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Virginia Volunteer: A newsletter for the service community
Virginia Office on Volunteerism & Community Service | December, 2015
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In This Issue

Funding & Grant Opportunities

Farmers Insurance Corporate Contributions Program

Gibson Foundation Grants

Haring Foundation Grants

Everyday Young Hero Award

Beyond Words: Dollar General School Library Relief Fund

More funding and grant opportunities.

Information is Good

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It's Not Too Late to Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer!

Every day, all over Virginia individuals and organizations are doing remarkable things in their communities. Students are organizing food donations and collecting coats. Churches and synagogues are reaching out to families living in poverty. Seniors are spending their retirement years serving as mentors to children and young adults. Companies are implementing groundbreaking employee volunteer programs to tackle everything from literacy to hunger. It's important that we recognize these amazing individuals and organizations by nominating them for the 2016 Virginia Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Awards. Governor McAuliffe will honor the winners at a special ceremony in April. The deadline for nominations is December 16, 2015. More.

The Office on Volunteerism and Community Service will host a special informational webinar, Friday, December 4 at 10 a.m., to answer questions and provide assistance. Get the details on this webinar.

Could AmeriCorps Be Right for Your Organization?

Is your organization looking for a way to expand service in your community and further your mission? Virginia’s AmeriCorps State Program may be a good fit and a good strategy for your organization to consider. The Virginia Service Commission’s annual Request for Proposals (RFP) is available for review. The Office on Volunteerism (OVCS) will host a series of phone calls for questions and answers over the coming weeks, also identified in the RFP. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2016.

2-1-1 Is One-Stop Resource for Assistance

The holiday season and winter months often mean an increase in the demand for services and assistance for those in need. Whether you need information on food pantries, human services, or cold weather assistance, we encourage you to visit our new and improved website at It’s the one place where you can find exactly what you need -- quickly and easily. The powerful database allows you to search by location and for specific services. Have a problem that needs a personal touch? 2-1-1 Call Specialists are available by phone 24/7. Just dial 2-1-1.

Is your organization registered on 2-1-1? The success of 2-1-1, and ultimately its impact on families and individuals, depends on the quality of information it can provide. If you are a nonprofit providing health and human services -- food, housing, clothing, medical care, equipment, counseling, etc. -- make sure your information is on 2-1-1! Update or add your information.

Virginia AmeriCorps News

MLK Day of Service Toolkit Available for Virginia AmeriCorps Programs

MLK Day of Service is January 18, 2016. Your program should already be thinking of potential service projects and ways to honor Dr. King on this national day of service. The Office on Volunteerism and Community Service as developed a special toolkit to assist your program as it plans its MLK Day activities. The toolkit features project ideas, registration information, social media marketing tools, and more. Download the toolkit now!

Special Training Opportunity: Maximizing Your Volunteer Program

Is your organization looking for ways to expand services, maximize your budget, and ultimately achieve your mission? Perhaps it’s time to examine your volunteer programming. Volunteers could be the key to your program's success! The Office on Volunteerism and Community Service has space available in upcoming Volunteer Management Training events in Wytheville (December 8-9) and Fredericksburg (December 14-15). Each training will last 1 1/2 days, beginning at 9 a.m. each day. A modest lunch will be provided. Information on locations and registration information.

VetCorps Pinning Ceremony in Tazewell Honors Veterans

Dignitaries, family, colleagues, and friends gathered to honor 38 Senior Corps volunteers from the Clinch Valley RSVP and Senior Corps programs in Tazewell at a VetCorps pinning ceremony on November 6. The event was the first of many being held this month to acknowledge the important contributions of national service volunteers who are also veterans of military service, and volunteers who are providing service to military veterans. More.

AmeriCorps VISTA Positions Available!

The Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH) is looking for AmeriCorps VISTA members to be placed in Continuums of Care (CoCs) across the Commonwealth. Members will  provide key leadership and direction to help VCEH local partners achieve greater impact for their clients experiencing homelessness. Members will complete a community assessment and work with site supervisors, agency and community leaders and VCEH to build agency and community capacity to end homelessness. The deadline to apply is December 11, 2015. For more information, contact Philip Armstrong,, 804-332-2096. Click on the VISTA position links below:

For AmeriCorps Member Carl Schwartz – Life is People

"My AmeriCorps experience began after I rejected a desk job for a major corporation. I came to the realization that I am less motivated by money and more motivated by helping people and being an agent of change. Life is people. With this in mind, I found myself interviewing for CARITAS and, in the spring of this year, I completed a 900-hour AmeriCorps term as a man of many hats in the program. Working alongside the men from The Healing Place, our beautiful mission of sheltering and restoring dignity in men, women, and families gave me direct experience with different populations of people in crisis in our community." More.

Virginia College Advising Corps Celebrates Decade of Service

On October 17, the first ten cohorts of the Virginia College Advising Corps gathered in Charlottesville to celebrate VCAC’s 10 Year Anniversary. From 14 college guides in 2005 to 532 college advisers today, more than 650,000 students have been served by the program. Over the past 10 years, VCAC’s has accomplished the following:

  • 143,093 one-on-one appointments with students
  • 11,248 meetings with parents
  • 24,711 classroom visits and workshops and 4,147 campus tours
  • 7,995 students assisted with SAT preparation
  • More.

New Initiative to Serve Rural Communities

Recognizing the need for innovative strategies for program delivery to rural communities, the White House Rural Council has launched “Rural Impact.” This initiative will address the challenge of rural child poverty by bringing together federal agencies and public and private resources. As part of this initiative, the Corporation for National and Community Service launched Serve Rural, a national effort to enlist even more volunteers and local organizations to inspire more volunteering in rural communities. More.

MLK Day of Service is January 18

"What are you doing for others?"
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by volunteering on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday (January 18, 2016) to help their neighbors and communities. What will you do to make this day not just a day off, but a day on for service? Check out these great, free resources for ideas and be sure to register your project so the whole county will know what you are doing for others.

Helpful Tax Resources for VITA Sites

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. If your organization is serving (or will serve this year) as a VITA tax prep site, there are countless resources at your disposal to help you get off the ground and be successful. More.

Nonprofit Resources

Input Needed

Funding and Grants

  • InterConnection Grants strive to connect nonprofit organizations and underserved communities around the world to the computers and technology they need. Deadline: December 15.
  • Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grants support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Deadline: December 16.
  • The Walmart Foundation seeks to award grants in the areas of hunger relief and healthy eating, sustainability, women’s economic empowerment, and/or career opportunities. Deadline: December 31.
  • More Funding and Grant Opportunities

Resources and Data

December Events & Training Opportunities

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Virginia Office on Volunteerism & Community Service
801 E. Main Street, 15th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
Toll free in VA: (800) 638-3839
Direct: (804) 726-7065

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