Dear Friend,

Back in March, we were excited to celebrate our national organization's 125th Anniversary. However, we made sure to save a little excitement for what was coming in July.

Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas is one of only a few affiliates originally founded in 1896 and is also celebrating a 125th Anniversary this year. Starting on July 12th, we will mark our anniversary with a week of remembrance and celebration.

We are also excited to kick off our annual Operation Backpack® campaign this month and hope you can get involved!
On March 15, 2020 the world changed due to the global pandemic. At that time, Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas was planning our last 4 months of the fiscal year and hoping to meet our goals with positive outcomes in our services, programs and financials. But that turned out to be the least of our worries, as the effects of COVID-19 and the state of national social unrest led us to alter how we do business in some areas and completely shut down in others.
Russell Snyder, President and CEO
Our ability to be nimble and adjust to the pandemic was notable. We placed safety and health first for our employees and persons served and became very proficient in making sure we had an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all program locations. Additionally, we worked with local stakeholders to offer different forms of appreciation incentives to our essential staff, who remained committed to our mission. 
We enhanced our ability to leverage technology to strengthen our communications and service delivery. Telehealth and telemedicine became the new norm for some of our consumers and ZOOM and Microsoft Teams meetings helped our staff stay familiar and connected to one another. We became more efficient and self-sufficient as a workforce.  
Our ministry team was pivotal as we launched our Healing Conversations series in response to ongoing social unrest in communities and employees and those we serve were supported through prayer and pastoral care offered to all. Further, as the state of the nation continued in its social unrest, we shifted to provide greater awareness around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by launching our own internal DE&I committee and creating a safe space for learning and discussion via our “Bridges Chat Conversational Series”.
Looking back, this time in our affiliates' history is unprecedented and we pray it will never happen again. But that said, God is our goodness, our peace and our redeemer. Over the past year and a half and continuing, as the nation reopens, our affiliate has made incredible strides through its resilient workforce and strength in serving our most vulnerable populations.
Our services have become more personal for our persons served extending to their families, guardians and those in our care. We have become a more caring, "employee-focused" organization. Our work family is weaved together by our mission and services, and many elected to go above and beyond the call of duty in to ensure there wouldn't be a lapse in services as a result of the pandemic. Thanks to this experience, we are now even more sensitive to and recognize the importance of promoting a healthy work-to-life balance for our staff and will continue to offer opportunities for them to focus on their well-being.
I am thankful and humbled by the perseverance of our employees through the pandemic. Their personal sacrifices, continued love and passion for serving the individuals and families is incredible to experience. We continue to celebrate our employees performance and leadership in our programs and administration.  
God is so good….all the time. Blessings to each of you as we celebrate our 125th Anniversary.
As your VOACC affiliate celebrates our 125th year, and as our fiscal year comes to an end, we want to once again highlight our 2020 Gratitude Report.

In 2020, we served over 11,400 individuals across all of our programs in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and the Carolinas. But we know that our 800+ employees couldn't do the work they do everyday without your continued support. 

We know it is because of YOU that our Christian church without walls continues to transform the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. And for that we are grateful.

To view the report, click here.
Our staff are more than just employees, they are Family. We endeavor to be the kind of church and workplace that attracts the most qualified and dedicated professionals who are passionate about supporting the less fortunate. This month, we are excited to recognize two stellar employees who have gone above and beyond to support our mission.
Samantha Lucky joined VOACC in August of 2019 as a Social Work Intern from Howard University's School of Social Work Master's Program.

Samantha excelled during this time period and was integral to helping our team launch the VOA Hope Center, a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center in Maryland, in October of 2019.

After completing her internship, Samantha continued to work for VOACC by helping with client intakes and assessments at the Center. She also completed her Master's in Social Work in December 2020.

Today, Samantha works as a full-time Case Manager at Pratt House, a supportive housing program in Baltimore that offers families who have experienced homelessness a place to call home.

But that's not all! We are also proud to share that as of June 2021, Samantha is licensed in the state of Maryland as a Masters Social Worker (LMSW)! Congratulations, Samantha!
From a very young age, Quentera Jackson had a passion for helping others and decided early on pursue a career in social work.

After graduating from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina in May 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Quentera went on to obtain her Master’s of Social Work along with a Certificate in Substance Abuse Studies in May 2020.

Throughout her studies, Quentera volunteered with various agencies, including The Fayetteville Urban Ministry, where she taught children how to develop their interpersonal skills.

But it was our core values as a Church Without Walls, that impacted and attracted her to VOACC.

Today, Quentera supports veterans as a Case Manager in our Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program in North Carolina. Now a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate (LCSWA) as well as a certified Peer Support Specialist, Quentera is confident in the blessings that she will be able to bestow upon others.
Within our Caring Chronicles newsletter, we love to share the stories of our clients. This month, we hope you enjoy the moving testimonial of Teresa Roberts, the niece of a veteran we have proudly served through our Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program in Durham, NC.
I'm sending this email in reference to Nicole Rice, SSVF Case Manager. How I was able to get to Ms. Rice and Volunteers of America Chesapeake and Carolinas was not an easy process on my end.

I am the sole caregiver for my uncle which is my father’s baby brother. He has never been married nor does he have any biological children. My uncle served in the United State Army for some years and recently had some serious medical issues where he needed lots of medical care and lots of surgeries from September to December of 2020.

During that time he lived with me and my family to recover. Needless to say that was a challenge in itself. At one point, he sadly had to have his leg amputated. After leaving the hospital he went to a rehabilitation center.

Once he was at the rehabilitation center I encountered lots of headaches and sleepless nights. I called so many numbers and programs and got nowhere, but one day my uncle mentioned that someone told him to call Volunteers of America Chesapeake and Carolinas.

We did just that and I have to say GOD has always been on my side because he blessed me and my uncle with Ms. Rice. From my first phone call with her when she indicated what she needed to get him in the program, I knew that this was a relationship made from GOD’s hands himself.

I cannot say enough about Ms. Rice and VOACC. They truly came through not only for my family but for all families in need. I will be forever grateful for this program because I know that my uncle has somewhere to live and is not on the streets.
KUDOS to everyone for a JOB WELL DONE!!!
Forever grateful,
Teresa Roberts and Marvin Hill (SSgt-Retired U.S. Air Force)
Meet Nicole Rice, SSVF Case Manager

"In working with the individuals on my caseload, I am able to partner with them as they overcome personal challenges. I have been fortunate to work with and support some families that have made great strides to accomplishing their goals. VOACC, illustrates the presence of God through all that we do. My goal is to allow God to use me to be encouragement for those in need, so they can be encouragement for others, as we all navigate this life’s journey."
To learn more about our veteran programs in North Carolina, please click on the links below.

I had the great privilege of wearing the uniform of the United States Army for three decades. During that time, I was sent to many countries around the world. Some friendly, and some decidedly not so. Over the years, I learned several important lessons from these travels. We live in the greatest country in the history of human civilization.

No matter where I went, people saw me as an American.  It did not matter to them the color of my skin, my religion, my sexual preferences or what neighborhood I was from. All they saw was an American soldier. They either loved me or hated me based on that fact alone. 
Dr. B (as we call him) MD., FCCP.
Colonel (Retired) US Army
Executive Director, VOA Hope Center

As soldiers, you quickly learn that all we have is each other. And the only people that will look out for you are the soldiers you serve with. Any distinction beyond that fact is of no consideration. We are Americans.

Second, this truly is the land of the free. We live in a 250-year-old experiment in self-determination that started on July 4th, 1776. We are not “subjects of the Crown”! This is not a dictatorship or an authoritarian government that decides what work you do, what God you can pray to, where you can travel, or how many children you have. We often forget that more than half the people on this planet live under the heel of dictators and autocrats. Even in other democratic countries I was often surprised by the restriction imposed on its people.
So, every year, I celebrate Independence Day as the day we started to change the world.  Back then we were an experiment. Nobody predicted that a “country of the people, by the people and for the people” could exist. Since then, over 120 peoples and countries have declared their independence.   Are we perfect? Absolutely not. Only God is perfect.  “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes”.  We are and always will be a work in progress.

When Thomas Jefferson stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", he set in motion a bold new idea and an aspirational goal for the nation which still applies today.

– Dr. Daniel Bochicchio
Our Annual Operation Backpack® kicks off this month and runs through August.

Operation Backpack® is our initiative to fill in the gap for our region’s most vulnerable children. Your donations help us provide backpacks, school supplies and funding for academic enrichment to more than 2,500 homeless and underprivileged children in DC., Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas.

Our 2021 goal is to raise $40,000 to support even more kids in need. We're excited to announce that we are partnering with Brookfield Properties and 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.

  • The Gallery at Harbor Place in Baltimore, MD
  • The Mall in Columbia in Columbia, MD
  • Ballston Quarter in Arlington, VA
  • The Streets at Southpoint in Durham, NC

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:

  • July 10th (Kickoff Event)
  • July 16th
  • July 24th
  • July 30th
  • August 7th
  • August 13th
  • August 21st (Packing Event at Columbia & Ballston ONLY)
  • August 28th (Packing Event at The Gallery & Southpoint ONLY)

To learn more about how you can get involved as a sponsor, donor or even a volunteer, visit us online at
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