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Area Nonprofits Working Together for a Stronger Community During National NeighborWorks Week

CHP CFNRV Mission

Every year since 2000, Community Housing Partners (CHP) has joined other NeighborWorks America member organizations across the nation in a week-long initiative known as National NeighborWorks Week to bring about neighborhood change and awareness through local community improvement, beautification, education, and appreciation projects. This year, CHP will continue its annual tradition of participating in a community-based project by teaming up with the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) to assist a third local nonprofit organization, the Giles County Christian Service Mission in Pearisburg, Va., by weatherizing its facility and engaging in a number of additional volunteer activities that will benefit Mission clients.

The Mission, which ministers to low or fixed-income individuals and families who struggle with chronic needs or emergency needs due to sudden loss of income or property, re-located two years ago to a historic, 5,000-square-foot brick building in downtown Pearisburg. Though ample in size and charm, the old brick building is highly energy inefficient, costing the nonprofit up to $3,400 each year in utility bills. For the past five years, the Mission has requested funding from the CFNRV to cover their high utility costs, but this year, CHP and the CFNRV are proposing to reduce the need for annual funding requests by improving the facility’s efficiency, comfort, safety, and sustainability.

According to CHP Director of Development Kimberly Strahm, the Mission is a valuable community resource in Giles County that delivers food, clothing, and referral assistance to hundreds of individuals, including current and former residents of CHP owned and managed properties in the area. “When CHP was approached by CFNRV to help find a sustainable solution to the Mission’s energy efficiency problem, we were happy to lend our expertise and skills,” said Strahm. “We are all working together to benefit a fellow nonprofit, but also the community itself. For us, it was a natural collaboration.”

CHP employees will volunteer their time before and during NeighborWorks Week (June 6 -13) to weatherize the building, which according to CHP Vice President of Energy Solutions Bill Beachy, should have a significant impact on the Mission’s energy use.

“We anticipate that the Mission will benefit from a 20-30 percent cost savings once we complete our work, said Beachy. “Techniques such as insulating and reducing air infiltration in the building’s attic space will reduce the volume of air that needs to be heated or cooled in the rest of the facility, and will help prevent the heated or cooled air from leaving the building space. Less energy usage equals less money spent equals more money saved…and more clients served as a result.” 

The costs of the weatherization project are being covered by a grant from NeighborWorks America, as well as contributions from CHP, the CFNRV, the Mission, 84 Lumber, and Best Distributing.

On June 10, CHP employees will also paint part of the facility’s office space, sort and shelve donations, and organize a drive for food and blankets that will benefit the Mission’s clients.

CHP is part of the NeighborWorks network, an affiliation of more than 245 nonprofit organizations located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In 2014, the NeighborWorks network helped more 300,000 individuals and families with affordable housing and counseling. The NeighborWorks network was founded and is supported by NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities.

About The Community Foundation of the New River Valley
The mission of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) is to enrich its community by providing professional management services to donors for their charitable causes, awarding visionary grants and scholarships, and nurturing collaborations in our community. Since 1997, the CFNRV has awarded $3 million in total grants and scholarships.

About the Giles County Christian Service Mission
The Giles County Christian Service Mission is an outreach ministry that is sponsored through the ecumenical efforts of the Christian community within Giles County. Not affiliated with any one particular denomination, church, or party, the Mission minister to persons who face chronic need due to low or fixed income or emergency need due to sudden loss of income or property. The Mission provides assistance with clothing, food, and finances as available, and referrals to agencies that provide financial and/or transient assistance.