Region’s only emergency shelter, CARES to hold fundraiser

By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Email: Click Here
Posted: August 28, 2018 | 1:15 p.m.

VIRGINIA  – The Crisis Assistance Response Emergency Shelter (CARES), has provided transitional and temporary shelter for the homeless of Central and Southside Virginia for over 35 years. 

CARES is now planning their 6th Annual Fundraiser/BBQ. This is the single largest and most important fundraiser CARES has each year and is extremely important in the continuance of their services. They assist families from Prince George, Dinwiddie, Chesterfield, Sussex, Surry, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell. Much to the surprise of many in the region, CARES is the only emergency shelter in all of the entire tri-cities and surrounding counties. 

“It is a sobering statistic, but by the beginning of March 2018, we had already assisted almost as many families, as we had assisted in all of last year,” said Dr. Cheryl G. Riggins, Executive Director. “Some of this may be attributed to the closing of the Petersburg Salvation Army Shelter,” Riggins added.

This year’s fundraiser BBQ will be held at the Old Town Civic Center, 136 River Street, Petersburg, on Friday, September 7, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m, featuring an evening of great food, family fun, door prizes, and vendors! Admission is only $25. For ticket information, call (804) 861-0865, or purchase tickets at CARES, 120 East Washington Street, Petersburg Virginia. Donations may be mailed to CARES, P.O. BOX 1167, Petersburg, Virginia 23804.

 Employees of Army Logistics University, Fort Lee, faithful CARES supporters. (CARES)

“The generosity of community allows CARES to continue to provide services to those who are most in need,” said Dr. Riggins. “Donations are critical to ongoing operations.”

It is beyond desperate or frightening, and perhaps almost unimaginable, to ponder not having a place to sleep, a place to keep your things, a place to feel safe, and a place that is your own. As frightening as this sounds, add children to the predicament, and this situation becomes overwhelming and terrifying. 

It is commonly reported that most Americans have not adequately prepared for the future and that they have woefully inadequate, or no savings at all. If this is the case, most all of us may only be several paychecks away from homelessness. Perhaps this is something we should consider when we think about our perceptions, attitudes, and treatment of those that are homeless.

An old favorite verse comes to mind, which goes something like, “Always help, or give unto strangers or those in need; for in helping someone in the past, you may have been helping an angel, without even knowing it.” Can anything be more frightening for a mother and child than not knowing where they will sleep? 

CARES cares—shouldn’t we?

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