Giving Back in Charlottesville
W.E. Brown is excited to partner with CBS 19 Newsplex to help local organizations in our local community. The goal of our partnership is to bring recognition to these organizations that are helping people in Charlottesville and the surrounding communities. We’ll feature a new organization each month, and we encourage everyone to get involved with these local organizations.
People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry (PACEM) opened the doors of its shelters in 2004. The shelter continues opening each winter, committed to helping homeless adults in our community find shelter during cold nights. PACEM has offered more than 73,000 total nights of shelter to some of the most vulnerable members of its community in ten seasons of providing shelter for our neighbors without other options.
PACEM is a grassroots organization that coordinates space and volunteers to provide shelter for individuals in our community who are homeless.More than 80 faith congregations and community groups and 3,000 volunteers in the Charlottesville area come together each winter to address the need for shelter by opening their doors, serving evening meals, giving financially, and/or providing companionship. The PACEM Family continues to expand since the shelters opened in 2004.
PACEM’s mission is to bring together the faith community of the greater Charlottesville area to provide temporary shelter, compassionate support, and access to services to homeless individuals, so they can move to a stable housing solution. The organization believes that this work can only be achieved by forging partnerships in the larger community.
At its core, PACEM is a coalition: People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry. This ministry of providing shelter brings together individuals from many faiths and lifestyles. The organization shares a compassion for its neighbors in a crisis of homelessness.
To learn more about PACEM and for information on how you can help support this organization, please visit their website at pacemshelter.org.
The PB&J Fund connects Charlottesville youth with the resources and knowledge necessary to help develop a healthy diet. By working with community partners to provide healthy meals and teach cooking habits, it aims to address kids’ nutritional needs at each stage of development. The PB&J Fund was created in the belief that a healthy diet should be easily accessible to all kids, just like the most famous and basic childhood food — the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The PB&J Fund works to address food insecurity and childhood obesity in equal measures. The connection between food insecurity and obesity might seem unlikely; however, lack of access to healthy and affordable foods is the factor that binds the two together.
PB&J Fund offers a variety of programs, and it needs volunteers to help support these programs. To learn more about this organization and how you can help, please visit the PB&J Fund online at pbandjfund.org.
Jefferson Area CHiP
Jefferson Area Children’s Health Improvement Program partners with families to create a nurturing home environment and promote the health and well-being of children in our community. For more information, visit jachip.org/.
Building Goodness Foundation
Building Goodness Foundation (BGF) is a nonprofit construction organization. The organization connects skilled volunteers from the design and construction industries with high-impact nonprofit organizations in need of new or renovated space.
BGF is based in Charlottesville, Virginia and has built projects with partners locally, in greater Virginia, Mississippi, Colorado, and abroad in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, and Nicaragua.
The organization chooses partner projects which will produce:
- High-quality buildings
- Great increase in non-governmental organization mission capacity
- Jobs and training for local residents
- Transformational service
BGF collaborates with partners in alignment with five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
- Poverty: Fighting poverty and improving lives underpins all our work. Our work on housing centers on improving the lives of the poor at a basic level.
- Health: We build and repair health clinics, women’s clinics, and birthing centers.
- Education: We build and repair schools and venues for community education.
- Economic Development: We support economic growth, hire locally, and use local materials.
- Ecological sustainability: We build eco-friendly structures and venues for ecological research.
To learn more about how you can help support Building Goodness, please visit our website for more information, buildinggoodness.org.
Light House Studio
Light House Studio was founded in 1999 by a group of local filmmakers, artists, and educators. The studio began with a small pilot workshop, “Video Diary.” Since then, we have helped youth create thousands of documentaries, dramas, and animated films. Our student work has been broadcast on PBS, CNN, IFC (Independent Film Channel), and Public Access Television. Work has been exhibited at the University of Virginia Art Museum, Vinegar Hill Theatre, Second Street Gallery, and Live Arts, among others. Light House films have been shown in festivals all over the United States. Several of our students have received national awards for their films, including a Peabody Award, a Gold World Medal at the New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards, and a CINE Golden Eagle Award.
We provide uncensored, mentored workshops in digital filmmaking; a screening room; a DVD and book library; and exhibition opportunities to young people, enabling them to learn, by hand, the pervasive language of motion pictures and sound. We challenge our students to be active participants in the media and not simply passive recipients of the millions of images they see every day.
To learn more about Light House Studio, please visit lighthousestudio.org
WriterHouse is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation in Charlottesville, Virginia, dedicated to the support of authors of all levels and genres. The mission of WriterHouse is to promote the creation and appreciation of literature and to encourage the development of writers of all levels by providing high-quality writing instruction; an affordable, secure workspace and meeting space; and literary events for the public.
WriterHouse began over a table littered with coffee cups and manuscripts. The writer’s group had been meeting once a week for more than three years in a Charlottesville coffee shop to share their work. Although the group consisted of authors of different ages and from different walks of life, they shared a passion for writing.
While writing is a solitary activity, writers thrive in community — in the sharing of ideas and questions and in cultivating a space for the craft. What if they could help other writers find a space and become part of a writing community? The idea of a house emerged, a space dedicated to the craft of writing, and from that could come writing classes, programs, readings — a writing community. In the spring of 2008, WriterHouse was launched.
To learn more about WriterHouse and how to become a member, please visit writerhouse.org
The Arc of the Piedmont
The Arc of the Piedmont was founded in 1954, by a group of parents and friends of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They came together after recognizing that school and community inclusion would not happen without their advocacy and support.
The organization was committed to altering perceptions of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to educate parents and others regarding the potential of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Arc also worked to procure services for children and adults who were denied an education, the right to attend daycare and preschools, and the right to work.
The Arc of the Piedmont provides numerous services ranging from day support programs, a group home, in-home and sponsored residential services. The day support program assists adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be more independent, learn new things, visit new places, and make new friends.
The organization provides individualized training in daily living skills, socialization, pre-vocational skills, and communication. The group home has five locations in the Virginia area, allowing individuals to live in a home setting while under the supervision of staff and volunteers. In-home services provide one-on-one interaction in the individual’s home and engage them in various community activities. The sponsored residential service allows a family that is licensed through The Arc to provide care to an individual in their home.
If you would like to learn more about this organization or how to get involved, please visit thearcofthepiedmont.org for more information.
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry exists to provide food assistance to families and individuals in need in Charlottesville and surrounding communities. One in six people in Charlottesville will struggle with hunger. This struggle can take many forms – families may not be able to afford adequate food, and so family members may skip meals, or they may have to choose between food and other important expenses such as housing, utilities or medical bills.
This is where Loaves & Fishes steps in. By providing groceries once per month to low-income families, the organization helps these households to stretch their food budgets further as they try to get on their feet financially.
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry works with many area partners including student groups, scout troops, church groups, the United Way, and others. It also is the largest partner of the Charlottesville branch of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry is very excited about its new facility and the opportunities it provides to better nourish the low-income families in our community! The new "Client Choice" model that simulates a grocery store setting allows clients more selection in the food they receive and reduces food waste.
Approximately 350 volunteers help by donating over 16,000 man hours per year. These volunteers help with check-in and verification, serve as client guides around the facility, help with parking outside and with restocking the shelves. Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry gave away over 1.6 million pounds of food last year and served 400 – 500 clients per week, equaling 1300+ families per month!
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry is always in need of volunteers and food or monetary donations to continue to serve the hungry in our community. Loaves & Fishes is able to purchase food at discounted prices, so your monetary contributions go a long way, but the organization is very grateful to receive both. It is a tax-exempt organization and donations are tax-deductible.
To learn more, please visit Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry’s website: cvilleloavesandfishes.org
Music Resource Center
Music Resource Center was established in 1995 by John Hornsby to provide music enrichment, exploration and to develop related responsibilities in children grades 6-12. Mr. Hornsby wanted to give kids a creative place to go after school to help keep them engaged and out of trouble. The center provides kids with opportunities to work as peers to educate artist to artist rather than a typical teacher/student relationship.
Music Resource Center averages 250 students per year and reaches hundreds more through partnerships with Charlottesville Schools and other non-profits. The center is excited to be celebrating its 21st anniversary on June 17th!
How can you get involved? Music Resource Center relies on local musicians to donate instruments, equipment, and time to volunteer and develop relationships with the students. The center needs additional support! There are few ways in which you can get involved:
- Volunteer as an artist peer
- Help with marketing the center (they currently rely on word-of-mouth)
- Donate instruments
- Assist with fundraising activities
- Monetary donations are always appreciated
To learn more, please visit MRC’s website: musicresourcecenter.org
The Bridge Line
The Bridge Line was formed in January 2015 to serve adults with brain injuries who have had to adjust to a new normal, helping them achieve integration in Charlottesville, and in the process gain personal fulfillment.
The Bridge Line provides a family style environment with live-in staff members to help persons with brain injuries. They have seen how the right support can help anyone recover from an injury. In addition to providing accommodations, they also offer at-home support to those who have a place to live while they recover. The Bridge Line currently has three houses and there are plans to add additional homes in the future.
The Bridge Line enriches the lives of adults with acquired brain injuries by fostering independence through individualized day and residential services.
Our community welcomes persons with acquired brain injuries and supports them in reaching their full potential.
Compassion – We coach and support with care.
Dignity – We respect and nurture independence.
Community – We are a welcoming and inclusive community.
How can you get involved?
When brain injuries occur, there is a tendency for these folks to lose friends. The social aspect of the houses was created to help reverse this trend. The Bridge Line needs volunteers to be a friend to residents, to help in the garden and to help prepare meals. In addition, The Bridge Line can always use monetary donations as well as building materials and other items to help maintain the homes. To learn more about how you can get involved, please visit their website at thebridgeline.org
March is Brain Injury Awareness month! Please wear a green ribbon to help bring awareness!
Love In the Name of Christ
Love INC helps to bridge the gap between helping hands and people in need. They are focused on people who need a hand up, not a handout.
"Love INC mobilizes The Church to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ."
Love INC of Charlottesville/Albemarle is proud to be one of more than 130 other Love INC affiliates serving their communities in 30 states. Each year, more than a million people find the help and support they need through nearly 9,000 churches, 6,000 community-based organizations, and more than 300,000 committed volunteers. Their mission is to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ.
To learn more about this organization and how you can make a difference, please visit their website: loveinccville.org.