It's Time To Celebrate Our Most Valuable Resource!

Posted on April 13, 2011

Did you know that 62.8 million Americans performed volunteer service in 2010? That means that about one in every five Americans volunteers! Just about every household contains at least one person who volunteers. Volunteering is an activity that cuts across gender, age, racial, and ethnic lines. It is open to all individuals regardless of their educational degree, income level, or marital status. People representing all political and religious convictions can and do volunteer. Volunteering is one of the most optimistic, altruistic, and empowering activities we can engage in.

Volunteering happens inside and outside, day in and day out, weekdays and weekends, throughout the year. But there is one week every April when we stop for a moment to recognize, honor, and celebrate the service of volunteers, and that is National Volunteer Week (April 10 – 16). National Volunteer Week is an annual event organized by the Points of Light Institute and Hands-On Network to promote the contributions of America’s most amazing and inexhaustible resource – volunteers.

What in the world would we do without volunteers?

Here at Virginia Supportive Housing, we believe that homelessness is a problem that affects everybody in the community, and community volunteers can and should be a part of the solution! Through their activities, VSH volunteers support our very low-income, formerly homeless clients in their efforts to stabilize and reinforce their connections to a caring community.  What could be more compelling and meaningful than that?

In 2010, VSH volunteers completed 6846 hours of service. This gift of time was collectively equivalent to $142,739 in support. Within the past year, they painted VSH properties, cleaned units, raked yards, planted flowers, constructed shelving, put up drywall, helped clients move belongings & furniture, served food, played Bingo, hung decorations, made holiday cards, taught computer skills, wrote newsletters, composed blogs, interviewed clients, conducted research, donated canned goods, and led collection drives for household items like pots & pans, bedding, and towels.

VSH is very proud to join the nation in honoring our volunteers with a National Volunteer Week recognition event on Wednesday May 3 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. In addition to speakers and refreshments, VSH will also select one individual to receive the Bob Sledd Volunteer of the Year Award for outstanding service in support of VSH’s proven permanent solutions to homelessness. We hope you’ll be a part of the celebration. To RSVP, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 804-836-1061.

If you didn’t get a chance to volunteer with VSH in 2010, don’t worry. VSH offers opportunities every single month for volunteers to roll up their sleeves, have fun, and make a big difference! Take a look at the upcoming schedule of projects below and let us know if you can help by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. We can’t do it without YOU!

SATURDAY APRIL 16 FROM 12 – 4:00: GLOBAL YOUTH SERVICE DAY
This project is suitable for middle & high school youth volunteers. 25 – 30 volunteers are needed to rake and clear debris, cut grass, trim bushes, clean out beds, mulch, and plant flowers at a VSH property that serves adults with chronic illness. At least five volunteers must be adults who can help with supervision of the activity.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 20 FROM 1:00 – 4:30: HELP GET A FAMILY OFF THE STREETS!
25 – 30 volunteers will paint a vacant three-bedroom apartment in the Highland Park area so that a homeless family can get off the streets!

MONDAY APRIL 25 – THURSDAY APRIL 28 FROM 1:00 – 4:30: AFFORDABLE HOUSING AWARENESS WEEK
15 – 20 volunteers are needed every day to paint occupied units, administrative offices, and community spaces at a downtown property that serves 47 very low-income formerly homeless single adults.
 
FRIDAY APRIL 29 FROM 1:30 – 4:30: VSH OFFICE MAKEOVER
5 – 8 volunteers are needed to paint a large office at the VSH headquarters so that APTS staff can better serve VSH clients.
 
SATURDAY APRIL 30 FROM 10:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.: SPRING SPRUCE-UP CAMPAIGN
20 – 25 volunteers are needed to rake and clear debris, cut grass, trim bushes, clean out beds, mulch, and plant flowers at a VSH property in the Fulton Hill area that serves adults with traumatic brain injuries.
 
COMING IN JULY 2011: 1,000 HOMES FOR 1,000 VIRGINIANS!

What else can you do RIGHT NOW to give the gift of your time in support of our proven, permanent solutions to homelessness?
• Check out photos of volunteers in action on our Facebook page
• RSVP for a 1,000 Homes for 1,000 Virginians information session on April 15 at 5:30 p.m.
• Attend the next volunteer orientation on May 6 at 5:30 p.m.
• Sign up for our volunteer e-newsletter
• Submit a Volunteer Interest Form
• Request an application
• Resolve to get involved!

Virginia Supportive Housing Celebrates National Volunteer Week 2010 With Volunteer Experiences For People In Action!

Posted on March 30, 2010

National Volunteer Week is an annual event that celebrates ordinary people doing extraordinary things to improve communities across the nation. This year, National Volunteer Week will take place during the week of April 18 – 24, and the theme is Celebrating People in Action. This event gives organizations that mobilize volunteer resources a great opportunity to recognize and honor their contributions, and Virginia Supportive Housing is proud to join this celebration.

Virginia Supportive Housing offers many opportunities for volunteers and volunteer groups to experience service that is both meaningful and rewarding. On Saturday, March 27, Team Hope demonstrated that volunteers with a commitment to service can not only MEET but EXCEED expectations and produce excellent results!

Team leader Steve Hoehn has a knack for projects that involve construction and repair and he “loves to do this stuff all the time!” Steve regularly recruits friends from his congregation at Hope Church for volunteer construction opportunities and recent projects include rebuilding a deck for Elder Homes and constructing dressers for the CARITAS Furniture Bank. In April, several team members will participate in the Pittsburg Project, a project that provides home repairs for elderly & disabled residents in low-income areas of Pittsburg.

Last Saturday afternoon, Virginia Supportive Housing was the lucky recipient of Team Hope’s giving spirit and technical expertise as they gathered at New Clay House, one of VSH’s Richmond properties, to rebuild a collapsing gate for an upcoming property inspection. Performing under less than ideal conditions (the crisp breeze made working in the late afternoon shade of the building decidedly chilly), the team worked together, applying problem-solving skills and complementing each others’ abilities to complete the project in less than six hours. Steve said of his experience on Saturday: “Virginia Supportive Housing has a great track record [and] it’s an awesome cause. We are really happy to help!”

People in Action are what National Volunteer Week is all about, and it’s also what Virginia Supportive Housing is all about. Homelessness is a problem that affects everyone in our community, and at VSH we believe that everyone can be a part of the solution. To find out more about how YOU can be a part of our proven, permanent solutions to homelessness, contact the volunteer program coordinator at 804-836-1061 or [email protected]

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