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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Giving back

I’m not at the point where I even consider retirement. But I’m told it goes like this: You get a gift, perhaps a watch, a plaque, some small token of appreciation. And you get a pension, though those are disappearing fast.

But the point is: As you walk out the door, you get something for your efforts.

When Bill Botts walks out the door of the agency he’s led since 1984, he won’t be the one receiving.

He’ll be giving. $100,000, in fact.

Botts has worked at Rappahannock Legal Services for 31 years. He’s directed the legal aid agency for 26  years. So Botts knows more than anyone how much the nonprofit struggles. In the past year, the agency’s caseload has increased 53 percent while its income has decreased 20 percent.

So Botts is giving part of his retirement savings to Rappahannock Legal Services. This isn’t new for Botts, who tithed his income to the agency and usually started with his own salary when budget cuts needed to be made.

Here’s a story we ran earlier this month about Botts’ retirement. Look for another story soon about his gift.

Bott’s donation will allow the agency to keep its staff of six attorneys. Without the $100,000, Rappahannock Legal Services would have to cut two positions. The agency laid off one attorney in February.

Earlier cuts included: freezing salaries through 2012, reducing fringe benefits, starting furloughs, moving to cheaper office space and having staff take over cleaning duties.

Botts challenges the community to match his donation to keep the legal services’ staff through the following year too. To donate, send checks to 618 Kenmore Ave., Suite 1–A, Fredericksburg, Va. 22401. Write “matching campaign” on the memo line. For details, call 540/371-1115.


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  • jeff

    So he retires early and can afford to give them $100k. Obviously the agency’s struggles are due to its generous salaries.

  • Barry

    Jeff could not be more wrong. If you are that ignorant on a subject, maybe you should keep your comments to yourself. Mr. Botts was hardly overpaid. He is not taking “early retirement” and is giving a significant portion of his retirement to help those who are often without help when they need it most. It is a shame, that this guy Jeff took no time to find out how wrong he was before he proved it, in writing.