Community Resources E-Newsletter

December 2023

STAY INFORMED

You Can Do Your Part to “Make the Holidays Bright” For Someone in Need

Are you looking for ways to make the holidays brighter for others? Hanover County Department of Community Resources has a list of organizations seeking holiday assistance for those they serve. The “Making Holidays Bright” flyer provides individuals, businesses and community groups with opportunities and contact information of local agencies that need community support as they serve others during the Holiday season. The list is available online at www.hanovercounty.gov/367/volunteer. For more information, call the Department of Community Resources at 804-365-4300 or email volunteer@hanovercounty.gov

Social Security Announces 3.2 Percent Benefit Increase for 2024

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 71 million Americans will receive a 3.2 percent cost-of-living increase in 2024. This means that, on average, Social Security retirement benefits will increase by more than $50 per month starting in January. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). Other adjustments that take effect each January are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $168,600 from $160,200.

Social Security will begin mailing recipients about their new benefit amount in early December. Information about Medicare changes for 2024 are available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, their new 2024 benefit amount mailed in December in their COLA notice or in their my Social Security Message Center.

Virginia Center on Aging’s Annual Update

The Virginia Center on Aging will have its virtual Annual Update on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, 9-10 a.m. This will be an opportunity to learn about VCoA’s growth over the past year and to offer opportunities to engage in their mission of making Virginia a place where people can thrive at every age. Click here to register.

Access Data and Information from the Virginia Center on Aging

The Virginia Center on Aging and the VCU Department of Gerontology, known as GeroAging, is committed to their mission of advancing health, well-being and equity for the elders of today and tomorrow through inclusive collaboration with partners, communities and elders across the Commonwealth.  

Dr. Tracey Gendron, Ph.D. Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Gerontology, Executive Director, has announced an initiative aimed at disseminating essential data and knowledge to make it more accessible. The first step was launching a series of issue briefs and research briefs that are available on their website. These briefs present evidence-based insights into critical topics identified by the community. such as social security, ageism and elder abuse mistreatment.  

Hanover County Food Pantry Calendar  

Hanover County has a network of more than 18 non-profit food pantries that provide food to individuals and families in need across the county! Members from the local food pantries meet monthly to address ways to combat food insecurity in Hanover County through collaboration while creating a pathway to enhance food independence for people they serve. To learn more about food pantries and how to access services, view the Hanover Food Pantry Service Day Calendar and Information Sheet on the Community Resources webpage. For more information about the Hanover Food Network, contact the Department of Community Resources at 804-365-4300 or volunteer@hanovercounty.gov.

Hanover DASH Program Reduces Rates and Expands Hours

Just a reminder to let your clients and partners know that the Hanover DASH Program has reduced the copay cost for enrolled riders. The new cost is $5 per ride and the hours expanded to seven days a week, Monday-Sunday, from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. This program provides transportation (to medical appointments, grocery stores, errands, employment and formal social programs) for those aged 65 and up and persons with a disability. Destinations are anywhere in Hanover County or within seven miles of the county boundary. Rides to medical facilities beyond the 7-mile buffer, such as the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center and the medical offices at Stony Point, are also allowed. UZURV, an adaptive transportation network company, is the transportation provider. Call 804-365- 3274 or visit www.HanoverDASH.org for more information.


MEETINGS, EVENTS AND TRAININGS

Hidden in Plain Sight Workshop

Hidden in Plain Sight is a free community initiative to help educate parents on possible signs of drug and alcohol use by teens. A teenager’s bedroom is replicated to allow parents to “snoop” around to find indicators of drug use and hiding spots. Hanover Cares will host this event in partnership with the Hanover Community Services Board, Hanover County Public Schools, Hanover County Sherriff’s Office and the Chickahominy Baptist Association. 

The workshop will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at First Union Baptist Church (6231 Pole Green Road, Mechanicsville). Click here to register. 

Mental Health First Aid Training for Youth 

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Hanover Community Services Board will host a training for parents, caregivers, and those who work with youth on how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth (ages 12-18). 

There is no charge for this course, but participants must complete a two-hour, self-paced online class prior to attending the instructor-led portion of the course. This course is funded by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services. You must be a resident of Virginia to register for this course. Click here to register. Contact HanoverBHW@hanovercounty.gov with any questions or inquiries.

Silent No More!  

On Thursday, Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m., there will be a webinar to help parents/caregivers understand the opioid crisis, fentanyl and the dangerous intersection with our youth here in Hanover County. Following is the web link: https://usao.webex.com/usao/j.php?MTID=m002fcebc904d789f84db90e165519c89 . It is through WebEx, so please ensure it is downloaded before the starting time.

Free Virtual Program Teaches Caregivers the Best Approaches for Dementia Care 

On Thursday, Dec. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 14,12:30-1:30 p.m., the Virginia Geriatric Education Center will offer an interactive conversation between family caregivers and a team of healthcare professionals. After a brief presentation, the rest of the session will be a time to ask questions, discuss issues, and share stories and ideas. To register:  https://forms.gle/M9uriTV6TzKTH4fi8

Learn How to Downsize and Declutter

This virtual session is on Tuesday, Dec. 12 and presented by Aging Together in partnership with AARP Virginia. To register: Downsizing & Decluttering: You Can't Take it With You.

REVIVE Training

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 6-7 p.m., there will be a virtual Narcan Training and Opioid Education session. Register by phone or email to: Chris Townes at cbtownes@hanovercounty.gov or 804-955-7019.

NAMICVA Connection Monthly Meeting 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Virginia holds monthly meetings at Cool Spring Baptist Church, 9283 Atlee Station Drive Mechanicsville. The Connection and Family meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Monday, 6:30-8 p.m. They also have mental health days at church to focus on giving information about mental health wellness and awareness for all ages. 

Hanover Human Services Network Meeting

The next Hanover Human Services Network meeting will be held on Thursday, January 4, 3-5 p.m. at the Hanover Human Services Meeting Room located at 12310 Washington HWY, Ashland (in the back of the complex). Please join us to learn about the wonderful volunteer opportunities and platforms such as cfENGAGE (formerly HandsOnRVA) from members of the Community Foundation of Greater Richmond. All human service organizations, including governmental, faith-based, non-profit, and civic clubs serving the Hanover community are invited to participate in this quarterly collaborative roundtable. Program representatives will have an opportunity to network with one another, present information about their programs, identify common issues and connect to develop solutions. RSVP for the January Hanover Human Services Networking Meeting here.

For additional questions, contact the Department of Community Resources at 804-365-4300 or volunteer@hanovercounty.gov 



SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY

Looking to get involved? Here are some ways you can give back to your community, support local organizations and get community service hours!

December Service Opportunities

Volunteers Needed at the Ashland Christmas Market, Dec. 2

The Ashland Light Up the Tracks event will be on Saturday, Dec. 2. Volunteers are needed as greeters and to help set-up or take-down materials at the Ashland Christmas Market. To sign up, go to: https://volunteersignup.org/9BRXR

Deck the Halls Benefits Hanover Safe Place

On Sunday, Dec. 3, the annual holiday decoration-making fundraiser, Deck the Halls, will take place at Pine Grove Farm, 12438 Elmont Road, Ashland, to benefit Hanover Safe Place. Tickets are $40 and guests will receive three tickets for hardware (wreath forms, centerpiece bowls, vases, etc.) and three tickets for bows. There will be experts to help you every step of the way. Create wreaths, swags, boxwood circles, table toppers, candle surrounds, and more. Fresh-cut greenery includes pine, cedar, hemlock, fraser fir, holly, and more. Secure your spot by visiting: https://deckthehallsva.org/entryfee

The Warming Tree Drive Held Through Jan. 1

Hanover County is participating in the Warming Tree Drive to give Ashland Christian Emergency Services, ACES, mittens, gloves, hats and scarves for families in need. Items will decorate trees in several county locations, including: 

The Department of Community Resources, 12310 Washington Hwy., Ashland

And four locations in the County Complex:

  • The County Administration Building, 7516 County Complex Road, Hanover
  • The Chenault-Weems Building (location of the Treasurer’s Office), 7507 Library Drive, Hanover
  • The Martha-Ann Fields Building (location of Parks and Recreation), 7515 Library Drive, Hanover
  • The Hanover County Courthouse Lobby, 7530 County Complex Road, Hanover

Hanover Adult Center

Volunteer to sing, play musical instruments, storytelling, lead an activity, craft or game; assist with special office or "handyman" projects. Contact 804-746-0743. For more information, go to
www.hanoveradultcenter.com.

Hanover Community Service Board (CSB)

Volunteer as an individual or group to coordinate gifts for individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities who may not receive gifts this holiday season. Call Tommy Seay at 804-365-6578. For more information, go to www.hanovercounty.gov/358/Community-Services-Board.

Ongoing Service Opportunities

The Arc of Hanover Thrift Store is an organization that advocates for the rights and full participation of children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Volunteers are needed to work in the store cashiering, cleaning, pricing items, replenishing shelves and receiving donations. Store hours: Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Volunteers may work split shifts or full days. For more information, call 804-798-2400 or email thrift@thearcofhanover.org

CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation helps families of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers are needed to make meals for these families on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of each month. For more information, visit CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation - Home (cjstuf.org) and CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation: CJ's Sandwich Making Crew (signupgenius.com).

Hanover Christian Firewood Ministry provides wood to more than 35 families who rely on firewood as their primary source of heat. Firewood is split and delivered every Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon or 9 a.m.-1 p.m., depending on the time of year. For more information, call 804-559-8824.

Hanover Senior Rides needs ride coordinators and volunteer drivers to provide free rides to those who can no longer drive, including seniors and those with disabilities. Volunteers use their own vehicles drive to medical appointments, grocery shopping and for personal business. They are paid 50 cents per mile for gas reimbursement. This program is operated in Mechanicsville by the Mechanicsville Churches Emergency Functions and in Ashland by the Ashland Christian Emergency Services. For more information, call MCEF at 804-357-9360 or ACES at 804-543-6115, or visit https://4mcef.com and https://aceshanover.org/services

Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has opportunities for adults interested in volunteering, including the Citizen’s Police Academy or Senior Citizen’s Police Academy. Both academies are 11 weeks in length. The CPA meets in the evenings and the SCPA meets in the morning. For more information, visit:

https://hanoversheriff.com/198/Citizens-Police-Academy

https://hanoversheriff.com/199/Senior-Citizens-Police-Academy

There are many volunteer opportunities with including motor assist, volunteering as a role player with the academy, fleet services, community outreach, clerical assistance and more. Contact Deputy Evan Povar at ejpovar@hanovercounty.gov or 804-365-3363.

YMCA Feedmore Food Pantry needs volunteers to help with food distribution on the first Tuesday of each month, 10 a.m.-noon, at the Ashland Junction Shopping Center (123 Junction Drive, Ashland, VA 23005). For more information, email kropinackb@ymcarichmond.org.


Databases for Finding Upcoming Service Events in Your Community

HandsOn Greater Richmond (handsonrva.org)

JustServe: Home



COMMUNITY PROGRAMS, RESOURCES
AND SERVICES


Our team at Hanover Community Resources is here to assist you or your clients in finding available resources. We are in the Human Services Complex on Route 1 at 12310 Washington Highway, Ashland VA 23005. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 804-365-4300 or email volunteer@hanovercounty.gov.


Financial Resources

EnergyShare - Heating

EnergyShare is a program of last resort that helps pay energy bills for any type of heating (wood, oil, natural gas, propane, kerosene, electric) or cooling for those who qualify. EnergyShare is not income based, so any customer in crisis is eligible to apply. Applications are accepted year-round and distributed as long as funding is available. Customer applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility. If approved, the benefit is paid directly to the customer’s energy provider. Individuals 60 and older receive assistance twice up to a $600 maximum benefit. If the full maximum benefit is used during for initial request, clients are unable to apply again until the next season. Military veterans and those with disabilities may qualify for up to $500 maximum benefit each year. For more information, visit EnergyShare | Virginia | Dominion Energy.

Hanover and King William Habitat for Humanity’s Critical Repair Program

Habitat envisions a world where everyone has a decent place to live – that includes a home that is accessible, dry, safe and energy efficient. Habitat’s Critical Repair program offers reduced-cost repairs to address safety issues and code violations. To learn more, visit https://hkwhabitat.org/critical-repairs or call 804-569-6108, x105.

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

Customers of the Hanover County Department of Public Utilities may apply for assistance from Virginia’s Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), a temporary federal-funded program created to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. To be eligible, a household must have a past due water or wastewater balance and a household income below the LIHWAP guidelines based on household size. Priority is given to households whose water or wastewater has been disconnected or is at a risk of disconnection. For more information or to apply online, go to https://virginialihwap.com/lihwap or call Promise at 1-888-373-9908.

Project: HOMES Home Repair Services

Project: HOMES helps address home health and safety concerns for families who are unable to address them on their own. They provide modifications that not only alter the health and safety outcomes for the families but also increase the affordability of remaining in their homes. For more information, visit https://www.projecthomes.org/health-and-safety

Thrive Virginia Crisis Assistance

Thrive Virginia seeks to empower individuals and families to become self-sufficient, live with dignity and achieve optimum health. They offer utility assistance (with limited available funding) to individuals and families who are eligible for emergency financial assistance if they have met the income guidelines for the past 30 days. The guidelines are located at https://www.thriveva.org/emergency-financial-assistance. For more information, call 804-966-8770 or email info@thriveva.org.

Weatherization Assistance Program

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development administers the Weatherization Assistance Program, WAP, that reduces household energy use through the installation of cost-effective energy savings measures. These measures also improve resident health and safety and typically include sealing air leaks, adding insulation and repairing heating and cooling systems. DHCD works with a network of nonprofit organizations around the state, who directly implement the program. More information is available at https://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/wx.


Parent and Youth Resources

Free In-Home Parenting Education

Do you know a parent or parents who could use additional parenting education and support? This service is available to pregnant women or mothers with children up to 5 years old who live in Hanover County and is provided in the family’s own home at no cost. It is designed to offer education related to healthy pregnancies, positive parenting skills, child development activities and knowledge about child developmental stages. The program also assists families to connect with various community resources to help address the needs of parents and children during the stages of early childhood. The program is a partnership between Hanover County and Family Lifeline. For more information or to make a referral, contact Family Lifeline at 804-249-5414 or referrals@familylifeline.org.

WIC

The WIC program is for pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and for women with infants and children up to age five. The program provides nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, as well as access to nutritious foods and formula. To be eligible for the WIC program, applicants must meet residential, income and nutrition requirements. Mothers and children with active Medicaid or SNAP are automatically eligible. To apply or schedule an appointment, call 804-365-4335.


Senior and Caregiver Resources

Advance Planning Guides for Dementia

The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services has new guides for advance planning for dementia. Advance planning empowers people to make their own decisions about important topics like finances, health care, and living arrangements before the need arises. These guides help people living with dementia and their family members or other care partners know what to plan for and how to get started. The guides cover four topics: health care planning, financial planning, care planning, and supporting someone living with dementia in making decisions. Download the guides at Dementia Capable Virginia. Order hard copies by emailing the Dementia Services Coordinator at dementia@dars.virginia.gov or calling 804-662-9154.

Senior Connections: Caregiver Directed Respite Support

Senior Connections now offers a Caregiver Directed Respite Support program to provide caregivers opportunities to focus on their own well-being. The program includes consultation for emotional support and education, assistance in developing a Long-Term Care plan, a financial stipend designated to get the plan in action and resources for supplemental services. To see if you qualify for the Caregiver Directed Respite Support grant, call 804-672-4498 or email dcaras@youraaa.org.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently released the “Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults,” as part of their preparedness campaign that focused on empowering older adults as they prepare for disasters. This guide is intended to support older adults and their caregivers in preparing in three straightforward steps: assessing their needs, creating a plan, and engaging their network. The guide also provides easy-to-read, user-friendly worksheets that walk individuals and caregivers through self-assessment to identify specific needs and checklists that create a personalized plan. Click here to view the guide.


Additional Resources

Hanover Health Department: Vital Records

The Hanover Health Department Provides certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce, and death certificates (if the event occurred in Virginia) Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. These can be obtained for, and are available to, immediate family members only (mothers, fathers, spouses, children, siblings, and grandparents with valid ID). Birth records also may be issued to legal guardians with proof of custody papers. For more information, visit: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/chickahominy/vital-records-birth-marriage-divorce-and-death-certificates/.

YMCA Social Needs Navigator

The YMCA’s Social Needs Navigator shares information about free and reduced-price resources in Hanover County, such as food, clothes, childcare, housing and healthcare. Visit https://help1rva.org or call 804-798-0057.