Helping from the Heart: 2021 Giving Back Awards

The 2021 Giving Back Awards, shining a spotlight on nonprofit organizations and businesses that make a profound impact on our Coastal Virginia community

Intro By Leona Baker

Coastal Virginia Magazine’s annual Giving Back Awards are designed to honor the region’s outstanding nonprofit organizations and businesses* that transform our communities and enrich the lives of others in a variety of ways with charitable or cultural missions or through partnerships and programs.

This year’s honorees were selected by our Coastal Virginia Magazine team as well as guest judges from local community organizations including Stephanie Smaglo, Chief Marketing Officer for Virginia Wesleyan University, and Amasa Smith, Director of Programming and Communications for the Civic Leadership Institute.

Honorees were determined based on nominations submitted by either representatives of the organizations or a person familiar with their work. Considerations for selection included the strength of the organization’s mission and contribution to the community, but the final list also reflects an effort to represent the diversity and breadth of the nonprofit organizations and businesses that give back in our region.

The 10 exceptional nonprofit organizations and 10 community-focused businesses featured in the following pages represent a wide range of visions but share a common goal in improving lives and enhancing the experiences of everyone who calls our region home. Congratulations to our honorees and thank you for all you do to make Coastal Virginia healthier, happier and more hopeful.

*Businesses were previously recognized as a part of the Community Impact Awards, now part of the Giving Back Awards

2021 Nonprofit of the Year: Mutts With a Mission

“A trained service dog is the best medicine for individuals with deep invisible wounds. It’s an opportunity not to survive, but to live. Without Mutts With A Mission, my obituary would have been written years ago.” – Cheryl Caves, U.S. Army Veteran and Mutts With A Mission graduate

“I would come home every night and think to myself, ‘There has to be something I can do’,” remembers Brooke Corson, an Army veteran and longtime dog trainer. She solidified her solution in 2008 by establishing Mutts With A Mission—a nonprofit dedicated to providing highly skilled service dogs to veterans, wounded warriors, law enforcement officers, first responders and federal agents injured or disabled in the line of duty. Corson’s service dogs assist not only the physically maimed but the mentally and emotionally scarred as well.

“I started this organization mainly because I kept losing friends,” says Corson, who previously witnessed high suicide rates among her fellow drill sergeants stationed at Fort Benning. According to Corson, many fell victim to post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, both of which went largely untreated or were alleviated only through medication and counseling services. Corson, who touts extensive experience in the dog training arena, zeroed in on the potential benefits service animals could offer wounded veterans. The research proved largely unchartered in the early 2000s, but based on service members’ response to Corson’s puppy, Angus, on the Georgia base, she was confident dogs could have a positive impact on healing the soul.

Read their full article.

MuttsWithAMission.org

757-465-1033


2021 Nonprofit Winners

Written and compiled by Grace Silipigni

Judeo-Christian Outreach Center

Breaking the Cycle

“Timothy had been homeless for over 35 years. This changed on June 25 when [our] housing support specialists helped him move into a one-bedroom apartment. Besides a few unstable housing experiences, this is Timothy’s very first place of his own.”

Rounding out its 35th year, the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center reflects on its decades-long mission of supporting the region’s homeless population with housing programs, educational and job training components. JCOC operates the only year-round singles’ shelter in Virginia Beach and provides several housing options to those in need including Rapid Rehousing, Day Support, Emergency Housing, Veterans Transitional Housing and Permanent Transitional Housing. JCOC feeds the homeless too through its Food Pantry, Family Food Box and Community Dinner programs.

How They Are Making a Difference

  • JCOC provided 54,822 meals to people in need during the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
  • Last year, over 200 of the nearly 770 individuals served through JCOC’s housing programs transitioned into permanent housing.
  • JCOC pivoted its operations to surpass the challenges presented by COVID and remained on the frontlines every single day throughout the pandemic because as Ward says, “hunger never stops.”
  • Community Dinner volunteers prepare, cook and package meals for dozens of Dining Hall visitors seven nights a week. 

What You Can Do to Help

The Judeo-Christian Outreach center always seeks volunteers for its Community Dinner and Food Pantry programs. The organization is also in need of monetary donations or contributions to its online wishlist asking for toiletries, household items, non-perishable foods, furniture and more.

Learn more at JCOC.org.

Wesley Community Service Center

Uplift the Underserved

“I love the Wesley Center; it has been part of the community for nearly all 51 years of my life. It is a resource center. [More] importantly, it educates, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, helps [others] financially. It is hard to acknowledge the center without recognizing the people that run it too.”

Portsmouth’s Wesley Community Service Center boasts nearly nine decades of advocating for the poor and powerless in the city’s Southside communities. Its Wraparound Services Program strives to eliminate the social, racial and economic barriers experienced by its participants and aims instead to empower individuals and improve their quality of life. WCSC searches for both immediate and long-term solutions to the unmet needs of Portsmouth’s underserved populations through numerous programs including food distribution, mental health services, community clothes closet, city jail ministry and more.

How They Are Making a Difference

  • WCSC reaches 25 at-risk children every summer through a three-week STEM and Reading Camp. Virtual Tutoring is offered to over 100 students who lack support in their educational and home settings too.
  • WSCS partners with the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and The Eastern Shore to feed over 600 people per month through Meals on Wheels and other emergency food services.
  • The organization introduced two new programs in 2021 including a City Jail Ministry with Portsmouth City Jail and a GED Preparation Program for those who did not finish high school.
  • WSCS provides mental health services through its partnership with Life’s Journey.

What You Can Do to Help

As the Wesley Community Service Center expands its Virtual Tutoring Program, the Portsmouth-based nonprofit anticipates hiring additional licensed teachers to assist in the online services offered to hundreds of underserved students including homework assistance, resource connection and educational support.

Learn more at Wesley-Community-Service-Center.business.sit.

PingPong.GIVES Charity Foundation

Train Your Brain

“Everyone can play ping pong, and the game is our platform providing the means to help a disparate group of nonprofits that are focused on some type of brain-related function.”

Pingpong PicCross-train your brain. Play ping-pong. Who knew engaging in recreational table tennis could curb cognitive decline and combat debilitating mental illnesses? The PingPong.GIVES Charity Foundation is determined to raise awareness and funding for both Brain Fitness and Mental Health through the famous, tennis-like past-time. The charity is 100% volunteer-based and realizes its mission by integrating table tennis programs into schools, retirement homes and the like. Its outreach programs include educational presentations, multi-school Battle of the Paddles, mental health advocacy and national events as far south as Alabama.

How They Are Making a Difference

  • GIVES launched the Table Tennis Sports and Education Program at 15 local schools, both public and private.
  • They donated nearly $467,000 to six charity partners: Alzheimer’s Association, Vanguard Landing, People in Need, Parkinson’s Association, EVMS Glennan Center and Camp Grom.
  • Continuing their charitable efforts during COVID, GIVES introduced an online Holiday Auction and Hospitality Worker Relief Fund that provided displaced workers with grocery store gift cards.
  • Their Brain Fitness programs were introduced to more than 24 senior and retirement communities to combat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia, Depression and other intellectual and emotional challenges.

What You Can Do to Help

Donations make it possible for PingPong.GIVES to continue its mission of combating mental challenges with recreational fun. Donations are welcomed online as one-time payments, or reoccurring contributions on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

Learn more at PingPong.Gives.

Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula

Virginia: Kids First

“The resources we received from [Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula] helped us physically expand our space and to create innovative and interactive ways to work with new materials in interest centers so students may become more investigative, engaged and involved in their personal learning and development.”

Outdoor Learning Sites VolunteersEstablished in 2005, Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula is one of only 17 school readiness coalitions in the Commonwealth. The local nonprofit identifies unmet needs and gaps in service in early childhood systems then strategically designs and implements solutions to such deficiencies to ensure success in the lives of the Greater Peninsula’s youngest residents. The most common challenges SBVP helps children, brith to age five, and their families overcome include lack of affordable housing, economic problems, high childcare costs and food insecurity. To enrich all facets of children’s lives, SBVP partners with an array of organizations from health and social services to medical communities, faith communities and childcare providers.

How They Are Making a Difference

  • SBVP’s primary goal is to assist working families in locating childcare and promoting high-quality early childhood programs that are critical to a child’s development.
  • They employed Ready Network for Family Child Care and Ready Regions for School-Age Child Care programs to stabilize the local childcare industry during the height of COVID-19.
  • Smart Beginnings awarded over 100 households with scholarships up to $3,600 to assist with home and tuition costs.
  • The organization promotes the importance of public health recommendations and immunizations for individuals closely involved with childcare settings.

What You Can Do to Help

SBVP offers an array of giving opportunities to is supporters. In addition to monetary donations, the Newport News-Hampton nonprofit encourages volunteer opportunities, shopping online with Amazon SMILE, providing scholarship funds and inviting speakers to spread mission awareness at your place of work.

Learn more at SmartBeginningsVP.org.

Chesapeake Care, Inc.

Dedicated to a Healthier You

“[We] allow patients to receive the care they need without incurring the burden of heavy financial debt. We also work to address the issue of medical and dental access for vulnerable adults to decrease the number of emergency room visits and hospital re-admissions uninsured, [chronically ill] individuals experience.”

Chesapeake Care, Inc. ensures that access to health and dental care isn’t just a job-perk, but a human right. Since 1992, the Chesapeake Care Clinic has provided medical and dental services to low-income, underserved individuals in the coastal community. Their work has largely contributed to the community’s improved quality of life and has attracted hundreds volunteers from across the seven cities to achieve the organization’s goal of treating patients fully and with dignity and respect. The clinic also provides chronic disease management, speciality care and access to an on-site pharmacy that allows patients to fill prescriptions for under $5. In the event a patient requires special care outside of the $10 medical visit or $30 dental visit, he or she is referred to a volunteer licensed specialist in an array of fields including gynecology, neurology, dermatology, cardiology, orthopedics, and more.

How They Are Making a Difference

  • Last year, the clinic filled 6,281 prescriptions valued at $1.4 million. They also introduced a medication mail delivery program to send non-refrigerated prescriptions and other medical supplies to patients’ homes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Originally entirely volunteer-run, The Chesapeake Care Clinic now has 12 staff members and more than 500 licensed medical, dental and administrative volunteers.
  • The clinic launched a Remote Patient Monitoring system in response to telemedicine’s struggle to acquire accurate monitoring of a patient’s vitals, such as blood pressure.
  • Patient education is part of the clinic’s treatment plan; the nonprofit offers weekly educational clinics to discuss blood pressure, diabetes, wellness and exercise. 

What You Can Do to Help

Low patient costs are made possible by generous grants and donations to Chesapeake Care, Inc.

Learn more at ChesapeakeCare.org.

Living River Trust

This Land is Our Land

“We are a small organization that is 100% local. The work we do is local and the property we protect is local. [Each Board member] not only makes decisions on our next project impact, but also has boots on the ground implementing the mission.” 

Only 10% of land in the Elizabeth River Watershed is undeveloped. The Living River Trust is on a mission to save this remaining space and promote the long-term benefits of conservation. The trust also funds efforts to limit disruption of the river bottom and restore areas in which negative or harmful impacts have occurred. The Living River Trust has utilized conservation easements, donation of properties, land purchases and other common land acquisition tools to conserve over 600 acres in the past ten years. The trust was established in 2004 in conjunction with the Norfolk District of the Corps of Engineers and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

How They Are Making a Difference

  • Efforts made by the Living River Trust not only better the environment but carry civic benefits as well such as tax incentives for private landowners, estate tax benefits and real estate tax deductions. All are based upon strict criteria.
  • In November 2020, a rare, five-acre parcel of land along the Western Branch portion of the Elizabeth River became the first land conservation easement in Portsmouth by virtue of sisters Mary Johnston and Dr. Frances Johnston Beck. The land boasts tidal wetlands, riparian buffers and a small tidal tributary.
  • The trust recently donated 500 acres of land to Chesapeake’s Great Dismal Swamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

What You Can Do to Help

Protect our region’s undeveloped land and the endangered species that live along the Elizabeth River by donating a dollar amount of your choosing to the Living River Trust. Monetary donations are accepted online. Larger, more specified donations can be made through a formal Pledge of Support.

Learn more at LivingRiverTrust.org.

Seton Youth Shelters

A Home Away from Home

“I remember one conversation I had with my counselor, [during which] I asked why he was working at Seton part-time while working as a defense contractor full-time. He told me he wanted to be the person he needed when he was a child. For me, being a guardian ad litem is my way of ensuring I can do for others what so many have done for me.”

Since 1985, Seton Youth Center has remained a beacon for Coastal Virginia’s displaced youth. Of the over 350,000 boys and girls who have sought refuge at Seton, the majority are homeless, trafficked or on the run from unstable and often traumatizing home situations. These children—ages 9 to 18—experience an immense amount of hardship that Seton strives to mitigate by welcoming every child with love and open arms. All services—shelter, counseling, mentoring and outreach—are provided to any child in need, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, all without cost. Accessibility to safety is paramount to Seton’s mission. When the child’s home proves healthy and void of danger, Seton’s ultimate goal is to reunite the family.

How They Are Making a Difference

  • In addition to its residential shelters, the 36-year-old nonprofit supports Coastal Virginia’s vulnerable youth community by providing counseling and outreach services as well as crisis intervention.
  • Shelton Youth Centers runs Mentoring Children of Prisoners, a program designed to educate, support and empower children with incarcerated parents, caretakers or guardians.
  • The Virginia Beach nonprofit is nearing its fundraising goal to break ground on a new Boys’ House that will ultimately bring all of Seton Youth Center to one campus; a singular, central location is crucial to the shelters’ operations as it allows for proximity to local law enforcement, the FBI and Homeland Security as well as the HRT public transportation line.
  • HYPE—Helping Youth Pursue Excellence—is a program designed to introduce Coastal Virginia’s middle and high school communities to service and volunteer opportunities. 

What You Can Do to Help

Donate to Seton Youth Center’s “Building Promise” campaign to assist in the development of their single campus. The organization has currently raised $4.1 million of its $5.4 million goal. Non-monetary contributions and donations such as toiletries, groceries and clothing are welcomed too.

Learn more at SetonYouthShelters.org.

Hope House Foundation

Fostering Independence

“We believe that [citizenship] is a right that belongs to all of us. This right can only be fully enjoyed when people have as much control over their day-to-day life as possible.” 

At Hope House Foundation, homeownership and independence should be enjoyed by everyone, even individuals with disabilities. Since 1964, the foundation has remained on the frontlines of the battle for gaining rights and access to life’s most enjoyable freedoms for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The Hope House advocates for a number of rights, but most importantly, independence, community inclusion and true citizenship. It is the only organization in Virginia to focus exclusively on providing supportive living services to impaired adults in their own homes.

How They Are Making a Difference

  • Hope House fights to change the fact that funding for community-based services for disabled individuals in Virginia incentivizes institutionalization versus independence.
  • Hope House’s 250 staff members left their homes and families during the pandemic to care for foundation recipients in their respective homes.
  • The organization works to secure affordable housing opportunities through partnerships with business, government and funding entities.
  • They implement assistive technology initiatives to make independent living easier, safer and more innovative than ever before.

What You Can Do to Help

Hope House is a designated United Way charity which means in lieu of traditional donations, you can contribute to the foundation through a specified, payroll deduction program. The foundation also accepts donated gift cards and tickets to amusement parks or shows. Check out Giving Assistant too to discover ways to save and give back while you shop.

Learn more at Hope-House.org.

The Sandler Center Foundation

Pillars of Performance

“The Sandler Center Foundation did not wait, nor shut down its services during the lockdown. They carried out their mission without losing a beat. In fact, it added new program elements to keep the community engaged and provide access to arts entertainment.” 

At the heart of the Sandler Center Foundation stand three pillars – education, community outreach programs and performance underwriting. All pillars work in tandem to strengthen the local arts community and instill appreciation of the arts for generations to come. The Sandler Center Foundation educates through student matinees and digital performances, all of which are aligned with Virginia’s standards of learning. Among the community programs include the Armed Services Arts Partnership and Local Heroes Program, both of which strengthen the bond between the foundation and the community’s military ties. Lastly, the foundation partners with the Virginia Arts Festival to underwrite high-caliber performances to be enjoyed by local audiences.

How They are Making a Difference

  • The Sandler Center presents sensory-friendly performances for audience members with sensory-input disorders, autism, and other disabilities.
  • The Foundation utilizes a Giving Circle to reward grants to resident companies that call the Sandler Center their performing arts home.
  • They kept the passion for arts alive during COVID through digital initiatives like #MusicMondays, #FamilyFridays and Virtual Stage Coastal Virginia.
  • Serving over 20,000 local students, the Sandler presents matinee performances during the school year.
  • The Center offer free admission to Sandler’s resident company performances to participants of the Local Heroes Program.

 What You Can Do to Help

Support the Sandler mission by joining the Giving Circle, making an independent contribution, buying a paver or seat, or simply volunteering.

 Learn more at SandlerCenterFoundation.org.


2021 Winning Businesses

Written and Compiled by Beth Hester 

Altor Gives Back: A Division of Altor Processing Systems, Inc.

A Systematic Approach to Philanthropy

Virginia Beach

“We love that our organization can make a real difference in in our local community, and that we’re able to help people that we might never meet. It is our hope that other companies in our industry will copy our giving model and help charities in their own locales.”

In 2018, Altor, a global leader in payment processing systems officially launched Altor/50, the AltorGivesBack mission dedicated to donating half of the company’s net profits to charitable organizations like the Virginia Beach SPCA, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (Coastal Virginia), Mercy Medical Angels, the Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater, Dogs on Deployment, and Junior Achievement. Why? Because Altor believes that “you don’t need a reason to help people.” Whether customers slide, swipe or tap, every time Altor processes a payment transaction, someone receives much needed assistance.
Learn more at AltorProcessing.com.

Armada Hoffler Properties

Real Estate, Real Community Investments

Virginia Beach

“From the company’s inception in 1979, our founder, Dan Hoffler wanted volunteerism and community involvement to be an integral part of our ethos. We believe that it is our responsibility to organizations that positively impact the lives of others.”

Dan Hoffler envisioned a company that would foster a culture of caring. Given the multi-faceted real estate company’s range of charitable activities, it’s clear that his vision became reality. Via Armada Hoffler’s Outreach Committee, employees have monthly opportunities to give back to the community through partnerships with non-profit organizations, volunteerism, mentorships, product donations, and charitable contributions. In 2020 alone, employees supported organizations like the ALS Association, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, Meals on Wheels of Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach SPCA and the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. In addition to a regular slate of seasonal charity events, Armada Hoffler springs into action when there’s an emergent need: sponsoring a socially distanced blood drive during the height of the pandemic and supporting crisis counseling efforts for first responders after the 2019 Virginia Beach shooting tragedy.
Learn more at ArmadaHoffler.com.

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Caring That Extends Beyond the Courtroom

Multiple Locations in Coastal Virginia

“We’re deeply committed to supporting local educational programs that help our youth develop and succeed. It’s a privilege to give back to the communities who have so graciously supported our firm through the years. It’s our way of saying thanks.”

Since the firm was founded in 2011, Cooper Hurley employees have given of their time, talent and treasure to numerous non-profit organizations. A review of contribution records revealed that the majority of their giving supported schools and education-based initiatives which led to the creation of Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers Cares, a charitable initiative with a primary focus on youth-oriented and education-related projects and programs in Hampton Roads. Their annual Focused Driver Scholarship Program recognizes students who contribute ideas to help combat the distracted driving epidemic, and the firm regularly partners with sports teams, libraries, sororities and fraternities to engage with projects that help students flourish. Cooper Hurley volunteers often give their community involvement a more personal touch—on a recent visit to Southside STEM Academy at Campostella, attorney Griff O’Hanlon read the children’s classic Goodnight Moon to his young audience.
Learn more at CooperHurley.com.

Damuth Trane

Equipped for Giving

Chesapeake

“Civic involvement is one of Damuth Trane’s core principles. We strive use our organization’s funds, talents, and gifts to enrich our region. We consistently aim to hire people who are not just good at their jobs, but who are good people. Good people are always willing to rally behind a noble cause.

Because Damuth Trane is a professional energy services company providing building solutions to clients through the sale of HVAC equipment, controls, parts, service, and energy management systems, it’s no surprise that in addition to multiple charitable initiatives via a corporate partnership with Volunteer Hampton Roads, the company has worked with the Chesapeake Trane Parts Center to provide much-needed equipment donations to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Faith Works Coalition, THRIVE Peninsula, the local Fire Department, the Chesapeake Career Center and Eastern Shore Community College. The company takes the long view when it comes to giving, considering community involvement part of an associate’s personal growth. As a result, some employees have built decades-long volunteer relationships within their communities.
Learn more at Damuth.com.

Dragas Companies

Developing a Better Future

Virginia Beach

“The commitment to individual service is a theme that runs through our companies at all levels. Generosity is more than a workplace philosophy; it’s the natural discipline of building a better, more enduring future—one where we are all connected.” 

When the Dragas Companies think about charitable giving they ask themselves: How can we improve the lives of our fellow Hampton Roads citizens now, and for generations to come? This forward-thinking approach to philanthropy stems in part from experiences in co-founder George Dragas’ early life that instilled in him a deep empathy for others. For 53 years, the organization has supported numerous charitable initiatives through business earnings and through a complementary family foundation created several decades ago. From a hallmark $1.5 million donation to help communities fight the growing issue of homelessness, to projects that support educational programs, Dragas Companies’ giving programs are designed to help communities prosper and create level playing fields of opportunity for others.
Learn more at Dragas.com.

Premier Millwork and Lumber Company

Little Desks Making a Big Difference

Virginia Beach

“Giving back means contributing our time and talent to make a difference in the lives of others and in our communities. Where others see insurmountable obstacles, we see opportunities to help.”

Company Vice President George Melnyk and his wife Kim are lifelong community volunteers who’ve been involved in a number of worthy causes. But when the pandemic hit, forcing thousands of local children to learn remotely, they deployed their company’s custom millworking expertise and their equipment in the service of others. Through a serendipitous partnership with CHIP of South Hampton Roads, the company initially committed to the manufacture of 220 custom, collapsible desks of their own design so that underserved families with children could have dedicated space to study during their remote school sessions. A number of local and national media outlets caught wind of the initiative and it became something of a phenomenon. What originally began as a “little desk project” evolved into a much larger campaign driven by overwhelming need. It entailed countless hours of volunteer labor donated by the generous employees of Premier Millwork and by community helpers. The project was featured in the “Desks for Success” episode of Mark Rowe’s Returning the Favor program. To date, well over 2,000 desks have been donated to families across the area through the CHIP/Premier Millwork partnership.
Learn more at PremierMillwork.com.

The Law Firm of Charlene A. Morring, PC

The Practice of Giving

Norfolk & Newport News

“We’re focused on building and sustaining long-term relationships with the community while supporting the growth of the organizations with which we partner. Our perspective is inclusive; we aim to celebrate, support, and uplift our diverse clientele.”

Through mentorships, charitable giving, volunteerism and partnerships with non-profits, the range of community-minded initiatives supported by the firm reflects the inclusivity that founder Charlene Morring champions. The firm was a proud sponsor of the United Negro College Fund’s 2020 and 2021 Mayor’s Masked Ball, an event that raises thousands of dollars in support of initiatives that empower deserving students to earn college degrees. The firm partnered with ForKids to sponsor their annual Silent Art Auction, volunteered and provided mentorship for women in O.D.U.’s Women’s Initiative Network. It was also a sponsor of Hispanic Heritage Month for WAVY 10’s TV and online incarnations and coordinated a 400-person Free Food Truck Luncheon to celebrate the Juneteenth Holiday and educate the community about the holiday’s significance and history.

Learn more at MorringLaw.com.

TowneBank

Banking on the Future

Portsmouth

“When TowneBank opened its doors in 1999, our goal was to be a great local bank that would enhance the quality of life in the communities we serve.”

Of TowneBank’s outreach efforts, Chairman Bob Aston recently weighed in: “Enriching communities that the organization serves is not only a civic responsibility—it’s a moral obligation to be able to improve the quality of life for those who have warmly welcomed TowneBank into their communities.” This sense of philanthropic responsibility and volunteerism has been an organic part of the institution’s culture from day one. It’s expressed through thousands of volunteer hours, millions of dollars invested in non-profit initiatives, and in local lending that has helped businesses grow, provide jobs, and fuel the economy. In 2001, The TowneBank Foundation was formed to help provide charitable grants and donations to well over two hundred non-profits throughout the community. The Foundation hosts two major annual events: the Charity Golf Tournament, and the Fall Extravaganza. Since their inception, these popular events have raised millions of dollars for worthy organizations. We’ll bank on that.
Learn more at TowneBank.com.

Wagner Macula & Retina Center

A Brighter Vision for the Community

Multiple Locations in Coastal Virginia

“Since our company’s founding we’ve given back to the community through volunteerism, and by providing millions of dollars in free eye care for people who’ve been traditionally underserved. Every person deserves to receive the sight-saving medical interventions that they need. We’ll always do our best to meet our community members where they are so we can build a better future together.”

When vaccines became available to fight COVID-19, Wagner Macula & Retina Center staff and volunteers helped create a vaccine clinic in an a historically underserved area. Over 2,000 shots were administered. But since the practice specializes in the treatment diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, eye tumors and the diagnosis of complex eye diseases, they decided to utilize the vaccine clinic as an opportunity to give free diabetic eye screenings to at-risk members of the community. These exams were able to identify ocular problems that could lead to blindness if not resolved. Since then, the practice has taken their show on the road, continuing to administer mobile eye screenings at community centers, churches and health-related events.

Learn more at WagnerRetina.com.

Virginia Beer Company

Generosity is Always on Tap

Williamsburg

“BEER · PEOPLE · PURPOSE is not just a random phrase we print on the cans of the beverage we produce; those three words are our business mantra. As our business grows, so does our support of local and national causes.”

From the staff’s snazzy Pride flag t-shirts emblematic of the brewery’s commitment to diversity, to the many philanthropic events the brewery hosts, and the long-lasting relationships being forged with multiple non-profits, the company is living out its mission to be a force for good. Since their first year in business, they have given thousands of dollars in donations and in-kind gifts to charitable causes annually. Traditionally, Virginia Beer Company teams have hosted innovative fundraising events in their taproom with non-profit partners. Though the pandemic put a halt to in-person events, in 2020 the brewery invented ways to support charitable organizations and causes from afar with a variety of targeted beer releases, each tied to supporting causes like the Williamsburg Community Foundation, Media Mentors, Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg, Keep Virginia Beautiful, Inc. and Friends of Dorothy. Cheers!
Learn more at VirginiaBeerCo.com.

Categories: Issue Page Features