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.

The Big Event kickoffThe Big Event took place this past Saturday and was a huge success! Through Madison House, several hundred University of Virginia students joined 110 institutions of higher education for the largest day of community service nationwide for college students.

Students got up early to gather for a kickoff event in front the John Paul Jones Arena before spreading out to 25 different volunteer sites across Charlottesville. You can see more photos of the kickoff event here.

Many organizations in the local community that help local residents in need have a wish list of projects and volunteers from The Big Event jumped in to complete those projects. For example, volunteers for The Big Event took on tasks such as painting at the Piedmont Family YMCA and picking up litter with the Rivanna Trails Foundation. You can even see ‘Hoos helping out the Rockfish Valley Community Foundation with an excavation project thanks to NBC-29 WVIR here!

Because all of Madison House’s other volunteer opportunities require a weekly commitment, The Big Event was a great way for students to give back to the community even if you don’t have room in your schedule for a weekly commitment. This year marks the inaugural The Big Event at Madison House and included a collaboration with Relay for Life at UVA, which was highlighted by The Cavalier Daily in this article titled “Service Never Sleeps.”

We received great feedback from the community organizations that partnered with Madison House for The Big Event, too.

The Big Event - VolunteeringPam Hallissy from the Children’s Garden in Fluvanna County said, “What a wonderful day of service it was!  The Children’s Garden in Fluvanna has never looked better thanks to the five wonderful students you sent to help us.  We so enjoyed getting to know them and working along side them for the morning.  These five were punctual, personable, and hard working and represented the University of Virginia extremely well. Thank you for allowing us to benefit from Madison House’s The Big Event and for introducing us to some more fine young ‘Hoos!”
Leah Wise from the Schoolhouse Thrift Shop said, “I just wanted to let you know that Celia, Shelley, and Prudhvi did a fantastic job today at the Schoolhouse Thrift Shop raking leaves and trimming our boxwoods! Thanks for helping with this wonderful event. We rely on volunteers for daily shop maintenance and we couldn’t do it without organizations like yours.”

Check out more photos of volunteers in action from The Big Event here!

The Big Event also made it onto the local news. Watch coverage from Charlottesville Newsplex here and from NBC-29 WVIR here.


Putt Putt for a PurposeCome on out to “Putt for a Purpose” on Sunday, April 12 and play a round of putt putt golf to benefit the Big Siblings program at Madison House! Enjoy pizza, snow cones, and beverages while competing for fun prizes. This is event is open to the public and registration costs $10. Click here to learn more!




The Little EventLooking for a way to give back after The Big Event this Saturday! Then be part of “The Little Event”, a fun night of trivia benefitting Madison House. Bring a team of 3-7 of your closest trivia-minded friends or colleagues to Eddy’s Tavern on Tuesday, April 14 from 7:00-9:00pm and compete against the brightest minds at UVA for bragging rights and fun prizes! Click here to find out more and register.


Have you heard about The Big Event? This year, University of Virginia students through Madison House will join over 110 institutions of higher education in the largest day of community service nationwide for college students: The Big Event on Saturday, April 11th from 9:00am until 1:00pm.

This year marks the inaugural The Big Event (formerly Cavs Care) at Madison House. It’s a day where hundreds of members of the University of Virginia community will come together to say thank you to individuals and organizations that support Madison House and UVA students through acts of service throughout Charlottesville.

Many organizations in the local community that help local residents in need have a wish list of projects and volunteers from The Big Event will be jumping in to complete those projects.

Because all of Madison House’s other volunteer opportunities require a weekly commitment, The Big Event is a great way for students to give back to the community even if you don’t have room in your schedule for a weekly commitment.

For Community Partners: If you are affiliated with a local organization, church, or community center that could benefit from this one-day opportunity to use volunteers for those “wish-list” items that need doing but never quite seem to get done, we ask that you fill out this form as soon as possible and encourage you to be as specific as possible in your request. Click here to apply!

For Site Leader Volunteers: Any UVA student can apply to be a Site Leader for The Big Event. The deadline is March 6th. Click here to apply!

For Day-of Volunteers: The Big Event is open to all UVA students (not only current Madison House volunteers). You can even represent an organization at UVA when you volunteer. The deadline is March 29th. Click here to apply!

Want to learn more? Madison House volunteer Jessica Blusiewicz recently spoke with Soundboard, WTJU 91.1 FM’s discussion program about news, culture, and community issues in the Charlottesville area and offered a preview of what to expect from The Big Event. Click here to listen!

To learn more about The Big Event, please click here.

UVA Parents CommitteeThe UVA Parents Committee has generously awarded Madison House with a $20,000 grant to support all 19 of our student-led volunteer programs during this academic year. The mission of the UVA Parents Committee is to enhance the student experience for all UVA undergraduate students.

We are so thankful for their support of the thousands of University of Virginia students who volunteer through Madison House every week and we would like to thank all of the parents who donated to the Parents Fund for making this grant possible.

Calling all University of Virginia students! Want to make a difference this next semester? Sign up to volunteer through Madison House, your student volunteer center. There are many programs with an opportunity for every interest — from caring for animals to building houses to spending time with the elderly and beyond! Sign up at

Still trying to choose a program to volunteer with this semester? Consider English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)! You’ll meet children and adults from a variety of different cultures and no foreign language skills are necessary.

Or, consider making a positive impact on local youth this semester through PLAY! Volunteers through this Madison House program help out at various community organizations, including Boys and Girls Club, The PB &J Fund, and the Field School. Volunteers serve as mentors and role models with the local youth who need them most.

Another great program to get involved with HALO, which stands for ‘Hoos Assisting with Life Obstacles. Volunteers provide direct assistance through community partners like Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, The Haven, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Inc., and many others.

Finally, a very rewarding volunteer opportunity is mentoring. Volunteer with the Youth Mentoring program through Madison House and be someone who matters to a local child. Community partners include Computers4Kids, Music Resource Center, Action in Reading, Virginia Discovery Museum, and more.

Want to learn more about the wide variety of volunteer opportunities available through Madison House? Come to the Winter Activities Fair sponsored by UVa Student Council on Tuesday, January 20th from 11:00am-2:00pm in the Newcomb Ballroom. Representatives from Madison House will be present along with 100 other CIOs from around Grounds. If you can’t make it to the activities fair, feel free to drop by Madison House between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday-Friday to speak with our staff about how you can volunteer this semester. Questions? Please email Jennifer Walker, Director of Programs, at

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!

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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