MHAC is a dedicated group of Madison House alumni whose purpose is to support and strengthen the tradition of service at Madison House and in their own communities. Formed in 2002, MHAC seeks to build a dynamic and responsive alumni organization that focuses on education, fundraising and networking.
Congratulations to our newest MHAC members and thank you for your support of Madison House!
In total, the day raised more than half a million dollars for local nonprofits, including many of Madison House’s community partners. What an amazing day of giving! Thank you especially to everyone who chose to donate to Madison House as part of Give4Good. Your support makes it possible for us to continue organizing volunteers and promote student leadership.
Recently, Madison House received a generous grant from the Lewis G. Schaeneman Foundation. The grant will go towards fulfilling the organization’s technology needs; specifically the grant will provide new computers for the programs staff, a high functioning printer for programs and communications needs and a conference phone for board meetings and alumni council teleconferences. Additionally the Schaeneman Foundation granted funds to repair the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit. The HVAC unit failed to properly operate and was in need of much needed repair. Overall, with the support of the Schaeneman Foundation, Madison House staff will be able to manage programs in a more dynamic and streamlined fashion, save costs by printing in-house, and provide repairs to the 38-year old building which is open 24/7 for student use.
The staff and students at Madison House are very thankful to the Schaeneman Foundation for their continued support of student volunteer service and leadership!
Congratulations to Michael Bugas, a Madison House volunteer with the Big Siblings Program, for receiving the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at the 2014 Valedictory Exercises at the University of Virginia!
Since 1890, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation has presented annual awards to graduating seniors, faculty, alumni and community members of 61 universities and colleges in the American South who are determined to have demonstrated notable character, integrity and service.
The awards are presented each year to two distinguished U.Va. fourth-year students – one male and one female – and a member of the University community in memory of the awards’ namesake, a New York lawyer, businessman and philanthropist.
One of the student recipients was Michael, who participated in the Big Siblings Program at Madison House. Michael became involved in every aspect of the life of his “little brother,” a Charlottesville elementary school student, going so far as to attend a parent-teacher conference “in order to ensure he was supporting his development in the most thorough and effective way possible.” Michael said he was “honored and humbled” to be selected.
The Madison House Alumni Council has recognized Geoff Johnson as the 2014 Alumni of the Year. Geoff’s dedication to Madison House and its mission since graduating from UVA in 2010 has been extraordinary.
At Madison House, Geoff served as a Program Director for Latino and Migrant Aid and volunteer for Big Siblings. In 2012, he contacted Madison House and said that he wanted to run the New York City Marathon and fundraise on its behalf. Sadly, the race was cancelled due to the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Sandy. But in the truest spirit of service and community, Geoff traveled to New York City that weekend and gave his time to help with the clean-up work for residents hit by the storm. He then chose to run the Richmond Marathon two weeks later to fulfill his racing and fundraising goals.
Undeterred by 2012’s cancellation, Geoff chose to raise the stakes in 2013 and run the New York City Marathon for Madison House and a sustainability project in the Badlands, South Dakota. He completed the race and was able to raise over $3,500 for Madison House.
Geoff currently works as an analyst with the U.S. Department of State. He is also an active member of the MH Alumni Network of DC and has volunteered at recent events with Turning the Page, DC Central Kitchen, and Lost Dog and Cat Rescue. His passion for Madison House has inspired the entire MH family and helped MH receive more media attention. If you don’t believe us, just check out this video on what energized him to run for Madison House!
We’d like to introduce Madison House’s newest staff member, Victoria Long, who joins our team as the Director of Communications. Victoria comes to Madison House from Piedmont Council for the Arts, where she was the Communications Director for two years.
Outside of the office, Victoria is the founder and co-facilitator of Charlottesville SOUP, a seasonal public dinner series that provides micro-grants for creative projects in Charlottesville. She was a 2012-2013 New City Arts Initiative artist-in-residence at the Haven, a day shelter for the homeless and very poor in Charlottesville. Previously, she completed a year of service with AmeriCorps.
Victoria is excited to promote the positive impact created by student volunteers in the community and to further the extraordinary mission of Madison House.
by Jennifer Walker, Director of Programs
The beautiful, seventy-five degree sunny weather accurately depicted how Yousaf Sajid (Director of Program Development and Engagement) and I were feeling a few weeks ago as we stood at the steps of Maury Hall greeting the new and returning Program Directors for the 2014-2015 School Year. We were happy, excited, and optimistic for a new year with our student leaders!
Each Spring, we hold the Spring Kick-off Summit. The first portion is dedicated to orienting the new Program Directors to Madison House. They learn about Madison House’s unique status of being a non-profit directly serving the University, they hear about the different relationships that make up the PD role (volunteers, Community Partners, Head Program Directors, and Madison House staff), and they learn about some of the great benefits of being a leader at Madison House.
This year’s group of new Program Directors were selected from the largest pool of applicants that we have ever seen. For the middle segment, there is a program-wide scavenger hunt around Grounds that encourages team bonding, picture taking, and fun antics. HELPLine and Holiday Sharing tied for first place, followed closely by Bridging the Gap and PLAY. The final time during the Summit is dedicated to program breakout time where each program gets to know one another, plans for the Summer and Fall, and enjoys Mellow Mushroom pizza.
We gathered one last time and reminded them the reason that we are able to serve over 3,000 volunteers and 20,000 community members with only five full-time staff members and two staff members dedicated to programs: they are the reason. Without the support and leadership from the Head Program Directors and Program Directors, Madison House could not operate in the way that it does with such a lean budget while so widely impacting UVa and the Charlottesville/Albemarle community. We are truly grateful for the enthusiasm, leadership, thoughtfulness, dedication, creativity, and commitment to service that each of our 218 HPDs and PDs bring.
We are thankful to the Parents Committee of UVa for sponsoring this leadership development event for our Program Directors!
On April 3, in conjunction with the Virginia Club of New York, the Madison House Alumni Council held a fundraising event at the 40/40 Club in New York City. University alumni came together to catch up and reminisce about their days in Charlottesville. The venue generously donated the tab for the event, meaning that all proceeds from admission fees and donations went directly to support Madison House.
Additionally, attendees purchased raffle tickets to win fantastic prizes ranging from designer accessories to U.S. Open tickets. We thank the Alumni Council and the Virginia Club of New York for this fun and successful event!
Last month, Madison House coordinated the local Charlottesville version of Cavaliers Care, a one-day service event. This year Cavaliers Care sent volunteers to over 20 sites including local schools, community nonprofits, nursing homes, daycare centers, food banks, and animal shelters with the mission to complete a much needed service to those sites. The day of service engaged over 250 student volunteers, and local alumni in a variety of service projects around the greater Charlottesville community.
There was lots of activity! At the Charlottesville SPCA, volunteers assisted in landscaping and general beautification of the dog walking trails. Volunteers at The International School of Charlottesville cleaned up the playground for spring and deep clean the classrooms. At Martha Jefferson House, volunteers led entertaining group activities with residents.
Cavaliers Care is an opportunity for students and community members to gather and support their local community. Volunteers gathered in the morning on U.Va. Grounds to meet their Site Leaders, a student leader in charge of coordinating the site, arranging transportation, and gathering breakfast, water and a t-shirt for their group.
Next, volunteers dispatched to their service sites for 3-4 hours of community service work. Finally, volunteers returned to the Dell picnic area behind McCormick Road dorms to a celebratory lunch and an opportunity to connect with volunteers from other projects. The Cavaliers Care day of service model has been extremely successful over the past decade and has seen significant growth over the years in community partners identifying project needs and with student volunteer interest and participation.
We are grateful to the U.Va Club of Charlottesville and Flow Automotive for their co-sponsorship of the event this year!