You help individuals living with disabilities lead fulfilling lives
Because of you, those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities are empowered each and every day.

Your support means men and women in our Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) programs have access to housing, person-centered care, and the tools they need to achieve their personal goals.
Hattie Payne is one of those individuals that has excelled because you care.

Growing up with an intellectual disability and mental health illness, Hattie was removed from an unsafe and abusive home environment when she was 5 years old.  

After living in the foster care system for 10 years and a group home that eventually closed, Hattie chose to live at VOACC in 2002.
Hattie receiving her Employee of the Year Award
When Hattie first came to VOACC, she was placed in one of our Virginia group homes where she received a warm bed, support with transportation and daily living, and opportunities to participate in community outings. Hattie was also paired with a case manager to help her work towards her goal of independent living.
Thanks to supporters like you, Hattie also received support moving into a home of her own where she has been happily living since 2016.
Click the play button to watch Hattie's video.
And she continues to receive support with things like budgeting, healthy meal planning and transportation to church and work.

Partnering with ServiceSource, a nonprofit organization that connects people living with disabilities to job opportunities, Hattie has been proudly working as a custodian for the FBI in Quantico for a number of years now.

Recently, ServiceSource held their 2022 "Service Excellence Awards" and Hattie was named Employee of the Year.
To read Hattie's entire story and learn more about the services you help make possible, click the button below.
More than a back-to-school drive, Operation Backpack® now supports children year-round!
In 2022, supporters like you helped raise the funds needed to launch the Operation Backpack® Academic Enrichment Program. This new program provides afterschool assistance year-round to children from income-constrained families in our Maryland-based housing programs.

When it comes to helping at-risk youth succeed, givers of hope like you understand that it takes more than backpacks and school supplies. Many of the children in our programs are also in need of tutoring, mentorship and support addressing trauma. The Academic Enrichment Program is designed to provide those additional supports.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, which is why we love our Academic Enrichment Program partners like the Youth Engagement Services (Y.E.S.). Over the past couple of months, they have been helping to provide afterschool tutoring, mentorship, college tour opportunities, and healthy snacks our youth need to succeed.

Currently, the Academic Enrichment Program serves students at our Eastern Avenue Apartments supportive housing program in Seat Pleasant and Prince George’s Supportive Housing Program in Bowie. 
The Operation Backpack® Academic Enrichment Program is only made possible by individuals like you. You can help children achieve their highest potential by giving today.
Is your company or organization interested in partnering with the Academic Enrichment Program? Contact Christle Baker-Gill at to learn more.
Continuing Maud's Legacy at our December Worship Service

On December 7th, our Chaplain Jules Christian, President & CEO Russell Snyder, and other members our staff hosted a Worship Service at our Residential Reentry Center (RRC) in Baltimore. It was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the second week of Advent and the Holiday Season.

An ordained minister, Russell focused his message during the service on the concept of "agape love". The highest form of love, agape love is defined as a selfless love for others.

"Agape love is a choice. It goes beyond those who are easy to love when it's easy to love them. It's making the choice to love no matter what – to always love in a way that brings us closer to our Father in heaven and to his love.

It takes a special effort to love someone who is different from you – somebody who might be homeless, somebody who might be returning from prison, or [somebody who might be] disabled." – Russell

As a Christian church without walls, we are honored to be supported by people like you who show agape love each and every day to those we serve whether they're returning from prison, struggling with addiction, experiencing mental illness, living with a disability, or without a place to call home. Like the love of our co-founder, Maud Booth, your unconditional love changes lives for the better.
Russell Snyder delivers the message during worship service.
During her time, Maud became a pioneer in the prison reform movement and was known as the “Little Mother” of prisons. Her legacy began on Sunday, May 24th in 1896 when she was invited to speak at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, NY. At the time, there was concern for the wellbeing of justice-involved individuals and their families, something Maud was very passionate about. 

Back then, the corrections system had no parole system to help men newly released from prison. The men had served their time under poor conditions and few had support returning home. Men at Sing Sing were so moved by Maud's preaching and words encouragement, that some even started writing her letters. Word of Maud’s positive effect on the men led to more invitations to speak at other facilities across the country. 

Over time, Maud was able to secure donations through her efforts. She used these funds to launch “Hope Halls”, some of our nation’s very first halfway houses. Hope Halls offered returning citizens housing, job resource assistance and other support to help them land on their feet. 

Today, we carry on Maud’s legacy through the RRC, which has been helping thousands of men and women return home from federal prison since 1976. Hosting this week’s Worship Service at the RRC was a great way to bring this story full circle.

To learn more about the RRC, visit
There's SNOW time like now to donate.
Warm up the weather with a great vehicle donation story to VOACC. People have lots of stories about their cars… But cars can also generate other kinds of stories. The money generated by donating your car to VOACC, supports our programs, like the ones mentioned in this newsletter. To learn more, call 833-300-5737, visit us online at or click the button below.
Last minute Christmas shopping?
With only a few weeks left before Christmas, you can support more people in need by completing your holiday shopping through Amazon Smile using these 3 easy steps.

  1. Using your Amazon account login at
  2. Select "Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas"
  3. Start shopping!
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