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Local groups

Service organizations

Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle- Provides free confidential tutoring sessions for adults in literacy and English as a Second Language and is always in need of tutors.  The organization is flexible in its volunteers hours. To volunteer or to learn more, call 977-3838.

Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice- Promotes education and action for peace and justice and pursues governmentent responsibility; meets various times throughout the month. Call the message line for updates and the next meeting time: 961-6278.

Jefferson Area Board for Aging- Works to establish, promote, and preserve sustainable communities for healthy aging that benefit families and individuals of all ages. Seeking volunteers in over twenty different roles. Call 817-5222 for more info.

Monticello Area Community Action Agency- Dedicated to eliminating both the causes and conditions of poverty. Serves about 3,000 around the City of Charlottesville and Counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, and Nelson. Info: 295-3171

Lions Clubs- "To create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs by providing voluntary services through community involvement and international cooperation." There's a whole pride of chapters of the world's largest service organization in the area. The Charlottesville Host Lions Club (977-6211) meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6pm at the Wood Grill Buffet and can be reached by emailing secretary Joe Hannemann at [email protected]. The Charlottesville Lioness Club meets on the fourth Tuesday at 6pm at Wood Grill Buffet and can be reached through Bert Colley (973-5000). The Charlottesville Thomas Jefferson Lions (973-6213) meet the second and fourth Wednesdays at the Golden Corral at 6:00pm. The Crozet Lions meet second and fourth Mondays at 6:30pm at the Meadows Community Center and can be reached through Bob Stramara at 823-1400. The Rivanna Lions meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays at 6:30pm at the Lake Monticello clubhouse and can be reached through Florann Burnett at [email protected]. The Scottsville Lions usually meet the second and fourth Wednesdays at 7pm at the Scottsville Country Blessings. Reach them through Edward P. Pitts at .

Junior League of Charlottesville- The non-profit women's volunteer organization for community-minded women. Monthly meetings. To become a member, call 971-2937.

Friends of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library- A fundraising organization best known for its annual spring book sale. The group also hosts a Holiday Book Sale in the fall. For more information, call 977-8467 or email

Rotary Club of Charlottesville- A chapter of business leaders and professionals working to benefit the community with education and aid. Meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6pm at the Omni Hotel downtown. For more information, email club president Jennifer King at

Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville- "Serving the Children of the World." Local chapter of the international organization dedicated to helping and supporting kids. Charlottesville club meetings are held at the Elk's Lodge every Monday evening at 6:30 except the fourth week of the month. More information on the organization can be found by calling 971-2094. For membership info call 978-2140.

Optimist Club of the Blue Ridge- Service to youth is its major focus. Dinner meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 7pm at the Doubletree Hotel, while breakfast meetings take place the Friday after the third Monday of every month at Golden Corral at 7:30am. Call Ray Heron at 980-4961.

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)- Volunteers go to court to advocate for abused and neglected children. Volunteers are always needed, and training is available twice a year. 971-7515

Service Dogs of Virginia- Acquiring, training, and placing service dogs with individuals with disabilities and children with autism. Call 295-9503 or email [email protected] for more info.

Children, Youth and Family Services- Provides services and support for area children and families. 296-4118 or

Emergency Food Bank- A volunteer organization that provides at least a three-day supply of food for hungry families. To volunteer or donate food, call 979-9180.

On Our Own- A community-run program to aid individuals who have been affected by mental illness. 979-2440

Piedmont Housing Alliance- A private, non-profit organization that addresses affordable housing issues and serves low- to moderate-income families. 817-2436

Salvation Army- Services include emergency shelter, emergency services, childcare, two area thrift stores, and transitional housing programs. The thrift stores are located at 604 Cherry Ave. (979-5230) and 1820 Airport Road (973-1398). Administration: 295-4058.

Shelter for Help in Emergency- Provides crisis intervention, information, and referrals and services for victims of domestic violence. 24-hour hotline: 293-8509, collect calls accepted. 

Teensight- Provides services for men and women under 18 including job training and support for young parents. Open weekdays, 8:30am-4:30pm. 295-8336.

Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless- A group working to eliminate homelessness in central Virginia. Meetings open to the public on the first Tuesday of each month.

Woman's Club of Greene County- Meeting the second Monday at a different place every month, this group sponsors, among other things, the Greene County Food Bank, an Annual Bazaar that raises money for two scholarships, an annual yard sale, and an annual Christmas gift drive. 985-6648.

Charlottesville/Albemarle Commission on Children and Families- Citizens working to identify local needs related to families, facilitate community strategies, implement coordinated initiatives, increase access to family-related information, and advise local government. Meets on first Wednesday of every other month at 5:30 p.m. in Conference Room B of the Albemarle County Office Building  872-4545

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville- In addition to building homes for those who don't have one, the group runs the Habitat Store, which sells new and salvaged materials donated by the community. Additionally, they seek to make home maintenence more affordable and encourage responsible stewardship of natural resources. Habitat office: 293-9066,  Habitat Store: 293-6331

Meals on Wheels- Since 1977, this organization has brought hot meals to the homebound at lunch every weekday, including holidays. Currently serving almost 200 clients. 293-4364

Search and Rescue

Charlottesville Professional Firefighters Association- Remember when you used to say you were going to be a firefighter when you grew up? Well, some of those kids actually meant it. 866-422-1858

Albemarle County Fire and Rescue: It's "the home of the model volunteer/career fire and emergency medical services system." They say they aim to provide the highest quality services to preserve the lives, property, and environment of our community. Info on becoming a volunteer: 296-5833.

Community Emergency Response Team- People helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number is what this group is all about. Two-hour weekly training sessions offered in an eight-week course. Training courses available twice a year. 971-1263 or .

Volunteer Rescue Squads-

Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group- Composed of volunteers who spend time in rigorous training, search missions, group functions, preventive instruction, and raising public awareness. Also provides an opportunity for folks interested in the outdoors and emergency medical services. Info:

Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad- These dedicated volunteers render assistance at accidents and other times of need, provide safety instruction in schools, and help during flood, fire, hurricane, and famine. Members must have a minimum Virginia EMT Certification (valid EMT-Basic), be at least 18 years of age, commit at least 12 hours per week for two years-- year round, including summers and holidays-- and attend monthly meetings. Info: 296-4825.

Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad- Their mission: "To assist in the saving of life, administering first aid, and teaching methods of safety." Volunteer help is always welcome: 286-3979.

Volunteer Fire Companies-

North Garden Volunteer Fire Company- These volunteers "protect our community and its inhabitants from fire, accident, or sickness." Info: 971-1583 or

East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company- Based in Keswick. Apply for membership at  ervfc.com or 293-6722.

Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department- Based alongside the James River, the station serves approximately 15,000 people . Visit or call 286-2841.

Stony Point Volunteer Fire Department- In addition to roaring off to accidents and putting out fires, they'll install your child carseat if you want to make sure it's done right. Volunteer application is online. Info: 973-7733.

-->> For sports groups, see our Sports and Recreation section.



American Society for Quality- Provides opportunities for learning, quality improvement, and knowledge exchange. Contact publicity chair Don Roderick at for more info.

American Society for Training and Development- This non-profit is devoted to helping people in the field of human resource development, or "personnel," as it used to be known. A $199 calendar year membership is available ($59 for students). 1-800-628-2783.

APICS, Blue Ridge Chapter- The Association for Operations Management is a not-for-profit international educational organization that offers education and professional certification programs. Those interested can reach VP of Membership Deanna Smith at [email protected].

Charlottesville-Albemarle Legal Staff Association- Membership is open to anyone involved in the legal field and students interested in pursuing a legal career. Meetings are held at various area restaurants on the third Tuesday of each month. Info: Deborah Johnson, 293-8191.

Computers4Kids- A non-profit after-school technology program for disadvantaged youth. To register a student or become a mentor, call 817-1121.

Jefferson Tibetan Society- To provide teaching and meditation practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, JTS meets regularly at the JTS Temple at 118 Olinda Drive near UVA, and hosts cultural and special events through the year. Call 980-1752 or email [email protected] for more information.

Blue Ridge Toastmasters Club- This worldwide group teaches communication and leadership skills that foster self-confidence and personal growth. Meets every Tuesday evening 7-8:45pm usually at the Northside Library (occasionally at the Einstein School). 960-9635

Toastmasters Club of Vinegar Hill- Learn how to give scintillating speeches downtown. Meetings are every Friday (noon-1pm) at the Albemarle County Office Building. $39 membership fee collected twice a year. Info: .

Toastmasters of Piney Mountain- More speeches and scintillation-- only this time in the Piney Mountain area. Weekly meetings Wednesday at 12:05pm in the Monticello Room of GE Faunc at 29N and Rt 606. Membership is $35 twice a year. Info: contact VP of Membership Julie Drexler at .

-->>For Business groups, see our Economy section


Nature stuff

Wintergreen Nature Foundation- For the crunchy among us, this group offers guided hikes, canoe trips, educational programs, and much more. Visit twnf.org for a complete list of events. 325-8169 or email .

The Charlottesville-Albemarle Council of Garden Clubs- Non-profit umbrella organization for local and county garden clubs. Info:  gardeninginvirginia.org

Monticello Bird Club- Field trips and monthly meetings are open to bird lovers of all experience levels. Meets the second Thursday of each month September-June at 7:00pm at the Ivy Creek Natural Area Education Building. Details: Ellen Dudley, 244-2688.

Charlottesville Orchid Society- Meets monthly at 2pm on the second Sunday except in July and August; two shows annually, one on Easter weekend and one in late October. Info: Lawrence R. Eicher, 975-4231.

Virginia Native Plant Society, Jefferson Chapter- "Dedicated to the protection and preservation of the native plants of Virginia and their habitats." How Jeffersonian! A $30 individual membership is available to the public and there are great group deals. 540-837-1600


Friendship Force of Charlottesville- Bringing people of the world together through homestay exchanges. Info:

International Center at the University of Virginia-  As part of the University's International Student's Office, the center promotes intercultural experiences in Charlottesville and Albemarle County through English conversation groups and educational activities and provides services to international students. 924-7983

Ligmincha Institute- "Created to preserve the Tibetan Bön culture and teachings, especially the practices of dzogchen." 263-6304.

L'Alliance Francaise de Charlottesville- A non-profit cultural and educational organization that fosters knowledge of France, its culture, and its language. Francophiles rejoice. Ten or 12-week courses are available every season, and prices vary depending on types of membership and skill level. 971-1616.


Republican Party of Virginia-  All elephants welcome! Contact state party headquarters at 804-780-0111

Democratic Party of Virginia- Everything's more exciting with donkey star Jim Webb. If you want to help keep the dems on top, call party headquarters at 804-644-1966.

Jefferson Area Libertarians- They're pro-choice... on everything. 973-5958

Central Virginia Greens- They're lean, green, tree-hugging machines. Call Jana Cutlip at 540-456-8555.

American Reform Party of Virginia- Not to be confused with the AARP, the ARP wants to spice up two-party elections and make them a menage a trois-- but with Ross Perot. Info:
[email protected].


University of Virginia Alumni Association- Join the proud tradition of giving money to Mr. Jefferson's university and maybe you'll get something named after you like Cocke Hall, Slaughter Recreation Center, or "the Jack."  Plus, you get a discount at UVA bookstore. You can't lose. 243-9000 or [email protected]

UVA Club of Charlottesville- "To foster ongoing relationships between the University of Virginia and the local community of friends, alumni, and employees of UVA through a series of educational, networking, athletic, charitable, and social events." Info: email .

Piedmont Virginia Community College Alumni Association- This group aims to "provide opportunities for networking and ways to stay connected to the College." 961-5203

Fraternal societies

Widow's Sons' Masonic Lodge- Over 200 years old, it's the oldest lodge continuing to serve the community. Monthly dinner meetings are held the third Monday of every month at 7pm at the meeting hall off the Downtown Mall. Info: .

Historical societies

The Shire of IsenfirThe local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and selective re-creation of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. If you like dressing up in armor, this is right up your bailiwick. Info: isenfir.org

Sons of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson Chapter- Dedicated to the patriotic, historical, and educational perpetuation of the memory of patriots who helped achieve the independence of the American people. The organization meets every other month. Info: email

Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society- Non-profit founded in 2000 to define and defend the legacy of Thomas Jefferson through education, research, publication, and seminars. Info: www.tjheritage.org/contacts.html

National Railway Historical Society, Rivanna Chapter- Members meet to wine, dine, and talk trains. They generally choo-choo-choose to meet at the Elks Lodge in Charlottesville on the third Tuesday of each month at 6pm. Info:

Preservation Piedmont- They're all for saving Charlottesville's rich architecutral history. Info: www.ppiedmont.squarespace.com/

Charlottesville Civil War Round Table- Tours and discussions keep Civil War history vital. Monthly meetings are the third Tuesday at JAG School at 7pm; meet for a 5:30pm dinner at Wild Greens Restaurant beforehand. Annual membership $25; for only $5 more ($30) bring along your spouse or even the whole family. Call Barbara Wright at 295-9463 (after 10am) or email

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution God, Home and Country is what matters to these modern-day Betsy Rosses. Charlottesville has four chapters for descendants of those who "with unfailing loyalty aided in the cause of American Independence." Info:

Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society- They keep local history alive with exhibits and tours. Located at 200 Second Street NE in the McIntire Building-- the big brick building with the fancy portico near the Downtown Mall. 296-1492 or

Whether you're new to town or a born-and-raised Charlottesvillian, take one of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society's weekly walking tours of downtown and you'll learn something. They leave from the McIntire Building every Saturday morning at 10am. Twilight Walking Tours happen on Thursday nights.

Sons of Confederate Veterans- These people are dedicated to seeing that the true history of the South is presented to future generations. Open to any friendly supporters or any males 12 years and older who can trace their ancestry to a Confederate soldier. Official membership is $40 per year, or be a friend or associate for just $20. Info: Email H.Wayne Elliott at .

Sons of Union Veterans-  Charlottesville is right in the North-South line of fire. This group, part of the Maryland division, while not quite as popular or as well known in these parts, wants to recognize the boys in blue. Info: Eugene Mortorff at 717-259-9841 for more information.

Support groups

Central Virginia Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia Association, Inc.- A support group for sufferers and their families. or 984-3419

AIDS/HIV Services Group- A variety of educational and support services offered, regular meetings. 979-7714

Alcoholics Anonymous- Meets daily. 293-6565

Al-Anon/Alateen- Support for families and friends of alcoholics. For local meeting times and locations, visit va-al-anon.org/ or al-anon.alateen.org/

Blue Ridge Family Alliance for the Mentally Ill- Works to promote and provide support, advocacy, and knowledge about mental illness. Meetings on first Thursdays of the month at the new Region Ten location at 505 Old Lynchburg Road. 970-1257

Charlottesville Parkinson's Disease Support Group- This group meets on the second Monday of the month at Westminster Canterbury starting at 1:30pm. Regularly brings in speakers for meetings, which offers groups for both people with the disease and for family,friends, and caretakers. Call 982-4482 for more information.

Compassionate Friends- Friendship and understanding for bereaved parents. Monthly meetings at 7pm on the fourth Tuesday at the Church of Our Savior on Rio Road. 973-8844 or .

Families Anonymous- "Support group for people who are experiencing conflict or pain as the result of a family member." Meets every Monday 7-8pm at Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Rio Road. 923-7929

Freedom From Smoking- Eight-week course for anyone trying to quit smoking. The organization's nearest chapter is in Richmond. Call 804 267 1900 for more information.

Hospice of the Piedmont Bereavement Groups- For adults, children, and adolescents who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Contact 817-6900 or email for more information.

La Leche League of Charlottesville- To promote breastfeeding and provide support for mothers. Monthly morning and evening meetings in Charlottesville.  Info: Adrienne, 984-4665.

Lupus Foundation of Virginia- A group helping those suffering from lupus, a disease that afflicts millions of Americans. Meets on the first Saturday of the month at C'Ville Coffee on Harris Street. Contact Katelyn Sack at 434 409 9670 or for more information about meeting times.

Mental Health America of Charlottesville-Albemarle Inc.- Provides assistance for those afflicted with mental illnesses. Services provided by the group include information and referrals, support groups, and training to community groups and organizations about mental health issues. Call 977-4673 for more information.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Blue Ridge Chapter- 971-8010

Overeaters Anonymous- Available at many sites throughout Charlottesville, morning and evening times. www.oa.org

Single Mothers' Support Group- The group meets on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Albemarle office for the Pregnancy Centers of Central Virginia at 1420 Greenbrier Place. Registration required. 220-3777.

Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA)- Intervention and support for survivors of sexual assault. Call the hotline at 977-7273 or, for other information, call the office at 295-7273.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly- Healthy weight loss programs offered Mon, Tues, and Wed. For more information call area captain Meg Crosby at 540 547 2600 or email .


Albemarle Amateur Radio Club- Radio buffs of all abilities are welcome at this organization's meetings the second Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm at the National Radio Astronomy Building on Edgemont Road. Email

Albemarle Duplicate Bridge Club- For over 15 years a group of serious duplicate bridge players have met to play for fun. Best Western Cavalier on Thursday at 7pm and Sunday at 1:30pm. $5 to play. Info: Paul Hartman, 973-2773.

Jefferson Bridge Association- Playing duplicate bridge three times a week. A combination instruction and game session is offered Monday at 7pm at the Church of Our Savior at 1165 E. Rio Road. Other games are played Wednesday at 12:30pm, and Friday at 12:30pm at the Best Western Cavalier. $6. Call Nan Massie at 531-5547.

Central Virginia Parrot Head Club- Have you always searched for a way to help people while drinking margaritas, wearing flip-flops, and listening to Jimmy Buffet? Welcome to paradise! This group aims to bring together in a social setting fans of Jimmy Buffett's music who also have a desire and willingness to pitch in for community service projects. Events include a Parrot-Head Happy Hour the first Thursday of every month at 5pm at-- where else?-- Cheesburger In Paradise. For the summer, the club also offers a social flocking the third Wednesday of every month at the Lazy Parrot Grill on Pantops. Email for more information.

Charlottesville Astronomical Society- Members of all knowledge levels enjoy the night sky. Meets the first Wednesday of every month at 6:45pm at the McCormick Observatory. The meetings are free and open to the public and feature lectures from the region's many astronomers. Membership $25/person; $30/family. Info: club president Richard Drumm at .

Charlottesville Camera Club- Shutterbugs rejoice! Photographers of all skills and disciplines are welcome at this nonprofit organization that "fosters photography as an art, a hobby, or a vocation, by instruction and by sharing knowledge and experience." Monthly meetings 6:00pm the second Thursday of every month at the Senior Center at Pepsi Place room C. Email

Charlottesville Unix Users Group- A support group for Unix users of all dependencies, its monthly meetings are held at 7pm on the fourth Tuesday at the NRAO Auditorium on Edgemont Road. Free and open to the public. Info: .

Central Virginia Genealogical Association- Trace those roots! Visitors are always welcome at this organization's meetings, which are usually the second Saturday of the month at 1:30pm at the Family History Center in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Timberwood Blvd. Contact public relations coordinator Andy Emert at for more information. 

Blue Ridge Inventors Club- To help people profit from their creative work and "to inform members about patents, copyrights, and trademarks." Members get info from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Meets the third Wednesday of the month at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Don't let The Man steal your genius.Email for more information. 

Monticello Needle Arts- These embroidery gurus will have you in stiches in no time. Meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 1pm at Broaddus Memorial Baptist Church on Rt. 20N, unless otherwise announced. "Educational and cultural development" through sewing. marega.org/monticelloneedlearts

Rivanna Radio Control Club- These guys fly radio-controlled gliders from Milton Field (southeast of town) and occasionally invite the public to watch. The field is open to club members every day from 9am to dusk, and is often full during the weekends and early summer evening hours. Meetings held each month at 7:30pm in the Glenmore Fire Station. Info: Joe Teccariche at

Virginia Angora Goat and Mohair Association- The name says it all. Maaaaaticulous website. Don't be sheepish; if it behooves you, call 434-973-8070 or email secretary Colleen Reed at .

American Society of Landscape Architects, Virginia Chapter- Encourages ethical and ecologically minded landscaping. Membership info: vaasla.org, 757-412-2664 or [email protected].

Neon Guild- Technology professionals swap information and advice. Includes free pizza, beer, and soft drinks. Meets at various locations about once a month on a Tuesday evening, 6-8pm. Email or call 923-9524.

Forest Way Insight Meditation Group- Buddhist retreats encompassing vipassana (insight meditation) and metta (loving-kindness meditation). Beginners welcome. 990-9300 or email

Charlottesville Swing Dance Society- All you poodle-skirt gals and hepcats can get your swing on at various locations and times weekly. Dances are the third Saturday of every month. Lessons available, annual membership $15. Info: cvilleswingdance.net or the dance hotline at 980-2744.

The American Legion
- Our local outfit of the world's largest veterans service organization. Charlottesville's Post 74 meets the second Wednesday of every month to eat dinner and discuss Legion business. Social hour at 6pm, dinner at 6:30, official business at 7:30. Contact .

Party Parade- Soon to be celebrating 20 years of gettin' down for charity, these revelers meet weekly from February through May. All proceeds benefit local organizations. Info: .

Thomas Jefferson Area United Way- The area's most ginormous umbrella charity. Their website BeAVolunteer.info is a helpful resource on how to volunteer your time and effort in a way that fits both your talents and schedule. 972-1701 or email

Charlottesville-Albemarle Community Foundation- The homier, more intimate ginormous umbrella charity. Call 296-1024 for more information.

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic- So that all people might have access to the printed word.  293-4797

Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks No. 389- Sort of a country club (it has a pool with an excellent swim team) along with lotsa bingo. 296-6015 or .

Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty- Do much more than just watch The Green Mile or Dead Man Walking. 960-7779

Charlottesville Young Professionals-These folks want to create networking opportunities for young professionals in the Charlottesville area by organizing social, recreational, and community service events.  



*You can check out the spending habits of all groups by inquiring at guidestar.org















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