(434) 979-0919|info@wnrn.org

Hear Together: Science Museum of Virginia

On a hot day last summer, volunteers with the Science Museum of Virginia headed out across the city with special thermometers to gather the actual temperature in a range of locations. They were studying what they call the urban heat island.

Listen here to Dr. Jeremy Hoffman explain what that means for our Hear Together profile:

Watch Dr. Hoffman break down the meaning of urban heat islands here: https://youtu.be/s_apVv7dbMQ

Listen to our interview with Portland State University Professor of Urban Studies Vivek Shandas to find out more about how the study:

For more on the Science Museum of Virginia, click here.

February 23rd, 2018|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Groundwork RVA

Groundwork RVA has found a way, through working with kids after school and during the summer months, to get them involved and invested in the green spaces in their own community. Richmond teens work to improve school campuses and improve neighborhoods with blighted or contaminated sites. We sat down to learn more how they are working with other non-profits across the country to create better futures for their students and their cities.

Listen to our Hear Together profile below:

Listen to their Green Team Manager share what works for their program:

To get involved, give, or learn more, click here:


February 23rd, 2018|Hear Together|

Hear Together: The Women’s Initiative

The Women’s Initiative in Charlottesville is a non-profit dedicated to making sure women have the mental health services they need, regardless of ability to pay. They have walk-in clinics, groups, social support, and more in order to enable women to find healing. Listen to our conversation with Executive Director Elizabeth Irvin to find out more about their mission and work in our community:

You can find out more about their mental health services by calling  (434) 872-0047 or going to their website http://thewomensinitiative.org/

February 10th, 2018|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Shelter for Help in Emergency

The statistics for teen dating abuse are startling.  1.5 million experience dating abuse of some form each year, but only 33% ask for help. The Shelter for Help in Emergency is working to educate young adults about what healthy relationships look like and to spot red flags that in unhealthy and abusive relationships.

Listen to our interview with the Shelter for Help in Emergency here to find out more:

Shelter for Help in Emergency 24-hour Hotline: 434·293·8509

Shelter for Help in Emergency Community Outreach Center: 434·963·4676

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 866-331-9474




February 8th, 2018|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Working to Support During Foster Care and Beyond

There is so much more to foster care than taking in kids that need a place to stay. We sat down with experts from different programs that deal with foster care to learn about what’s being done to create a sense of community and network as they grow into adults.

For these Hear Together profiles we talk to Community Attention Foster Families, Foster Care Awareness Coalition, and Virginia representative for Foster Care Alumni America:

January 30th, 2018|Hear Together|

Hear Together: Friends of East End Cemetery

When he retired from the banking industry in over a decade ago, John Schuck could not have imagined that he’d be leading a grassroots effort to restore historic African-American cemeteries in Richmond, Virginia. But when the Iowa native shares just how much he enjoys the historic research, and the important role that cemeteries and grave markers can play in that work, it starts to make sense.

Beneath the thick vines, the mud and the undergrowth of the East End Cemetery, Shuck found countless stories waiting to be told from the lives of Richmond’s historic African-American community.


Click here to get the details on lending a hand to help clear East End Cemetery.

January 14th, 2018|Hear Together|

Hear Together: CWS Harrisonburg Immigration and Refugee Program

The Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program has been resettling refugees since World War II. The Harrisonburg location opened in 1988 and has been helping refugees from Africa, South America the Middle East and other regions successfully settle in the Shenandoah Valley ever since.

With an 11-person staff, the program resettles anywhere from 350-400 refugees per year in Harrisonburg and surrounding areas. Staff work closely with families for about 100 days during the thick of the resettlement process, helping them acquire social security cards, an apartment, a job, enroll in language classes and schooling for children. Afterwards, staff members maintain contact with families, checking in periodically to ensure there are no issues with employment, health, education, or language. Harrisonburg’s program director Jim Hershberger says the goal is is to ensure that each family becomes self-sufficient and forms long lasting relationships in their community. Listen to Hershberger expand on the program’s mission in our Hear Together feature below, and learn about how to get involved with the Harrisonburg Immigration and Refugee Program here.

January 12th, 2018|Hear Together|

Hear Together: The Haven

The Haven staff and volunteers work in many ways, including a day shelter, to meet the basic needs of the homeless and extremely poor in our community.

A philanthropic director on location decided to open the Haven in 2010, after witnessing the struggles of the homeless community in Charlottesville. He secured First Christian Church on the corner of Market Street and First Street and began work on a low-barrier day shelter and social resource center.

Eight years later, the work to run the day shelter and support the critical needs of people who are homeless or living in extreme poverty, has been taken on by many people at the Haven. The staff, volunteers, donors, and former clients work to support the people that need their help. That can take on many forms. We were lucky enough to hear from Mack, who was willing to share his first-hand experience with The Haven. For this Hear Together, you can listen to Mack talk about the impact it can make to give someone a hand up.


Want to help folks like Mack get back on their feet?

There are different ways depending on what works for you to help at The Haven:

January 4th, 2018|Hear Together|

Hear Together: A Retrospective

As we look back on 2017, we’re grateful for the chance we’ve been given to share the story behind some of the most inspiring people and non-profit organizations in our community. At the same time, it’s allowed us to take a closer look at the issues we face as a community and the way they impact all of us.

We hope above all you have taken away a simple message from our Hear Together series. We can all make a difference, and there are countless ways to do it. You can commit to be a year of weekly tutoring with the Literacy Volunteers, or just a morning in the beautiful Awareness Garden. You can spend a few hours one night at home to stuff a few envelopes for the Love Forward Foundation, and allow a child to reach out and get to know their incarcerated parent. You teach for MIMA music, and bring people together to learn the magic of creating music and sound with each other, and often without instruments. You can snuggle with a rescue kitten at the Lynchburg Humane Society until they find a forever home, or spend a day on the slopes that will let a wounded veteran rediscover their love of the outdoors with Wintegreen Adaptive Sports.

For as many issues facing us, there are selfless and dedicated people working to make them better. We hope you enjoy our Hear Together Retrospective, and that it inspires you to find a way to give back in your own way this coming year.

Click on the featured organization to see our story behind it, and find out how you can get involved.
December 22nd, 2017|Featured, Hear Together|

Hear Together: MIMA Music

MIMA Music is a non-profit program that offers music-making workshops in underprivileged communities and trains young volunteers to lead them. The collaborative process they have developed for their songwriting workshops uses music improvisation as a way to help people learn to create and communicate with each other.

The program focus on improvisation dates back to its creation, when four college students at Princeton were organizing jam sessions together. Now, 18 years later, MIMA Music has worked in 25 countries and created new songs with thousands of people, expanding into Charlottesville in 2015.

Adam Nemett helped create MIMA Music, so he has been creating music and helping other people learn for almost two decades.  The father of two (the youngest only a few weeks old) took it in stride when my curious toddler joined our interview, managing to give us a great interview and help run a teacher training at the same time. And in the spirit of collaboration and improvisation that MIMA fosters, he worked with the people around him and what he had available to create some original sound, charming my two-year-old in the process.

Listen to our Hear Together to find out more about MIMA and see how it played out:

For more on MIMA, including details on how to get involved and support their work, www.mimamusic.org

(pictured, a MIMA teacher training and songwriting workshop we attended at Front Porch)

December 1st, 2017|Hear Together|