Social4Good Supports Families at Embry Rucker Shelter
By Sarah Shamlal
Social4Good (S4G) is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that brings together engaged women who want to meet new people and support the organizations that make our community strong. Each month, this column will highlight S4G’s monthly project to raise awareness on critical needs in our community and local nonprofits making a difference.
In June, S4G created two safer and more creative spaces at the local Embry Rucker Community Shelter (Embry Rucker), an emergency housing program of Cornerstones. We had great success collecting over $2,100 in financial support and receiving in-kind donations valued at more than $2,200.
Embry Rucker is a 70-bed residential shelter that provides healthy and safe emergency housing for individuals and families. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and employ 20 full-time staff members. They also have part-time staff and more than 400 volunteers dedicated to helping clients get back on their feet.
Cornerstones (cornerstonesva.org) is a 501©3 organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services. They have helped provide life-changing opportunities for more than 16,000 local families and individuals with upwards of 5,000 children annually.
With financial sponsorship and in-kind donations, S4G was able to provide new items for the playground and family room at Embry Rucker such as a basketball net and pole wrap, outdoor toys and balls, standing sand table, razor scooters, storage containers, art and craft supplies, area rug and pillows for the family room, mini fridge, power washer, power drill, and various other cleaning and gardening tools.
S4G members also provided new or like new donations of books for all ages, puzzles, family board games, two children’s bikes, and a shelving unit. Over 800 books and 100 games and puzzles were received and members of the S4G project team created an initial library of items to ensure there was something available for every age and will keep an inventory to replenish at Embry Rucker when needed.
On Saturday, June 25, S4G hosted a hands-on working day at Embry Rucker. We beautified the indoor and outdoor family spaces. On the playground, members removed old rubber tiles to power wash the basketball court, cleaned up the playground to make the most of limited play area, and built an outside storage bin and sand table to fill with toys. Inside, members did a spring cleaning and installed a new cubby system for art and crafts supplies, created a library with books, games and puzzles for all ages, and added a carpet and pillows to the common area. In addition to providing items to beautify the indoor and outdoor spaces, the project sponsored much needed tools and supplies such as a double stroller, mini fridge, and a backpack vacuum to maintain Embry Rucker and support the residents.
To learn more and support the valuable services of Embry Rucker, please visit https://www.cornerstonesva.org/services/food-financial-or-urgent-assistance/emergency-shelter/.