It's hard to believe that it's August already. For Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas this means we've WRAPPED up our fiscal year, and we've RAMPED up our annual Operation Backpack®.

This month's newsletter will celebrate both of those things, as well as explore the origins and importance of National Nonprofit Day on August 17th.
As a child, Ashley Tate was molested and had an abusive mother and father. Growing up, she often found herself in unstable environments, often living in shelters and hotels. As you might imagine, these negative influences had a lasting impact on her life and led to many more challenges. As an adult, Ashley admits she did things she couldn’t imagine herself doing just to survive, including dealing drugs.

Eventually, Ashley knew a change was needed. She now had two young girls but no permanent housing and realized this cycle of behavior needed to stop. 

Ashley moved into our Pratt House program in Baltimore, MD in 2018 and immediately things began to change for the better. She worked with our counselors to address her anger. She began working at our front desk. Her daughters were even given school uniform vouchers and filled backpacks through Operation Backpack®.

Today, Ashley and her three daughters (Madison 8; Mackenzie 6; Morgan 2) live in their first home together outside Pratt House. Ashley works for the City of Baltimore and has published three books that focus on guiding young women away from a life of domestic violence.

Help us restore a sense of normalcy for children, like Ashley’s, and send the message that they and their education are important.

There's just three more weeks left in our campaign and people like you have already helped us raise $26,320 towards our $40,000 goal! Just $40 will provide a new backpack filled with the required supplies for a child in our care. A donation of $350 will ensure that a child has access to a laptop computer.

To learn more about Operation Backpack® and how you can support vulnerable children in your community, click here.

You can hear more of Ashley's story from a 2019 Vision & Voices Podcast.
Ashely Tate
Madison & Mackenzie
Just a reminder that we will be onsite at the following retail locations for you to drop off school supplies, meet our VOACC staff and volunteers and learn more about the campaign.

If you live or work near these locations, we'd love for you to stop by. We will be onsite from 10:00am - 2:00pm on the following dates:

  • Friday, August 13th
  • Saturday, August 21st
  • Saturday, August 28th (Harbor Place & Southpoint ONLY)

To learn more about how you can get involved as a sponsor, donor or even a volunteer, visit us online at
Last month we "closed the books" on our 2020-2021 fiscal year by celebrating our employees and honoring them for all of their dedication and hard work over the last 12 months.

We also celebrated a select few, who were recognized by their peers as going above and beyond and best exemplifying our core values.
Raquel Fleming
Office Manager,
Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
DC Region
Linda Kimble
Administrative Assistant
Loudoun Homeless Services Center
VA Region
Miradette Herbert
Office/Bill Clerk
Prince George's Behavioral Health
MD Region
Nicole Lamb
Team Lead
Coordinated Entry & Diversion
NC Region
Oluseye Jeje
Director of Operations
Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
DC Region
Perpetual Attipoe
Assistant Director
Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
VA Region
Solomon Hejirika
Senior Program Director
Residential Reentry Center
MD Region
Catherine Cooper
Team Lead
Supportive Services for Veteran Families
NC Region
VOACC's Vibrant Internship Program
Internships are an important part of most college student careers. Being able to get "hands on" experience in the discipline they've chosen to study while in school helps them succeed after graduation. This summer we had two interns working in two distinct areas and receiving invaluable training.
Bailey Hardy is a ministry intern working with Chaplain Joe Bachota in Durham, NC. Originally from Richmond, VA, Bailey attended Broadwater College for his undergraduate degree in Spanish and Religion.

Currently, Bailey is in North Carolina attending Duke University for graduate school in their Divinity program. That's how he found VOACC.

After graduation, Bailey's goal is to become a Chaplain. “I love the idea of shadowing Chaplain Joe. He's a former army veteran and has a ton of experience.”
As part of his internship, Bailey has weekly talks on different topics which requires research. He also recently became interested in the topic of Moral Injury. “I don’t know what field I want to join so this guidance from VOACC has been great."
Mark Dawit is the communication and outreach intern working with our Community Outreach Team Lead and Marketing & Communications Manager to support fundraising and raising awareness for Operation Backpack® and our other programs.

Originally from Takoma Park, MD, Mark is currently attending Towson University in Baltimore studying Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations.
Mark's work with VOACC is helping him become a better communicator, writer, and event organizer.
Public Relations requires a lot of moving pieces and being able to work on a nonprofit's development and communications team has given Mark a lot of great experience. “I am currently working on information research, writing articles and helping organize and execute successful fundraising events."

Working in communications or PR is a dream of Mark's, and thanks to the work he has been doing at VOACC, that dream is becoming more of a reality. 

To learn more about VOACC's internship program and available positions, please contact Dr. Keith Williams at
National Nonprofit Day, a tremendous opportunity to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate the positive impact VOACC has on communities within our service regions.
National Nonprofit Day was founded two years prior to the establishment of Volunteers of America by Sherita J. Herling on August 17, 1894, when the Tariff Act became law and gave exemptions for charitable institutions and nonprofit organizations. Today, we celebrate National Nonprofit Day by recognizing nonprofits and the impact of their world-changing work in our local communities and on a global scale.

VOACC is one of nearly two million nonprofits in the U.S.. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonprofits are one of the greatest sources of employment, making up over 11.4 million or 10.2 percent of the American workforce. Nonprofits address some of society’s toughest issues. In fact, for nearly every issue there is a nonprofit. Every second of every day, a child, a family, a senior citizen, a student or an animal benefits from the incredible work of a nonprofit. Nonprofits are the heart and soul of the community, addressing society’s most pressing issues.

The last 16 months have been one of the most challenging times most nonprofits have faced in their existence. But nonprofits weather all kinds of storms.

And although times have been incredibly difficult, we at VOACC have been encouraged and deeply moved by the love shown by people who make extraordinary sacrifices to help others. 

National Nonprofit Day is a great reminder that nonprofits impact society in positive ways too numerous to count. Here’s what you can do to make a lasting difference in the lives of people in our communities: