The city of Richmond’s natural, winsome landscape may grow on trees, but to keep it functioning like a well-oiled machine, that requires a whole lot of helping hands, many of them coming from volunteers. Selfless acts are something Americans specialize in, with an average of 25% of citizens volunteering to help various organizations each year, according to the Corporation for National Community Service. Additionally, an annual average of 60% of citizens go out of their way to assist their neighbors.
Despite its sizeable population, totaling over 200,000 residents, Richmond is one great big community, chockfull of volunteer opportunities where they or you can give back. The following are a few ways to contribute toward making the city such a great place to live:
1. ‘Light the candles’ with Celebrate! RVA
Who doesn’t enjoy a good, old-fashioned celebration? The fine people that represent Celebrate! RVA surely love it, and take part in fun festivities regularly on behalf of needy families. Celebrate! RVA is a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged children in the city do what all kids rightly deserve to “ring in” annually – their birthdays. Whether it’s through a monetary donation or getting involved with the non-profit’s various year-round activities, you can bring smiling faces and full stomachs to children of all ages with the traditional birthday fixings of cake and ice cream.
2. Bring the American dream ‘home’ to families
For more than 40 years, non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity has been making homeowning dreams come true for poverty-stricken families throughout the world. Buying a house may be a worthwhile pursuit, but for those who come from humble backgrounds, it’s not always possible due to economic constraints. Habitat has been building and providing affordable homes in the Richmond area since it first launched here back in 1986, with more than 34,000 Richmonders volunteering their time and effort in the process. From serving on committees to working at construction sites, Habitat for Humanity has a job for you. Check out their website to learn more.
3. Serve at Maymont
Maymont Mansion might very well be the crowning jewel of Richmond. The magnificent manor was originally owned by James and Sallie Dooley, who bequeathed their not-so-humble abode to the city of Richmond in 1925, after Maymont’s matriarch passed away. The Maymont Foundation has owned and operated the sprawling, 100-acre area since 1975 and has a done a fine job in making it the tourist attraction that it is today.
However, with operations at Maymont costing in excess of $3.5 million annually, its upkeep doesn’t come cheap. In addition to a monetary donation, you can support Maymont by giving up some of your time. Here’s a list of upcoming activities that you might be interested in, including those available all-year long. We here at Elephant Auto Insurance have taken part in volunteer opportunities at Maymont and truly consider it a privilege. We look forward to many more.
4. Contribute to Richmond’s beautification
Perhaps you’re new to Richmond and have a particular fondness for the great outdoors. Look no further than Richmond’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Every season represents a great time to give back, but it’s particularly enjoyable in the summer when the weather is nice and warm and the sun is shining bright. Check out the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ website for what’s available. Opportunities include serving as an environmental aide, gallery attendant, park maintenance painter, recreation leader, and trail worker, among others.
5. Richmond Bacon Festival
Richmonders are unabashed fans of bacon – those tasty, crispy strips of meat that make just about everything taste a little bit better. The annual Richmond Bacon Festival is just around the corner, but this year’s is a bit different, because its typical gathering site – Shockoe Bottom – is under construction. So there are more volunteer opportunities than usual this time at its temporary location on 1615 East Broad Street. Check out The Enrichmond Foundation’s website for more specifics on how you can contribute to the Bacon Festival extravaganza, held on June 18 from noon to 5 p.m.
There’s no greater way to show your love for Richmond than by volunteering. Be sure to check out Richmond’s official homepage for more opportunities taking place throughout the year!