It all started in 1979 with social worker Jeri Dulin (Redman) and three local pastors—Jim Treslow, Jack Hancox and Glenn Thomas–who saw the need for emergency help and resources were limited for those in need. They formed Stafford Emergency Relief through Volunteer Efforts (SERVE). More than 40 years later, the nonprofit organization continues to encourage individuals and groups to work together to alleviate local human suffering by meeting the emergency needs of children, individuals and families in financial crisis.
SERVE promotes programs to help individuals become more self-sufficient. It serves Stafford County and portions of Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George Counties and the City of Fredericksburg.
The Food Pantry provides a monthly box of food; supplemental food from the USDA Brown Box or Food for Life programs; kid bags with easy-to-prepare snacks during summer break; and a holiday box for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.
Emergency Utility Assistance is offered through the Dominion Energy EnergyShare Program applied to the cost of heating or cooling.
The Emergency Prescription Assistance program refers clients with prescriptions to the Moss Clinic, helping to support their emergency medical needs.
Much of SERVE’s support is through the Stafford County Government, the Rappahannock United Way Community Fund and designations, the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank, The Honeywell Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation and more.
For the Thanksgiving and winter holidays, Serve will provide pre-made boxes of food for families. The main course will be either turkey or ham. For more information and eligibility, information will be provided on the SERVE website.
Monetary and food donations are welcome. Food is needed throughout the year, especially since SERVE distributes more than two and one-half tons of food every week. With AmazonSmile, you can use Amazon and earmark .05 percent of the profits to go to SERVE.
SERVE is located at 15 Upton Lane in Stafford. For more information about its various programs, the pantry schedule and to donate, call 540-288-9603, email SERVE@serve-helps.org or visit serve-helps.org.