The Citizen’s local COVID-19 ‘Giving Guide’

By Graham Schiltz, contributor

Community resources in Harrisonburg are under more pressure than ever to adapt to new conditions in wake of COVID-19 and provide services to those who may not have needed them before — or now need them in more intensive ways.

From food banks to homeless shelters to direct fundraising efforts, The Citizen has compiled a list of various organizations and businesses in Harrisonburg in need of extra support.

Food banks

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.brafb.org/give-now/.

Volunteer opportunities – Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is looking for volunteers for more physically demanding work in the warehouse and lighter work in sorting food for distribution. View their calendar for a volunteering schedule at https://brafb.volunteerhub.com/events/index.

Pale Fire Helps food bank for food service employees

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/pale-fire-helps.

Volunteer opportunities – Sign up for a six-hour shift between to distribute food to local food service workers at https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/3238066/false#/invitation.

Patchwork Pantry

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://connect.clickandpledge.com/Organization/patchworkpantry/campaign/default.

Material donations – Patchwork Pantry is looking for non-perishable food, toilet paper, and paper towels. A full list is available here. Donations can be dropped off Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Community Mennonite Church. 

Homeless and survivor service agencies

Our Community Place (OCP) community center and soup kitchen

Monetary donations – Donate online at http://ourcommunityplace.org/donate/

Material donations – OCP is looking for food, coffee, sugar, to-go containers, paper towels, face masks, hand sanitizer, and non-latex gloves. Goods can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Volunteer opportunities – Volunteers must be available three times per week for six-hour shifts, have no children under 12 or senior citizens over 65 in their home, maintain relative isolation outside OCP, have no flu-like symptoms or exposure to those with flu-like symptoms in the past 10 days, and have not traveled within the last 30 days. Apply to volunteer at http://ourcommunityplace.org/volunteer/.

Open Doors thermal shelter

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.valleyopendoors.org/donate.

Material donations – Open Doors is looking for underwear, socks, winter hats, scarves, gloves, travel-sized toiletries, and over-the-counter medications. Items can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. See a full list of accepted items here.

Volunteer opportunities – Open Doors is looking for groups or individuals to make meals for residents. Email [email protected] for more information.

Mercy House

Monetary donations – Donate online at http://www.themercyhouse.org/donate.html.

Material donations – Mercy House is looking for wipes, lysol, gloves, paper towels, toilet paper, and face masks. They are also looking for items for residents such as pillows, blankets, toilet paper, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. A full list is available at http://www.themercyhouse.org/wish-list.html. Donations are accepted at the Mercy House office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

First Step domestic abuse survivor shelter

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.firststepva.com/donate/.

Material donations – First Step is looking for new underwear, socks, bras, and pillows, paper towels, toilet paper, coffee, tea, sugar, creamer, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent pods, and snacks. A full list of accepted supplies available at https://www.firststepva.com/what-we-need/.

Medical Centers

Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH)

Monetary donations – Donate online here

Material donations – Sentara RMH is looking for homemade masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Call (540) 689-8545 to schedule a drop off time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. A full list of accepted donations is available at https://sentaraupdates.com/donations/.

The Free Clinic

Monetary donations – donate online here

Material donations – The Free Clinic is looking for unopened thermometers to be dropped off Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Volunteer opportunities – The Free Clinic is looking for volunteers who can commit to at least one year, three to 12 hours per month. A full list of volunteer positions is available at https://www.hrfreeclinic.org/volunteers.

Harrisonburg Community Health Center

Monetary donations – Donate online at http://www.hburgchc.org/donate/.

Material donations – Harrisonburg Community Health Center is looking for homemade face masks. Details can be found online here.

Other Community Organizations

New Bridges Immigrant Resource Center

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://secure.donationpay.org/newbridgesirc/.

Volunteer opportunities – New Bridges is looking for volunteers in a variety of positions. A full list and application are available at https://www.newbridgesirc.org/volunteer/.

Rockingham-Harrisonburg Community Foundation/United Way COVID response fund, supporting “front line human services organizations that have deep roots in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County and strong experience working with those vulnerable in our community.”

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.tcfhr.org/donate-to-covid-19-hr-community-response-fund/.

Shenandoah Mutual Aid network

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.paypal.me/shenandoahmutualaid.

Volunteer opportunities – Shenandoah Mutual Aid is looking for volunteers to do a variety of tasks such as yard work, picking up groceries, and providing transportation. A full list of positions and an application are available here

Harrisonburg Fire Department

Material donations – Harrisonburg Fire Department is looking for homemade face masks. HFD will supply materials. If interested, call (540) 432-7703 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, encouraging letters to firefighters may be sent to 101 N. Main Street, 3rd Floor, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

Direct Support for laid-off employees

Harrisonburg Culinary District Workers

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/harrisonburg-culinary-district-workers.

Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-the-staff-of-bella-luna.

The Golden Pony

Monetary donations – donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-the-people-of-the-pony.

Harrisonburg Tip Jar 

Monetary donations – Donate online directly to individual service workers at https://rb.gy/zy5qvd.

Direct support for local businesses

Agora Downtown Market

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-agora-downtown-market.

Water Street Bohemian

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-water-street-vintage-amp-bohemian.

Bella Luna and Bella Gelato

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-bella-luna-amp-bella-gelato.

Pale Fire Brewing Company

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/pale-fire-gofundme-quotmatchquot.

The Center Yoga

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/stay-centered-support-the-center-yoga.

OASIS Fine Art and Craft

Shop online at https://www.oasisfineartandcraft.org/shop .

Monetary donations – Donate online at https://www.oasisfineartandcraft.org/donate.

If you hear of other opportunities to donate money, supplies, or time to local businesses and organizations responding to COVID-19, please leave us a comment or email us at [email protected]


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