During a time when many arts organizations are closing their doors and reducing the number of their staff, the Academy Center of the Arts has done the opposite. With the assistance of generous donor support, the Academy has not only preserved our full-time staff, but has also been able to provide our part-time staff with the ability to continue working.
In addition to working on on-site building maintenance and internal projects, our part-time staff has also been able to assist other social service organizations in our community, including including the Lynchburg Daily Bread, Park View Food for Families Mission, and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Karoline Hicks, House Manager at the Academy Center of the Arts, has spent much of her time volunteering at Lynchburg Daily Bread helping to pack, sort, and serve food for members of our community most in need.
“Lynchburg Daily Bread is serving lunch every day during the COVID-19 crisis,” says Karoline. “They make freshly cooked meals such as BBQ pork, beef stew, baked chicken and sides like corn, potatoes and onions and stuffing. This amazing group of people works each day to make sure there are hot fresh meals available to not only the local population but also to places like Miriam’s House and other outreach locations.”
Karoline has also spent time volunteering at Parkview Food for Families. At Parkview, “some of the regular volunteers are making reusable masks for those working,” says Karoline. “They also provide hand sanitizer and gloves for all of the workers.”
“These folks are truly unsung heroes that go to work and do their jobs every day so that families and individuals don’t go hungry. It has lifted my spirits to be a part of something like this and I hope to continue volunteering there even after things are back to normal”.
Laurel Hovey has been volunteering at Parkview Food for Families in addition to the Lynchburg Daily Bread.
“My experience at Parkview Food for Families Mission was great,” says Laurel. “They do a really good job of getting people cleaned up, gloved, face masked and organized”.
In addition to a great experience at Parkview, Laurel says her time at Lynchburg Daily Bread has been “eye-opening for her.”
“Their demand is up a great deal from before the crisis. Prior to this, they would get 80 – 110 people each day. The days I’ve gone in to help, they’ve had between 170 at the beginning of this month to 330 people at the end of last month. They are greatly appreciative of the help we’re giving; we’re making a difference to people in the community with the efforts we make.”
One thing that Laurel has noticed during her time volunteering at Daily Bread is that people are requesting water with their meals.
“There are no water fountains people can get to and no restaurants to go in to get drinks, so I talked to Lowe’s in Madison Heights and they were kind enough to donate 10 cases of water,” said Laurel. “It was a great feeling to deliver that water last Wednesday and see that at least two other Academy employees, Tremayne Edwards and Matthew Bishop were volunteering that morning.”