Networking with Local Nonprofits in Central Virginia

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Hugh Ballou: This is a special edition today of The Nonprofit Exchange. I am attending a nonprofit trade show and networking event, Central Virginia Business Coalition. I’m here with Heather Alto. Heather, what’s your vision for this event today?

Heather Alto: Basically, our vision for this event, we decided to put about a community event focused on nonprofit organizations because they don’t really have the avenue to get out and do bigger business expos due to the cost. We wanted to have a one-stop shop where people could come in and learn about the nonprofits in our area. A lot of this is about awareness, but also it’s a place where people could bring donations today, whether it’s food or coats or household items. Anything like that. This is the place to do it. A one-stop area where you can learn, volunteer, and donate.

Hugh: We’ve just gotten acquainted. I’m going to go around and visit with some of the nonprofits here. Thank you, Heather.

Heather: Thank you.

Hugh: I’m going to let them tell a little bit about what they do and why they’re doing it. Here’s Tracy. Tell them who you are and what this organization is that you represent.

Tracye Dixon: I’m Tracey Dixon. I’m executive director at Lynchburg Daily Bread. Hugh is my friend from the rotary club. My real job is a soup kitchen in downtown Lynchburg. We are looking for canned sweet potatoes, green beans, and gravy for our Thanksgiving meal. If anybody would like to help with that, we would love and appreciate it.

Hugh: Tracey is a legend here. She’s very active. We happen to be in the city that’s got some of the highest poverty in the commonwealth of Virginia.

Tracey: It’s true.

Hugh: We have a lot of hungry people. She and her team and a whole lot of volunteers are very active all the time.

Tracey: Every day. We are open every day of the year. We’ll be open on Christmas because people need to eat on Christmas, too. Grateful for your support, Hugh. Thanks for being here.

Hugh: Blessings. We have people watching from all over, wondering what’s going on here.

So we’re going to go to another one. Hope for today. Help and Hope. Tell us who you are and what your organization is. This is our first time we’ve met. What is this organization, and who are you?

Sam: This is World Hope. I’m Sam.

Sarah Johnson: I’m Sarah.

Sam: And we are a humanitarian organization raising money to sponsor kids, get them education, clean water, clothing. We help build churches and schools, bring clean water to villages.

Sarah: Our biggest thing that we do is child sponsorship. People can rescue a child out of poverty and get them education, clean food, and water for $35 a month. We have children in over 20 countries. 11,000 children right now.

Hugh: How many?

Sarah: I think it’s between 10 and 11,000 children in our programs around the world.

Hugh: Around the world?

Sarah: Yes.

Hugh: We’re in central Virginia. This is Lynchburg. We are reaching out to the world. SynerVision Leadership Foundation supports charities all over the world. We support with the infrastructure of leadership development, board development, funding. I’m going around the trade show and giving you some exposure. This is a show we do every week called The Nonprofit Exchange. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Somebody somewhere will know somebody in one of your areas. Where do they find you? what’s the URL?


Hugh: Thank you for sharing. Let’s see who else is here and what they’re doing.

I talked to you all before. These couple charming ladies. Tell me about this charity. It’s really special. Claire Parker Foundation.

Bethany Egland: I’m Bethany, and I’m the director of programs and family services at the Claire Parker Foundation. We support families that have children with cancer and have partnered hospitals all across the region. We’re in 15 different ones from Tennessee to Texas, which is pretty incredible. We have different programs that we provide from the beginning of the diagnosis to the end. A bunch of different programs to keep kids occupied in the hospital and to support families through the journey financially, emotionally, and even to the end, if they end up losing a child, we have support in that areas as well.

Hugh: We have wonderful gift kits here for the children and families.

Bethany: This is their care box they get right after diagnosis. This is our birthday box to celebrate birthdays. They get a banner, a birthday pillowcase, and a gift card to Amazon.

Hugh: Where can they find Claire Parker on the Internet?

Bethany: We’re on Facebook and Instagram.

Hugh: I just captured somebody you may know also. Jessica Arrington. What’s the organization that you work with? What do you do there?

Jessica Arrington: Patrick Henry Family Services. I am the volunteer coordinator. I help with all our program ministries to make sure we have the support we need and our mission and vision stay going.  

Hugh: What do you do? Who do you do it for?

Jessica: Volunteer coordinator for Patrick Henry Family Services. I work with all the volunteers, with every program ministry.

Hugh: Tell us about Patrick Henry.

Jessica: We have several program ministries such as Save Family for Children, expanded families, Vision 30, that makes sure every child is in a safe home, in a safe environment wrapped around by the community by 2030. We believe that can happen with your help, partners, agencies, churches, and families. We also have our Hat Creek Camp and our counseling services and so much more.

Hugh: Jessica is also a friend from the local rotary. She’s been on our show before with the program Power of We.

Jessica: Power of We Lynchburg.

Hugh: Let’s go look at your banner for Patrick Henry. Who’s this person?

Jessica: This is Nicolette.

Nicolette: Nice to meet you, Facebook.

Jessica:  She works with our girls’ and boys’ homes. We have Lisa.

Hugh: What does Lisa do?

Lisa: I’m the case manager for residential care.  

Hugh: And this is Patrick Henry Family Services. They can find you online at Thank you.

Here’s Billy. Billy was on The Nonprofit Exchange recently. Billy told the story about the sports outreach. They know your story. Thank you.

Here is Humankind. Do you want to share? Tell us who you are and what Humankind is.

Tiffany Rodriguez: I am Tiffany Rodriguez. I am in the treatment foster care. Humankind has over 20 different programs. We are community outreach. Our main office is here in Lynchburg, but we also service other areas throughout Virginia. We have anywhere from counseling, treatment, foster care, community outreach. We work with kids who have autism. There is also a daycare. This is one of our new treatment foster care case workers. This is Ashley, and we are very happy to add her to our team. We are excited to be part of this opportunity as well. Thanks so much for having us.

Hugh: Where can people find Humankind online?

Tiffany: If they go to, then you’ll be able to see all of our resources that we have. If you have any specific questions, you can always email us.

Hugh: It’s a worthy work place. Thank you for sharing with us.

Why don’t you tell people who you are and what is this organization that you represent?

Sandra Bermudez: I’m Sandra Bermudez. I am representing Braley & Thompson Foster Care in central Virginia. We have over nine offices in the state of Virginia. My office is in Lynchburg. We have been in business for over 30 years in Virginia for children and families. We work with children 0-17 and provide foster families. If you are interested in becoming a foster family, you can visit us at  

Hugh: Love it. Thank you for being here today. Here’s one called Well of Grace. Who is this back here? Susan. What is this organization, and what does it do?

Susan: Well of Grace helps ladies who have had breast surgery. We help with items their insurance may not pay or does not totally cover. That could be a lymphedema sleeve, whatever they need. We help them get those items.  

Hugh: This is a lot of good people doing good work here. Where can they find Well of Grace online?

Susan: They can find it at They can also go through Absolute Perfection, who are the people who support our nonprofit.

Hugh: Thank you, Susan.

Amazement Square. I’ve been to your organization with grandchildren. Tell them who you are.

Jamie Shetley: Sure. I’m Jamie Shetley. I am the manager of donor and member relations of Amazement Square. We are here today talking about the 50% of work that we do that people don’t know about, which is outside of the museum. We are talking about sponsorships for school programs. We are talking about our new initiative, Amazing Children Smart Beginnings, which is sponsored with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We are talking about our new education center. All sorts of things going on.

Hugh: Amazement Square is in what used to be a old warehouse. One time, Lynchburg was the second wealthiest city in the country. We had a lot of tobacco and leather warehouses in town, which are now dormant. Now, there’s a bunch of new things. One of them is quite amazing. I have been there twice at least with grandchildren, which was an excuse for me to play. It’s quite an amazing thing. Sometime, Lynchburg Symphony will do something musical with you.

Jamie: Our new education center is open now. It has a huge exhibit space. It can seat over 350 people. We have the space for it. We just want people to know this space is available.

Hugh: Where can people find you online?


Hugh: Tell us who you are and what do you represent?

Susan Campbell: I’m Susan Campbell, the executive director of the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center. This is Julia and Julie. They’re both on staff at BRPC. We are a crisis pregnancy center. We help the woman who is in crisis and in need for options and counseling for unplanned pregnancy.

Hugh: A lot of important work. Where can people find you online?

Susan: We are located right next to Lynchburg General Hospital, one street over on Thompson Drive.

Hugh: Thank you. There is quite a few amazing people doing amazing stuff. This is Elise. tell them who you are and what the organization is about.

Elise Spontarelli: Elise Spontarelli with Vector Space. We are a community maker space. We have 12,000 square feet of tools: woodworking, blacksmithing, metalworking, 3D printers, laser cutters, sewing, all the tools. We do membership for adults so you can use those tools. We do safety training, and then we set you free on the tools. We do workshops to teach the tools. We do STEM education with high schoolers. Some cool projects.

Hugh: I only found out recently about maker spaces. Describe what a maker space is. It’s quite amazing.

Elise: Thank you. It’s a space for people to collaborate. A lot of folks have maybe a woodshop at home or some welding equipment or a 3D printer on their desk, but nobody has all of the tools together. Our members are everyone from engineers to fine artists. We have teachers and entrepreneurs and all sorts of folks with different backgrounds and different skills, coming together and learning together and teaching each other. A big part of our membership is member meet-ups and peer learning. Folks are teaching the skills they know and learning from other people new skills. We bring those together in cool ways. And teaching kids how to use these tools, too.

Hugh: They’re super cool. It’s part craft, part art. Where can people find Vector Space online?

Elise: We’re also on Facebook and Instagram. If they want to come out and see us, the first Friday of every month, we do an open house from 5-8pm.

Hugh: We’re in Lynchburg, Virginia. Every first Friday, it’s a happening place downtown with art galleries and the craft space and maker space is beyond that. Thank you for sharing.

Elise: Thanks, Hugh.

Hugh: That’s quite an amazing entity. Let’s find somebody who’s free. Hey, there. I’ve seen you before. But I forgot. Can you stand up and talk? She has healthy options. Everyone has sugar-loaded candy. Tell people who you are and what is it you’re doing here? What is this organization?

Jane Massey: I am Jane Massey with the Alzheimer’s Association in Central and Western Virginia. This is Ginny Simmons. Ginny serves on our walk planning committee. The Alzheimer’s Association is a nonprofit that is trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. That is basically our vision: a world without Alzheimer’s Disease.

Hugh: Say your vision.

Jane: A world without Alzheimer’s Disease.

Hugh: I was just working on vision statements for my nonprofit. It’s really hard. That is a picture: a world without Alzheimer’s. Here’s a lesson right here. A vision is a picture of what it looks like. You can say that without reading it.

Jane: Yes, I can. It’s a really important vision statement. The Alzheimer’s Association, we are the largest nonprofit organization in the world providing research. We are only #3 behind the Chinese government and the U.S. government in funding research. Our goal is to fight a cure, sustainable ways to live with the disease by 2025. We have an aggressive format going on. Our goal is to do it. We currently provide international research as well as local programs and services. One of our biggest events to raise awareness and funds is our walk to end Alzheimer’s. That’s where Ginny comes in. Ginny is our logistics chair. Want to share your experience about being on the committee?

Ginny Simpson: Sure. I have been on the committee now with the Alzheimer’s Association for probably 15+ years or so. I’ve been very involved. I don’t have a personal connection, but I professionally work with those affected with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s been a joy and a pleasure working and serving the community trying to find a cure for this terrible disease.

Hugh: There are probably walks all over the country.

Ginny: Yes, there are.

Hugh: Where can people find out more about Alzheimer’s Association?

Jane: One of the things I do want to share that a lot of people don’t realize is that the Alzheimer’s Association not only covers and manages Alzheimer’s, which is the most common form of dementia, but we cover all dementias. We have an award-winning website where you can find information about vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease because those are forms of dementia.

Hugh: If people don’t know if they have something, can they or their family go and find out?

Jane: Yes, they can go to the website. One of the things, if somebody is concerned about having some forgetfulness that is affecting your daily life, the first thing we recommend is seeing a doctor. Sometimes, it’s not Alzheimer’s. It can be something as easy as an infection, or it might be some drug interactions that are not working properly. That can cause memory issues. It’s really important to get that checked out.

Hugh: Great, thank you. Go to Easy. Thank you for your good work.

Who are you? Here is their banner. Tell us who you are. What is this organization about?

Andy Cohen: I’m Andy Cohen. I’m the executive director of Harmony Day Support. We have services for adults with disabilities all throughout the day so they can live as autonomously as we do every single day. We’re excited about the opportunity to help them grow socially, academically, athletically, spiritually, all over. We have about 9,600 individuals we serve here locally. We are in the process of implementing and adding new services daily.

Hugh: Is this a local organization?

Andy: Local.

Hugh: We’re in central Virginia. You might know somebody here. It’s Thank you.

Tell us who you are. What is this organization? Why does it exist?

Adam Pavao: My name is Adam Pavao. I am the executive director of foster care services at Impact Living Services. We exist to serve youth aging out of foster care and youth in foster care. We’re a relatively young nonprofit. Started in 2012 just in Lynchburg, Virginia to work with those kids aging out. Youth aging out of foster care have really bad outcomes. One in four are incarcerated before 21. One in five are homeless within a year. 71% of girls get pregnant before the age of 21. Less than 4% graduate from college.

We have apartments and town homes we place them in. We get connected to employment and education and teach them how to be adults. We also have a foster care program where we work with teens in foster care. That population has a hard time getting placed with families. We believe kids should be with families and kids should have connections. We work with those families to train them, to provide support to them to make sure those kids and teens are in the home. We have offices in Lynchburg, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, and Richmond.

Hugh: Those are Virginia cities. This is a nice banner they have. A little bit about what they do here. What is the URL for your website?

Adam: It is

Hugh: Thank you, sir.

Allison Zuba: These are some of the best nonprofit leaders in Lynchburg.

Hugh: Who are you?

Allison: I’m Allison Zuba.

Hugh: Who are you?

Linda Bright: I’m Linda Bright, the program manager for Bedford Ride.

Vicky Craig: I’m Vicky Craig, the public relations coordinator for the Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living, your area agency on aging.

Hugh: Whoa, my peer group.

Allison: I’m Allison Zuba. I’m the executive director at the Adult Care Center, the best place to spend your day in Lynchburg.

Hugh: Adult Care Center. Do you all work together? Or I just happened to catch you together.

Allison: We don’t get to work together a lot, but we certainly support each other’s organizations.

Hugh: Tell us about Adult Care Center. Tell us about CVACL.

Allison: The Adult Care Center has folks who need a little extra help and still want to live at home, but have a great place to be during the day. Folks come to us Monday through Friday, play games, have great food, and enjoy themselves immensely. Laughter is the key to the day here.

Hugh: My wife might be calling you. Tell us about this organization.

Linda: Bedford Ride, we are a program of the Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living. We do non-emergency medical training and transportation for Bedford residents who are unable to drive. All of our drivers are carefully vetted volunteers. We have over 90 volunteers, 20 wheelchair accessible vans, and five cars.

Hugh: We are in central Virginia. Bedford is the next town over. Look at this. Be a Santa to a Senior.

Vicky: Right now, at the Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living, we are doing a Be a Santa to a Senior program. That is when we provide Christmas presents for our clients and others throughout the area. We do need people to come and take our tags. This is how we provide Christmas to seniors who otherwise wouldn’t have Christmas.

Hugh: Where can they find you online?


Hugh: And where can they find Adult Care Center?


Linda: And Bedford Ride is

Hugh: Those are places you can find these ladies.

Do you want to talk about Meals on Wheels? People have heard of Meals on Wheels but may not know much about it. Tell people who you are and what you’re representing here.

Janet Lomax: I’m Janet Lomax. I am representing on Meals on Wheels of greater Lynchburg.

Hugh: People may have heard about it, but they don’t know what Meals on Wheels is about.

Janet: Meals on Wheels delivers hot meals every day, Monday through Friday, to home-bound individuals who cannot prepare a nutritious meal for themselves or who do not have a person who can prepare nutritious meals for them. This Meals on Wheels delivers those meals for them, filling the gap for them.

Hugh: We do have a pretty large need. We have a segment under the poverty line in Lynchburg, don’t we?

Janet: Yes, we do.

Hugh: Where can people find you online?

Janet: They can to go

Hugh: Thank you for standing up and telling your story. Let’s see who I haven’t interviewed yet. Tell people who you are and what’s this organization you’re representing.

Teresa: Thank you so much. I’m Teresa Davis. I’m the communications director at Gleaning for the World. We are located in Concord, Virginia. We focus on disaster relief and humanitarian aid locally here in Central Virginia, and nationally and internationally as well.

Hugh: Gleaning for the World. What is it about? What do you do?

Teresa: Our mission statement is to share the love of God at home and around the world. That’s what we’re doing. We’re sharing God’s love by meeting tangible needs to people in need.

Hugh: Like what? Give me an instance.

Teresa: For example, right now, we have a truck on the way to California to help the people staying in shelters because of the Kincaid wildfire. This morning, they are back at the warehouse loading a truck headed to Jordan to bring clothes and basic materials to the refugees there.

Hugh: Wow. Where can people find you online?


Hugh: Thank you for sharing your story.

What are you doing here? Connect Networking Group. Who are you, and what is this organization?

Elizabeth Snyder: I’m Elizabeth Snyder. I am with the Connect Lynchburg Group. I like to say we are the Angie’s List of Lynchburg because we have our businesses that we refer each other out and we do networking. The reason why we’re here today is we also do a lot of work in the community. That’s part of being a member of Connect. We do community work.

Hugh: Love it. Where can people find you online?

Elizabeth: We have a website. We’re on Facebook. Our web URL is

Hugh: I think I’ve made the rounds. Thank you for coming by! Tell others the story of some of these great nonprofits and what they’re doing.

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