Congratulations to CrossOver Health Ministry of Richmond – winner of the 2021 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Community Organization! COVID-19 has magnified the dramatic healthcare disparities existing in communities across the country. CrossOver Healthcare Ministry has not only stepped up to provide outstanding medical care, but has gone above and beyond to be there in incredible ways. CrossOver operates two charitable healthcare clinics – one in the City of Richmond and one in Henrico County. Founded in 1983, the clinics provide healthcare to approximately 5,500 uninsured and medically underserved individuals each year. Many of CrossOver’s patients (60%) speak a language other than English as their first language. The clinics also serve a large immigrant population requiring culturally competent healthcare services, delivered in multiple languages.
During the pandemic, CrossOver’s clinical services have stayed open, without even closing for a single day! This is even more remarkable as the clinic has been operating at a 15% reduction in volunteer capacity. Offering COVID testing and vaccinations, the clinics serve as community COVID testing sites for the uninsured. Volunteers have vaccinated more than 1,000 patients to date!
CrossOver relies heavily on its dedicated staff which includes more than 300 active volunteers who serve as clinicians, nurses, interpreters, front office, and administrative support. Last year alone, CrossOver volunteers donated more than 22,000 hours of volunteer service. Throughout the pandemic, volunteers have been enthusiastic about engaging themselves in new ways at CrossOver. This includes providing telehealth appointments from their home while quarantining, providing meals to the staff team, and writing notes of encouragement. In addition to providing care to those who are ill, the staff provides regular COVID-19 wellness calls to high risk patients and education on risk mitigation and vaccinations.
CrossOver volunteers are a compassionate community, serving their neighbors in need of healthcare services. Despite enormous obstacles and challenges this year, they have continued to dedicate their time and talents to providing the care and medical services our communities deserve.
Congratulations to Spring Hill Baptist Church of Blackstone - winner of the 2018 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Faith-Based Organization! Spring Hill Baptist Church is clearly a force for good in the small community of Blackstone. Their 300 members are providing countless concrete supports and, just as importantly, building bridges for better community relations. Spring Hill members can be found distributing food to the needy, holding tutoring programs for students, providing activities for senior citizens, and visiting shut-ins. Spring Hill organizes community-wide worship services, food and school supply drives, job fairs, a community clothes closet, Christmas donation programs, and much...
Story of Service: Vonda Johnson
Recently, Cities of Service profiled Norfolk volunteer Vonda Johnson. Check out her story! Vonda, a resident of Norfolk, Virginia, had been struggling with her finances. She participated in Bank On, part of the Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps program that strengthens the financial literacy of residents through group classes and personal coaching sessions. “Once you go through the program and see what it’s all about, you’re able to give back to others who may be struggling and dealing with some of the same situations that you were dealing with,” she says. She was relieved to learn that her struggles were not unique. The...
Story of Service: Mechele Hairston
Congratulations to Mechele Hairston of Chesapeake - winner of the 2021 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Adult Volunteer! When two Hampton Roads neighborhoods lost their last remaining grocery store, the largely minority population of nearly 18,000 citizens faced dire food scarcity challenges. Michele Hairston served as a driving force that led to the free food distribution of 25,000+ pounds of food over a two-weekend period. But it was her ongoing efforts on behalf of Impact Southside and the Solid Rock Worldwide Outreach Ministry that she made an even greater impact. In 2020, Mechele and a volunteer army...
Story of Service: James Taylor
Making Sure No Child Falls Through the Cracks We are excited to congratulate Virginia native James Taylor, who was recently honored at the AmeriCorps State Symposium for exemplary efforts in disability inclusion. James, who struggled with a learning disability himself, was one of four honorees for the Tom Harkin Excellence in AmeriCorps Awards. Serving as a Public Allies Chicago AmeriCorps member, James revolutionized how Chicago Public Schools tracked their diverse learners and brought a great level of proficiency and expertise to his work because of his similar life experiences. As a student with special needs, James said he was allowed to...
Story of Service: Denise Carl
Denise Carl, Richmond Area Healthy Futures Opioid Project AmeriCorps State Member of the Year (Robert E. Wone Award for Exemplary Service) - The Wone Award was established in memory of Robert E. Wone, who served on the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism from 2002-2006 and dedicated his life to volunteering for charitable organizations and offering pro bono legal service. The award recognizes an exemplary AmeriCorps member who has exhibited the same dedication to community service and civic engagement as did Mr. Wone. Ms. Carl was practicing law when she changed the trajectory of her life and was inspired to...
Story of Service: Kimbra Staten
Kimbra, with the Rappahannock Goodwill - Goodskills Literacy Corps Americorps program in Fredericksburg, says the experience has opened up a whole new world to her. "I've had an exciting service year and as I begin on my second term I am elated on what I will discover about myself and others that I tutor," she says. "The most rewarding experience is meeting and interacting with a diversity of people. This volunteer position has enlightened me in enormous ways. Between the personal development training, conferences, workshops and online studies -- I feel confident that AmeriCorps will propel me into being an...