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!

Madison House Registration
Want to make a difference? Register to volunteer with one of the nineteen different programs through Madison House, the student volunteer center at the University of Virginia.

More than 3,000 UVa students volunteer their time and energy on a weekly basis to better the community and themselves through Madison House. Volunteers serve as tutors, construction workers, day care supporters, patient service representatives, mentors, peer counselors, and much more!

Explore the many service options by clicking on “Volunteer Programs” in the menu on the Madison House website. If you have questions, you can email the program director for the volunteer program you’re interested in or you can email staff members Jennifer Walker, Director of Programs, and Yousaf Sajid, Director of Program Development & Engagement.

Online registration is now open for all Madison House programs, except for CASH, Medical Services, and Pet Pals (which have a separate application process). You can register online for a program HERE. Hurry and sign up today!

bigsibs_blogWe are excited to announce that UVa students can now sign up early for three of our volunteer programs: Athletics, Big Siblings, and Bridging the Gap.

In the Athletics program, Madison House volunteers serve as head coaches or assistant coaches in a variety of youth sports programs, including SOCA (Soccer Organization of Charlottesville and Albemarle), SOCA: Hot Shots, YMCA Basketball, Dance/Gymnastics, Girls on the Run, YMCA Flag Football, YMCA Lacrosse, and Swimming. Learn more about volunteering with Athletics through Madison House here.

In the Big Siblings program, a student volunteer from Madison House makes a year-long commitment to serve as a friend and role model to a young child from Charlottesville or Albemarle county. Volunteers are expected to meet every week with his or her Little Sibling for 2 hours. To learn more about volunteering with Big Siblings, click here.

In Bridging the Gap, a volunteer from Madison House is paired with a refugee child as a mentor. Volunteers engage in activities ranging from playing sports and games, helping with homework, cooking, carpool to and from soccer practice, visiting museums, and much more! Refugee children in the BtG program hail from countries such as Burma, Congo, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Nepal, Russia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand and Togo and have resettled in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area through the International Rescue Committee. Learn more about Bridging the Gap by clicking here.

To sign up to volunteer with Athletics, click here.

To sign up to volunteer with Big Siblings, click here.

To sign up to volunteer with Bridging the Gap, click here.

Questions? Please email Jennifer Walker, Director of Programs, at

Madison House bids a fond farewell to our office manager Anna (center).

Madison House bids a fond farewell to our longtime office manager Anna (center).

In July, Madison House bid a fond farewell to our longtime Office Manager, Anna Rossberg. Anna was an incredible member of the team here and we are so excited for her new role at the Southern Environmental Law Center. When we asked alumni, former staff, and other members of the Madison House community to share their memories of and best wishes for Anna, we were simply overwhelmed by the response. Here are just a few examples of the positive impact that Anna had on the Madison House community during her time working here:


Anna always brightened my day whenever I stopped by Madison House! She would always listen when I blabbed on about Holiday Sharing, school or my pets! I’ll miss seeing her smiling face at Madison House! - Ellen S. (Holiday Sharing Head Program Director, 2013-15)


Thank you so much for all that you did for me and the Madison House team. You were always the go-to person whenever I had a question: “Hey, how do I work this silly printer?” or “I know this is last minute but is the board room still open?” No matter what the case you were always able to follow through. I will never forget when you even offered your own credit card to pay for the LARGE Medical Services expenditures. I’m glad we didn’t have to use it, but that simple gesture shows how dedicated you were to helping out the students. I will be sure to visit you so I can get my daily dose of smiles and laughter. - Mallory S. (Medical Services Head Program Director, 2013-14)


After a few minutes of interviewing Anna for the Office Manager position, we knew that she was the right fit for Madison House.  Her organization and skills were evident, but more importantly she had a smile and laugh that was infectious to others.  She helped make Madison House not just a house, but a home to our student leaders and volunteers.  She always did a wonderful job handing the day to day operations of Madison House and always looking at the bigger picture.  We were so fortunate to have Anna as part of the Madison House family. - Mark T.


Anna, it was an absolute pleasure to have worked with you! You’re kind, fun, and a great co-worker. Madison House was better because of your presence, lighting up the lobby, keeping things festive – and all of us organized. Thank you for always being level-headed and optimistic. You’re the best! - Ben E. (Director of Communications, 2007-2014)


Anna is always a smiling, friendly, welcoming face as you come in the door of Madison House. She can lift your spirits just by having a quick chat with her positive attitude and way of being. I wish her the best and will surely miss seeing her each day! – Meghan F. (The Office for Diversity and Equity)


Thank you so much for all of your dedication to Madison House over these last years!  I am so grateful to have been able to work with and get to know you.  It was always so great to walk into Madison House and be able to talk to you about anything and everything.  Thank you so much for always being willing to help out with the Holiday Sharing donations, no matter how many missing checks or cash we threw at you!  You made the monetary collection process so much easier for us and we cannot thank you enough.  I wish you nothing but the best at your new job!  We all will miss you! - Stephanie B.  (Holiday Sharing Program Director, 2012-15, and Student Board Member, 2014-15)


I have to say that my time spent at Madison House simply would not have been the same without your warm smile. You really were the glue that held everyone together, always willing to answer questions with patience and enthusiasm. As my first MH friend, you played a major role in making my experience there so positive. Thank you for being not just a great supervisor, but an amazing friend and mentor, and for creating the home-away-from-home atmosphere that makes Madison House so special to me. – Lauren P. (Front Desk Worker, 2010-2013 & Tutoring Head Program Director, 2012-13)


During my time at UVA, Madison House felt like a little family, my home away from Texas. Anna was the best Madison House mom! I remember how she always greeted everyone by name and with a smile. I even remember she gave me a book when I graduated! It was unexpected, but I should have known. Anna is always so thoughtful and cares deeply about all the students at MH. You will always be fondly remembered at MH by all. – Caroline W. (UVa Alum, Class of 2011)


Thank you for being such a wonderful and encouraging mentor and friend; thanks for your support, guidance, and constant patience. You helped make my transition to UVA amazing! My parents always joked that I shouldn’t really feel homesick because I had an amazing second mom at Madison House. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for me! - Helen P. (Front Desk Worker and UVA student, Class 2017)


You were the biggest piece of my Madison House experience and one of the main reasons that I loved coming to work every day. Your radiant positive attitude spread throughout Grounds and touched so many lives, students and community members alike. You were always there to listen or bounce ideas off of. You are a blessing to Madison House and UVa and we are all blessed to have spent time with you in such a wonderful place. – Patrick M.


Anna is a bright spot in an already sunny place. She always made me feel welcome and valued at Madison House, from my first few days as a volunteer to my visits as an alumna. Anna has a special gift in making people feel at ease. Quick with a smile, she always seems to be able to tap into a positive spirit even when times are tough. I am so grateful for everything Anna did to make Madison House run smoothly for volunteers and community members. She made such a difference to the organization and was one of the reasons I drop in to visit whenever I am back in Charlottesville. Although I am so excited for Anna’s new adventure downtown, I hope she knows how much she will be missed at Madison House. Thank you, Anna, for always demonstrating the spirit of service with a smile. Madison House was so lucky to have you!          -Sarah Elaine H. (Day Care Head Program Director, 2009-10)


I just want to thank Anna for providing me with my first job at UVA. I had a blast working at the Madison House, meeting wonderful people including the staff at the Madison House and learning more about volunteering opportunities present at UVA. Throughout the year, I don’t think I remember ever seeing Anna in a bad mood and it was encouraging to see her always being so positive. It will be sad to not see Anna in her office next semester, but I hope for the best at her new job! - David K. (Front Desk Worker and UVa student, Class 2017)


Anna graced daily life at Madison House by being always joyful and thoughtful. Not a day went by without her brightening up with a cookie, a story, or a laugh! I really appreciated all of the hard work she put into making Madison House a special place and hope she is as appreciated and loved in her future adventures. We will miss you Anna! - David M. (Front Desk Worker and UVA Alum, Class of 2011)


We will miss you, Anna!

house copy

The return of students to UVa is just around the corner, and the staff here at Madison House couldn’t be more excited to welcome new and returning volunteers! We have several events planned.

On Monday, August 25, Madison House will participate in the Fall Student Activities Fair from 11am-2pm at the UVa Amphitheatre and Lower Lawn on Central Grounds. Then, on Wednesday, September 3 from 11am-2pm, we will host a fair of our very own at the UVa Amphitheatre where students can learn about the 19 different service programs that Madison House offers, meet the program directors, and sign up to get involved!

Madison House will also host a retreat for all of the 2014-2015 Head Program Directors that same day. This event is always a highlight of the year with team-building exercises, dinner, and more. Next, on Thursday, September 4 from 3-4:30pm, Madison House will host a “Welcome Back Social” with ice cream for program leaders and student members of the Madison House board of directors.

If you’re as excited as we are about the return of student volunteers to Charlottesville, check out this fun and handy countdown to move-in day for UVa students, courtesy of the UVa Social Media Team. 

Rachel Winters

We’d like to introduce Madison House’s newest staff member, Rachel Winters, who joins our team as the Director of Operations.

Rachel comes to Madison House from the University of Central Oklahoma where she served as the Assistant Director of the Volunteer & Service Learning Center. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2010 and a Master of Education in Adult & Higher Education, College Student Personnel in 2013 both from UCO.

While at Central she worked with UCO Alternative Breaks, The Big Event (a large day of community service) and collaborated with community partners, faculty and students to integrate service learning into the classroom. A couple of her favorite volunteer opportunities were aiding in the disaster relief in New York after Hurricane Sandy and working with the Fire and Aviation team in the Grand Canyon.

Previously outside of the office, Rachel danced in the first professional jazz, contemporary and hip hop company in Oklahoma, RACE (Radical Application of Creative Energy) and mentored a group of high school girls at her church.

She is excited to join Madison House and support the students making an incredible impact on the community everyday.

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