This time of year, we like to take a moment to appreciate the efforts of our hardworking volunteers and student leaders. Starting December 13th, we’ll be presenting the Twelve Days of Madison House. Please check in with us each day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as we highlight twelve of the programs that make Madison House such an important part of the Charlottesville-Albemarle community. We’ll tag each post with #12DaysOfMH and share photos, stories, and quotes. We hope you’ll comment with your own Madison House memories.

LAMA volunteer in the pastUpdate: Last week, we asked you to give a total of $5,000 to help Madison House receive a matching gift and sponsor 50 volunteers in our Latino and Migrant Aid (LAMA) program. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have accomplished our goal! If you have given to Madison House already this year, thank you. Your gift helps to ensure that we continue to provide meaningful service to members of our community throughout the academic year.

Since 1969, Madison House volunteers have provided countless hours of service to the Charlottesville community, building lasting partnerships and developing leaders. As 2014 draws to a close, we ask you, the supporters and friends of Madison House, to help us sponsor our LAMA volunteers, secure a matching gift, and reach our year-end fundraising goals.

One of the oldest programs at Madison House is Latino and Migrant Aid (LAMA), which began with University of Virginia students traveling in groups to local orchards to tutor migrant Hispanic workers in English in the 1970s. 

Today, LAMA serves the Charlottesville-Albemarle region’s Hispanic and migrant community in three ways: Homework Helpers, Hispanic Family Night, and Adult Tutoring. As part of these efforts, 30 UVa students travel from Madison House to Red Hill Elementary School every Tuesday and Thursday night to volunteer with migrant Hispanic families. Some volunteers assist children with their homework and study skills, while other volunteers work with parents to help them learn English. This group setting combats the linguistic isolation that a migrant family might otherwise experience and provides a support system to encourage the participating children to stay in school. 
As this year draws to a close, we have set an ambitious goal: sponsor 50 LAMA volunteers. Each year, Madison House spends $200 per volunteer for recruitment, training, and recognition, so it will take $10,000 to sponsor 50 LAMA volunteers. If we can raise $5,000 by December 31st, we will receive a matching gift of $5,000. That means the impact of your gift will be doubled if you support the LAMA volunteers and Madison House before December 31st.
Our volunteers, student leaders, and community partners rely on your support. Please help us as we strive to provide our volunteers with the resources they need to continue their inspiring work in our community. Thank you for being an important part of Madison House’s past, present, and future.
To give now, please click here!

Holiday Sharing Yesterday, we asked you to show your support for our student volunteers on #GivingTuesday. We set an ambitious goal: raise $4,400 to secure a matching gift and sponsor all of our Holiday Sharing volunteers. Your gifts came early and often, and by midnight, the total was $11,670.

Thank you for sponsoring the volunteers and student leaders of Madison House. Because of your generosity, Madison House can continue to recruit, train, and support the University of Virginia students who give so much to our community every week.

Because you were so generous yesterday, your #GivingTuesday contributions sponsored not only all 47 Holiday Sharing volunteers, but also 36 volunteers in our HALO (Hoos Assisting with Life Obstacles) program, which provides volunteers to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, the Legal Aid Justice Center, Loaves & Fishes food pantry, the Haven, and more.

We are so grateful for your commitment to Madison House.

To see photos of the Holiday Sharing volunteers in action during their Distribution Day this Saturday, just Like Madison House on Facebook!

On Tuesday, December 2nd, Madison House alumni, parents, and friends from near and far will come together for Giving Tuesday. A gift in any amount is meaningful.

Madison House will have a special challenge for donors on #GivingTuesday and we need your help to meet it. 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 #GivingTuesday, then these two generous Madison House donors will give $5,000 to sponsor the remaining 25 volunteers. We can do this together!

Can’t wait for #GivingTuesday? You can give now!

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

This year, join Madison House alumni, parents, and friends around the world in celebrating Giving Tuesday and helping to support Madison House’s legacy of service among ‘Hoos. A gift in any amount is meaningful, even just $5 donated online.

You can tell everyone that you’re participating by tagging #GivingTuesday on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Please save Tuesday, December 2nd on your calendar right now and help encourage ‘Hoos today to continue to volunteer through Madison House!

The Madison House Alumni Council (MHAC) will welcome eight new members this autumn. 
The incoming 2014-2015 MHAC cohort includes Sruti Balakrishnan, Juliana Bush, Ellie Canter, Ashley Chappo, David Gogal, Brendan Hesselbein, Alison Lawrence, and Lauren Prial. 

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!

(Photo: Sanjay Suchak for UVAToday)

(Photo: Sanjay Suchak for UVAToday)

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.

Learn more about the 2014 Valedictory Exercises at the University of Virginia and Michael’s accomplishments here via UVAToday.

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!


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!

Geoff Johnson’s story began last year and we’re excited to see the next chapter unfold on November 3rd. He has chosen to combine his two loves of running and community service to make a difference in the world around him.

Geoff and his little sib, while a student at the University of Virginia

A 2010 graduate of UVA, he served as a Madison House Program Director for Latino and Migrant Aid and volunteer for Big Siblings. Geoff contacted our staff last summer and said that he wanted to run the New York City Marathon and fundraise in honor of Madison House. Sadly, because of the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, the race was canceled. But in the truest spirit of service and community, Geoff gave his time to help with the clean-up work for residents of New York City hit by the storm. He then chose to run the Richmond marathon 2 weeks later.

This tenacious young alumnus was undeterred by last year’s race cancellation and instead has chosen to raise the stakes this year and run the New York City Marathon for Madison House and the Badlands Sustainability project. He has shared entertaining updates of his training runs along the way with us ranging from running in St. Petersburg, Russia to running 16 miles from his D.C. apartment to his parent’s home in Maryland.

In addition to Madison House, Geoff is raising money for the Badland Sustainability Project.

Geoff’s final challenge to us is that we have: One Week to Choose Your Own Adventure!

“Thank you to everyone who has shown such tremendous support for my running and fundraising these past months. I am sincerely and deeply grateful, and know that Madison House and the Badlands Natural History Association are, as well! For those who would still like to share the love, don’t forget that there’s still time to choose your own adventure and support one of their three amazing causes!

Madison House Friends and Alumni, let’s gather around one of our own and help Geoff write the last chapter of his story and support his run this week! No matter where we are in the world, let’s cheer Geoff on as he runs on Saturday.


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