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News from the Community: Winter 2018 Nonprofit Highlights

This week we’re sharing news tidbits from around the community!  We want to make it easy for our ConnectVA audience to quickly digest the big headlines affecting and about our local nonprofit community.  Does your nonprofit have news to share?  Send us an email at admin@connectva.org!  Enjoy!

The Community Foundation Shares 2018 Vision in 50th Year

CEO Sherrie Armstrong shares highlights from the past year and previews what to look for in 2018 – the Foundation’s 50th anniversary year. The Community Foundation celebrates the generosity and vision of the many partners who make this important milestone possible. Armstrong says, “It is our honor to help connect people, ideas and resources to improve the quality of life in our region today, and for generations to come.”  Read more about the Community Foundation’s vision here.

Outstanding Women Awards with the YWCA

In mid-January the YWCA of Richmond announced 9 Community Leaders who will be recognized at their 2018 Outstanding Women Awards on April 27th.  All nine women have strong ties to the local nonprofit community and were selected based on “their impact on the Greater Richmond community, their leadership skills, a high level of personal and professional achievement and commitment to the YWCA Richmond’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women,”.  Read more about the 2018 OWA recipients here.

Photo Credit: The Richmond Time’s Dispatch


Goochland Free Clinic & Family Serivces Changes Name and Opens New $7M Facility

After almost a year of construction and a $7.1 million-dollar capital campaign, Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services announced the opening of their new facility at 2999 River Road West and organization name change to “Goochland Cares”.  Their “ALL.HERE.NOW” campaign funded the conversion of the current Family Services building into emergency housing and established a $1.5 million endowment to ensure sustainability.

The new 20,000-square-foot facility will house 11 clinic programs, a food pantry, medical and dental care, financial assistance, and domestic violence and sexual assault services.  On their website, the organization says the name change to “GoochlandCares” is the continuation of a history of caring and responding to the needs of the community today and into the future.  Read more about the facility opening and name change on their website.


The Capital Region Collaborative and The Valentine Align for Richmond History Makers

This year, the Richmond History Makers Celebration and the Capital Region Collaborative’s (CRC) Community Update are taking place under the same roof on March 13th.  This will allow locals the opportunity to honor and support hometown heroes at the 13th Annual Event, while learning more about regional progress.

The Valentine’s nominating categories for the “History Makers” are aligned with the CRC’s regional priorities to better recognize the region-wide impact of these hometown visionaries and to get to know the faces behind the data.  The History Maker categories include:  Creating Quality Educational Opportunities, Demonstrating Innovative Solutions, Encouraging Regional Collaboration, Championing Social Justice, Promoting Stronger Communities and Advancing Our Quality of Life.  Learn more about the Honorees and purchase tickets here.

Safe Harbor and Bon Secours Open Region’s First Human Trafficking Transition Shelter

Last week Safe Harbor and Bon Secours announced they will open the first transition shelter for human trafficking victims in late February – the latest service addition to Safe Harbor’s human trafficking program. The shelter will provide transitional shelter, counseling and case management in a single location to adult female human trafficking victims in an undisclosed location.

In a recent Richmond Time’s Dispatch article Toni Ardabell, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia and Richmond Health Systems said, “One of the long-term needs of human trafficking survivors is acquiring a new lifestyle.  They need to acquire professional skills so that they can move toward jobs and independence and careers that will give them a steady income and create stability in their lives. In order to achieve and master these necessary skills, most women need resources and care beyond the emergency care they’re getting in the shelter.”  You can read more about the shelter here.

Photo Credit: Richmond Time’s Dispatch

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Get to Know YNPN RVA’s Leadership Team 2018

Meet the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network RVA (YNPN RVA) Leadership Team and Committees for 2018! You may have seen our “introduction” posts on social media with the hashtag #MeetYNPNRVA2018 – here is the full list of our teams and some of our favorite things!  All illustrations were created by Erica Mendez Babcock.

For those unfamiliar, YNPN RVA is the region’s local YNPN chapter focused on engaging and supporting future nonprofit and community leaders through professional development, networking and social opportunities that are designed for young people involved in the nonprofit community.  The YNPN RVA Leadership Team drives programming, communication and membership for the network, led by an Executive Team.

If you’re interested in joining YNPN RVA as a member in 2018,  check out our affordable membership rates and all the benefits that come with it!

You can expect monthly opportunities to learn, connect and socialize through our lunch time career advancement series “Nonprofits at Noon”, panel discussions on hot topics, facilitated discussions from professionals in the field, opportunities to meet seasoned nonprofit professionals, social opportunities at the coolest bars and breweries in RVA and Signature Celebration Events, like our “Great Nonprofit Bosses” recognition event in November.

RSVP to our first event of the year – the 2018 Nonprofit YP Kickoff Social at the Veil Brewing Company in Scott’s Addition and get to know all of the incredible young nonprofit professionals in our network!

Executive Team

Board Chair: Laura Pilati, Volunteer and Special Events Manager at St. Andrews School

  • Favorite snack/dessert? brownie a la mode
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Anything by Wes Anderson, Grace and Frankie on Netflix
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? I am a huge fan of 60s/70s funk and soul. But I also love simple acoustic folk music. Noam Pikelny is a love right now.

Board Vice Chair: Mollie Brooks, Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist at Genworth

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Banana bread
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Clue
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Needtobreathe

Board Secretary: Michael Parsons, Information Coordinator at Peter Paul Development Center

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Oreos
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Seinfeld
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Joni Mitchell

Communications Committee

Staff Liaison, Communications Chair, Treasurer: Liz Lungut, Communication Officer, ConnectVA at The Community Foundation

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Tortilla chips and salsa
  • Favorite movie/tv show? The Walking Dead
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music?  Dave Matthews Band

Communications Committee: Katie Bowman, Communications Officer at The Community Foundation

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Dark chocolate anything
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Obsessed with Downton Abby (even visited the castle in Newbury, England)
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? JohnnySwim

Communications Committee: Erica Babcock, Marketing & Communications Officer at Better Housing Coalition

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Pistachio ice cream
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Korean dramas
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Adele

Communications Committee: Gabrielle Jones, Digital Marketing Manager at the Community Idea Stations WCVE

  • Favorite snack/dessert? My favorite dessert is a warm chocolate chip cookie.
  • Favorite movie/tv show? I love documentaries.
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Stevie Wonder is my favorite musician.

Communications Committee: Holly Gordon, Programs and Operations Manager at HandsOn Greater Richmond

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Anything with Oreo in it.
  • Favorite movie/tv show? The West Wing
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? I like steel drums—they remind me of the beach.

Communications Committee: Lataunda Beasley, Guest Services Associate at the Science Museum of Virginia

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Tiramisu
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Walking Dead
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Linkin Park

Communications Committee: Lauren Martin, Manager, Program Development & Engagement at Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA)

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Green grapes and Colby cheese cubes
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Anything by Shonda Rhimes
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? #BeyonceForever

Programs Committee

Programs Committee Co-Chair: Omi Eaddie, Director of Admissions and Graduate Support at St. Andrew’s School

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Ice cream, cupcakes, frosted flakes cereal
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Romcoms, comedy, campy horror movies
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Pop, hip hop, gospel

Programs Committee Co-Chair: Devan Colley, Development & Communications Coordinator at Peter Paul Development Center

  • Favorite snack/dessert? One of my favorite snacks is Utz Party Mix
  • Favorite movie/tv show? My favorite movie is No Country for Old Men
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? One of my favorite bands currently is Vulfpeck

Programs Committee: Catherine Estevez, Assistant Director at Communities in Schools of Virginia

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Just about anything from Shyndigz
  • Favorite movie/tv show? My all-time favorite is The Wire
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? My go-tos are oldies (motown) and country music.

Programs Committee: Jessica Horswell, Program Manager at GRASP (GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc.)

  • Favorite snack/dessert?  caramel popcorn (delicious)
  • Favorite movie/tv show?  Right now… anything science fiction.
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music:  I love different music depending on what mood I’m in!  Recently I have been listening to a lot of Violent Femmes.

Programs Committee: MckenZie Walker, Membership Coordinator at Virginia Association of Museums

  • Favorite snack/dessert? a quesadilla
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Friends
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Johnny Cash

Programs Committee: Meg Petruney, at Lush Handmade Cosmetics

  • Favorite snack/dessert? anything with hummus
  • Favorite movie/tv show? crime shows and history documentaries
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? podcast obsessed but favorite band is Lake Street Dive

Membership Committee

Membership Committee Co-Chair: Diana Villarreal, Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond

  • Favorite snack/dessert? any type of dumpling
  • Favorite movie/tv show? almost all reality TV (don’t judge me!)
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? any music from the early 2000’s

Membership Committee Co-Chair: Kathy Greenier, Consultant at Floricane

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Popcorn with Sour Patch Kids
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Netflix is always recommending to me “dramas with a strong female lead,
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? I unabashedly love pop music

Membership Committee: Elise Kindya, School Counselor at St. Andrew’s School

  • Favorite snack/dessert? milk chocolate and peanut butter fudge swirl ice cream cone with toasted marshmallow fluff from Charm School
  • Favorite movie/tv show? The Office always puts me in a good mood
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music?: Kathleen Hanna will be my forever music crush

Membership Committee: Heather Farber, CASA Volunteer Coordinator at Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Gilmore Girls
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Christmas music (I don’t care if the holidays are over. I wish we could listen to it all year!)

Membership Committee: Michelle Hulme-Lippert, University Educator at Randolph-Macon College

  • Favorite snack/dessert? Chips and guacamole
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Dramas, including This is Us, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, The Honourable Woman, and Alias
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Folk / Americana Rock

Membership Committee: Meet Tiffany Slaughter, Minister of Family Life at Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

  • Favorite snack/dessert? UTZ BBQ chips
  • Favorite movie/tv show? Love romantic comedies
  • Favorite musician/band/type of music? Backstreet Boys

Don’t forget to RSVP to our first event of the year – the 2018 Nonprofit YP Kickoff Social at the Veil Brewing Company in Scott’s Addition and get to know all of the incredible young nonprofit professionals in our network!

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Help Somebody Spotlight: Michelle Smith, World Pediatric Project

At the Community Foundation and ConnectVA, we are so excited to share more stories of individuals in our community lending a hand to help another through the Help Somebody Hall of Fame.  As in 2017, we are accepting nominations from the community at large and will highlight a compelling submission each month.  Once a quarter, we will select (at random) two people to receive a $1000 grant made in their name to give to a local nonprofit of their choosing.

This month we are highlighting Michelle Smith, a volunteer at World Pediatric Project.   World Pediatric Project (WPP) heals critically ill children and builds indigenous healthcare capacity in developing nations. Michelle was nominated anonymously by a WPP staff member, who says, Michelle is “one in a million” and wanted to thank her for her service.  Here’s more about Michelle’s incredible contributions to this local nonprofit and our community:


 How does Michelle demonstrate the spirit of the “Help Somebody Hall of Fame”?

Michelle is a volunteer for our organization and selflessly gives her time as though she were a full-time employee. If she is welcoming a new patient at the airport she will stay and wait for them even if their flight is delayed, or, if it starts snowing!

Michelle not only selflessly gives her time, she also gives her heart to the families we serve through her good humor and her friendly and open demeanor. Our families arrive from other countries scared and unsure. Michelle instantly makes them feel at ease. She warms them with her smile and interacts with their child as if they were her own – to the point she has been made a godmother many times over. If she knows a child is going to be having a birthday during their stay here, she will bring them to her house and throw a party. Similarly, she makes sure every child has a chance to experience Sweet Frog and other American wonders, like Walmart and Dollar Tree. No task is too big or too small for Michelle.


What is the impact of Michelle’s generosity?

Michelle’s impact goes beyond words and is further multiplied by the number of families she has touched. Michelle meets and assists with almost every single family for whom we facilitate surgical care in a year; that’s close to 50 children a year since 2010.

When she traveled to the Caribbean island of St. Vincent last year (where most of our patients are from) the patient families threw a party for her attending by at least 60 former patients with whom she had connected. Her kindness in some of their darkest moments with a child suffering from a major medical problem is not something they ever forget and something for which they continue to show gratitude and keep in touch with her over.

Michelle in St. Vincent at a party the families put on for her. There were about 50 families in attendance whose lives she had touched.

Michelle not only serves our organization selflessly, but does so in the rest of her life as well. When she met a young woman studying to be a doctor while traveling abroad, she invited her to live in her home for six months to learn English. She is the first one to take in any stray animal needing of a home. She also faithfully served the public school system for over 20 years as an art teacher. Michelle demonstrates her love and compassion for others in everything that she does.

We have a list of close to 400 volunteers, and Michelle’s dedication is unparalleled. She is the first to offer help and the last to go home at the end of the day. Our patients have needs 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Michelle doesn’t shy away from late nights or early mornings, but rather always asks me “what can I do to help?” Our program would not be the same without her.

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Program Updates 2018 – HandsOn Greater Richmond, Stettinius Awards and a New Learning Center

The Community Foundation is excited to share new updates for 2018!  Read on to learn more about our work as it evolves and changes to meet the needs of our Greater Richmond community!

  • HandsOn Greater Richmond joins The Community Foundation – Working in partnership for more than 10 years, the two organizations have come together to bring an enhanced focus to civic innovations. HandsOn Greater Richmond, the region’s volunteer hub, will expand to develop new models for shared learning, service and philanthropy to encourage greater community participation in shaping and advancing regional solutions. Read more
  • Stettinius Awards for Nonprofit Leadership – In 2018, the awards program is changing to simplify the application process and expand the benefit to more people. Funds will be used to support capacity building grants to nonprofit organizations that wish to send two or more members of their leadership team to a management or leadership training. Read more.
  • New Learning Center – The wait is over. You may now register for classes scheduled for the early part of 2018. Before you get started, we hope you will read this blog to better understand our philosophy and values, as well as some new elements of our programming. Access the new learning center here.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Gabrielle Jones, Community Idea Stations

Tell us about yourself I'm Gabrielle Jones, Digital Marketing Manager at the Community Idea Stations. My educational background is in journalism and I worked in marketing and management for a for-profit company in Washington, DC before coming to the Community Idea Stations almost three years ago. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA and have lived in Raleigh/Durham, NC, Detroit, MI, and Washington, DC. I'm happy to call Richmond my new home and love having the opportunity to go to work on this city's Sesame Street each day.

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Word Soup: Achieving “impact” starts with how you define it

Perhaps the best way to capture community impact is to measure against the goal(s) of the person, organization or partners who choose to act. They may support or deliver programs intended to expand mental health services, increase access to safe and affordable housing or increase participation in the arts. Results, however, are influenced by other factors such as reliable transportation, job opportunities and child care. With this level of complexity, we strive to view community impact as a coordinated effort in which multiple partners come together to define expectations, integrate services and measure progress with the full set of participant needs in mind...which leads us to the next term.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Jacki Quinlan, Sports Backers

Tell us about yourself My name is Jacki Quinlan and I am the Director of Community Outreach at Sports Backers. Armed with a B.S. in Psychology and a MEd. in School Counseling, I spent the first 11 years of my career working with individuals with disabilities in a sheltered employment program and serving youth with mental health disorders in Title 1 schools. As I moved into a management position I decided to start a run club at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School to fulfill my need to continue having a direct impact on youth. The experience of giving back through physical activity was more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined, certainly more fulfilling than my personal running accomplishments. Now I have the opportunity to support youth run clubs all over the Richmond Metropolitan Service Area and facilitate fitness programs in underserved communities to combat the health inequities that exist in our region. I was born and raised in Richmond so it is a dream come true to work for a nonprofit that serves my hometown. This position allows me to combine my passion for active living with my program management experience while giving me the opportunity to improve the health and wellness of the communities I care so much about.

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ConnectVA Spotlight: Kathy Perun, St. Joseph’s Villa

Tell us about yourself My name is Kathy Perun, and I am honored to serve as the Director of Community Engagement at St. Joseph’s Villa. I have over 25 years of experience in volunteer engagement and human resources management. For the past four years I have been engaging the community with programs at the Villa that change the lives of children and their families. In addition, I teach nonprofit classes through The Community Foundation. I love teaching and coaching others that have a passion for volunteers and the nonprofit community. Since 2003, I have been Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) through the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA) credentialing program. I am a long-standing member of the Greater Richmond Association for Volunteer Administration (GRAVA) and past-president of the board of directors.

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Event Recap: Building Strong, Strategic, Sustainable Nonprofits.

Do you know that moment when you have a sense of a concept, but then someone comes along and clarifies it with a spot-on phrase or illustration? You think, “A-ha, if only I had thought of it this way.” Last week, many local nonprofits had that moment while listening to guest speaker Steve Zimmerman, co-author of Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, who shared insights into managing the sustainability of nonprofits.

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ConnectVa Spotlight: Betsy Bilharz, Virginia Mentoring Partnership

Tell us about yourself. My name is Betsy Bilharz and I am part of the Program Services Team for Virginia Mentoring Partnership, a state-wide nonprofit organization that supports mentors and mentoring programs by providing training, consulting, and capacity-building services to enhance the quality of mentoring programming and relationships. Having received my bachelor’s degree in economics and data analysis from Hamilton College and, more recently, a master’s degree in public administration, program and policy analysis from VCU, I have always been interested in working with volunteer and community organizations to apply an analytical and research-based lens to nonprofit practices. I was drawn to VMP’s work promoting evidence-based quality standards to maximize impact in the mentoring field.

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