute those funds directly back into the community.

ystlogoYesterday’s Tree Auction
We Are Family
Yesterday’s Tree and SimplyHome have a special connection…we are family! With both of our businesses being local, we want to use the auction last week to give back to our community. All ticket sales are being donated to a program called No Place Like Home through Eblen Charities. This program allows local families to have access to assistive technology so they can remain at home…where we all want to be.

No Place Like Home
A Program of Eblen Charities in Partnership with SimplyHome
Volunteered for a week and changed for a lifetime–that was our experience with Extreme makeover Home edition, and when we returned to Asheville, we wanted to make the same difference in our own community.
As a result, SimplyHome has partnered with Eblen Charities to create No Place Like Home, a program offering individuals access to the assistive technology they need to live independently at home.
Didn’t get a chance to attend? Donate Now.


Naughty? Nice? Or fabulous?

You’re invited to the 6th Annual Holiday Preview Party at Yesterdays Tree. Donations and a portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to the “No Place Like Home” program sponsored by SimplyHome and Eblen Charities.

Yesterday’s Tree is a one-of-a-kind, full-service design company and furniture store homegrown in Asheville, NC… and family to SimplyHome! The annual event is being held Thursday, November 8th at 6:30 pm. They will have food, libations, prizes and fun! Special prices will be offered just for the evening. Please come out and support the community.

South Forest Shopping Center

780 Hendersonville Rd.

Asheville, NC 28803

What is “No Place Like Home”

Volunteered for a week and changed for a lifetime–that was our experience with Extreme Home Makeover, and when we returned to Asheville, we wanted to make the same difference in our own community.  As a result, SimplyHome has partnered with Eblen Charities to create No Place Like Home, a program offering individuals access to the assistive technology they need to live independently at home.

If you can’t make it to the Holiday Preview Party, we invite you to help us in this endeavor by making a tax deductible contribution to our program and by sharing information with friends and colleagues. Together, we can make independent residential living possible because as we all know–there’s No Place Like Home.

Using your smart phone, download an app for reading QR codes, such as QR Reader or Quick Scan.  Click onto the app, scan the code, and you will be directed to the website on your phone.

Fundraiser a Success

Thanks for Supporting No Place Like Home

With the help of local food trucks like The Lowdown, Ursa Minor, Pink Taco, and the Gypsy Queen, along with Scenedipity, and all of you who came out, the SimplyHomeTown Food Truck Fundraiser was truly a success.

All donations received benefited No Place Like Home and have been matched by SimplyHome. Also given were two No Buttons Headsets — enabling totally hands-free, voice command texting, emailing and phone calls.

No Place Like Home is a charitable partnership between SimplyHome & Eblen Charities that promotes independent living by providing assistive technology to local senior adults and people with disabilities.

Please see video below of the drawing for  food truck gift certificate winners.

Unique Partnership Brings Renowned Program to Local Families

SimplyHome, Eblen Charities Form New Partnership To Provide Technology for Independent Living

Partnerships are certainly nothing new for Eblen Charities.  Much of the outreach Eblen provides for our community and for the many tens of thousands of children, adults, and families they serve are made possible through collaborations with other great organizations and companies.

So when Asheville, NC-based SimplyHome was looking for a way to give back to the local community, a new partnership with Eblen Charities was born.

“We are excited about our new partnership with SimplyHome and the opportunities that it brings to serve more families in our community,” states Bill Murdock, executive director of Eblen Charities. “Drue and Allen have been such an important part of Eblen Charities for so long and now to partner with them and SimplyHome is a great honor for all of us at Eblen.”

In conjunction with the premiere of Extreme Makeover Home Edition last Friday, Eblen and SimplyHome hosted a benefit event for their new partnership – No Place Like Home.

No Place Like Home will assist senior adults and people with disabilities in accessing assistive technology to support independence in the home setting. These technologies will provide solutions for family members and caregivers to connect remotely with their loved ones, therefore extending the scope of independent living support.

This past June, SimplyHome was invited to work with ABC Television Network’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Pennsylvania to assist Brian Keefer,  a young man who was involved in a gymnastics accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. SimplyHome was asked to join the project to create custom technologies, like a voice activated bed and drink dispenser, to help Brian live more independently. The show aired Friday October 21, 2011 at 8pm EST.

“It has been a privilege to work with Eblen Charities for the past 12 years. During that time, we have seen all that can be and has been done by volunteers, Eblen staff and corporate partners to meet the needs of Western North Carolinians. It will be an honor to work with Eblen to bring assistive technology solutions to the loss or lack of independence that many persons with disabilities or concerns due to aging face. We are looking forward to partnering with Eblen Charities to better the lives of individuals and families living in our community,” said Allen and Drue Ray, founders of SimplyHome.

As our community’s needs continue to grow, unprecedented numbers of families are calling on Eblen for assistance. The No Place Like Home partnership between SimplyHome and Eblen Charities will attempt to address the growing needs of our community.

For more information about Eblen Charities please visit their website at www.eblencharities.org.

For more information on SimplyHome please visit website at www.simply-home.com.

The SimplyHome crew at Friday nights fundraiser joined by sisters Dawn and Tricia Carlson, Brian Keefer's neighbor and friend.

Watch this video to learn more about the program.

SimplyHome Partners with Eblen Charities on “No Place Like Home” Program


ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct. 17, 2011 – Simply Home announced this week its partnership with Eblen Charities to promote a new program – “No Place Like Home” – which promotes independence through technology.

A premier fundraising benefit is scheduled for October 21 at AB Tech. Donation information and a chance to win a free iPad may be found at: www.simply-home.com/extreme.

The money raised at the Friday, October 21st event will be divided between four causes. A substantial portion of the money raised will be used to jump start “No Place Like Home,” a Western North Carolina Eblen program focusing on helping people who may benefit from technology to live more independently. A donation will be made to the Keefer family who appeared on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. SimplyHome installed technology in the family’s home to make life easier for all parties involved.  The October 21 date was chosen for the fundraiser to coincide with the 8:00 p.m., two-hour Friday night premiere of Extreme Makeover Home Edition on ABC. Additionally, a donation will be made to Arc of NC and UCP of Central Pennsylvania to aid these programs as they implement the use of assistive technology for their service recipients.

“We are trying to create an awareness of what tools are available in our community to promote independence,” says Allen Ray, CEO of Simply Home. “Many years ago, a person’s only option was to have someone sit with him or her when there was a special need or priorities and concerns for life changed. We can now create many different outcomes and solutions through technology.”

About Simply Home

Located in Asheville, NC, SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products to promote independent living. Aging in place and helping people with disabilities to live independently is the business’s core focus. SimplyHome’s support systems are individually tailored to meet specific needs and to assist care providers.

About Eblen Charities

Founded in 1991, Eblen Charities is a non-profit organization whose outreach extends throughout the counties of western North Carolina and through its numerous programs has helped thousands upon thousands of families each year with medical and emergency assistance.

For more information, visit: www.EblenCharities.org .

###Media Only Contact:

Kristen Suttles

of SimplyHome