February 2021
Nominate an
Outstanding Volunteer for annual
Governor's Awards!
Nominations are now open for the 2021 Virginia Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Awards! Do you know someone who is always doing something for others? How about an individual who has gone above and beyond despite COVID restrictions? Is there a small business that jumped into action to feed hungry families or distribute PPE? Each year, more than 2 million Virginians volunteer in some way. The Governor's Volunteerism Awards provide and opportunity to highlight some of these amazing individuals and organizations and inspire others to serve! Winners will be honored in May. 

NOTE: The nomination period has changed! Nominations will be accepted until 5pm, April 23, 2021. Submit a nomination today!
Volunteering Unites Us
on MLK Day of Service

Thousands of Virginians spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday by volunteering in their communities. From gathering food and clothing donations to donating blood, volunteers used their creativity and passion for helping others to continue to make MLK Day a "day on, not off" -- despite COVID-19. In Northern Virginia, numerous organizations hosted safe activities, including making and dropping off activity kits for kids, donating COVID care packages, and cleaning outdoor spaces. In Danville, AmeriCorps members (pictured right) focused on honoring teachers by making thank you bags and having local shops adorn their businesses with apple stickers showing support for teachers. What did you do for MLK Day? We'd love to hear your stories and see your pictures!
Celebrate AmeriCorps Week
March 7-13, 2021
AmeriCorps Week is a time to salute members and alums for their service, thank community partners, and communicate national service impact on communities and on the lives of those who serve. Some of the way AmeriCorps programs can participate this year include:

  • Post stories about AmeriCorps members on social media using #MadeinAmeriCorps
  • Invite community leaders or elected officials to take the AmeriCorps Pledge; give them some AmeriCorps gear, and have them set out on a day of service. 
  • Ask your mayor or county official to thank your members/alumni by issuing a proclamation. Share a link to the proclamation on social media.
Building a Generation of Volunteers
by Lorna Clarke, Volunteer Fairfax
Volunteer Fairfax was pleased to combine two popular family-friendly volunteer events – Valentines Challenge and Give Together, into the 2021 MLK Weekend of Service. In both events, volunteers worked on service projects from the safety of their homes, school, or after school programs. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and some ingenuity in sorting supplies, we were able to distribute nearly 1,000 project supply kits out to the community! . . . Making its debut this year was the first-ever MLK, Jr. Volunteer Guidebook which was available in hard-copy or digital download to those who registered to participate in Give Together. This outstanding publication outlines actionable service project ideas to engage families. Parents and educators can select projects based on key mission areas including food insecurity, social justice, elder care, and homelessness. 
Nonprofit Toolbox
If you would like to share additional resources with us, please pass them along to us via email at VirginiaServiceInfo@dss.virginia.gov.

  • How To Talk to Youth About Human Trafficking is a new resource for youth caregivers and individuals working with youth featuring information about how traffickers operate and reach potential victims, myths and realities of human trafficking, youth vulnerabilities and more.

  • Supporting Young English Learners at Home features nine activity sheets in both English and Spanish, designed to provide simple, fun activities families and caregivers can use with children at home to strengthen language development in either the home language or English.

  • The new issue of Civic Life Today, a new publication from Points of Light, explores the power of a person’s voice, and the full spectrum of ways people can use their voice in order to create change and advance causes they care about.

  • FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council is accepting applications for youth leaders interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. Deadline: March 7. 

  • The Bank of America Charitable Foundation Grants seek to advance pathways to economic mobility in order to build thriving communities. In 2021, the Foundation will issue two requests for proposals that address the following focus areas: The Economic Mobility Focused on the Needs of Individuals and Families category provides support for workforce development, education, and basic needs.

  • Nature's Path Gardens for Good Grants supports nonprofit organizations with community garden projects that make fresh organic food more accessible in the local neighborhood. Deadline: March 24

Upcoming Opportunities
Online Training Opportunities
More Volunteer Opportunities
Virginia Office on Volunteerism & Community Services