Virginia Supportive Housing
Virginia Supportive Housing
Monthly Volunteer Newsletter
   April 2013 
 

Greetings! 

 

Want to know why people volunteer for Virginia Supportive Housing? Here are a few comments from a recent survey:

 

"I have had several great experiences as a VSH volunteer.... We are very thankful to be able to share our blessings of family with others."

 

"I love the interaction with the residents, and the opportunities to share love with them."

 

"I have had many great experiences. I think watching a new resident grow to trust you is one of the best."

 

"Every time I volunteer is a wonderful experience, just knowing that it makes a difference to the residents' lives is the best."

 

"I don't have a 'best [experience].' They have all been rewarding."  

 

So how you can get involved as a volunteer? For Richmond opportunities, please plan to attend the next general volunteer orientation on Monday April 15 at 5:30 at our new headquarters (5008 Monument Avenue, 2nd floor) or RSVP for one of the upcoming sessions listed below! For opportunities in Charlottesville and Hampton Roads, just click on the links below to request a schedule!

In This Issue
Upcoming Opportunity: Affordable Housing Week
Upcoming Opportunity: Birthday Parties!
Serve A Meal, Serve Our Clients!
News From VSH Hampton Roads
News From VSH Charlottesville
Thanks To March Volunteers!
2013 Orientation Schedule
Reminder About Sensitivity Training
Prepare To Celebrate!
Did You Know?
Download Our Annual Report
Invite Us In!
Upcoming Opportunity: Affordable Housing Awareness Week!
Wells Fargo & AHAW 2012
Each year in April, hundreds of community volunteers join service projects throughout the Richmond area that focus on the affordable housing needs of our low-income neighbors. For the third consecutive year, Virginia Supportive Housing is proud to join with the Partnership for Housing Affordability for Affordable Housing Awareness Week 2013 (April 22-27)! 

On Saturday April 27 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., VSH needs volunteers for a Spring Spruce-Up Campaign at one of our rental properties that provides permanent housing and support services for seven low-income adults struggling with traumatic brain injuries. Volunteers will be working outdoors and indoors, cleaning, weeding, mulching, planting, painting, and helping with other property upgrades. 

Nineteen slots still need to be filled! To participate in this youth-friendly project, click on this link!

If your service club, scout troop, faith group, civic club, or corporate team is interested in property beautification activities but can't participate in Affordable Housing Awareness Week, no worries! Virginia Supportive Housing has opportunities like these available throughout the year. To schedule a service project, just send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 804-836-1061!
Upcoming Opportunity: Birthday Parties!
Birthday Party   
Are you looking for an opportunity that combines fun with service and is suitable for families with kids as young as five? Virginia Supportive Housing needs volunteers who can help our clients celebrate their birthdays with creative crafts, yummy birthday treats, singing, games, and silliness!
 
Volunteers will spend the first hour making birthday cards, decorating the party space, and baking tasty treats. Then the second hour will be PARTY TIME! Volunteers and clients will celebrate with food, games, music, fun...and of course we'll sing Happy Birthday! This opportunity is designed for family volunteers (one or more parents/ caregivers plus one or more children ages 5-15)!   

 

The next available Birthday Party opportunity is scheduled for April 20 from 10:00 - 12:00 and 15 slots are still open

More Birthday Party opportunities are available on:
May 18 from 10:00 - 12:00
June 15 from 10:00 - 12:00

Volunteers must register through HandsOn Greater Richmond
(Please note: Specific address, parking information, and other special details will be included with the RSVP confirmation.)

To view the photos from our most recent birthday party, click here
Serve A Meal, Serve Our Clients! 
New Creation  
Meals are one of the easiest service opportunities available and they provide so much more than food for our formerly homeless clients. Can your group commit to this simple & rewarding opportunity during the months of May, June, or July? Your group can provide a pancake breakfast, a lunch, or a dinner ....maybe even a cook-out! Menus can be simple or fancy, and examples of successful past dinners include fried chicken, chili or stew, spaghetti, lasagna, tacos, casseroles, pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers, and barbeque. Multiple locations are available, and population sizes vary from 6 - 60. The larger properties are perfect for congregations and service clubs, while the smaller properties are perfect for families and small scout troops. To find out more about this opportunity or sign your group up for a meal, just reply to this message or send an e-mail!
News From VSH Hampton Roads 
Michele Tucker  
Please join us in welcoming Michele Tucker, Virginia Supportive Housing's new Hampton Roads Volunteer Coordinator! Michele describes herself as a "44-year-old African-American woman who loves to have fun, listen to jazz, and help people." And all this is, as are most of her statements, punctuated by her infectious and ubiquitous laughter. 
 
Michele most recently worked for the Hampton Newport News Community Services Board. Prior to moving to Hampton Roads, she held many different jobs and volunteered extensively while living all over the world and most recently in Arizona.  In addition to working and volunteering, she also managed to earn her BS in Human Services from the University of Phoenix and raise three children, all of whom are currently in college in Arizona.

 

As Volunteer Coordinator, Michele will train & support individuals & groups who want to volunteer their time at any of VSH's four supportive apartment buildings in the Hampton Roads area (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach). Opportunities to serve include hosting Bingo Nights, providing cooking classes, serving meals, tutoring, gardening, leading Bible studies, and celebrating birthdays and holidays. "There is even an artist who paints paintings and hands them out, fully framed, to our residents!"

 

VSH is not the only new phase in her life. Michele is getting an MA in Psychology from University of Phoenix, but, more importantly, she is also planning her July wedding to fiancÚ Erik. In her "spare time," she dances, exercises, and volunteers at Calvary Revival Church by counseling pregnant teens and teen moms. And she does all this smiling and laughing. To introduce yourself to Michele and inquire about current volunteer opportunities, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call her at 757-802-4689 x 306! 

News From VSH Charlottesville 
UVA med students  
Many thanks to UVA Medical Student volunteers for an informative and fun health screening event on March 3 at the Crossings at Fourth & Preston. We had a great turn out! Residents were able to have blood pressure checks and diabetes screenings as well as learn about nutrition, skin cancer and how to get further medical services. To view photos from this event as well as other activities in Charlottesville, please visit the Crossings on Facebook! 

Calling all green thumbs! The Crossings has a unique opportunity to develop a plot of fenced garden space just behind the building! Not only will the garden beautify the unused space, but many of our residents will gain a lovely view from their apartment windows. We all know how therapeutic gardening can be for the mind, body, and spirit, and this project will provide many opportunities for volunteers to connect with and support our formerly homeless tenants. Creative teams and individuals are invited to visit the space and contribute expertise toward the development of this project. To schedule a visit, inquire about opportunities, or attend an orientation, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 434-465-6580!  
Thanks To February & March Volunteers!
Birthday Party volunteer
VSH volunteers completed more than 850 hours of service during the months of February & March supporting activities throughout the organization. Volunteers provided general administrative support at the HQ; made Valentine's ornaments & treats; celebrated birthdays; made cards and cookies; supported our wellness fairs; cut hair; taught computer skills; did routine maintenance; served hot meals; played games; offered GED & adult literacy tutoring; and conducted Bible study. 
Many thanks to these volunteers for giving the gift of their time so that VSH can fulfill its mission to end homelessness!
 
INDIVIDUALS: Amy Barnett, Maegan Blume, Gerlissa Bryson, Laura Carter, Ivy Chen, Clarke Family, Michelle Clawson, Kate Colvin, Steve Combs, Angel & Carter Copeland, Barry Dai, Scott Dietrick, Ashley Fary, Favale Family, Forsythe Family, Geisel Family, Pam Goggins, Dominique Greene, Connie Hodges, Hunt Family, Grant Jewell, Dorothy Johnson, Kline Family, Linda Landry, Debbie Lewis-Taylor, Udvaldo Lopez, Bobby Masters, Shavon Moore, Tara Moore, Phoebe Nassar, Titeana Oring, Hannah Pace, Tremika Parks, Sara Parrish, Vanessa & EJ Patterson, Gregory Pe'ay, Don Powell, Katherine Price, Nadia Rose Rahawi, Suzeene Rawlings, Erin Ring, Erik Ruiz, Andrew Ryan, Singh Family, Skinner Family, Rebecca Smith, Joni Teague, Phyllis Thomas, Shannon Thomas, Kathleen Turman, Katie Tyson, Vladimirou Family, Matthew Von Schmidt, Washo Family, Cheryl & David Williams
GROUPS: Capital One, Centura College Students, Diamondz Are Forever, Foursquare Life Center, Grove Avenue Baptist, Minority Health Consortium, New Creation Church, Paradise Home Healthcare, SKIP (Service Kids in Progress), Spring Creek Baptist, St. Edward's youth group
2013 Orientation Schedule 
Capital One     
VSH has a need RIGHT NOW for volunteers who can help with administrative needs, routine maintenance, gardening, computer tutoring, and mentoring activities. And all kinds of opportunities are available for volunteers who want to help paint, clean, serve food, celebrate holidays & birthdays, and support the efforts of our clients to get back on their feet!

NOW is the perfect time to get training requirements out of the way
so that you can be a part of the action! To RSVP for an orientation session below, just click here!


Richmond sessions:
Monday April 15, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday May 15, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Monday June 10, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
  
Charlottesville sessions:
To express interest, click here or call 434-465-6580! 

Hampton Roads sessions:
To request a schedule of dates & times, click here or call 757-802-4689 x 306!
Reminder About Sensitivity Training 
Valentine's Party     
Due to New VSH liability regulations, ALL VSH volunteers involved in direct interaction opportunities MUST complete annual sensitivity training! This training provides important information on client rights, volunteer liability, policy violations, and other reminders. If you have not had sensitivity training within the last 12 months or are unsure, please respond to this message!  

  

Richmond sessions:  

Tuesday April 30, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday May 28, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday June 25, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

 

 

Charlottesville sessions:  

To express interest, click here or call 434-465-6580. 

 

Hampton Roads sessions:

To request a schedule of dates & times, click here or call 757-802-4689 x 306!  

 

To RSVP for one of the sessions listed above or to schedule a special session for your group, just click here! 

 

I look forward to working with you!
  
Sincerely,
  


Alison Jones-Nassar, Volunteer Resources Manager

Virginia Supportive Housing

Prepare To Celebrate!
Kathleen Turman 
Almost 1000 volunteers supported the work of Virginia Supportive Housing in 2012, donating more than 8100 hours of their time and contributing their skills & talents so that we can provide permanent solutions to homelessness.  
 
One of those volunteers was Kathleen Turman, pictured above. As a trained HandsOn volunteer leader, Kathleen has been regularly supporting our birthday party opportunities since September of last year.
  
"I really appreciate working with VSH...and I admire the work [they] do in the community. It's a great opportunity and I enjoy myself every time!" 
  
So what exactly do VSH volunteers do? 
Individuals and groups of all kinds are engaged throughout the organization, doing everything from administrative support at the headquarters to property beautification projects like painting and landscaping, from meals and holiday activities to classes and tutoring activities.
 
We can never thank our volunteers enough for all they do....but we can at least try! 

Mark your calendars right now and make plans to attend our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Tuesday May 21 at 6:00 p.m.!

Stay tuned for more details and we can't wait to see you there!  
Did You Know....
St Andrews
That VSH gratefully accepts donations of non-perishable foods, canned goods, paper products, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and household items throughout the year for distribution to our very low-income clients? 

Below are a few of the items we need on an ongoing basis:

Canned soup
Canned vegetables
Canned fruit
Canned tuna
Peanut butter
Pasta
Pasta sauce
Dry cereal
Instant oatmeal

Paper towels
Toilet paper
All-purpose spray cleaner
Bleach
Trash bags
Dish detergent
Laundry detergent
 
Pots & pans
Dishes & cups
Cooking & eating utensils
Tupperware
Shower curtains

Tooth paste
Soap
Deodorant
Shampoo
Disposable razors

To receive a complete list and delivery instructions, please click on this link
Thank you for supporting the needs of our formerly homeless clients!
Download Our Most Recent Annual Report!
Craig T
"Thank all of you so much for all that you do." When VSH found Craig Thompson (above), he had been homeless for more than a year. He was living in a makeshift tent in the woods and sleeping under a tarp. Now he's in his own apartment and getting back on his feet. To read Craig's full story and view our 2011 annual report, just click on this link! 
Invite Us In!
Scout troop
Do you belong to a congregation, service club, civic group, or scout troop that is seeking meaningful service opportunities that make a difference in the community? Why not introduce your group members to the great work of VSH? We'd love to share our mission, vision, and goals for ending homelessness among our most vulnerable citizens! There are many opportunities throughout the year for groups to support our work through service and advocacy. To find out more, request a presentation! 
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