Special Olympics Virginia (SOVA) creates opportunities for people with physical and intellectual disabilities to participate in sports training and athletic competition. Through its annual events, athletes get the chance to discover new strengths and demonstrate their abilities for their peers. SOVA was incorporated in 1975 and held its first summer games at Virginia Tech. Today, it runs state championships in 13 Olympic-style sports including basketball and power lifiting, with more than 10,000 athletes participating every year. The games also invite people without disabilities to serve as volunteers or audience members to foster a sense of common understanding, self-discovery, and community. To ensure accessibility for everyone, Special Olympics Virginia never charges the athletes or their families for participation.
Greater Richmond SCAN aims to prevent child abuse and neglect in the region by providing resources for children who have been abused and promoting positive parenting techniques. The organization maintains five distinct programs to combat child abuse, including preschool education, family support, and a prevention program that sponsors awareness-raising events. For those who have been abused, the organization runs a child-advocacy center that works within the court system and a court-appointed-special-advocate program that sends professionals to represent children in court. SCAN also runs a variety of fundraising programs throughout the year to spread awareness about family violence, including a 5K run and mardi gras celebration.
The James River Association promotes stewardship and conservation of the historic James River and its tributaries and resources. The association advocates for the river's health among local residents and educates community members through a variety of programs and activities.
River City Referrals assists homeowners and tool-tinkerers looking for the appropriate contractor for a home-improvement project. Clients describe their project to River City Referrals, who then search its database of trusted contractors to produce a skilled, qualified handyman. These jacks-of-all-trades assist in a multitude of services ranging from painting and landscaping to window installation. After that, rates vary by contractor and project, but past projects have included washing-machine repair (about $250), ceiling patch and medallion installation ($275), and a lighting repair ($125).