Get Involved

Service organizations

Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle- Provides free confidential tutoring sessions for adults in literacy and English as a Second Language and is always in need of tutors. Sponsors fun "Wordplay" trivia game fundraiser in the spring. To volunteer or to learn more, call 977-3838.

Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice- Promotes education and action for peace and justice and pursues governmental responsibility; meets various times throughout the month. Meets every Thursday at 5pm in front of the Federal Building with signs to demonstrate for peace. Call the message line for updates and the next meeting time: 961-6278.

Jefferson Area Board for Aging- Works to establish, promote, and preserve sustainable communities for healthy aging that benefit families and individuals of all ages. Seeking volunteers in over 20 different roles. 817-5222

Monticello Area Community Action Agency- Dedicated to eliminating both the causes and conditions of poverty. Serves about 3,000 around the City of Charlottesville and Counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, and Nelson. 295-3171

Lions Clubs- "To create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs by providing voluntary services through community involvement and international cooperation." There's a whole pride of chapters of the world's largest service organization in the area. The Charlottesville Host Lions Club(977-6211) meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6pm at the Wood Grill Buffet and can be reached by emailing secretary Joe Hannemann at The Charlottesville Lioness Club meets on the fourth Tuesday at 6pm at Wood Grill Buffet and can be reached through Sherry Archer at The Charlottesville Thomas Jefferson Lions (971-3860) meet the second and fourth Wednesdays at the Holiday Inn on Emmet St. at 6:00pm. The Crozet Lions meet second and fourth Mondays at 6:30pm at the Meadows Community Center and can be reached through Karl Pomeroy at 434-987-1229. The Rivanna Lions meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays at 6:30pm at the Lake Monticello clubhouse and can be reached through Dave Rebar at The Scottsville Lions usually meet the second and fourth Wednesdays at 7pm at the Scottsville United Methodist Church. Reach them through Barbara Brochu at

The American Legion- Our local outfit of the world's largest veterans service organization. Charlottesville's Post 74 can be reached by emailing

Junior League of Charlottesville- The non-profit women's volunteer organization for community-minded women. Monthly meetings. To become a member, apply online or call 971-2937.

Friends of the Jefferson-Madison Regional LibraryA fundraising organization best known for its annual spring book sale. The group hosts biannual book sales in the fall and spring. For more information, call 977-8467 or email

Rotary Club of Charlottesville- A chapter of business leaders and professionals working to benefit the community with education and aid. Meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6pm at the Omni Hotel downtown. For more information, email 

Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville"Serving the Children of the World." Local chapter of the international organization dedicated to helping and supporting kids. Charlottesville club meetings are held on the first, second and third Mondays of the month. More information on the organization can be found by calling the club secretary at 263-6003. Membership info: 978-2140.

Optimist Club of the Blue Ridge- Service to youth is its major focus. Call 295-8867 for more info.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)- Volunteers go to court to advocate for abused and neglected children. Volunteers are always needed, and the fall training session starts in September. 971-7515

Service Dogs of VirginiaAcquiring, training, and placing service dogs with individuals with disabilities and children with autism. Call 295-9503 or email for more info.

Children, Youth, and Family Services- Provides services and support for area children and families. 296-4118 or

Emergency Food Bank- A volunteer organization that provides at least a three-day supply of food for hungry families. To volunteer or donate food, call 979-9180.

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank- An emergency food assistance agency that serves more than 120,000 people each month. To volunteer or donate, call 540-248-3663. 

On Our Own- A community-run program to aid individuals who have been affected by mental illness. 979-2440

Piedmont Housing Alliance- A private, non-profit organization that addresses affordable housing issues and serves low- to moderate-income families. 817-2436

Salvation Army- Services include emergency shelter, emergency services, childcare,  a thrift store, and transitional housing programs. The thrift store is located at 604 Cherry Ave. (979-5230). To volunteer call 295-4058.

Shelter for Help in Emergency- Provides crisis intervention, information, and referrals and services for victims of domestic violence. 24-hour hotline: 293-8509, collect calls accepted. For more information call 963-4676 or email

The Haven at First and Market- A day shelter founded by movie director turned philanthropist Tom Shadyac that provides food, computer access, laundry, personal and professional counseling and other resources for the homeless. Also serves as a location for community events. 973-1234.

Woman's Club of Greene County- Meeting the second Monday at a different place every month, this group sponsors, among other things, the Greene County Food Bank, an Annual Bazaar that raises money for two scholarships, and an annual yard sale. 985-6648.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville- In addition to building homes for those who don't have one, the group runs the Habitat Store, which sells new and salvaged materials donated by the community. Habitat office: 293-9066.

The PB&J Fund- Working with the community to teach Charlottesville youth about healthy eating, nutrition and cooking. For more information call 244-3317 or visit

Meals on Wheels- Since 1977, this organization has brought hot meals to the homebound at lunch every weekday, including holidays. Currently serving more than 250 clients per day. Call Leigh Trippe at 293-4364.

The United Way– Thomas Jefferson Area- Brings together local people, organizations, businesses, and public servants to tackle health and human service needs, and also organizes the United Way Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring each September. For information on United Way news, volunteering, and services visit or call 972-1701.

International Rescue Committee (IRC)- Helps refugees rebuild their lives in a new country after fleeing from humanitarian crises. Call 979-7772 for more information. 

Search and Rescue

Charlottesville Professional Firefighters Association- Remember when you used to say you were going to be a firefighter when you grew up? Well, some of those kids actually meant it. For more information email

Albemarle County Fire and RescueIt's "the home of the model volunteer/career fire and emergency medical services system." They say they aim to provide the highest quality services to preserve the lives, property, and environment of our community. Info on becoming a volunteer: 296-5833.

Community Emergency Response Team- People helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number is what this group is all about. Training courses available throughout the year. 971-1263 or

Albemarle Sheriff's Search and Rescue: 150 trained volunteers who respond upon request of Albemarle Police Department. Includes a volunteer helicopter by David King at King's Vineyard. Just acquired 32-foot command vehicle. Training happens in the spring.

Volunteer Rescue Squads-

Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group- Composed of volunteers who spend time in rigorous training, search missions, group functions, preventive instruction, and raising public awareness. Also provides an opportunity for folks interested in the outdoors and emergency medical services. Contact president Laura Dodson at or call Michael Holroyd at 757-944-1132. 

Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad- These dedicated volunteers render assistance at accidents and other times of need, provide safety instruction in schools, and help during flood, fire, hurricane, and famine. Info: 296-4825.

Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad- Their mission: "To assist in the saving of life, administering first aid, and teaching methods of safety." Volunteer help is always welcome: 286-3979.

Volunteer Fire Companies-

North Garden Volunteer Fire Company- These volunteers "protect our community and its inhabitants from fire, accident, or sickness." Info: 971-1583 or

Earlysville Fire Station 4- Covers 100 square miles of northern Albemarle County including the Airport .email

East Rivanna Volunteer Fire CompanyBased in Keswick. Apply for membership at or 293-6722.

North Garden Volunteer Fire Company- ..."to protect our community and its inhabitants from fire, accident or sickness." Covers southern Albemarle County including west of Batesville. Email

Scottsville Volunteer Fire DepartmentBased alongside the James River, the station serves approximately 15,000 people . Call 286-2841.

Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department- Covers the high density 29N corridor. Email

Stony Point Volunteer Fire DepartmentIn addition to roaring off to accidents and putting out fires, they'll install your child carseat if you want to make sure it's done right. Volunteer application is online. Info: 973-7733.

Western Albemarle Rescue Squad- Serving western Albemarle County. Email


American Society for Quality- Provides opportunities for learning, quality improvement, and knowledge exchange. Contact for more info.

American Society for Training and Development- This non-profit is devoted to helping people in the field of human resource development, or "personnel," as it used to be known. A $199 calendar year membership is available ($59 for students). 1-800-628-2783.

APICS, Blue Ridge Chapter- The Association for Operations Management is a not-for-profit international educational organization that offers education and professional certification programs. Those interested can reach VP of Membership Deanna Smith at

Charlottesville-Albemarle Legal Staff Association- Membership is open to anyone involved in the legal field and students interested in pursuing a legal career. Meetings are held at various area restaurants on the third Tuesday of each month. Info: Deborah Johnson, 293-8191.

Computers4Kids- A non-profit after-school technology program for disadvantaged youth. To register a student or become a mentor, call 817-1121.

Jefferson Tibetan Society- To provide teaching and meditation practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, JTS meets regularly and hosts cultural and special events through the year. Email for more information.

Blue Ridge Toastmasters ClubThis worldwide group teaches communication and leadership skills that foster self-confidence and personal growth. Meets every Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. Email

Toastmasters Club of Vinegar Hill- Learn how to give scintillating speeches downtown. Meetings are every Friday noon-1pm. Contact Pie Dumas at 989-2300. 

Toastmasters of Piney MountainMore speeches and scintillation– only this time in the Piney Mountain area. Weekly meetings Wednesday at 12:05pm at GE Intelligent Platforms. 434-242-4962 or email  

–>>For Business groups, see our Economy section

Nature stuff

Wintergreen Nature Foundation- For the crunchy among us, this group offers guided hikes, canoe trips, educational programs, and much more. Visit for a complete list of events. 325-8169 or

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Council of Garden Clubs- Non-profit umbrella organization for local and county garden clubs. Info:

Monticello Bird Club- Field trips and monthly meetings are open to bird lovers of all experience levels. Meets the second Thursday of each month September-June at 7:00pm. Contact president Lou Tanner at or call 996-9831. 

Charlottesville Orchid Society- Also known as "CHAOS," Meets on the second Sunday of each month except July and August; two shows annually, one on Easter weekend and one in late October. Info: 

Virginia Native Plant Society, Jefferson Chapter- "Dedicated to the protection and preservation of the native plants of Virginia and their habitats." Individual membership is available to the public and there are great group deals. Check out their Facebook page or call 540-837-1600


Friendship Force of Charlottesville- Bringing people of the world together through homestay exchanges. Info:

Ligmincha Institute"Created to preserve the Tibetan Bön culture and teachings, especially the practices of dzogchen." 263-6304.

L'Alliance Francaise de Charlottesville- A non-profit cultural and educational organization that fosters knowledge of France, its culture, and its language. Francophiles rejoice. Courses are available every season, and prices vary depending on types of membership and skill level. 260-0640.


Republican Party of Virginia- 2013 is a gubernatorial election year, and all elephants are welcome! Contact state party headquarters at 804-780-0111. 

Democratic Party of Virginia- If Cuccinelli, McDonnell and Rev. Jackson aren't your picks for the state's top jobs, hop on board with the donkey crew. Call party headquarters at 804-644-1966.

Jefferson Area Libertarians- They're all about liberty— in every sense of the word. 973-5958

The Green Party of Virginia- They're lean, green, tree-hugging machines. Call Audrey Clement at 703-532-5339. 


University of Virginia Alumni Association- Join the proud tradition of giving money to Mr. Jefferson's university and maybe you'll get something named after you like Cocke Hall, Slaughter Recreation Center, or "the Jack."  Plus, you get a discount at UVA bookstore. You can't lose. 243-9000 or

UVA Club of Charlottesville- "To foster ongoing relationships between the University of Virginia and the local community of friends, alumni, and employees of UVA through a series of educational, networking, athletic, charitable, and social events." Contact president David at

Piedmont Virginia Community College Alumni Association- This group aims to "provide opportunities for networking and ways to stay connected to the College." 961-5203

Fraternal societies

Widow's Sons' Masonic Lodge- Over 200 years old, it's the oldest lodge continuing to serve the community. Monthly dinner meetings are held the third Monday of every month at 7pm at the meeting hall off the Downtown Mall. Contact secretary Mark

Historical societies

The Shire of IsenfirThe local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, dedicated to the study and selective re-creation of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. If you like dressing up in armor, this is right up your bailiwick. Info:

Sons of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson ChapterDedicated to the patriotic, historical, and educational perpetuation of the memory of patriots who helped achieve the independence of the American people. Must have "patriotic" ancestry to join. Call secretary Geoffrey at 293-9190. 

Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society- Non-profit founded in 2000 to define and defend the legacy of Thomas Jefferson through education, research, publication, and seminars. Bob at

National Railway Historical Society, Blue Ridge Chapter- Members meet monthly to wine, dine, and talk trains. For more information call the president at 660-1113. 

Preservation PiedmontThey're all for saving Charlottesville's rich architecutral history.

Charlottesville Civil War Round Table- Tours and discussions keep Civil War history vital. Monthly meetings are the third Tuesday at the Elk's Lodge at 7:30 pm. Call Barbara Wright at 295-9463 or

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution God, Home, and Country is what matters to these modern-day Betsy Rosses. Charlottesville has four chapters for descendants of those who "with unfailing loyalty aided in the cause of American Independence." Info:

Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society- They keep local history alive with exhibits and tours. Located near the Downtown mall. Whether you're a Charlottesville transplant or a native, take advantage of the tours offered on Thursdays and Saturdays! 296-1492 or

Sons of Confederate Veterans- This group is dedicated to seeing that the history of the South is presented to future generations. Open to any friendly supporters or any males 12 years and older who can trace their ancestry to a Confederate soldier.  Info: Email H.Wayne Elliott at

Sons of Union Veterans-  Charlottesville is right in the North-South line of fire. This group, part of the Maryland division, while not quite as popular or as well known in these parts, wants to recognize the boys in blue. Info: Steve Hammond at

Support groups

Central Virginia Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia Association, Inc.- A support group for sufferers and their families. or 984-3419.

AIDS/HIV Services Group- A variety of educational and support services offered, regular meetings. Call Public Relations manager Hannah at 981-2160.

Alcoholics Anonymous- Only requirement to join is the desire to quit drinking.Meets daily. 293-6565

Al-Anon/AlateenSupport for families and friends of alcoholics. Several meetings a week. For times and locations, visit or 

Blue Ridge Family Alliance for the Mentally Ill- Works to promote and provide support, advocacy, and knowledge about mental illness. Meets once a month. 970-1257

Charlottesville Parkinson's Disease Support GroupThis group offers groups for both people with the disease and for family, friends, and caretakers. Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 1:30 pm at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge, in the Blue Ridge Room. Call 982-4482 for more information.

Compassionate Friends- Friendship and understanding for bereaved parents. Monthly meetings at 7pm on the fourth Tuesday at the Church of Our Savior on Rio Road. 973-8844 or

Families Anonymous"Support group for people who are experiencing conflict or pain as the result of a family member." Meets every Monday evening at 7 p.m. Call 923-7929. 

Freedom From Smoking- Eight-week course for anyone trying to quit smoking. The organization's nearest chapter is in Richmond, but it is also offered online. Call 804-267-1900 for more information. 

Hospice of the Piedmont Bereavement Groups- For adults, children, and adolescents who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Contact 817-6900 or email for more information.

La Leche League of CharlottesvilleTo promote breastfeeding and provide support for mothers. Monthly morning and evening meetings in Charlottesville.  Info: Cherie,  293-3302.

Lupus Foundation of Virginia- A group helping those suffering from lupus. Contact 888-262-9632 or for more information about meeting times.

Mental Health America of Charlottesville-Albemarle Inc.- Provides assistance for those afflicted with mental illnesses, including information and referrals, support groups, and training to community groups and organizations about mental health issues. Call 977-4673 for more information.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Blue Ridge ChapterProvides support for those with and families of MS. 971-8010

Overeaters Anonymous- Available at many sites throughout Charlottesville, morning, afternoon and evening times.

Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA)- Intervention and support for survivors of sexual assault. Call the hotline at 977-7273 or, for other information, call the office at 295-7273.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly- Healthy weight loss programs offered Mon, Tues, and Wed. For more information call area captain Meg Crosby at (540)547-2600 or email


Albemarle Amateur Radio Club- Radio buffs of all abilities are welcome at this organization's meetings on the second Tuesday of every month at the National Radio Astronomy Building on Edgemont Road. Email

Albemarle Duplicate Bridge ClubFor more than 15 years a group of serious duplicate bridge players have met to play for fun. Best Western Cavalier Inn on Sunday at 1pm. Info: Paul Hartman, 973-2773.

Jefferson Bridge Association- Playing duplicate bridge four times a week. Games are Wednesday and Friday at 12:30pm at Best Western Cavalier Inn. A Monday game happens at 7pm at the Church of Our Savior on Rio Road. Email or Nan Massie 531-5547.

Central Virginia Parrot Head Club- Have you always searched for a way to help people while drinking margaritas, wearing flip-flops, and listening to Jimmy Buffet? Welcome to paradise! This group aims to bring together in a social setting fans of Jimmy Buffett's music who also have a desire and willingness to pitch in for community service projects. Visit for more information. 

Charlottesville Astronomical Society- Members of all knowledge levels enjoy the night sky. Meets the first Wednesday of every month at 6:45pm at the McCormick Observatory. The meetings are free and open to the public and feature lectures from the region's many astronomers. Membership $25/person; $30/family. Info: club president Steve Layman at

Charlottesville Camera Club- Shutterbugs rejoice! Photographers of all skills and disciplines are welcome at this nonprofit organization that "fosters photography as an art, a hobby, or a vocation, by instruction and by sharing knowledge and experience." Monthly meetings at 6pm the second Thursday of every month. Emai

Central Virginia Genealogical Association- Trace those roots! Visitors are always welcome at this organization's meetings, which are usually the second Saturday of the month at 1:30pm at the Family History Center in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Timberwood Blvd. Contact Susan at

Blue Ridge Inventors Club- To help people profit from their creative work and "to inform members about patents, copyrights, and trademarks." Members get info from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Meets the third Wednesday of the month at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Email for more information. 

Monticello Needle Arts- These embroidery gurus will have you in stiches in no time. Meetings once a month. For more information email

Rivanna Radio Control Club- These guys fly radio-controlled gliders from Milton Field (southeast of town) and occasionally invite the public to watch. The field is open to club members every day from 9am to dusk, and is often full during the weekends and early summer evening hours. Meetings held each month. For more information email

Virginia Angora Goat and Mohair Association- The name says it all. Don't be sheepish; if it behooves you, call 434-973-8070 or email secretary Colleen Reed at

American Society of Landscape Architects, Virginia Chapter- Encourages ethical and ecologically minded landscaping. Membership info:, 804-523-2901 or

Neon Guild- Technology professionals swap information and advice and help the community by doing pro bono work. Includes free pizza, beer, and soft drinks. Meets at various locations about once a month on a Tuesday evening, 6 p.m. Email Debra at

Forest Way Insight Meditation Group- Buddhist retreats encompassing vipassana (insight meditation) and metta (loving-kindness meditation). Beginners welcome. 990-9300 or email

Charlottesville Swing Dance Society- All you poodle-skirt gals and hepcats can get your swing on at various locations and times weekly. Dances are the third Saturday of every month. Lessons available, annual membership fee. Info:

Charlottesville Salsa Club: All are welcome at the club's weekly boogie night: Sundays at Club R2, behind Rapture on the Downtown Mall. Enjoy traditional and contemporary Latin tunes and be prepared to dance with different people. A basic lesson starts the night at 8pm. Last dance around midnight. $5-10.

Charlottesville Scottish Country Dancers
Class meets every Tuesday night at 7pm, with a 6:15pm beginner class, at Odd Fellows Hall, 2nd floor, 116 4th Street NE. No partner is needed, no kilt needed for this aerobic, traditional dance, and some Tuesdays there's live music. The first class free, $5 per class thereafter. For more info, call 434-465-1623.

Hocus Pocus Club of Charlottesville- Where magicians come together to learn and exchange ideas. Magic experience not necessary. Generally meets first Fridays at 7pm at the Forest Lakes North Pavilion. Call 823-8584 for more information. 

Party Parade- Soon to be celebrating 20 years of gettin' down for charity, these revelers meet weekly from February through May. All proceeds benefit local organizations. Info:

Charlottesville-Albemarle Community Foundation- The homier, more intimate ginormous umbrella charity. Call 296-1024 for more information.

LearningAllyFormerly known as Recording for the Blind and Deaf. So that all people might have access to the printed word. 800-221-4792. 

Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks No. 389- Sort of a country club (it has a pool with an excellent swim team) along with lotsa bingo. 296-6015 or

Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty- Does much more than just watch The Green Mile or Dead Man Walking. 960-7779

Charlottesville Young Professionals-These folks want to create networking opportunities for young professionals in the Charlottesville area by organizing social, recreational, and community service events.  Contact



*You can check out the spending habits of all nonprofit groups by inquiring at