In 2015, there were over 2,000 nonprofits in Hampton Roads, according to Old Dominion University’s Economic Forecasting Project.
Those nonprofits support everything from the arts to animals, from the environment to people, and cannot operate without support from people in the community, like you.
We have put this list of some of the local non-profits you might want to support, in association with our promotional partner, Atlantic Bay Cares’ Second Annual Volunteer Fair, which is taking place Tuesday, September 12. We hope that this article, and the fair, help you find your cause.
The Prime Plus Norfolk Senior Center commits itself to supporting the needs of people over 50 in Hampton Roads through active programming. Fitness classes, social luncheons, volunteerism, and art festivals — all tailored for seniors — present a rich assortment of activities to keep them busy and engaged with the community. Volunteer your time with them, and contribute to the betterment of another generation.
The Ability Center of Virginia (formerly Cerebral Palsy of Virginia) seeks to foster independence and increased quality of life among those with intellectual and physical disabilities and their families. Through social and recreation classes, art therapy, summer camps, and support groups, the Ability Center strives to uplift those who need a hand. They have been meeting challenges and supporting the community since 1984, so make a donation today, or volunteer your time towards one of their many worthy programs.
Children’s Health Investment Project of Hampton Roads (CHIP) has been building a health community through the development of healthy kids since 1988. CHIP assists low-income families with medical supplies and other resources for the home. CHIP provides screenings for health risk factors, which aim for early prevention to administer the appropriate needs of families in Hampton Roads. Donate today to help fund their campaign for a better tomorrow.
Nonprofits like the Samaritan House support other constituencies in our community with basic necessities. The Samaritan House fosters personal safety and self sufficiency to adults and children who have experienced homelessness, sexual abuse, or domestic violence. For over 30 years, this Virginia Beach-based organization has provided transitional housing, counseling services, and emergency care to those experiencing trauma. According to the Samaritan House website, children comprise 65% of those served by the organization; their youth programs aim to build safe environments, increase confidence, and improve academic performances in an effort to provide a world free of violence and homelessness. The Samaritan House is the largest emergency housing provider in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and does not take on that responsibility alone. Organizations like this require community support, so contact Samaritan House to pledge your time or make a donation.
Some Hampton Roads nonprofits sometimes benefit the community by advocating for our best friends: animals! The Norfolk SPCA is a no-kill shelter dedicated to finding homes for as many little critters as possible. Through their adoption center, foster programs, spay and neuter services, and pet training programs, the Norfolk SPCA has been cultivating a culture of responsible pet ownership for over 125 years. They’re one of the oldest animal welfare organizations in the country, and they’re always accepting volunteers and pro-bono work from business owners. Take paws, and then check out all the ways you can get involved right meow.
Teens with a Purpose (TWP) is another nonprofit that engages young people in the cultivation of their strengths and talents. This includes programming on HIV awareness, peer education, safe driving, concerts and performances, as well as discussion groups focused on social connection and positive character development. If you are interested in sponsoring TWP, would like to donate, volunteer your time, or if you are a young person looking to spread your wings, reach out to the organization and be a part of their solution.
The arts are an increasing source of pride for the cities of Hampton Roads, and for the last 13 years, Tidewater Arts Outreach (TAO) has been delivering the arts to those with limited access to them. Last year, TAO engaged over 275 artists to bring the visual arts, dance, music, singing, creative writing, and theater to over 5,000 program participants. These programs deliver the healing power of the arts to hospitals, shelters for homeless families and domestic abuse victims, prisons, assisted living facilities, and private homes, among other locations. Artists are compensated, and TAO has even created training workshops to share its most effective engagement techniques. Reach out to TAO if you would like to get involved as an artist, program host, sponsor, or volunteer.
WHRO Public Media in Norfolk delivers the arts through more ephemeral means: the airwaves. The local affiliate for National Public Radio and Public Broadcast System delivers nation-wide programs of those parents organizations and much more. WHRO is also the impresario of classical music open-mic nights, the headquarters of Hampton Roads Pride, producers of the Pandora’s box of local music shows, Out of the Box, along with original documentaries, local talk shows, news, jazz and ragtime programming, and the list goes on. Want to support their programming? Donate to the organization, or sign up to volunteer today.
An Achievable Dream (AAD) is another nonprofit striving to mold the next generation of children in Hampton Roads. Through partnerships with the Newport News and Virginia Beach Public School Systems, AAD uses a “comprehensive SAME (social, academic, and moral education) curriculum” in the cultivation of supportive and challenging learning environments. With AAD participants achieving a 100% on-time graduation rate (with 95% of them going to college and 5% joining the military), the results of this program are astounding. If only all public school systems consisted of AAD initiatives. The programs are supported by teachers, parents, city governments, public school systems, local businesses, and branches of the U.S. Military, among other donors. AAD only exists because of the generosity of Hampton Roads, so please visit their site, and consider lending your support.
The objectives of Hampton Roads’ nonprofit organizations are quite varied, whether it’s eliminating violence or eliminating pollution. The Elizabeth River Project has been cleaning the main artery of our region since 1993, removing polluted sediments, restoring wetlands, partnering with businesses, and educating the masses in its cleanup of the Elizabeth River. Their Learning Barge is the world’s first floating wetlands classroom, acting as a portable learning tool for both children and adults. There are a lot of ways to get involved, so if you love the environment and want to help it heal, reach out and join their efforts today.
Whether it’s the arts, the environment, animals, or people, local nonprofits are usually community driven, serving the greater good in different capacities than for profit businesses. There are ample opportunities to support their varied missions, but if you’d like to have an in-person chat with leaders from local nonprofits, visit Atlantic Bay Cares’ Second Annual Volunteer Fair in Virginia. Representatives from some of the organizations mentioned here will be attending the fair to answer any questions you may have about their undertakings. It will be a great way to connect and learn more about these integral institutions that enhance the quality of life in Hampton Roads for so many.
About the Sponsor of this Post:
Founded in 1997, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group® is a privately-owned mortgage lender headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with nearly 1,000 employees and over 130 locations throughout nine states. With more than 100,000 homeowners helped to date, Atlantic Bay has been recognized as a Top 100 Mortgage Company in America, Best Mortgage Company, Most Enjoyable Place to Work, and an Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company. Through our AB Cares philanthropy program, we have donated more than $2 million to charities and participated in numerous events that promote the passions of our customers, employees, and neighbors. A significant part of Atlantic Bay’s culture is giving back to our communities. We believe that it’s never just about business; it’s about caring for the individuals and families we serve. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group L.L.C. NMLS# 72043 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) is an Equal Opportunity Lender. www.atlanticbay.com