Where we serve
All community assets and challenges are intertwined, but below you will find just a few of the many areas around which Bonners serve.
Education and Youth Empowerment
Info: Rockbridge Area Recreational Association (RARO) leads some athletic activities for youth in the area. Volunteers have served with River Runners, a cross country club for young kids. They coach practices, games, and races for the kids and make sure things are fun and running smoothly. There are also other volunteering opportunities at RARO for different sports.
Student: Nathan Brewer ’19, Ella Powers ’22, William Baya ‘22
Info: RCHS has around 1000 high school students from Rockbridge County and Lexington and offers a wide variety of classes. Volunteers have worked in various capacities at the high school: as a tutor, mentor, or as a club leader. Past students have helped high schoolers navigate the college application process and tutored there.
Info: The Rockbridge Regional Library System is a group of local libraries with the aim of promoting learning and reading to the population. Their headquarters is in Lexington within a walking distance of campus and they also operate a bookmobile that you can see driving around Rockbridge (it’s hard to miss!) Volunteers can help with their youth literacy program as a reading tutor after getting the necessary training. They meet with elementary students at the library and work together to improve their reading skills.
Student: Andrew Claybrook ’22, Johnny Lavette ‘21
Info: This is the Rockbridge branch of the YMCA that supports the local community with a full gym, pool and exercise programs for its members. Children come in after school to play and participate in the programs offered there like soccer and gymnastics. Volunteers have helped in their afterschool and enrichment programs for students and helped coach some of their sports teams.
Student: Jacob Day ’22, Robert Moore ‘20
Info: Yellow Brick Road (YBR) is an early learning center that has children ranging in ages from infancy to pre-k aged kids. It offers affordable childcare with need-based scholarships for children in Lexington and Rockbridge County. Volunteers typically serve as teacher aides in their classes and help facilitate activities for the students.
Info: Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center’s mission is to serve children and families who are faced with unique learning challenges, specifically autism and learning disabilities, in and around the Roanoke Valley. Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center (BRAAC) is licensed by the Virginia Department of Education to serve students ages 2-22. BRAAC provides specialized educational programs in a private day school setting as well as direct and consultative educational services in public schools. An after-school tutoring program provides continuity and reinforces consistency for students and families. BRAAC also provides specialized services for children in their homes as well as in-home training for parents. All of these highly specialized services necessitate continued professional development, which BRAAC provides to its staff, local school divisions, community support professionals and family members.
Student: Lorena Terroba ‘21
Info: The mission of the English for Speakers of Other Languages Program is to facilitate communication within the increasingly diverse population in Rockbridge County.
Although ESOL has focused on the Latina/o community, the program works with speakers of all languages. We offer formal ESOL classes and one-on-one tutoring arrangements, Spanish classes for adults, free translation of documents (Spanish-English/English-Spanish), and a hotline to provide immediate interpreting services.
Student: Hannah Denham '20
Info: Head Start, the most successful, longest-running, national school readiness program in the United States, is one of TAP's oldest and largest programs. TAP's Head Start program was among the first in the nation, established in 1965. Today it remains the agency's largest, with a funded enrollment of 784 preschoolers, 180 infants and toddlers, and 33 pregnant women. Since its inception, more than 21,000 low-income preschoolers have benefited from the TAP Head Start experience. TAP Head Start currently serves Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, Rockbridge, and Roanoke Counties and the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, Lexington, Roanoke, and Salem.
Info: The purpose of the Office on Youth is to provide is to help other youth serving agencies in the City of Lexington provide programs for students in Lexington and its environs. The Office on Youth provides two direct service programs in a drug-free and intimidation-free environment. The department receives funding from the City of Lexington.
Student: James Ricks ‘21
Health, Aging, and Ability
Info: The Rockbridge Area Health Center (RAHC) started out as the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic which served the local population’s medical needs. It now has a sliding scale for fees and provides primary, dental and behavioral healthcare for the community members. Volunteers have helped in various positions at RAHC with some people helping bridge the gap between the health center and the clients through surveys and such work.
Student: Nicole Gunawansa ‘14
Info: Rockbridge Area Hospice is a local nonprofit that provides hospice care for terminally ill patients in the Rockbridge area and the surrounding communities. It accepts Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, as well as patients with no insurance. It covers the last group via the Good Neighbor Fund from the community. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities at the site and this could include doing some administrative tasks or directly interacting with the clients at their homes.
Student: Grayson Nelson ’22, James Ricks ‘21
Info: This is a local branch of Carilion Clinic that accepts private and government issued insurance such as Medicaid. They provide some basic medical services like scans and emergency services, as well as some specialized services. Volunteers have served in different parts of Stonewall Jackson Hospital and have sometimes worked with the clients themselves.
Student: Vincent Buckman ‘20
Info: “Horses helping people.” It’s been Hoofbeat’s guiding principle since our founding in 1993. We offer accredited therapeutic horseback riding services to adults and children in Rockbridge, Virginia and neighboring communities. Hoofbeats serves people with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities, trauma, or chronic diseases and a limited number of able-bodied riders. Find us on the grounds of the Virginia Horse Center, where our staff, volunteers and horses serve more than 100 riders every year. Our facility offers a mounting ramp, arena, indoor classroom space, and wooded sensory trail. Come visit us soon!
Hunger and Housing Insecurity
Info: Rockbridge Area relief association (RARA) is a nonprofit that combats hunger and poverty in the rockbridge area. There is a pantry that people can come to four days a week and a mobile food pantry that goes to specific areas in the community. RARA also has a helpline that helps people by giving them a place to stay whether that is with a hotel or with their utility bills or rent. Volunteers have worked for either the pantry, or the helpline, or both.
Student: Sasha Edwards ’20, Diala Al Shamasneh ’21, Mansi Tripathi ’22, Ella Powers ’22, Bo Garfinkel ’22, Andrew Claybrook ‘22
Info: The Community Table (TCT) is a ‘restaurant without a cash register’ that is open for dinner on Mondays and Lunch on Wednesdays. It brings people from all over the community to break bread together and get to know one another without worrying about the bill. Volunteers have many different roles at TCT ranging from hosts, servers or as a part of the clean-up crew.
Founded in 2001, The Campus Kitchens Project is the national program of renowned local nonprofit and social enterprise, DC Central Kitchen. On university and high school campuses across the country, students transform unused food from dining halls, grocery stores, restaurants, and farmers’ markets into meals for their community. Because food alone will never end hunger, Campus Kitchens also develop innovative local solutions that go ‘beyond the meal’ and target hunger’s root causes. Running a Campus Kitchen builds leadership skills, offers entrepreneurial opportunities, and fosters personal and community relationships that students both use today and carry with them into future careers.
The mission of The Campus Kitchens Project is to use service as a way to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities. At the Campus Kitchen at Washington and Lee (CKWL) we combat hunger and promote nutrition by recovering and reusing food that would otherwise go to waste into balanced meals for low-income members of the community in Rockbridge County. Volunteers also develop valuable relationships with clients.
Info: Putting faith into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. We seek to eliminate substandard housing in Rockbridge County by partnering with the community to make safe, decent, affordable housing a matter of conscience and action.
Founded in 1989, Rockridge Area Habitat offers partnership housing solutions to local low-income Rockbridge County residents through its new home build and home repair programs. To qualify for either program, applicants must demonstrate need, ability to pay either a mortgage (for a new home) or up-front payment (for home repairs), and be willing to contribute sweat equity to help carry out their build or repair. RAHfH projects are affordable because Habitat uses volunteer labor and does not make a profit for its work. New home loans are low-interest loans through USDA/RD; critical home repair payments are based on a sliding scale.
Student: Jenny Sobkowiak ’21, William Baya ‘22
Info: Project Horizon is dedicated to reducing domestic, dating, and sexual violence in the Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County area through crisis intervention services and prevention programs.
We are here to help, and provide services to anyone who is experiencing domestic, dating violence or sexual assault. These free and confidential services include a 24-hour hotline (463-2594), emergency shelter, crisis intervention, counseling, applicable referrals, and legal advocacy. It is our goal to work with survivors and to provide support, information and education to help survivors meet their individual goals and create a community, through our outreach initiatives and prevention programs, that is healthy and safe.
Student: Mara Effimov ’20, Kameko Landry ’19, Mansi Tripathi ’22, Elizabeth Herman ‘22
Community and Economic Development
Info: Student Consulting is offered by university students to businesses and non-profits in the local community and elsewhere. The students are put into groups and matched with an organization which they usually work with for a semester. The group helps the organizations in different areas like marketing or human resources. Students have to apply to the program to be able to participate in it.
Student? Edward Stroud ’17, Jenny Sobkowiak ‘21
The mission of the Engineering Community Development (ECD) Club at Washington & Lee is to combine the efforts of not only engineering students, but of all majors and interests in order to enhance the living conditions of developing communities locally and worldwide. As an Engineering World Health (EWH) chapter, the ECD club will promote biomedical engineering skills for the developing world. Students will learn about poverty-stricken areas and utilize creative and thought-out solutions as a team, focusing on the fields of health, water, sanitation, energy, transportation, telecommunication, agriculture or any other field where engineering can promote the basic standard of living of communities locally and in the developing world.
Other Community Needs
Info: The Immigrant Rights Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law enlists student attorneys as the primary legal representatives for non-citizen clients in immigration matters. The IRC has the dual goal of helping student attorneys develop the skills, values, and knowledge necessary to succeed in the practice of law, and to provide much needed legal services to the underserved immigrant population in south and central Virginia. IRC student attorneys currently provide legal services to persons in removal proceedings, both detained and non-detained, and with a particular focus on vulnerable populations such as refugees, unaccompanied minors, and victims of domestic violence
Student: Mimi Miller ‘20