Extensive Flooding Relief Fund

Education Center Forced Into Temporary Closure
Facility Emergency Request

After hurricane-like rainfall hit our campus multiple times over the past two years, our roof structures were breached in multiple areas (like our dormers and gutters) that were not designed to handle that amount of rainfall overwhelming them multiple times.  Immense flooding ruptured the banks of the French Broad River, which borders the OM Sanctuary campus. What we have quickly learned first-hand is that hydrologic cycles are being disrupted by climate change, and the foremost climate scientists in America are telling us that these bigger rain events are increasingly going to be the norm. 

OM Sanctuary is a non-profit education center in Asheville, NC, offering educational health programs, classes, and training to people of all ages and income levels. Since our inception in 2012, with a small budget, OM Sanctuary started to offer programs, restore the buildings and preserve the 42-acre woodland forest with a Conservation Easement which prevents commercial development of most of the property in perpetuity. We have served more than 20,000 students and in 2018 alone provided over $67,000 in discounts and scholarships.

The extremes in the rainfall penetrated the building envelope of our Sanctuary Pavilion and Woodland Cottages Breezeway and these facilities were defeated by the heavy amounts of rain. The unprecedented torrential downpours exceeded the design capabilities of the structures.

Over 79 inches of rain was recorded in 2018, the wettest year on record. The annual normal rainfall from 1981 to 2010 averaged 45 1/2 inches vs. the 79 inches of rain last year. Due to this unusual amount of precipitation over the past two years, the roof of our main building for the education center began leaking beyond repair in May of 2019 as did the breezeway which covers one third of all of our lodging at our Woodland Cottages.

Climatesignals.org announced, “A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture—about 7 percent more per 1.8°F (1°C) of warming—and scientists have already observed a significant increase in atmospheric moisture due to the air’s ability to hold more moisture as it warms. Storms supplied by climate change with increasing moisture are widely observed to produce heavier rain and snow."

The most severe of the locations affected by the water breach was our main facility, the Sanctuary Pavilion that has 6 wooden-shaked dormers on the front side and approximately 400 feet of wooden shakes on the back side. These shakes with tar paper seal were adequate with virtually no risk to rain penetration until the escalation in amount pounded on them multiple times. Once the rains overwhelmed the gutters and downspouts, it breached these and other areas, running under the roof and roofing tiles that have now been required to be replaced. This 20,000 square foot building houses the majority of our lodging with 16 rooms, plus our 1,200 square foot educational classroom space, our dining area, and our kitchen for the entire campus. 

The second most affected area was the 300 linear foot breezeway that connects our residential cottages with a ballasted flat roof that could not disperse the hurricane-like waters. The water came in so fast and hard for long periods the water was unable to drain away, holding the water like a bathtub until it breached the interior and broke through the ceiling. 

Because this was not one single event like a tree falling, a hail storm, or a hurricane hitting the coast line on a specific date, the insurance company would not consider this a casualty loss to cover the damages. This is why we are turning to you, our community, for support. OM Sanctuary cannot function without the repair to the structures, and we have no budget to cover the loss. 

Amazing teachers and students stepped forward to hold their programs while buckets were placed around the room to catch water from the affected areas. Also, many teachers offered to help by moving their program. Volunteers offered help, and our wonderful staff rolled up their sleeves to help students, empty the buckets, and clear areas of the campus affected.

How Your Gift Will Help
The contractors’ quotes are totaling up to $300,000, and they are ready to prioritize repairs as soon as the funds are raised.  Any amount toward our Raise-the-Roof Relief Fund will immediately make a difference and be received with gratitude!

First $80,000 dollars 
The center secured an emergency partial loan for stop-gap repairs on the worst areas totaling $80,000, but this loan must be repaid by February 29, 2020.

$15,000 dollars
In the worst of the rains OM Sanctuary had to close down to start stop gap emergency leak remediation and lost important major income the organization was relying on to make it through the winter.

$130,000 dollars
Woodland Cottages Breezeway: Rebuild the entire roof structure with a new decking sloped for a better drainage capacity. Repair and replace the Woodland Cottages Breezeway ballasted roof with a more durable solution (TPO rubber membrane), and install new gutters and downspouts.

$75,000 dollars 
Sanctuary Pavilion: Repair and reinforce existing gutters and add gutters where the dormers meet the roof line, which contractors stated are an area of vulnerability, plus remove shakes to apply a different moisture barrier that can handle the type of flooding rains that will continue to come our way.


Recognition Webpage Wall
All donors will be recognized on our Raise-the-Roof-Relief-Fund acknowledgement page.  

Rest & Renewal Raffle
All donors will be added to a raffle for a free 2-night Rest & Renewal Retreat. Drawings will happen quarterly. 

1 Program Discount of 50% Off June - September 2020 
For Donations of $1,000 or More.

Your donor dollars can help touch lives. For every $10,000 raised, OM Sanctuary will award $500 in scholarships to educators and/or students in need. We have seen incredible impact on individuals who have participated in programs through scholarship funding.

“This is my third time coming to OM Sanctuary for the Rest & Renewal program to relieve the stress. In my work and personal life, I’m a major caretaker. I have to take care of my own health in order to be in service to others.” - Boone, NC

To understand our educational impact, please visit omsanctuary.org or email us with questions at development@omsanctuary.org and send our appeal to others and spread the word.

On behalf of the OM Sanctuary’s community we thank you.

Learn more about this cause and our mission HERE. To learn more about the impact of climate change, please join us at our annual Earth Day event on Saturday, April 18, 2020.


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Oshun Mountain (OM) Sanctuary 
Asheville, NC
Oshun Mountain Sanctuary Inc (Om Sanctuary) 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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