Madison House is so grateful to be selected as the beneficiary of the Will Barrow Memorial Flag Football Tournament, put on by the UVA Men’s Lacrosse team. The tournament saw students and community members playing friendly games of football, and the Madison House HELP Line program distributed resources promoting their mission of providing an empathetic listening ear to all in the area.
When I noticed the black streaks descending from the tops of the columns on the front porch, I thought there was some minor water damage. But when the team from U.Va. Facilities came, they warned me that we needed to find where the water had come from. They determined the gutters around the balcony had “rusted out” and when they peeled back the trim from the beam above the columns, they found it to be rotten and eaten by termites! Extensive remodeling was necessary to maintain the safety and integrity of our entryway.
Today, the gutters are shiny and new, wood beams and trim installed and painted; our entrance has never looked better. I only wish I could say the same for our bank balance!
This is just an example of the kind of expenses which must be met in order to maintain Madison House – a building that dates to 1975 – as a home away from home for tomorrow’s leaders. If you thought that Madison House doesn’t need your financial support, you would be mistaken. An independent 501(c)(3) non-profit, we receive no direct financial support from the University. Grant dollars are not as plentiful as in years past. Without private contributions, we could not function.
Without Madison House, how would the 3,243 University students who volunteered last year have served the community? What would our Community Partners have done without the 110,000 hours of service provided? And what about the 20,000 community residents impacted by our volunteers? What about them?
Thankfully, Madison House is supported by many dedicated friends and alumni. The new porch was not budgeted – but we’ll manage to pay the bill. But please know how valued and needed the support of our alumni and friends is. As you consider your end-of-year giving, please consider Madison House. We would be very grateful.
HELP Line is a 24/7 confidential, anonymous, and absolutely free telephone service which helps both the University community and the Charlottesville community. The most amazing thing about HELP Line is that student volunteers run the entire service. I met with Kevin Shefferly, the Publicity Program Director, to learn more about the program.
Kevin is a 4th year Biology major planning to go into optometry. He explained that as Publicity PD, he hopes to make U.Va. students more aware of the HELP Line. Currently the program has around 80 students volunteers to keep the service “24/7.” Despite the huge number of HELP Line volunteers, it’s not common to hear someone admit they are one on Grounds. Kevin joked this is because HELP Line volunteers really make up the largest secret society at U.Va. However, in all seriousness, HELP Line volunteers are not allowed to share that they volunteer with the program. This is to ensure that if a fellow student is thinking of calling HELP Line, they are assured that the service is truly anonymous for both the callers and volunteers.
If you are interested in getting involved with HELP Line, be on the look out for sign-ups in January. Before students can volunteer with HELP Line, they must go through a semester-long training course. If you ever need to talk, call HELP Line at (434)-295-TALK.
On September 24, 2013 representatives from the University of Virginia Health System joined the Madison House Board of Directors to award Madison House a generous grant of $2,500. The grant will help fund Madison House’s student-leadership training program, providing specialized training to enhance student leaders’ ability to manage their programs and stimulate positive change throughout the community.
by Melissa Young, Executive Director
Leadership. Although it’s one of the key tenets of Madison House, it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about us. What may first come to mind is our overwhelming commitment to community service—thousands of students volunteering just about everywhere in our central Virginia area: in schools, on soccer fields, in hospitals, at day care centers and retirement centers, on housing projects, at the SPCA—and I could go on and on.
I truly did not understand how crucial our role in leadership development was until I attended my first Madison House Alumni Council Annual Meeting.
What I learned from our alumni was the value of the leadership training they received here as program directors. They had recruited volunteers for their programs, then trained them. There were the logistical challenges of scheduling—compounded by car pool demands. They had a budget and had to spend within its limits. The “personnel issues” of an absent volunteer or needs of a Community Partner utilized the skill of resolving conflicts. Determining your successors involved performance reviews, interviewing skills and objective evaluation. Add to this the talents of conducting meetings and making the occasional Board presentation. Is there a more comprehensive “hands-on” crash course in management and leadership at the University?
I recently spoke with an alum from the late ’70s who has enjoyed a stellar legal career including a leadership role at her major law firm. She spoke of the value of her MH leadership training and how it benefited her life and career.
A Class of ’13 grad who just started with one of the nation’s top consultants told me that her employer knew she was better able to perform on the job day one because of her experiences as an Head Program Director.
Yes, serving community needs will always be our most critical mission—but the role of Madison House in training leaders is also key. And in light of recent news events—what does our country need more than good leaders?
From U.VA. Today by Lauren Jones
For many University of Virginia students, a new fall semester brings new opportunities to serve. At Madison House, U.Va.’s student volunteer center, students are fulfilling Jeffersonian ideals of public service by giving back to the Charlottesville community through three new programs this fall.
How did you become a volunteer with your Madison House program?
Why did you chose your program?
Tell us your best, funniest, or most educational experience as a Madison House volunteer.
I became interested in the Madison House programs when I first started at UVA, but it wasn’t until I was a 4th year that I realized there were programs I could participate in that fit with my schedule.
I chose to be part of the Big Siblings Program after seeing some of my friends’ experiences with the program. I like that I am able to be a constant influence in a child’s life and that I get to know her well, and not just barely get to know a larger group of people like many of the other programs.
As a Big Sibling, my five-year-old little sibling has taught me a lot. The funniest thing I learned recently, is that if you don’t scream enough in a day, then you feel like you have to clear your throat. She showed me, for the next five minutes, exactly how to scream so that you don’t have to clear your throat.
What is one thing you’d like readers to know about your program?
The Big Sibling Program is a great program to get involved with. It is incredibly fulfilling to see the difference you make in a child’s life.
Stephanie Maxwell, a fourth year majoring in computer science, started volunteering at Madison House last August. She also made an appearance in “Inspector Gadget visits Washington D.C.” when she was five years old.
When I joined the Madison House Board in 2011, I knew very little about how Madison House operated. I worked in Facilities Management at the University for over thirty years and was familiar with some of the volunteer work performed by Madison House. But, I had no idea of the scale of involvement, the far reach in the community, or the engagement and passion of the student volunteers. In my two years serving on the Board, I have met some amazing students with bright futures who truly believe in the power of volunteerism. These student volunteers are the unsung heroes in our community, giving of their time and incredible energy, asking for no recognition.
There are many unique and distinguishing aspects of the University of Virginia. The Academical Village, a World Heritage site, is still used as Jefferson originally intended. The University is also consistently ranked highly among public universities. Finally, University students and staff of Madison House provide unparalleled volunteer service to the surrounding community.
During the last 30 years working in Facilities Management at the University of Virginia, I have seen many changes and significant growth on Grounds. The Medical Center expanded its hospital and clinical services; the University continued to lead in more research initiatives; and finally, the true lifeblood of the community, the student body, increased in both size and diversity. It has been exciting to be a part of this growth and to have the opportunity to meet and work with so many talented people. However, contributing to the unique mission of service and leadership at Madison House has been especially gratifying. Thank you, Madison House.