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UNITED WAY YEAR OF CARING: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Needs Volunteers

The 25th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive will take place on May 13, 2017. That’s the day when people across the countryleave cans and boxes of food for their letter carriers to collect. Ever wonder what happens with all that food?Hunger Drive Action Shot

In our area, it goes to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, and it takes a small army of volunteers to get it there. All of the donated food will be sorted at our main post office, and then packed up for delivery to the food bank.

Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest single-day food drive, was created by the National Association of Letter Carriers in response to the needs they saw every day on their routes. Last year, the letter carriers collected a record 80 million pounds of nonperishable food nationwide.

The event is well timed, too. As the end of the school year approaches, thousands of children who rely on free and reduced school breakfasts and lunches will go hungry this summer without your help.

How to volunteer:

Please contact Caroline Emerson, United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 434-972-1701 to sign up.

Here are the details regarding the commitment you’ll be making to volunteer:

Date: Saturday, May 13, 2017

Location: Charlottesville Main Post Office, Route 29N

Hours: 3-7 pm.

Volunteers must be 16 or older and must be able to commit to a 2-hour time slot, rain or shine. Sturdy closed-toed shoes are a must. You must be fit enough to lift 20-pound boxes many times during your shift.

How to donate

Please don’t forget to leave a bag of non-perishable food for your letter carrier. Here’s a link to all the info you need about how to make a donation. Thank you for helping to feed our community! 

UNITED WAY YEAR OF CARING: Human Foosball Tournament

The folks at Jefferson Area CHiP found a way to put the fun back into fundraising.

Molly Fulton, CHiP’s development director got the creative idea for a Human Foosball Tournament when she saw a Facebook post about someone’s backyard court.

The third annual tournament takes place on Sunday, April 23 at Ix Art Park, 1-5 pm. Teams pay to play, but spectators get in free. And for CHiP, making friends is a big part of the plan.

“The real value lies in reaching people who might not otherwise be aware of us,” Fulton said. “It helps people learn about CHiP in a way that’s fun and memorable.”

The Foosball action takes places on four courts, and games run throughout the afternoon. Along with the friendly competition, there will be food, beer, music, and face painting.

Volunteers are needed to keep score, referee, chase balls, and assist with parking and registration. For more info, contact Molly Fulton at 964-4708.

CHiP stands for Child Health Improvement Program. Jefferson Area CHiP helps families raise healthy kids through visits with families in their homes. Come to the tournament or visit CHiP’s website to learn more.


UNITED WAY YEAR OF CARING: Charlottesville Ten Miler

ten miler volunteer

The Charlottesville Ten Miler has been our community’s premier running event for the past 41 years. Started as a way to support the running community, it has evolved into an enterprise that supports our whole community in many ways.

Profits from the Ten Miler are donated to different non-profit beneficiaries each year.  This year’s beneficiaries are 100 Black Men of Central Virginia, Foothills Child Advocacy Center, and Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle.

More than 2,000 runners are expected to take part in this year’s race, and it takes more than 400 volunteers to get things organized and make it all work on race day.  

“Volunteers are absolutely essential for the runners’ safety,” said race director Nicole Brimer. “There are 115 intersections along the course. There are volunteers at each and every one to prevent vehicles from entering the race course and possibly injuring a runner.”

On race day (March 18), volunteers will also help set up the course, hand out water to the runners, hang no-parking signs along the course, hand out medals to finishers, and clean up after it’s over.

There are still some volunteers spots open, and you can sign-up to volunteer at the Ten Miler website.

The Ten Miler also promotes health and fitness in our community. The Charlottesville Track Club offers training programs for the Ten Miler and other local footraces, including the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler, which benefits the UVa Cancer Center. Track club members safely guide people of all abilities to achieve their running goals and make exercise a key component of a healthy lifestyle.

There’s a new charity running event on the calendar this year. On Saturday, June 24, the first United Way Relay takes place at Albemarle High School. Stay tuned for more details.

United Way Mentor-Tutor Volunteer Fair on January 27!

YOU can make a difference in someone’s life!

United Way Mentor-Tutor Volunteer Fair on January 27!


Do you consider yourself a successful person? Chances are you had some help along the way.

Maybe you were lucky enough to have a parent, a teacher, a coach, or a colleague who taught and modeled all sorts of skills. While you were learning a practical skill like long division, free throw shooting or square knots, you also absorbed a bit of your mentor’s social skills, emotional maturity, work ethic or joyful outlook on life.

Lots of people aren’t so lucky. So maybe it’s time you paid it forward?

Not sure where to start? Stop by the United Way Mentor and Tutor Volunteer Fair on Friday, January 27, 11am-2pm at the Omni-Charlottesville Hotel. No pressure, just a fun way to learn about your community and how you can change someone’s life. Light food and drink will be provided, and parking is free.

Chat with representatives from the following agencies. Learn what each program requires. Find a role that fits your personality and schedule.

  • 100 Black Men of Central Virginia
  • Adult Learning Center
  • Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • Book Buddies, Charlottesville City Schools
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries
  • Charlottesville Scholarship Program
  • City of Promise
  • Computers4Kids
  • Enrichment Alliance
  • Girl Scouts of Virginia
  • Literacy Volunteers
  • PB&J Fund
  • Piedmont CASA
  • Piedmont YMCA

Studies have shown that mentorship programs help clients stay in school, make healthier choices, and avoid substance abuse. They can also greatly enrich the lives of the volunteers. 

UNITED WAY YEAR OF CARING: Help Us Be Prepared in Case of a Disaster

Help Us Be Prepared in Case of a DisasterDisaster Relief 2

Emergencies can occur without any warning. Our community wants to be as prepared as possible, and we have a community-wide disaster recovery plan that includes dozens of local agencies and nonprofits.

Do you think YOU could help during a disaster or other community-wide emergency? That’s great!

Register now, so you can be quickly and safely deployed when the need arises.

During the first few hours following a disaster, emergency response agencies can be overwhelmed by spontaneous volunteers.

“People are really inspired to help during a crisis, which is absolutely wonderful.” said Caroline Emerson, Vice President of Community Engagement for the United Way – Thomas Jefferson Area. “However, if we already know whom to expect and how they can help, we can deploy these good folks so much more effectively and safely. Well-meaning people who show up unannounced must be accounted for carefully, or they can become victims themselves.”

The United Way helps local emergency responders and relief organizations coordinate unaffiliated volunteers by maintaining a roster of people who can be called upon to fill specific needs. The registration form asks a few simple questions about your skill sets, the languages you speak, the equipment and vehicles you know how to operate, and so on.

Do you know how to drive a backhoe? Speak Spanish? Use a chain saw? Provide first aid? Are you fit enough to help search for a missing person over rough terrain? Or would you rather work behind the scenes, answering phones or setting up a shelter? There’s sure to be a role that suits you.

All you need to do now is fill out the form. There’s no training, no background check, and no interview. In the event of a disaster, you may get a call to action.

Sign up today. It only takes a few minutes. Ask your friends to do it, too.


UNITED WAY YEAR OF CARING: Visit residents at area nursing homes


Say Hello in There

You know that old trees just grow stronger

And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day

Old people just grow lonesome

Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello"


That’s the chorus from Hello in There by John Prine. If you’ve never heard the song, follow the link and take a listen.

Now, here’s a chance to follow John’s good advice.

Visit residents at area nursing homes who may be missing their families this holiday season. Spend some time talking or playing games, go for a walk, sing carols or join their holiday celebrations.

Call the folks listed below to schedule a visit:

Morningside – (434) 971-8889, ask for Cristin Capron.

JABA Mountainside Senior Living – (434) 823-4307, ask for Penny Goldman.

Golden Living of Charlottesville – (434) 296-5611, ask for Margaret Thacker. 

UNITED WAY YEAR OF CARING: Giving thanks for 25 years of caring

HW pic

Let’s take a moment to thank the volunteers who turn out for the United Way Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring.
On September 21, about 1,900 volunteers took part in the 25th annual Day of Caring. Over the years, more than 30,000 volunteers have devoted nearly 160,000 hours of service to nonprofits and schools across our region.

That’s remarkable.

The yearly event introduces a lot of first-timers to the joys of volunteering. But many more return again and again.

A team from Hantzmon Wiebel Certified Public Accountants has participated every year since 2003. Because mid-September is such a busy time for the firm, they complete their projects in October. This year, Hantzmon Wiebel sent 47 people to five sites.

“We appreciate this opportunity each year to work with the United Way to coordinate opportunities for us to give back to the community,” said Jennifer Lehman, Hantzmon Wiebel’s COO. “During one afternoon we provided approximately 168 hours of service.”

At the Salvation Army Family Store, Hantzmon Wiebel volunteers set up Christmas trees and tackled a variety of cleaning and organizing tasks. At Sutherland Middle School they did some mulching and cleaned up a rock climbing wall. They also stuffed envelopes at the Albemarle Department of Social Services, did some painting and landscaping at the Golden Living Center, and spruced up the grounds of the Dover Foxcroft Retreat Center of the Spring Hill Baptist Church.

From the United Way staff and board of directors, heartfelt thanks go to Hantzmon Wiebel and to all of the companies and individuals who pitch in to support our community.



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