Learn about the
Impact of Volunteerism
& Service

From the daily ways we help our friends and neighbors, to the time and talent we devote to community organizations, to how we use our voices to spread awareness and call attention to the causes we care about, every act makes a difference.

Virginia Community Engagement Index

In 2023, Serve Virginia and the Virginia Service Foundation launched a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind study to understand the state of service, volunteerism and civic action in Virginia, as well as identify community priorities on the state and local levels. Here’s what we found:

how we serve

Every Act Matters

67% of Virginians said they’ve volunteered for an organization in the past year. But if you think that’s all service is, then think again. Every day, we use our talent, treasure and voices to improve the lives of those around us and to support organizations and causes we care about. In fact:

  • 7 out of 10 Virginians said they’ve informally helped out a neighbor in the past year — and 55% said they do so more than once a month.
  • 51% said they’ve donated money or possessions to a non-political community organization.
  • 42% said they’ve started or stopped buying products or services based on the values and practices of companies.

This material is based upon work supported by AmeriCorps under Grant No 22CABVA001. Opinions or points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, AmeriCorps.

Stories of Service

Virginians are making a real difference in their communities by volunteering their time and talents. Every day, we hear remarkable stories about how our volunteers have helped those around them. Know someone who is always helping others? We’d love to hear their story.

Alumns

Backpacks of Love Cumberland Elementary School Coordinators

Story of Service: Backpacks of Love Cumberland Elementary School Coordinators

Congratulations to Backpacks of Love Cumberland Elementary School Coordinators of Cumberland County -- winner of the 2017 Virginia Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Educational Institution! Backpacks of Love, Inc., was born out of a personal mission from its founder Bobby Fulcher, who personally struggled with food scarcity while growing up. Backpacks of Love provides wholesome food to school children in the counties of Powhatan, Cumberland, and Buckingham, so that they don’t go hungry over the weekend. Backpacks of Love’s highly engaged board members collect all donations, distribute food items to schools, and solicit community and corporate sponsors....
RICKETTSFRAN10131--C-CAP Director Fran Ricketts 10/24/2013 MATT ARMSTRONG PHOTO

Mary Hines

Story of Service: Mary Hines

Senior Corps Foster Grandparent of the Year Mary Hines, Peninsula Foster Grandparent Program, Hampton Since 2005, Mary Hines has traveled nearly an hour each day to make made it her mission to be a source of encouragement for children. She regularly shares a poem she wrote for the students which conveys that they too can transform into a butterfly from a cocoon. Ms. Hines has been instrumental to other Foster Grandparents and future volunteers by sharing her experiences. She has been recognized in the past with several awards for service, including the Presidential Award for Service. Ms. Hines is a wonderful...
RICKETTSFRAN10131--C-CAP Director Fran Ricketts 10/24/2013 MATT ARMSTRONG PHOTO

Crystal Curtis

Story of Service: Crystal Curtis

Crystal Curtis, Appalachian Community Action and Development Agency AmeriCorps VISTA Member of the Year - AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring their passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty.  Ms. Curtis is the Appalachian Community Action Agency’s first dedicated staff member to address the drug/opioid addiction issue which is crippling Southwest Virginia. As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Crystal has been highly effective in raising community awareness about the agency’s program and expanding its reach throughout the community. She has been a constant presence at educational and drug take back events and even...
RICKETTSFRAN10131--C-CAP Director Fran Ricketts 10/24/2013 MATT ARMSTRONG PHOTO

The Blanco Family

Story of Service: The Blanco Family

Congratulations to The Blanco Family - winner of the 2020 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Volunteer Family! Located in Fairfax Station, the Workhouse Arts Center is a vibrant and thriving visual and performing arts center which operates a multitude of programs for the community. The center relies on a strong team of dedicated volunteers to ensure their arts, education, history, and community programs run smoothly. Enter the Blanco Family! For the past 10 years, the entire family serves as an integral part of making the center a huge success in connecting the community with the arts. The...
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Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union

Story of Service: Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union

Congratulations to Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union - winner of the 2019 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Small Business Volunteer Program!  Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union (VBSFCU) is creating a lasting impact on the financial literacy education of the students in their community.  VBSFCU serves as a Partner in Education with Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), volunteering annually in more than 30 schools. Each year, 18 volunteers deploy to the schools for 300 hours of service to enhance financial education through programs like Reality Store events; student-run, school-based credit unions; work and family studies;...
RICKETTSFRAN10131--C-CAP Director Fran Ricketts 10/24/2013 MATT ARMSTRONG PHOTO

Averett University

Story of Service: Averett University

Congratulations to Averett University of Danville - winner of the 2019 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Educational Institution! Service is woven into the fabric of Averett University. Averett’s mission is to prepare students to serve and lead as catalysts for positive change. The university’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness (CCECC) is a primary example of their dedication to service. CCECC is an innovative program which serves as a facilitator for pairing volunteers from Averett, Danville Community College, and Piedmont Community College with local organizations such as God’s Storehouse, the Boys & Girls Club of the Dan...

Award Nominations

Our awards celebrate the passion, commitment, and impact of those who go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of others. By nominating a deserving candidate, you acknowledge their outstanding contributions and help to inspire others to follow in their footsteps.  Submit your nomination today and help us shine a light on the inspiring stories of service that unite and strengthen our Commonwealth.

AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members serving in Virginia who have performed outstanding service to their communities are honored annually through this recognition program. Honorees will be celebrated during the v...

Roadmap for the Future

In 2022, Serve Virginia launched a sweeping new three-year vision for the service and volunteerism ecosystem in Virginia centered around building a stronger culture of service, volunteerism and civic engagement, building a more representative and aligned network of partners and building a more robust infrastructure of resources for our partners. Our Virginia Community Engagement Index, which was guided by nearly 40 partner organizations, advances all three strategies at once. 

What’s Your Volunteer Personality?

Pair your passion with purpose. Take our Volunteer Personality Quiz and find out which volunteer direction is best for you.