There are countless children in need throughout the state of Virginia, from those dealing with health issues and disabilities to families struggling with financial hardship. Fortunately, Virginia is home to many impactful nonprofits and charities that work tirelessly to support children across the state. These organizations provide critical services and resources to improve the lives of Virginia’s youth.
In this article, we highlight some of the top children’s charities in Virginia that are making a meaningful difference for kids and families in the community.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Norfolk (RMHC Norfolk)
RMHC Norfolk has been serving the Hampton Roads area of Virginia since 1981. This nonprofit works to support families with sick children receiving treatment at area hospitals like CHKD Health. RMHC Norfolk helps keep families close to their hospitalized child through onsite housing near medical facilities. This allows parents and kids to focus on healing during stressful times.
In addition to lodging assistance, RMHC Norfolk provides meals, transportation help, and other services to ease the burden on families. They aim to create a true “home-away-from-home” where families can find community. Their facilities offer private bedrooms, play areas, fully stocked kitchens, laundry rooms and more. RMHC Norfolk relies on donations and volunteers to provide over 2,500 local families per year with compassionate support.
Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU
This leading children’s hospital provides world-class pediatric specialty care to Central Virginia and beyond. As part of Virginia Commonwealth University, the hospital is dedicated to caring for kids through advanced treatments, innovative research, and community health outreach. Their areas of expertise include cancer, heart care, orthopedics, NICU treatment and more.
The Children’s Hospital offers many family support services during treatment including counseling, child life services, pet therapy, and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. They aim to deliver family-centered care focused on the wellbeing of the whole child. The hospital also funds pediatric health research and community health initiatives to help all kids live healthier lives.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Virginia
With clubs located across the state, Boys & Girls Clubs of Virginia provides safe, affordable after-school and summer programs for youth ages 6 to 18. At their facilities, kids have access to sports, arts, leadership development, health/wellness activities, tutoring, and mentoring. This helps them build skills, self-esteem and reach their full potential.
Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly 50,000 kids in Virginia annually through both physical clubhouses and neighborhood drop-in centers. They aim to meet the needs of all children including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Membership fees are kept low and financial assistance is available so that every child has a chance to benefit from impactful youth development programs.
United Methodist Family Services
UMFS is a nonprofit human services agency with locations in Richmond, Northern Virginia, Tidewater and Fredericksburg. They provide services for at-risk youth including foster care, residential treatment programs, counseling, addiction recovery, education and more. UMFS aims to promote healing and resilience in children, teens and families facing complex challenges.
Some examples of their impactful programs include substance abuse treatment facilities for teens, therapeutic foster homes, community counseling for victims of sex trafficking, and early childhood education centers. UMFS served over 1,200 youth last year through prevention, intervention and treatment programs that allow kids to thrive in their communities.
Feeding America Southwest Virginia
Hunger and poor nutrition affect thousands of kids in Virginia, posing risks to their health, development and education. Feeding America Southwest Virginia works to solve hunger issues through food distribution programs and collaborations with hundreds of community partners. They operate food banks that provide 16 million pounds of food annually to people in need.
Their child hunger initiatives include Weekend BackPack Programs providing kids from low-income families with snacks and meals for the weekend, Mobile Pantry Programs bringing food into underserved neighborhoods, and School Pantry Programs offering regular access to nutritious food. They also educate families on meals, nutrition, and getting involved with food policy.
CASA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg Rockingham
These partner organizations work to match vulnerable youth in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County area with dedicated adult volunteers. CASA recruits, trains and supports court-appointed advocates who speak up for the best interests of abused/neglected children in the community. Big Brothers Big Sisters creates professionally-supported one-on-one mentoring relationships between youth and positive adult role models.
Both programs allow kids to build trusting relationships that empower them towards brighter futures beyond adversity. CASA and Big Brothers Big Sisters served over 500 local children last year through transformative mentoring and advocacy.
Located in Virginia Beach, Samaritan House operates several programs supporting at-risk youth and families. These include an Emergency Shelter for children removed from unsafe home environments, a Crisis Stabilization center for mental health emergencies, and a Transitional Apartment program helping young adults gain self-sufficiency after foster care.
Samaritan House also offers counseling, life skills classes, mentoring, parenting education, and material assistance to community members in need. Their services aim to break cycles of crisis and poverty so that youth can overcome barriers to success. They have helped thousands of children and parents since opening in Virginia Beach in 1978.
Virginia is fortunate to be home to many impactful children’s charities working hard for kids in need. By donating or volunteering with organizations like these, community members can help provide vital resources and support to youth across the state. Each act of generosity contributes towards helping Virginia’s children grow into healthy, empowered adults.
Virginia’s youth represent the future of the state, and every child deserves the opportunity to grow into a healthy, empowered adult. By supporting the vital work of children’s charities across Virginia, caring community members can help provide the resources and services needed to protect our children and expand their possibilities. The dedicated nonprofits highlighted here are just a few of the many organizations striving to make a difference for kids in need. Whether it’s medical care, mentoring, academic support, or meeting basic needs, these charities are improving young lives each day. However, the needs remain great. Virginia children still face issues like poverty, abuse, hunger, disability, and trauma. With more community awareness and involvement, we can strengthen this safety net and create better futures for generations to come. By donating your time, money or resources, you can become part of the solution and have real impact on local kids. Together, we can ensure all Virginia children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.