Hear Together

Hear Together: Sustainability Matters

Sustainability Matters is the fun, realistic, accessible sustainability organization based in the Shenandoah Valley. They focus on conversation education for everyone, from business owners to farmers to individuals, to empower them to make change themselves.

They offer programs on sustainable landscaping and business, host community plant swaps and forums on recycling, teach people how to grow their own food, and even hosted the valley’s largest ever Earth Day festival.

We spoke with founder and director Sari Carp for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below and learn more about Sustainability Matters here.

2021-08-30T14:36:54-04:00August 20th, 2021|

Hear Together: Virginia Rural Health Association

The Virginia Rural Health Association works to improve health and healthcare for the 2.5 million residents in rural areas of the state through education and advocacy.

They also form cooperative partnerships with small clinics and hospitals to ensure that they have access to the equipment and federal funding they qualify for in order to operate successfully.

For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with Executive Director Beth O’Connor. Listen at the audio link below to learn more about the Virginia Rural Health Association’s initiatives, including steps they’re taking to combat substance abuse and ensure healthy equity for LGBTQ+ members of our community.



2021-08-30T14:42:45-04:00August 3rd, 2021|

Hear Together: REAL LIFE

REAL LIFE is a Richmond-based nonprofit that serves individuals who are coming out of incarceration, homelessness, or who battle substance use disorder. With 10 recovery/transition houses, the organization provides six months of inclusive programming including housing, meals, physical and mental health assistance, and help securing employment. By providing opportunities to overcome personal and community barriers, REAL LIFE’s programming leads to better outcomes, including a reduced recidivism rate.

We spoke with founder and director Sarah Scarbrough for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below and learn more about REAL LIFE here.

2021-08-30T14:40:14-04:00July 27th, 2021|

Hear Together: CodeVA

CodeVA is a statewide nonprofit located in downtown Richmond that works to expand and diversify access to computer science. In 2016, Virginia became the first state to mandate Computer Science offerings in public schools through a bill that CodeVA helped craft.

In addition to advocacy, the organization trains public school teachers in computer science curriculum, and through their Eureka Workshop, runs children’s camps for arts and music integrated computer science programs.

We spoke with Executive Director Chris Dovi and Development Manager Laura Hite for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below and learn more about CodeVA and the Eureka Workshop here.

Hear Together’s coverage of technological accessibility is supported by Ting Fiber Internet.

2021-07-20T16:25:14-04:00July 20th, 2021|

Hear Together: Better Housing Coalition

The Better Housing Coalition changes lives and transforms communities in Richmond through high-quality, affordable housing. By building, developing, and managing rental properties and single-family for-sale homes, BHC provides stability for our low-income neighbors.

Although many of their residents were negatively impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, BHC was able to raise enough money to avoid evictions, rent hikes, or late fees over the past year.

We spoke with Vice President of External Affairs Stacie Birchett for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below and learn more about BHC here.

2021-07-20T15:21:03-04:00July 20th, 2021|

Hear Together: Full Circle Grief Center

As a school counselor, Allyson Drake worked with a number of students who were experiencing a loss or had a family member at home with a terminal illness. When she had trouble finding further grief support for her students in the community, she decided to start her own comprehensive grief resource center — Full Circle.  They provide individual and group counseling for adults and children starting at the age of three in Central Virginia. They also provide grief support trainings for organizations, nonprofits, schools, and corporations. We examine how Full Circle’s services have become even more crucial over the past year in this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below, and learn more on Full Circle’s website.


2021-05-28T11:43:36-04:00May 28th, 2021|

Hear Together: Lynchburg Grows

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) relies on a group of individuals to run a farm operation. The farm is then open to other community members who can sign up for a CSA membership where they receive locally-grown produce during a harvest season.

Lynchburg Grows is a 7-acre nonprofit farm in Lynchburg that offers their own Veggie Box CSA. Over the last few seasons, they’ve improved access to the program with a scholarship offering for low-income residents. But that’s not the only new initiative Lynchburg Grows has launched recently: They now partner with Sentara to offer a Fresh Rx prescription program, and their Farm Coach mentorship program provides one-on-one coaching for their farmers with disabilities.

For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with Executive Director Shelley Blades. You can listen at the audio link below and learn more about Lynchburg Grows’ programming here.


2021-05-10T14:36:21-04:00May 10th, 2021|

Hear Together: VA Center for Inclusive Communities

Founded in 1935, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities sought to address a rise in antisemitism, anti-Catholicism, and racism. Over the past eight-and-a-half decades, they’ve worked with schools, businesses and communities throughout the state to forge a cultural shift that’s more equitable, inclusive, and just.

Over the past five years, the Virginia Center has seen a 1300% increase in the demand for its services in the face of bias, bullying and discrimination. For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with President and CEO Jonathan Zur about recent trends and what we can do to bring our communities together. Listen at the audio link below and learn more about the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities here.

2021-05-06T17:03:47-04:00May 5th, 2021|

Hear Together: Our Community Place

Our Community Place has been serving the homeless population in Harrisonburg since the early ’90s. Beginning as a soup kitchen, OCP has now expanded into a full-fledged day program, providing basic necessities like showers and hot meals. They served 23,000 meals during the COVID-19 pandemic, up from 19,000 the year before. But the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought another glaring need to the forefront: the demand for permanent housing assistance.

It’s not uncommon for property management companies to put up barriers, making it difficult for those who are low-income, have been previously incarcerated, or have a history of eviction to gain access to equitable housing. So OCP began working with area landlords to help them understand the needs of their client population. Last year, they placed an upwards of 50 residents in permanent housing, and have solidified 15 placements so far in 2021.

We spoke with Executive Director Sam Nickels for this Hear Together profile. You can listen at the audio link below, and learn more about Our Community Place on their website.


2021-04-22T10:44:45-04:00April 21st, 2021|

Hear Together: RVAgriculture

After suffering a series of accidents and injuries, Lisa Dearden found that the key to regaining her health was changing her diet. She became passionate about local food sources, and opened a farm and started a market of her own.

Eleven seasons later, RVAgriculture has expanded to include five farmer’s markets and a robust online marketplace. The nonprofit has even incorporated creative programming, like their ‘Chef At The Market,’ where different chefs provide a recipe tutorial featuring seasonal food.

For this Hear Together profile, we spoke with Dearden about the importance of knowing where your food comes from, and how RVAgriculture has worked to keep local producers and local businesses alive during the pandemic.

You can listen at the audio link below, and sign up for their virtual classes and online marketplace here.

2021-03-24T10:29:36-04:00March 5th, 2021|