building_givingtohoosdayBy now, you have heard the exciting news. On Tuesday, December 2nd, University of Virginia alumni, students, parents, and friends will come together for #GivingToHoosDay. A gift in any amount is meaningful and, even better, you can designate your gift for Madison House.

Madison House will have two challenges on #GivingToHoosDay and we need your help to meet them. When you make a gift on December 2nd, designate your contribution by writing “Madison House” in the special instructions box!

First, the Madison House Alumni Council (MHAC) has pledged to match funds donated the morning of December 2nd. You can give any amount while drinking your morning cup of coffee and MHAC will match it up to a total of $1,000.

Second, two generous donors have challenged us to sponsor all 47 volunteers in our Holiday Sharing program! These students provide presents and food to brighten this season for 130 local families in partnership with the Salvation Army. Madison House spends $200 to recruit and train each volunteer, so it will take $9,400 to sponsor all of the Holiday Sharing volunteers.

If we can raise $4,400 to sponsor 22 Holiday Sharing volunteers before midnight on #GivingToHoosDay, then two generous Madison House donors will give $5,000 to sponsor the remaining 25 volunteers. We can do this together!

Can’t wait for #GivingToHoosDay? You can give now! Please remember to write “Madison House” in the special instruction box.

Giving ToHoosDayWe all know that after Thanksgiving there’s Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday – a National Day of Philanthropy.

This year, join UVa alumni, parents, and students around the world in celebrating Giving ToHoosDay (see what we did there?) with the University of Virginia on Tuesday, December 2nd.

Last year UVa and organizations like Madison House raised more than $100,000 from over 500 donors on Giving ToHoosDay and this year, we’re hoping to do even better! A gift in any amount to any area of the University (including Madison House) will be counted.

You can tell everyone that you’re participating by tagging #GivingToHoosDay on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Please save Tuesday, December 2nd on your calendar right now and help Madison House turn Giving Tuesday into Giving ToHoosDay!

CART volunteerStephanie (right) is a Charlottesville Area Riding Therapy volunteer and she is sponsored! Stephanie is a Madison House volunteer with our Recreational Therapy program which provides services and companionship to children and adults with disabilities.

She is one of the 15 UVa students sponsored through a generous $3,000 gift from Better Living Foundation.

Did you know that Madison House spends $200 to recruit and train each volunteer? A donation in that amount supports one of our 3,000 volunteers for the year. To learn more about how you can sponsor a Madison House volunteer, please click here.

HalloweenatMadisonHouse‘Hoos excited for Halloween? Madison House! Volunteers with the Big Siblings and Bridging the Gap program will be participating in UVa’s annual Trick-or-Treat on the Lawn, escorting their mentees to each of the 54 rooms along the historic Lawn.

U.Va.’s trick-or-treating tradition was begun in the 1980s by students and is open to all local community members. Children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes and take part in trick-or-treating. Candy is donated and distributed by many student groups and other organizations. Madison House volunteers and staff be helping hand out candy at Paige McDermott’s (Madison House Board of Directors co-Chair and Program Director of Bridging the Gap) room.

Additionally, Madison House will be hosting a reception in our lobby from 11:00am-12:00pm as part of UVa Family Weekend that same day. Parents and family of Madison House student volunteers are invited to stop by Madison House, say hello to staff, and enjoy snacks and beverages. We look forward to seeing everybody and we wish you a safe and happy Halloween!

Holiday Sharing in the News
Thank you to WVIR NBC29 for shining a spotlight on Madison House’s Holiday Sharing program!

Watch the video to learn more about how our volunteers will help 130 local families have a happy holiday season through what has become a tradition in Charlottesville.

Every year, Holiday Sharing partners with the Salvation Army to brighten the holidays for families in need. Holiday Sharing volunteers work to recruit sponsors who are willing to provide enough food for three full meals for the family, as well as gifts for each family member. To do so, volunteers complete various tasks including chalking and flyering, calling past sponsors, emailing groups and departments around grounds, creating thank you cards for sponsors, manning “Holiday Trees” to collect donations, and attending “Distribution Day” when families come to pick up their holiday packages!

To sponsor a family with the Holiday Sharing program, please click here to learn more about you can help.

Medical Services at Martha Jefferson
Local news affiliate WCAV CBS19 featured Madison House’s program Medical Services in a segment about the student volunteers serving at Martha Jefferson Hospital recently. You can watch the video here.

Martha Jefferson Hospital works with Madison House as a community partner and Medical Services added nearly double the number of volunteers to that program site compared to last year. CBS19 notes:

Around 150 students are spending about three hours a week volunteering in nine units throughout the hospital, from Food Services to ICU and everything in between.

Amir Tabaian has been volunteering since he was a First Year at U.Va. and is now a program director, “I’ve had a little bit of a mixed bag during my time here, but I think it’s ultimately a good thing because it’s more experiences and you get different perspectives from different people.”

“Three hours out of my week where I can brighten someone’s day and interact with people that aren’t in the U.Va. bubble. It’s great! It’s an awesome opportunity and experience,” said pre-Med student Jessica Chaoul.

The student volunteers fill water pitchers, take out patients’ food trays, answer phone calls…

“Anything really that the nurses are too busy to do, we can help out with,” said Chaoul, who is also a program director with Madison House.

Some volunteers spoke to CBS19 about how they are receiving far more than just an insider’s view of the hospital while volunteers:

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is how to connect with people who I don’t have anything in common with,” said Millikan. “I used to have a lot of trouble doing that, but I just think that if you just have a little bit of empathy, you can really realize what someone else is going through and start your connection off that and who knows what it can go to?”

“You become more aware of the little things in life and how meaningful they actually can be,” said Tabaian.

We are so proud of our University of Virginia student volunteers for their dedication to service!

Madison House Fair 2014The leaves on tree branches are changing colors and UVa students are coming in and out of Madison House every day. That’s right: the fall semester is well underway!

Volunteers with all of Madison House’s 19 programs are signed up and already at hard at work making a difference in the community. For this academic year, Madison House has increased its number of student volunteers by more than 10%.

One of the first volunteer opportunities to fill up was Pet Pals, under the Animals & Environment program, where students work with rescue dogs and cats at the Charlottesville SPCA. Latino and Migrant Aid (LAMA) and Adopt-A-Grandparent both added new program sites and recruited more volunteers. Holiday Sharing agreed to serve 20 more local families this year, so the program recruited an additional student program director and 12 more volunteers.

Medical Services added 217 volunteer spots and 7 student program directors. Students showed a lot of enthusiasm for Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope (CASH), too. The program received 272 applications for only 56 open volunteer slots to provide free tax preparation for low-income families.

Our staff hosted a Volunteer Social for all current volunteers last Thursday and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more of our new volunteers. Madison House is very excited to see the amazing impact that UVa student volunteers will make in the community this year!

by Maggie Patton, Director of Annual Fund and Alumni Relations

September is, of course, a busy month for programs at Madison House. Our volunteers and student leaders are organizing schedules and carpools, meeting new community partners, and serving the community during their first volunteer shifts of the year. But September also marks the kick-off of our fundraising season. Because Madison House is an independent non-profit organization, we rely on charitable donations and grants to fund our operations. We receive no funding from the University of Virginia.

So, what does it take to support our 3,000 weekly volunteers for an academic year?

Each year, Madison House spends about $200 per volunteer for recruitment, training, and recognition. This cost covers advisement from our professional program staff; use of the Madison House building; and expenses like background checks, gas reimbursement for carpool drivers, volunteer events, and more. Remarkably, our dedicated and generous student volunteers provide over $2.5 million worth of service to the Charlottesville community every year – or $833 worth of service per volunteer. This return on investment is made possible through our unique student-led model, which enables us to maximize our impact and best help our community partners pursue their missions.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, we ask our friends – alumni, parents, students, and community members – to consider a gift to Madison House to sponsor one or more student volunteers. A donation to Madison House is unique: your $200 will provide $833 worth of service to Charlottesville-area organizations.

On Sunday, August 24, our Board of Directors Co-Chair, Jennifer Bonenfant, gave our very first $200 sponsorship gift of the year, and today, I pledged the second. Will you join us? Become part of the history of Madison House and maximize your charitable gift. Just click “Give Now” on the upper right corner of this page. For more information, contact me at

The 2014-2015 Board of Directors of Madison House met for their annual retreat on Sunday, August 25.

The Board of Directors welcomed new community members Patricia Lampkin, Ned Parrish, and Katherine Rhyne, plus six new student members (profiled previously on the Madison House blog here).

During the retreat, Board Co-Chair Jennifer Bonenfant summarized the past year, including good news about Madison House’s fundraising and endowment. Board members then had breakout sessions with committees to outline goals for programming, fundraising, Board development, and more.

Get to know the newest community members of Madison House’s Board of Directors:

Patricia Lampkin is Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer at the University of Virginia. An adjunct professor in the Curry School of Education’s Center for the Study of Higher Education, Ms. Lampkin also teaches an undergraduate seminar on honor and ethics. She will serve on the Board’s programs committee.

Ned Parrish bring an invaluable expertise on finance, thanks to his work for Quantitative Investment Management. A graduate of the University, Mr. Parrish will serve on the Board’s fund development committee.

Katherine Rhyne retired in 2014 after 34 years of practicing law. She was a partner with King & Spalding’s Tort and Environmental Litigation Group. Ms. Rhyne is also a double ‘Hoo, having received her J.D. from the UVa Law School and her B.A. from the University. She will serve on the Board’s fund development committee.

The Madison House staff and Board of Directors are looking forward to a productive and wonderful year!

HPDRetreat_Final_blogMadison House staff led a retreat for the 2014-2015 Head Program Directors before the start of classes this week.

Head Program Directors are chosen by their peers through a competitive selection process to lead one of Madison House’s nineteen service programs. Each Head Program Director is a UVa student who has demonstrated commitment and leadership for a particular program.

During the retreat at a local park, the Head Program Directors participated in a variety of activities designed to reflect skills that they will learn this year as leaders: delegation, trust, and teamwork. They also learned about the history of Madison House.

Afterward, the group returned to Madison House to share a meal and talk about the logistics surrounding the start of the academic year and expectations for their roles. We’re excited for a fantastic year of community service with our incredible team of Head Program Directors!

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