182 people volunteered 1104 hours in 5 days in the middle of a pandemic! Their ages ranged from 3 years old to well over 60 and they served the homeless, the food insecure, the elderly and disable, and victims of abuse. They painted, weeded, repaired sheds and porch rails, packed food, wrote notes of encouragement, and put birthday parties in a box. They served their neighbors – both literally and figuratively – and they embraced this year’s catchphrase, “Kindness starts with me.” This was our biggest BVW ever by any measure you want to choose: volunteers, volunteer hours, volunteers per day, diversity of projects, the number of first time volunteers and, most importantly, lives touched!
Many thanks to our service partners – we had a record number of locations where we served. In addition to minor repair work on 7 homes, our volunteers served at Operation Breaking Through, Newsome Park Elementary, Fear 2 Freedom, HRCAP Early Childhood Centers, The Peninsula Food Bank, LINK, The Peninsula Rescue Mission, Heart of Giving, and HRCAP Clark Center.
A special shout-out to our project coordinator, Sue Grimes, our lunch crew, led by Frederika Jones, our project leaders, and all our volunteers! In addition to the many individuals who volunteered we had groups from Summit Christian Academy, Peninsula Community Chapel, Lifehouse Church, Freedom Life Church, Ferguson International, Tabb HS Football (unofficially), and this year’s cadets from the Newport News Police Academy. Many people did a lot of small (and big) things to make a difference and show our corner of the world that kindness has not been canceled!