The Doing Good blog follows area charities and social service agencies.

About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Virginia Children in Poverty

The numbers of children in poverty have risen across the country. In Virginia, 25,000 more children have gone into poverty in 2009. The childhood poverty rate is now 13.9 percent.

John Morgan, executive director of Voices for Virginia’s Children said:

“We know that children thrown into poverty by the recession are likely to stay poor for at least several years, long enough to suffer long-term consequences. The recession may be over, but not for these kids or for the thousands who were poor even before the recession.”

Locally, some area efforts are reaching out to help these children.

  • The Fredericksburg Area Food Bank is raising money to provide weekend supplies for students. They said that $200 will support one child for the entire school year, providing food to eat on weekends, when free and reduced lunches aren’t available to provide meals for families who cannot afford them. To get involved, contact the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank at 540/371-7666. You can also text FREDFEED to 85944 to donate.
  • Also, the Hope Center, a new organization in Stafford, hopes to provide gently used clothes and tutoring to children in need. If you have gently used clothes to donate or can volunteer to tutor, contact the center at 540/720-3663. You can also drop off clothes, in usable condition, at the center which is at 32 Bells Hill Rd. in Stafford County.
  • SECA in Spotsylvania County uses proceeds from a thrift store to provide food for needy families. Donate food, money or items for the thrift store at SECA, behind the Marshall Building, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. For details, call 540/582-2465.
  • SERVE in Stafford County offers food and financial help.  SERVE desperately needs peanut butter, diapers and other staples. Food donations may be dropped off at 15 Upton Lane, across from the Stafford Courthouse, Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday, 1–4:30 p.m. Financial donations may be mailed to: SERVE, Inc., Box 1357 Stafford, Va. 22555. To volunteer, call 540/288-9603.