To Care for Those Who Cared for Us is One of the Highest Honors

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I am pleased that one of the newest members of the Win Win for a Cause family is the Daily Living Center right here in the Valley. The Daily Living Center is a licensed adult day health care serving the Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County area for over 27 years. By providing an excellent standard of care, The Daily Living Center allows family and friends of those who are not able to care for themselves to attend to their daily lives knowing that their loved ones are being taken care of in a positive, safe, and caring environment.

The Daily Living Center is a non-profit, United Way agency and also a member of the National Adult Day Services Association and of the Virginia Adult Day Services Association. The Daily Living Center prevents the pre-mature placement in a long-term care facility or institution-enhancing the quality of life of our participants and their caregivers, keeping them at home with their families and in our community!

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In addition to providing a safe and secure environment, clients are part of socialization and recreational activities, receive health monitoring and medication management by licensed professionals, and nutritious meals and snacks. There is a monthly support group for the caregivers, as well.

To learn more about The Daily Living Center, I encourage you to visit their website. My clients have the option of selecting this wonderful agency as the recipient of their Win Win for a Cause donation from completed closings.

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Caring for Children – The MaDee Project

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Earlier this month, one of my client’s requested that their Win Win For a Cause donation (a portion of my commission donated in lieu of a traditional closing gift) be given to a one of our newest charities – The MaDee Project. I am so pleased that my clients chose this deserving organization providing such a meaningful service right here in the Valley. This wonderful organization helps children with pediatric cancer and their families through the hardest times of their lives. Please take a moment to learn about The MaDee Project and the amazing work they do right here in The Valley.

The MaDee Project is a non-profit foundation that provides support to pediatric cancer patients and their families in the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County areas. The project will also nationally fund research in the hopes of finding the cause and help to pediatric cancers from reaching any other children.

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MaDee’s determination, love for her family and friends, as well as her strong spirit while battling this disease became the inspiration of this project, ensuring that her legacy lives on. If MaDee were physically here with us today, ‘she would be holding children under her wing, teaching, guiding, and comforting them, especially those diagnosed with cancer.’ This project is a way of showing the community that MaDee’s legacy lives on, providing hope, help, and healing to children with pediatric cancer and their families.

There are many ways to support this worthy organization. Donate while you shop, it can be that easy – simply make your normal online purchases through AmazonSmile or use your Kroger Plus Card (please register online HERE) when grocery shopping. For additional ways to donate or volunteer, please visit the MaDee website.

 

 

Defeating Hunger at Home

foodHunger is a very real problem in Virginia where 11.9% of our citizens struggle to meet basic nutritional needs. A local organization doing important and life-sustaining work  in our area is the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. 

Founded in Staunton, VA in 1981, the organization works under the belief that ‘hunger is unacceptable; that everyone deserves access to enough food; that food sustains life and nourishes health; and that we are called to serve neighbors in need without judgment.’

The Food Bank is headquartered in Verona, with additional branches in Charlottesville, Winchester, and Lynchburg and serves over 100,000 people in need each month.  The largest organization working to alleviate hunger in western and central Virginia, they serve over 118,000 people in need each month through a network of 208 food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, churches and other nonprofit groups.

I am proud to say that many of my clients have donated their contribution from Win Win for a Cause to this organization. In fact, for each $1 contributed, the Food Bank is able to provide four nutritious meals. In addition to monetary and food donations, volunteers who offer their time play large part in the day to day operations of the Food Bank. Take a look at the many ways you can help.

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In addition to distributing food through community partner agencies, the Food Bank operates the following outreach programs for children, families and seniors:

 Family BackPack Program feeds families and children on weekends and school holidays.

 Kids Cafe™ for afterschool programs serving snacks and meals.

Operation Angel Food for preschoolers.

Summer Food Service Program for children on summer break.

Super Pantry, in partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension, to educate families about nutrition and food preparation.

Reaching Elderly and Challenged Households (REACH) for seniors and homebound adults.

Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) provides fresh and nonperishable food delivery in rural areas.

How will you help your neighbors in need?

 

 

Running for a Cause

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Having survived an historic snow storm here on the East Coast, there is every reason to breathe a sigh of relief, put down the shovels, and relax. However, now is also the time when race schedules are coming out. Virginia offers an enormous variety of runs and obstacle course to fit any age and skill level. While pushing your endurance and taking in amazing scenery (or at least seeing it in the photos afterward), you have the opportunity to raise both money and awareness for the causes near and dear to you.

Central Virginia is home to many local runs benefiting organizations doing amazing work right here in our own backyard. There are so many, in fact, that runners who complete at least 26.2 miles in select non-profit races receive an official C-VILLE-athon running shirt.  Find one that moves you and get moving to help these worthy causes.

Below is a (very) partial list of upcoming events in the Central Virginia Area.

St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer

http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/PageServer?pagename=walk_home

5K for Foster Care

http://www.raceit.com/search/event.aspx?id=35303

The Haven ‘Run for Home’

http://www.thehaven.org/8k

Run for Autism 5K

https://runforautism5k.org/campaigns/140

Mimi’s Run 5K benefiting cardiovascular research

http://www.mimisrun5k.com/

4 The Wounded 5K to support Wounded Warriors Project

http://www.4thewounded5k.com/about.html

Run for Shelter 5K to support Shelter for Help in Emergency

https://www.shelterforhelpinemergency.org/about-us/

Run and Remember 5K to benefit Hospice of Piedmont

http://www.hopva.org/donate-now/5k/

Summer Extravaganza Run benefiting the MaDee Project that provides support to pediatric cancer patients and their families in the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County areas.

http://www.runthevalley.com/summer-extravaganza/

Did we miss a great race? Please feel free to add to the list of events benefiting organizations doing great work and making a difference.

 

 

 

The Cold Reality of Homelessness

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Two recent surveys report that 62% of Americans have no emergency savings for things such as a $1,000 emergency room visit or a $500 car repair. Over 20% don’t even have a savings account.

For this majority of Americans who live on the financial edge, one modest emergency, or one missed paycheck, can be the beginning of a catastrophic downward spiral. The desperate people flooding homeless shelters? They are people just like you and me – our brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters, and sons – fellow Americans who have hit the financial bottom that is terrifyingly close for so many.

The problem is daunting; the victims are real.

Volunteer your time

Organizations providing services for the homeless need help – not just during the holidays. You can find a partial listing of service providers on NCH’s Directory of Local Homeless Service Organizations.

In the Valley, there are two local shelters supported by Win Win for a Cause donations – PACEM (People and Churches Engaged in Ministry) and WARM (Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry). WARM provides an emergency thermal shelter from November to March of each year. During these winter months they provide shelter, transportation, community referrals, linens, and some personal care and basic need items to homeless adults at no cost.

Here are some ways you might help:

  • Volunteer at a shelter. There are so many ways you can help. Take an evening or overnight shift. Help with clerical work such as answering phones, typing, filing, or sorting mail. Serve food, wash dishes, or sort and distribute clothes.
  • Help build or fix up houses or shelters. Check with your local public housing authority or shelter to find out how to put your skills to use. You can also find the nearest chapter of Habitat for Humanity by calling (800) 422-4828 or visiting http://www.habitat.org.
  • Skills training – teach what you know. Workforce re-entry programs may be able to use your knowledge of skills, including secretarial, catering, plumbing, accounting, management, carpentry, public relations, fundraising, legal, writing, child care, construction, tutoring, or mentoring.
  • Share hobbies. Teach your hobbies to people staying at a homeless shelter. The interaction itself may be more important than you could even imagine.
  • Invite people to a community event.  Homelessness is isolating and the homeless often feel invisible. Invite people who are experiencing homelessness to a worship service, public concert or picnic, city council meeting, etc.
  • Work with children. Ask if there are children who could benefit from tutors or mentors. A field trip, a workshop, a book reading – there are so many ways to bring some joy and hope to the children staying in homeless shelters.

Encourage others to help! Ask your classmates, co-workers, friends, family, church/synagogue members, or civic club to join or support your efforts.

Acknowledgement of the homeless and their individual plights is the first step to making impactful change. Smile and really see the person and not just their situation. Then, go out and do some good.

Please share your experience, insight, and hope.

No Means No – Help Stop Sexual Assault

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April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. I would like to open a discussion about how to prevent these life-shattering events and how to best assist survivors.
“Violence against women is not a women’s issue alone. It’s a man’s issue as well… So to all of the guys out there—you have to step up. That’s how we can change the culture on campus and around the country to one that understands no means no.” – Vice President Biden
The fact is that a conservative estimate of 20% of all women and 2% of men either have been, or will be, the victim of a sexual assault during their lifetime. It is imperative that we recognize the attitudes that contribute to this number, what we can do to change these attitudes, and how we can best support survivors when they have the courage to come forward and seek justice and, ultimately, some sense of peace.
Itsonus.org offers a great resource to open a dialogue about sexual assault. In addition to informational videos by advocates, both grassroots and celebrity, the site offers a refreshingly approachable strategy:
RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault
IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur
INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given
CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

If you are, or someone you know is, a victim of sexual violence:

  • Contact the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. Help is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Get information at RAINN
  • Contact your local emergency services at 9-1-1

SARA (the Sexual Assault Resource Agency) provides support and resources for Charlottesville and residents of surrounding counties who have experienced any kind of sexual assault including rape, adult sexual assault, child sexual assault, sexual molestation, incest, trafficking, stalking, sexual harassment or unwanted touching. SARA offers survivor services, as well as multiple volunteer, intervention, and outreach opportunities.
I encourage you to seek help when needed and help spread the message that sexual assault will not be tolerated and that survivors will be heard and justice pursued.
“Perhaps most important, we need to keep saying to anyone out there who has ever been assaulted: you are not alone. We have your back. I’ve got your back.” President Barack Obama, January 22, 2014.

Please share your experiences of strength and hope, as well as support services and volunteer opportunities to help end sexual assault.