Pouches' Community Corner

Hope House

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness estimates that one-third of homeless people are families with children. Of this number, 59 percent are children under the age of 18. Oftentimes, it is difficult for these families to obtain basic necessities, such as shelter, financial resources and nutrition. This is where Hope House comes in.

Hope HouseFounded in 1987, Loisann’s Hope House is a program that seeks to end the cycle of homelessness in the Rappahannock area and move children and their families to permanent housing. The program is designed to help families in need by providing them educational opportunities and support services, including intensive case management, employment training, life skills courses, and more.

Since it first opened its doors, Hope House has made a significant impact on its community:

  • 199 adults and children have received services, including group sessions, individual counseling, intervention, safe shelter and therapy.
  • 11,770 safe shelter nights have been provided, with families spending an average of 110 nights in shelter.
  • 95 percent of families have remained in housing after completing the program.
  • 5,152 counseling and therapy hours have been provided, in accordance with comprehensive assessments for families.

Hope House serves the city of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford.

Want to learn more? Visit loisannshopehouse.org or call (540) 371-0831.

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The Table at St. George’s

The Table at St. George’s is a market-style food pantry serving the extended local community. Visitors are invited to select their own items from a variety of fresh food, including locally grown produce. The Table’s mission is to encourage healthy eating, build relationships with those in need, and blur the lines between those serving and those being served.

Here’s how the Table is unique:

  • Visitors “shop” for their own food; nothing is designated for them.
  • Fresh produce is kept in stock from local farms.
  • Visitors can come weekly.
  • Many who have started as shoppers now volunteer.
  • The Table partners with local agencies to ensure that shoppers have the most accurate nutritional information on the food they’re getting.

The Table is one of the latest in a long line of ministries at St. George’s Episcopal Church. Since the church’s foundation in 1720, it has served its local community, founding and supporting local facilities. Food for The Table at St. George’s is provided by members of the congregation, local businesses and people in the community. The church also purchases food from the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank.

The Table operates out of the church’s Sydnor Hall on Tuesdays from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Areas served include Caroline, King George, Orange, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties, as well as the city of Fredericksburg.

Interested in helping the ministry? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Rappahannock Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

The Rappahannock Area Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is an advocacy center serving children in the Greater Fredericksburg area comprised of Fredericksburg City and the counties of King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford. Its mission is to advocate for and locate permanent homes for abused and neglected children who are navigating the court system.

CASA

Appointed by Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court judges, CASA volunteers are tasked with the following responsibilities:

1. Investigate abused children’s lives and report on what they need for safety and wellness.
2. Spend time talking with the children, their relatives, foster parents, social workers, teachers, and others to identify the children’s needs.
3. Provide judges’ detailed reports with recommendations about where the children can live safely, and which services may help them.

Rappahannock CASA, which has been in operation since 1990, serves over 170 area children each year. Last year, however, its caseload rose dramatically with 236 children served as of June. Based on these elevated numbers, CASA is always on the hunt for highly qualified volunteers.

The National Children’s Alliance estimates that nearly 700,000 children are abused in the United States annually. Of these children, 74.4% suffer neglect, 17.2% physical abuse and 8.4% sexual abuse. Advocacy centers work to curb these trends by preventing abuse, protecting children, holding offenders accountable and helping victims heal.

CASA volunteers are thoroughly trained in matters such as the effects of various forms abuse and neglect on families, being objective and compassionate, interviewing and report writing, the role of court officers and more. People interested in volunteering with CASA are required to complete an application, take part in an interview and complete background checks before participating in training. While the stories you’ll hear will tug on your heart, the reward is helping to change the future of a child by ensuring they go to a loving home.

Want to learn more about CASA and how to volunteer? Visit rappahannockcasa.com or call (540) 710-6199.

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Youth in Philanthropy

Youth in Phil

Young people worldwide are transforming their communities through philanthropy. The Foundation Center estimates that young people have raised over $14 million in grant money since 2001, and the number only keeps growing.

The Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program teaches young people the importance of serving their community, encourages their involvement in philanthropy and provides them the opportunity to champion causes that are important to them. According to YIP’s website, youth are taught important lessons, such as how to “demonstrate leadership, solve problems, study proposals, manage budgets, work together, and present their views to an audience of peers and adults.”

YIP boasts over five years of grant history. They have tackled and funded important social causes like domestic violence, homelessness, hospice, mental health, pregnancy, sexual assault and more. Some notable organizations they have supported include:

• disAbility Resource Center
• Germanna Community College
• Hope House
• Mental Health America of Fredericksburg
• Micah Ecumenical Ministries
• Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, and
• The Salvation Army

Every grant cycle invites 40 sophomore, junior and senior high school students from the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and the city of Fredericksburg to participate. The group meets weekly from mid-August through mid-December. Students are recommended to apply in their eighth-grade year.

For more information, visit cfrrr.org/about-us-and-our-initiatives/youth-in-philanthropy, or call (540) 373-9292.

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Young Widows' Meet Up

According to Statista there were roughly 15.1 million widows in the United States in 2018. In the same year, an estimated 844,000 children were living with a single widowed parent. This unfortunate reality shows the impact that the death of a spouse has on a family.

The Young Widow(ers) With Children Meet Up allows widows and widowers in the Fredericksburg area to come together as a community and meet in a safe environment.

“Being a young widow with children can be isolating and overwhelming,” says event leader Brianna Simpson. “When people think ‘widow,’ they think old. Unfortunately, that is just not the case for many of us.”

Simpson lost her husband in January 2019 and has been adjusting to life in Fredericksburg with her 2-year-old son. Her experiences as a widow led her to organize this recurring event to bring together parents and children affected by grief.

The meet up will occur in Kenmore Park on July 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. Families will have a chance to meet new people, take photos, play with animals from the SPCA, and enjoy snacks and drinks. There will be printed information on local grief resources at the event. RSVP is requested.

Interested in attending? Visit the official event page at https://widow-ers-with-children-meet-up-11741.eventcreate.com/ 

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