Coastal Virginia Magazine Giving Back Awards 2014

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CoVa Magazine Giving Back Awards 2014 Hospice House Williamsburg2. HOSPICE HOUSE AND SUPPORT CARE OF WILLIAMSBURG

4445 Powhatan Pkwy., Williamsburg. 757-253-1220.

Number of votes: 2,000

Established: 1982 as Hospice Support Care; Hospice House was built in 2002.

Mission: To enhance the quality of living for those facing end-of-life and to support those who love them.

Key people: Linda Taylor, executive director; Janet Reid, deputy director; Linda Osborn, director of patient/family volunteer services; Allison Delaney, chaplain and bereavement coordinator; Brenda Stout, director of clinical services; Bell-Jo Rodgers, nurse consultant; Hospice “Companions” (certified nursing assistants who provide hands-on care to guests); Hospice Guild of 300-plus volunteers

Programs: Respite at Hospice House and in patient’s homes with trained volunteers; home care equipment and supplies; spiritual care and support; bereavement care.

Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers range from all ages and skill sets. Volunteers can tend to gardens, write/edit publications, bake for guests, sew, speak as outreach facilitators, offer bereavement support, serve as volunteers in the home/at Hospice House/on the Board of Directors, perform musically in the house, plan events/fundraisers and assist with clerical work and maintenance tasks at the House.

What are the biggest struggles your organization faces? “All services are provided by the generosity of the community, for the community. Because there are so few hospices operating as we do, there is often confusion in the community as to how we operate. In effect, we provide the services that are not covered by the hospice benefit. As such, medical hospices often partner with us to bring their patients to Hospice House. Approximately 50 percent of our budget is made up of individual gifts, and 20 percent is from special events Hospice House organizes. In times of economic challenge, raising the dollars necessary can be a struggle. Our third greatest challenge is getting families to bring their loved ones to Hospice House or to receive hospice services while there is time to benefit from them. It is always difficult for people to step through the doors, but once they do, the burden is eased.”

What is the most rewarding part about what your non-profit does? “The moments of laughter that are allowed between family members and a loved one who may only have days remaining, knowing that we have made a bad situation the best possible experience a family can have, allowing a caretaker to return to activities that they enjoy (at ease because a patient volunteer is with their loved one) and seeing those bereaved engage in life again ... these are the greatest rewards.”


CoVa Magazine Giving Back Awards 2014 Samaritan House3. SAMARITAN HOUSE

2620 Southern Blvd., Virginia Beach. 757-631-0710.

Number of votes: 1,933

Established: Since 1984, Samaritan House has provided emergency housing, transitional housing and community outreach to victims of domestic violence and homeless families.

Mission: To foster personal safety, growth and self-sufficiency in adults and their children through freedom from domestic abuse and homelessness.

Key people: Angela Kellam, executive director; Karen Anderson, board president; Robin Gauthier, program director; Larissa Sutherland, education; Shereese Floyd-Thompson, marketing; Melissa Sutherland, grants; Brooke Briggs, major gifts; Melody Sanders and Katherine Ashford, volunteers.

Programs: Samaritan House hosts a 24-hour crisis hotline and provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, low-cost affordable housing and supportive services. Families who come into the shelter have access to case management, support groups, housing assistance and education and employment training. Their victim advocacy program helps victims prepare protective orders and accompany them to court, and their Safe Start program gives a therapeutic model for children affected by violence. In addition, Samaritan House operates Connection Point, the only 24-hour central access line for homeless people in Virginia Beach.

Volunteer opportunities: Samaritan House offers free training for volunteers to gain information about the organization and relevant issues. Some volunteer opportunities include: 24-hour crisis hotline operator, shelter grocery shopper, development and fundraising assistant, special events assistant, children’s program assistant, administrative/clerical assistant, landscaper/gardener, maintenance assistant, holiday helper and driver.

What are the biggest struggles your organization faces? “Broadening people’s perception of domestic and intimate partner violence and moving people to act. Every face of domestic violence has a story. No two stories are alike and thus no solution the same. Domestic violence is on the national stage like never before. People have a good sense of ‘awareness,’ but we encourage them to do something with that awareness that creates real-life change, whether it’s supporting Samaritan House financially, giving goods to our thrift store or volunteering. It’s good that we’re talking about it, but it’s not enough to just know violence exists. We all have a role in preventing and ending it.”

What is the most rewarding part about what your non-profit does? “Seeing the notion of “ending domestic violence” come to life, whether it’s watching a person move along the continuum from victim to survivor or bringing law enforcement, magistrates, judges, city officials and concerned advocates around the table to discuss fatalities and how to prevent them.”

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