Virginia Supportive Housing
Virginia Supportive Housing
Monthly Volunteer Newsletter
   Fall 2013 



Hannah Pace has been donating her time to Virginia Supportive Housing for more than three years, and she has participated in a variety of volunteer activities including game nights, special events, holiday parties, and computer classes. In June, Hannah was selected by her fellow Capital One colleagues as Associate Volunteer of the Year for her advocacy within Capital One for volunteer service as well as the many hours of service she gives to numerous non-profits within the community. 


As part of the award, Hannah received a $10,000 grant that could be donated to the nonprofit of her choice...and she chose Virginia Supportive Housing! Why? In a letter she wrote to inform VSH, she said: "Thank you so much for all that you do to make an impact in our community, I'm so inspired by the work that VSH does each day. You all are so deserving of this grant and I'm just thankful for the opportunity to show Capital One's appreciation for all you do in the community."  


Are you searching for service opportunities this fall that have meaning and make a real impact in the community? Why not attend an upcoming VSH volunteer orientation to find out how you can support VSH and the people we serve? 


For Richmond opportunities, please plan to attend the next session on Monday October 14 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
VSH Celebrates Its Volunteers!
Serve A Meal, Serve Our Clients!
Upcoming Opportunity: Birthday Parties!
More Upcoming Opportunities
Donation Needs
Opportunities in Hampton Roads
Opportunities in Charlottesville
Thanks to These Wonderful Volunteers!
2013 Orientation Schedule
Reminder About Sensitivity Training
Spotlight on VSH Volunteer Jody Smith
Download Our Annual Report
Invite Us In!
VSH Celebrates Its Volunteers!  
More than 80 people including VSH staff, clients, board members and volunteers turned out on May 21 to honor and celebrate the many ways that VSH volunteers enrich the organization and support its mission to end homelessness. While ALL volunteers make invaluable contributions, four exceptional individuals were selected to receive the Bob Sledd Volunteer of the Year award for their service:
  • Katherine Price for her service in the administrative headquarters: Katherine's competency and flexibility make her an invaluable resource and she has helped with everything from filing and envelope stuffing to sorting & inventorying donations!
  • Andrew Ryan of Commonwealth Partnerships Group for his skilled pro bono service as a marketing professional: Andrew put together our spring printed newsletter in 2012 and has served as project manager for our 25th Anniversary committee in 2013!
  • Joni Teague for her skilled services as a stylist to our formerly homeless clients: Joni has a way of making people feel beautiful both inside and out with her haircuts and wonderful personality!
  • Kathleen Turman for her dedicated service as a HandsOn volunteer leader for our monthly birthday parties: Hard work, conscientiousness, organization, compassion, and sensitivity are just a few of the words that come to mind when describing Kathleen's service! You can read what she has to say about her experience as a VSH volunteer in this recent blog. By the way, Kathleen did most of the planning and work to make this event both successful and enjoyable! Thank you, Kathleen!
VSH is very lucky to have volunteers like Katherine, Andrew, Joni, and Kathleen! Who will win the award in 2014? To find out, make your plans right now to attend next year's recognition event on May 20, 2014

VSH would like to thank the following in-kind donors & vendors for their support for our volunteer program:
  • Alexis Bishop and The Green Flamingo for donating the floral arrangements, textile drapes, table decorations, and favors
  • Brandywine Realty for providing the beautiful event space at the Arboretum 
  • Long-time VSH partner & supporter Chicken Box for delivering the delicious and plentiful sides
  • Famous Dave's for providing the to-die-for brownies and pudding
  • Keith King for documenting the evening's festivities in photographs
  • Perly's for donating the delicious lasagna and rolls  

Special thanks also goes to Mr. Debo Dabney of the Richmond Jazz Society for his wonderful & unique keyboard performance!

Serve A Meal, Serve Our Clients! 
St James  
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 October, November, or December? Your group can provide a pancake breakfast, a lunch, or a dinner....maybe even a late fall 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!
Upcoming Opportunity: Birthday Parties!
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 September 21 from 10:00 - 12:00 and 11 slots are still open

More Birthday Party opportunities are available on:
October 26 from 10:00 - 12:00
November 23 from 10:00 - 12:00
December 14 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
More Upcoming Opportunities
The Season of Service is upon us and volunteers will be needed to support all kinds of activities between now and the end of the year! Many VSH clients do not have the support of family members, and volunteers can be their only source of interaction, connection, and encouragement during the holidays. Check out some of the opportunities listed below and send an e-mail if you would like to get involved:
  • New Clay House Extreme Makeover: Groups (like the Dominion volunteers pictured left) are needed to paint door frames, prime walls, tear out moulding, and help prepare for a BIG makeover project (courtesy of Capital One) in late October. Volunteers can also contribute to this project by providing new art work, community room furniture, light fixtures, and other furnishings. To find out more, click here!
  • HandsOn Day 2013: 20+ volunteers will be needed on Saturday October 19 from 9 - 1 to help with our HandsOn Day Halloween decorating party! This is a family-friendly opportunity and kids as young as five can participate with parental supervision! To sign up, click here! 
  • Thanksgiving Food Drive: This donation drive starts on October 28 and ends on November 25. Needed donations include canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned soups, canned tuna, peanut butter, pasta, pasta sauce, boxed cereal, and other non-perishable food items. To make a donation, contact Crystal Stovall by e-mail or call 804-836-1050!
  • Angel Tree: Opportunities are available to adopt a child or a family for the holidays by providing gifts, clothing, and food baskets. To express interest, click here!
  • National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week: Can your group provide a hot meal during the week of November 17 - 23 at one of our supportive apartment properties? To express interest, click here!
  • Holiday meals & decorating parties: Share the joys of the season with our formerly homeless clients by helping to decorate our properties, baking cookies, making ornaments, and spreading seasonal cheer! Opportunities will start on December 1 and continue through the holidays. To find out more, click here!
Donation Needs
Many thanks to Christ the King Lutheran (pictured left) for their generous recent donation of welcome baskets for new clients who are coming off the streets and into housing! Baskets included new pillows, towels, bath mats, toilet brushes, toilet paper, paper towels, hangers, and gift cards. VSH gratefully accepts donations throughout the year of household items, non-perishable foods, paper products, and cleaning supplies for distribution to our neediest clients. In addition to the Thanksgiving Food Drive (mentioned above), VSH is also currently soliciting the following items:
  • Cleaning supplies & products: Mops, buckets, brooms, dustpans, toilet bowl brushes, plungers, sponges, scrubbing brushes, paper towels, all-purpose spray cleaner, laundry detergent, dish detergent, bleach, antiseptic wipes
  • Outreach bags: Canvas shopping bags, baby wipes, socks, sunscreen, bug spray, deoderant, hand sanitizer, bottled water
  • Winter clothing: Jackets, hats, gloves, scarves (new items are preferred)
  • Bedding: Pillows, pillow cases, twin sheets (flat and fitted), blankets (items must be new and in original packaging)

To donate any of the above items or get delivery instructions, please call Crystal Stovall at 804-836-1050 or send an e-mail!

VSH Volunteer Opportunities: Hampton Roads 
In the month of September, volunteers from the United States Navy and Sentara Hospital helped Virginia Supportive Housing clean up the gardens at Heron's Landing and Cloverleaf Apartments. VSH would like to give a great "Shout Out" to both groups for their hard work and wonderful spirits of service in our time of need. 


If you would like to find out more about the volunteer opportunities that are available in Hampton Roads, contact VSH volunteer coordinator Michele Robinson to RSVP for an upcoming volunteer orientation. Volunteers engage in a variety of meaningful activities including GED tutoring, Bible study, bingo, movie night, aerobics, luncheons, dinners, food bank, banking, cooking classes, cookouts, game night, and gardening.


Adopt-A-Room Campaign


An Adopt-A-Room donation of $3,000 will help provide one year of support services which are critical to ensuring that residents of Heron's Landing do not return to homelessness. By providing support services for our formerly homeless residents, we are able to maintain a 98% success rate in keeping individuals successfully housed.


Adopt-A-Room plaques will be placed next to an apartment and will include your name, business or person(s) you may wish to honor.


Become a part of the solution to homelessness in our community by making a one-time room donation for Heron's Landing Apartments. Your generosity will be recognized for many years to come and the benefits to the residents will be immeasurable.


For more information on the Hampton Roads Adopt-A-Room Campaign, contact Director of Mission Advancement Esther Robert!

VSH Volunteer Opportunities: Charlottesville 
Virginia Supportive Housing and The Crossings at Fourth and Preston was thrilled to be selected as the recipient of the 8th Annual UVA Sleepout for the Homeless grant. On September 22-24, hundreds of UVA students will sleep in tents and gather outside to increase awareness about homelessness and raise funds for a local non-profit making great strides in ending homelessness...and that is exactly what The Crossings does. You can learn more or make a donation by visiting the Sleepout for the Homeless website. You can also contact Resource Coordinator Anne Deery at The Crossings by e-mail or by calling 434-465-6580! To see news and photos of activities at The Crossings, visit our Facebook page!
Thanks To Our Wonderful Volunteers! 
Individual and group volunteers support our mission to END homelessness through all kinds of service activities! VSH is thankful to ALL donors of time & skills, including:
  • Dominion Virginia Power volunteers for painting & priming at New Clay in September
  • Wells Fargo volunteers for landscaping & beautifying our South Richmond apartment building in September
  • Suntrust volunteers for landscaping and beautifying Bliley Manor in August
  • Don Powell for servicing our landscaping tools in September and helping to respond to ongoing work orders at New Clay 
  • Markeisha Harris and Katherine Price for providing administrative support at the headquarters in September 
  • Andrew Ryan for leading our 25th anniversary planning committee's monthly meetings
  • Kathleen Turman and family volunteers for supporting our monthly birthday parties at New Clay and South Richmond
  • Laura Carter of Paradise Home Care for providing monthly health care workshops to tenants at South Richmond and New Clay
  • Joni Teague for providing monthly haircuts at New Clay and South Richmond
  • Jody & Vic Smith for providing ongoing social interaction & gardening activities for tenants at Independence House and Blakemore
  • Pam Goggins and Hannah Pace for coordinating weekly computer classes at New Clay
  • Teen Impact volunteers for serving lunch at New Clay in July
  • Grove Avenue Baptist for providing monthly meals at New Clay
  • Spring Creek Baptist for providing monthly meals and Bible study for tenants at South Richmond
  • Christ the King Lutheran for providing monthly meals at South Richmond
  • St. James Episcopal volunteers for cleaning apartments for South Richmond tenants with disabilities in July
  • Capital One volunteers for rebuilding the porch at Veteran's Apartments in July
  • Foursquare Life Center for providing a monthly pancake breakfast at South Richmond and for beautifying a family property in June
  • Commonwealth Chapel for hosting a cookout at Veteran's Apartments in June
  • Capital One volunteers for landscaping Blakemore Apartments 
  • To see many more AWESOME volunteers in action, visit our Facebook page!  
2013 Orientation Schedule 
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 October 14, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Friday November 8, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Monday December 9, 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 
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! The next session in Richmond will take place on Monday September 23 from 5:30 - 9:00. To RSVP, click here!


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!

Alison Jones-Nassar, Volunteer Resources Manager

Virginia Supportive Housing

Spotlight on VSH Volunteer Jody Smith!

Jody Smith has dedicated many hours of service to the Richmond community, giving her time to a variety of worthy causes from horticulture to hospice care. In the spring of 2013, Jody's deep interest in the issue of chronic homelessness led her to VSH. Since May, she has logged more than 30 hours of service and even inspired her husband Vic, an active member of the Brandermill Lions Club, to get involved.


"I first became aware of Virginia Supportive Housing several years ago through a Richmond Times Dispatch series on our city's homeless. I remember being very impressed with the approach they were using, which seemed to be very successful in providing stable, long-term housing


"This spring, when I started looking at volunteer opportunities, I decided to check into VSH. After looking at all their options, I decided to try my hand at vegetable gardening with the residents of Independence House, a home specifically for clients with traumatic brain injuries. Capital One volunteers had built a raised-bed garden there last year, and Rebecca Smith, the therapeutic horticulture intern who had been working with the tenants, was moving out of state. 




"While I had very little experience with raising vegetables, I did have some general gardening knowledge, but I quickly learned that the most treasured part for both the clients and me was just 'hanging out' together. As I get to know each one better, I learn their stories, their interests, their strengths and special needs, and I come to respect them more and more


"One of the great things that's happened is that I've also found how willing friends and family are to contribute support. My husband, a computer guru, has gotten involved by updating some old computers for a couple of the residents. After hearing about this, another family member has gotten a hold of some additional laptops and may be able to get even more.  My serious vegetable gardening friends have contributed plants and expertise, and I look forward to more help from them. It's amazing how something like this just builds and cascades.


"These guys have become so special to me and as so often happens, I think I'm learning more from them than they are learning from me."


Want to find out how you can support VSH and the people we serve? To learn more about our volunteer program and opportunities, RSVP for the next orientation in your area!


For Richmond, click here.

For Hampton Roads, click here

For Charlottesville, click here.

Our Sponsors

Visit The Green Flamingo
Thank You!
Amazing Raise
Many thanks to everyone who supported Virginia Supportive Housing during the Amazing Raise Challenge! 

Thanks to you, we exceeded last year's amount, raising a total 
of $6200!!

If you missed the Challenge but would like to be a part of our efforts to END homelessness, just 
click here, send an e-mail to Crystal Stovall, or call 804-836-1050!
Join Us!
Would you like to join VSH staff and clients on Saturday October 19 at Innsbrook as we walk to raise awareness about mental illness and celebrate recovery?
Click here to find out 
more about the 2014 NAMI Walk! If you would like to join the VSH team, click here to
send an e-mail!
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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