HELPLine in 2011Madison House’s HELPLine program is incredibly thankful and humbled to be selected as the beneficiary of the 6th Will Barrow Memorial Flag Football Tournament.

On Saturday, November 8, members of the University of Virginia men’s lacrosse team hosted the Sixth Annual Will Barrow Memorial Flag Football Tournament. This event is a way for the men’s lacrosse team to make a difference in the community and to honor the remembrance of a member of the lacrosse program. Sixteen teams squared off in a flag football tournament on Lambeth Field at UVA. The teams included UVA lacrosse alumni, current members of other college programs, and members of other University organizations.

The event was created by UVA lacrosse alum Max Pomper in 2009 to celebrate Will’s life, raise awareness for suicide prevention, and raise money and awareness for the HELPLine. The event brings the University community, Charlottesville community, and college lacrosse community together to honor Will’s memory.

Will Barrow was a Virginia lacrosse captain who graduated in 2007. He was a member of the 2006 National Championship team and a leader in the University community. Tragically, Will took his own life in November 2008. Will was arguably the most talented defensive midfielder in the country during his career at UVA. He was also a highly recruited football player out of high school and the flag football tournament honors his love for the game of football.

The $4,066.84 raised from the tournament is donated in Will’s name to the HELPLine, a free, confidential resource for members of the community to call during a personal crisis. HELPLine volunteers provide callers with an empathetic ear for any issue that the caller wishes to discuss. Volunteers are trained to listen to callers with issues ranging from relationship issues to sexual assault to suicide.

Legacy of Service groupMadison House hosted its annual Legacy of Service event on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon earlier this month at the Colonnade Club at the University of Virginia. Students, supporters, community partners, board members, and staff enjoyed refreshments from Harvest Moon Catering while a student jazz duo performed.

The 2015 Community Partner of the Year award was presented by Executive Director Tim Freilich to Sharon Wood, the Volunteer Coordinator at Stone-Robinson Elementary School. Last year more than 700 Madison House volunteers devoted more than 10,000 hours working with kids in local schools. Volunteers serve primarily as tutors and classroom assistants in partnership with nearly 100 community partners, including Sharon.

Community Partner of the YearSharon was described by the Madison House volunteer who nominated her as “… easily the nicest and sweetest person I have met in my two years at the University of Virginia. She is always excited to meet and brainstorm ideas about how we can better the program. She also welcomes every volunteer with a smile and spreads positiveenergy wherever she goes. There is no person better for this award, and I truly feel she not only makes my job the easiest and most enjoyable in the world, but spreads her kindness, passion and love to every volunteer, teacher and student that she comes in contact with.”

Sharon has had a long and impressive career in the local school system. She been a teaching assistant, a substitute teacher, and the PTO president as well as serving for for nine years on the Albemarle County School Board. For the past six years, she has been the Volunteer Coordinator at Stone-Robinson Elementary School.

Congratulations to Sharon on this wonderful recognition as the 2015 Community Partner of the Year! To see more photos from the 2015 Legacy of Service event, please click here.

by Tim Freilich, Executive Director

Gordon (left), a Madison House volunteer, watches over vegetable cutting.

My name is Tim Freilich, and I’m the new Executive Director at Madison House. You probably already know that our recipe for success includes student leadership, lifelong service and community.

But let me show you how those ingredients come together at one of Madison House’s most innovative community partners, the PB&J Fund.

When I met last week with Executive Director Emily Wampler, she shared the PB&J Fund’s mission: to connect Charlottesville youth with the resources and knowledge necessary to help develop a healthy diet. She gave me a quick tour of their color-coded, kid-friendly kitchen, and soon, five Madison House volunteers arrived–just in time.

Minutes later, twenty-one super-excited pre-teens came in, washed their hands, donned aprons, and learned that they would be making Turkey Nachos with Fresh Market Salsa.

Another of Madison House’s great community partners, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, brought the kids to the kitchen.

Carlos (left), a Madison House volunteer, leads local youth in food prep at the PB&J Fund.

The photos give you a taste of just how perfectly this delicious three-way non-profit partnership works. The kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs are having a great time learning to cook healthy foods. The amazing staff members at the PB&J Fund are teaching far more kids than they could without the assistance of Madison House volunteers. And our Madison House volunteers are leading groups while both learning and teaching a basic life skill—how to make a mean (and healthy) plate of nachos!

To get the full flavor of Madison House’s impact on the community though, you need one more morsel of information. PB&J Fund’s Executive Director Emily Wampler—the one stirring this whole big steaming pot of non-profit collaboration for the benefit of kids in the community—Emily is herself a former Madison House volunteer. Tasty!


Tim Freilich

Tim Freilich

Madison House is pleased to announce the selection of Tim Freilich as our new Executive Director.

As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Tim was a Madison House volunteer and program director as well as a Lawn Resident during his fourth year. In 2005, he was named “Alumni of the Year” by the Madison House Alumni Council.

Prior to joining the Madison House team, Tim was the Legal Director of the Legal Aid Justice Center’s Immigrant Advocacy Program. Tim earned his B.A. and his law degree at the University of Virginia, where he received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Public Service. He began representing migrant farmworkers with the Legal Aid Justice Center in 1999, and in 2001 he established Legal Aid’s northern Virginia branch to work with the region’s day laborers.

In 2009, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy awarded Tim with the first David Carliner Public Interest Award, a national award given in recognition of fearless, uncompromising, and creative advocacy on behalf of marginalized people.

Tim lives in downtown Charlottesville with his wife and two young daughters.

“Madison House bridges the gap between the University and greater Charlottesville communities like few other organizations in town. I’m excited and honored to have the chance to help direct the positive energy of 3,000 of UVa’s best students as they serve the community,” said Tim. “It seems like everyone in town has a connection to Madison House. The students are volunteering in so many of our most effective local non-profits. But they’re also in our schools helping teach our kids. They’re in our hospitals helping people through difficult times. Every time I mention my new job, I hear another positive story about Madison House students out in the community doing great work. As we approach Madison House’s 50th anniversary, I look forward to working with both the University and greater Charlottesville communities. We are ready to lay the foundation for Madison House’s next fifty years of successful service.”

Paige McDermott, the student co-chair of Madison House’s Board of Directors, said “When looking for an executive director, I wanted a candidate who could balance the dual mission of developing student leaders and providing quality volunteers to the community. Tim passed this test with flying colors. I know Tim will successfully lead Madison House through our 50th anniversary and beyond.”

Jennifer Bonenfant, co-chair of the Board of Directors, adds, “I am thrilled Tim is joining the Madison House team! He is a proven leader with a genuine passion for community service. Tim’s deep understanding of the importance of volunteerism will open the door for more support to the community and enrich the student volunteer experience.”

Now in its 45th year, Madison House serves as the student volunteer center for University of Virginia students. Our mission is to coordinate volunteers, develop leaders, build community partnerships, and promote lifelong volunteer service.

You can contact Tim directly at

To read a Q&A with Tim on UVA Today, please click here, and to read an article about Tim in The Cavalier Daily, please click here.

Pet Pals volunteerLast semester, 115 students volunteered through Pet Pals, Madison House’s popular program for shelter dogs and cats at the Charlottesville SPCA. Their activities included walking dogs, training puppies, socializing cats, and cage/supply care.

Here is what four Pet Pals volunteers had to say about their experience in our most recent volunteer survey:

“The animals were amazing. I have two dogs at home, and seeing so many dogs at the shelter who have had such hard challenges to overcome was so sad for me. I felt so honored to even be able to play with them and make them feel happy again.”

“I looked forward to Pet Pals every Monday. It is such a small thing to do that really means so much to the animals!”

“I had multiple shelter visitors approach me and thank me for helping the dogs and cats there. The effects resonate beyond the individual dogs and cats at the shelter!”

“It’s nice to be able to de-stress by helping the animals out. I feel more well-rounded thanks to Madison House.”

Thanks to a generous grant from Christina W. Donnelly and Anne W. Holman made from The Williamson Family Fund in the Community Foundation of New Jersey in memory of their parents Sheila and James G. Williamson (CLAS ’51), 10 Pet Pals volunteers have been sponsored for this academic year!

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!

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