How Virginians can help during the coronavirus pandemic

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia organizations are helping people during the pandemic and here’s how you can, too.

Nonprofits and government agencies are providing resources like free meals to Virginia families affected by COVID-19. Here are some groups looking for people who can volunteer or provide donations:

  • Backpacks of Love: This organization ensures food access to children in Powhatan, Buckingham, Cumberland, Goochland, Amelia, Henrico and Chesterfield counties. All money donated will go toward purchasing food and supplies for the students’ backpacks. The group needs canned goods and non-perishables, like Ravioli, Spaghetti O’s, Chili Beans and Peanut Butter. Donations can be dropped off at “The Backpacks of Love Pantry” located at 3035 Lower Hill Road, Powhatan. More details are available on their website.
  • Blessing Warriors RVA: Provides support for the homeless in Richmond. Donations are used to purchase food items. For more details click here.
  • Chesterfield Food Bank: Striving to end hunger, this food bank serves a variety of our neighbors, whom do not qualify for government assistance. Volunteers are needed for food prep and distribution. Donations are gladly accepted: Canned fruits, Peanut butter, Soups, Juices/Juice Boxes, Pop Tarts, Mac & Cheese and Granola Bars. You can drop of your donations here: 12211 Iron Bridge Road, Chester VA or call 804-414-8885. Visit their Facebook page for details.
  • Family Lifeline: This group partners with families and individuals, delivering intensive home and community-based services to build an equitable, resilient community where families and individuals are connected, safe, and living a healthy, meaningful life. The group is in “urgent need” of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/spray, paper towels; hand soap and exam gloves (powder free). The supplies will be used for Family Lifeline’s in-home personal care for older adults and people with disabilities. Call Amy Strite, Executive Director, at 804-833-5347 or email at astrite@familylifeline.org.  For more details click here.
  • FeedMore: Central Virgiana’s Food Bank collects, prepares and distributes food to neighborhoods in need across 34 counties and cities. Volunteers are needed to help with packing and preparing meals. More details are available on their website.
  • Jackson Ward Youth Peace Team: Ensuring food access to children in Gilpin Court in the city of Richmond, the group collects groceries for families. Donations include: bleach, gloves, spray bottles, paper towels, boxes to distribute food, peanut butter, jelly, bread, sish soap, juice, broth, cabbage and canned tuna. Donations can be dropped-off at “Stoplight Gelato” every Monday and Thursday from 1 pm-3 pm. Click here for details.
  • Ronald McDonald House: Keeping families together and close to the care they need, the Ronald McDonald House relieves financial and logistical burdens for thousands of families.  You can donate Kroger, Amazon, or Target gift cards. You can also purchase a family size frozen meal, microwavable meals or snacks–  and drop it off at the house, which is located on 2330 Monument Ave, Richmond, VA 23220. For more details email Diana@rmhc-richmond.org
  • Senior Connections: This group helps older adults maintain quality of life and independence. Volunteer opportunities include phone calls to check on older individuals and help with assembling packages. Gift cards are also helpful, so families can make purchases of necessities for their older family members. Visit their website for more details.
  • St. Thomas Food Pantry: This local pantry addresses hunger, loneliness, and neglect in our city by providing our neighbors with nutritious food, positive social interactions.  If you are interested in volunteering, contact Liz Pearce at Lizpearce3@gmail.com. For more details click here.
  • The Community Foundation: Making the Richmond region a better place with bold solutions and inspired philanthropy. The group works closely with other organizations, to share their most immediate needs while dealing with Coronavirus—from virtual volunteering to projects that ensure essential services can continue. For more details visit their website.
  • Voices for Virginia’s Children: Championing public policies that that improve the lives of Virginia’s children, this group provides support for foster care homes and foster youth at universities and colleges. Click here for details.

Special thanks to Tara Casey for creating the original list of organizations. You can find more ways to help by checking out her Facebook page, RVA Together.

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