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Community Outreach 2014

 

Volunteer of the Year_Shannon JuniorWe are excited to announce that Aquatic Ecologist and Regional Manager, Shannon Junior, is our 2014 Volunteer of the Year! It is Shannon’s third time being honored as The SOLution’s volunteer of the year. She estimates that during her 323 logged volunteering hours, she was able to help rescue and adopt out close to 90 dogs. Way to go, Shannon! 


Volunteer of Q4_Aaron CushingCongratulations to our Volunteer of the Quarter for Q4, Fisheries Biologist, Aaron Cushing! Aaron regularly volunteers with the Rivanna Conservation Society to help keep the waterways free of debris and is working on becoming a River Guardian, as well as participating in company team volunteering events, such as the Family & Youth Casting Call and Grave’s Mountain Lodge Heritage Day.


The SOLution 2014 was a record year with volunteering and community outreach activities, donations and partnering with key organizations who share SOLitude's mission. Through The SOLution program, SOLitude recorded 1,056 hours of individual volunteering, donated $56,430 in cash and goods, supported over 4,000 under resourced families and recycled 5,990 pounds of paper, plastics, and cardboard. 


Madison County Animal Shelter DonationAquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior, was delighted to present a donation of $2,805 to the Madison County Animal Shelter. Half of this donation was reward money Shannon earned for her participation in The SOLution in 2014; since she chose to donate her reward to charity, SOLitude doubled the amount. Madison County also surprised Shannon by presenting her with an award plaque, honoring her dedication to the animals. 


HOLiday Cheer - CHKD & CHOPOnce again through our HOLiday Cheer program, we provided gifts to the B-Strong Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides meals, gift baskets, and encouragement to families with children who have been diagnosed with cancer at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). We also made a donation of toys, art supplies and games the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (CHKD), in Norfolk, VA. 


HOLiday Cheer - Adopted Families Through our HOLiday Cheer program, we also “adopted” three families who received gifts from their wish lists and a Target gift card, which will allow the parents to purchase additional presents and household items.  “SOLitude Santas” dropped off a donation for an “adopted” family identified through the Morris Early Childhood Center in Lincoln, Delaware. 


VA Beach SPCA Cat Adoption CenterMarketing and Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, volunteers every week to assist the VA Beach SPCA with their satellite cat adoption center at PetSmart, cleaning cages, playing with kitties awaiting their forever home and speaking with potential adoptive families. 


Hair Donation to Pantene Beautiful LengthsEnvironmental Scientist, J. Wesley Allen, donated his hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths initiative, which provides free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society to distribute to cancer patients across the country. 


Milford, DE Food BankThe Delaware Team volunteered with the Food Bank of Delaware this week, packing over 1000 milks for various youth and after school programs and 228 bags of food for underprivileged children participating in their school Back Pack Program. 


Ocean View Trash Pick up Ann Marie Dori, Marketing and Special Projects Coordinator, spends one hour per week cleaning up the streets and shoreline surrounding her neighborhood in Norfolk, VA. In one month, she gathered enough trash to fill 10 tall kitchen bags. 


VA Beach SPCA Adoption EventBusiness Manager, Trina Duncan, volunteered at an event held by the Virginia Beach SPCA at a local animal-friendly apartment complex, to showcase adoptable dogs and help collect essential items for the shelter, such as paper towels, bleach, toys and more


Little GOBBLERS Turkey DeliveriesThrough SOLitude's Little GOBBLER's program, our team donated $2875 in turkeys and grocery store gift cards to 138 under resourced families at 11 elementary and middle schools from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. 


Rivanna Conservation Society Clean Up Fisheries Biologist, Aaron Cushing and his wife Lisa assisted the Rivanna Conservation Society with their monthly river clean-up, clearing 75 bags of trash and debris. Their efforts were covered in the local paper!  


Virginia Penninsual FoodbankThe Hampton Roads SOLitude team hit an all-time best volunteering at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, packing 1,140 bags of food for students at 21 schools in 2 hours! 


Ocean View Clean Up Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori has committed to doing weekly trash clean ups in her neighborhood in the Ocean View area of Norfolk, which is surrounded by water. In just one hour, she gathered 3 tall kitchen bags full of trash from the shoreline and marshes. 


Madison County Animal Shelter Aquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior continues to dedicate the majority of her weekends to finding forever homes for the dogs of the Madison County Animal Shelter. She works tirelessly to ensure that these dogs are given the best chance to find amazing guardians. 


Lynnhaven River NOWMarketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, joined 40 volunteers for the Lynnhaven River NOW monthly river clean up in Virginia Beach. The group worked on land and by kayak to collect 844 pounds of trash. 


Food For OthersThe Northern Virginia SOLitude Team spent a morning volunteering with Food For Others, packing over 400 bags of food to be distributed to families in need. 


Virginia Beach SPCA Satellite Cat Adoption CenterMarketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, started volunteering on a weekly basis at the Virginia Beach SPCA’s satellite cat adoption center at a local PetSmart to help clean cages, speak with potential adoptive families and give the kitties much-needed social interaction. 


Woodland Beach Japanese Wine Berry Weed Out Environmental Scientist, J. Wesley Allen, joined the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife for the 4th annual Woodland Beach Japanese Wine Berry Weed-Out, removing this exotic #invasive species from the understory of a forest area. 


Habitat For HumanityLead Fisheries Biologist, David Beasley, and his wife Sarah-Ann spent a morning assisting Habitat for Humanity in Charlottesville, VA build a home for a family in need. 


Virginia Penninsual FoodbankThe SOLitude Team has resumed its monthly assistance with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank’s BackPack Program. We packed 725 bags of food for underprivileged children at 11 elementary schools throughout Hampton Roads, VA. 


Norfolk, VA shoreline clean up Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, gets involved in keeping her community clean along the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Norfolk, VA, spending time picking up trash and marine debris from the coastline. 


Dog Days Chili CookoffThe Charlottesville, VA SOLitude team volunteered for the Madison County Animal Shelter's Chili Cook-Off fundraiser at Prince Michel Winery. It was a very successful day! There were 2 adoptions the event raised over $600 for the shelter’s programs. 


Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation Wathershed DayEcologist, Shannon Junior and Environmental Scientist, Brent Weber, volunteered for the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District’s Watershed Day at Graves Mountain Lodge.  This educational program teaches 6th grade kids about how land use activities in the watershed affect water quality in our rivers and streams. 


VBSPCA 5 K walk for the animalsOur Volunteer of the Quarter, Trina Duncan, helped man the registration table at the Virginia Beach SPCA’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Walk for Animals. 


RCS Clean up The Charlottesville, VA SOLitude Team, including Aaron Cushing, his wife Lisa and Jeremy Haley, volunteered with the Rivanna Conservation Society to remove trash and invasive species from a stream bank.


Lynnhaven River NOW Fall FestivalMarketing Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori and her friend Maggie, volunteered to man the merchandise booth at the Lynnhaven River NOW Fall Festival in VA Beach, helping to raise funds for their important water restoration and environmental programs. 


RAWL Trail ChallengeAquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior and her husband, Ian, volunteered at a fundraiser for the Rappahannock Animal Welfare League, helping to raise over $500 dollars to support the rescue’s valuable programs


Volunteer of the Quarter_Trina DuncanWe are excited to announce our Volunteer of the Quarter for Q3! Business Manager, Trina Duncan, volunteers at least once a month with the VA Beach SPCA and enthusiastically participates in company team volunteering events. Congrats, Trina! 


Madison County Animal Shelter Adoption Event Aquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior and her husband Ian dedicate much of their time taking adoptable animals from the Madison County, VA animal shelter to PetSmart, increasing their chances of finding a forever home. Shannon also creates and sells tie-dyed t-shirts and dog bandannas to raise money for the shelter's spay/neuter fund: Dog Dayz Dyes Etsy shop


Dogfish Dash to benefit The Nature ConservancyThe Delaware team volunteered to hand out water bottles at the Dogfish Dash, an annual race to benefit the DE chapter of The Nature Conservancy, while Trina Duncan and her husband traveled from VA Beach to participate in the race.This year's event raised $75,000! 


VA Beach SPCA Adoption EventBusiness Manager, Trina Duncan, continues to be part of The SOLution in Virginia Beach by showcasing adoptable dogs from the Virginia Beach SPCA at PetSmart, increasing their chances at finding a forever home. 


Youth Hunt The Charlottesville, VA SOLitude team volunteered at the River City QDMA Youth Hunt helping kids with skeet shooting, target practice and improving their hunting skills. 


Inland Bays Clean Up Environmental Scientist, J. Wesley Allen, participated in the The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays 10th annual Inland Bay Clean-up day, cleaning 3 miles of coastline in Massey’s Landing, DE.  


VA Beach SPCA Adoption EventBusiness Manager, Trina Duncan, is upholding her commitment to volunteer at least one event per month to assist the Virginia Beach SPCA in finding forever homes for homeless animals. Thank you for making such an impact on the animals in your community! 


Wounded Wear DonationWe were honored to meet Wounded Wear’s founder, Jason Redman, and his dedicated team to present them with a check for $8,290 to support their mission to help wounded warriors, their families, and families of the fallen rediscover the hero within. 


Madison County Animal Shelter Adoption EventAquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior, continues to dedicate herself to her local animal shelter, once again spending almost every Saturday of the month volunteering at adoption events. You are an angel for these animals, Shannon! 


Volunteer of the Second Quarter - Ann Marie Dori Congratulations to Ann Marie Dori, Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, for being named Volunteer of the Second Quarter! Passionate about the environment and helping animals, she coordinated a group of co-workers, family and friends to help with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s cleanup event and helps set up free spay/neuter surgeries for low-income families. 


Virginia Beach SPCA Business Manager, Trina Duncan, continues to work with the Virginia Beach SPCA to take adoptable dogs to unique events, exposing them to more potential adoptive families. This month, Trina spent the afternoon at O’Connor Brewing Company in Norfolk, which was part of a Craft Beer Festival. 


Feral Cat RescueMarketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, has been working to trap and spay/neuter a small colony of feral cats in her neighborhood. This lucky kitty, Mimi, was adopted by a kind neighbor and is adjusting to the good life inside with her new family! 


Madison County Animal ShelterOur Volunteer of the Year has recorded over 160 hours volunteering in her local community so far this year. Kudos to our Aquatic Ecologist, who manages to do it all… and always with a smile! Thanks for being part of #TheSOLution, Shannon Junior! 


Lynnhaven River NOW clean up Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator, Ann Marie Dori, joined a group of dedicated volunteers with Lynnhaven River NOW to help remove 305 pounds of debris and fishing line from Virginia Beach’s waterways. 


Trap Pond Environmental Stewardship DaveThe Delaware team volunteered for the Trap Pond Environmental Stewardship Day. Environmental Scientist J Wesley Allen and Aquatic Specialist Greg Blackham and his family focused on removing wisteria, an extremely invasive vine that chokes out and covers other native trees and shrubs. 


VA Beach SPCA Adoption Event Our Business Manager, Trina Duncan, volunteered with the VA Beach SPCA at the Old Coast Guard Station Family Fun Day, giving Loretta and Storm a chance to meet a new family. Storm ended up finding her forever home a week later! 


Shed Donation to Cerebral Palsy of VirginiaKevin Tucker generously donated a storage shed to Cerebral Palsy of Virginia, an organization dedicated to serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. Tucker family friend and Eagle Scout, Oliver Simon, put together this great team of volunteers to disassemble the shed and reassemble it in its new location. 


Family & Youth Casting Call Northern VA SOLitude’s Northern VA staff volunteered at the Family and Youth Casting Call, a two day event designed to teach children about nature and fishing. The team stocked fish for the event, displayed an educational fish tank and helped kids learn to fish – one young boy said it was the ‘BEST DAY EVER!’! 


Save the Bay Foundation Clean Up Day Our VA Beach team members gathered with family and friends at First Landing Park to participate in the 26th annual Chesapeake Bay Foundation Clean the Bay Day. Our dedicated group joined 6,000 other volunteers to help remove 110,000 pounds of trash from over 450 miles of stream and shoreline. 


Madison County Shelter Dog Days of SummerShannon Junior, Aaron Cushing and their spouses volunteered for the Dog Days of Summer event to benefit the Madison County Animal Shelter. They raised $563.00 for the shelter’s spay/neuter fund and found a forever home for a lucky boxer named Rocky! 


Falcon Club Classroom TripFisheries Biologist Aaron Cushing joined his wife Lisa Cox Cushing at Fredericksburg Academy for the Falcon Club’s outdoor classroom trip to the local creek. Everyone had a great time learning while exploring the stream, catching minnows, insects, and other critters.  


Madison County Shelter Adoption EventAquatic Ecologist Shannon Junior spent another Saturday at the Fredericksburg, VA PetSmart trying to find homes for homeless dogs from the Madison County Animal Shelter. We are happy to report that this sweet bluetick hound, Corey, went home with a fantastic new family! 


Wildlife Response, Inc. Pond Clean Up Marc Harris and Dave Ellison volunteered with Wildlife Response, Inc., a Virginia Beach based organization dedicated to the preservation of wildlife through rehabilitation and education. They worked alongside other local volunteers to remove small trees, limbs and trash from a pond at the entrance of the organization’s property. 


Clemont Park Invasive Species RemovalLisa Richards, Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist, volunteered to remove invasive plant species from Clermont Park in Alexandria, VA. She worked alongside several other volunteers to remove approximately 240 pounds of garlic mustard, which is considered one of the most problematic invasive plant species in North American forests.  


VA Beach SPCA Adoption EventOur Business Manager, Trina Duncan and her husband Bobby spent an afternoon trying to find forever homes for 2 dogs from the Virginia Beach SPCA. A local apartment complex invited them out to their club house to mingle with the residents and to get the word out that they are pet friendly. 


Rappahannock County Kestrel Nestling Survey Aquatic Ecologist Shannon Junior and her husband Ian spent a day volunteering with the Rappahannock County Kestrel Nestling Survey and Banding Project. They visited 25 kestrel nesting boxes to outfit the chicks with leg bands, which will help track the migration patterns and reproductive habits of the birds. 


Wounded Warrior Rugby EventEnvironmental Scientist Kyle Finerfrock and the Newport News Rugby Football Club raised over $5,000 at their 2nd annual ‘Rugby for the Warrior’ fundraising event to support the Wounded Warrior Project. The event featured multple rugby matches between Newport News, Quantico and the Camp Legeune Rugby Club. We are impressed, guys! 


Volunteer of the QuarterCongratulations to J Wesley Allen, SOLitude’s Volunteer of the Quarter for Q1. Wes has been instrumental in identifying several new environmentally focused volunteer opportunities, recruiting staff and their family members to join him, and participating in team volunteer events. Way to go, Wes! 


Madison County Animal Shelter Adoption EventAquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior, continues to spend a great deal of time on the weekends attending adoption events with dogs in need of a good home from the Madison County Animal shelter. Shannon is pictured here with Clyde (lap) and Major (bed), who was lucky enough to find his forever home!  


Rappahannock River Clean UP Fisheries Biologist Aaron Cushing and his wife Lisa helped with the annual Rappahannock River clean up, filling 3 garbage bags with trash they gathered. Over 500 dedicated volunteers spent the morning working to clear trails and river banks of trash near Fredericksburg, VA. 


Brandywine Valley Clean Up SOLitude's Delaware staff helped the Brandywine Valley Association gather almost 2 tons of trash around the Brandywine Creek near West Chester, PA. The team was excited to find that progress is being made and the amount of trash collected is down from previous years. 


special olympicsOur Hampton Roads, VA staff helped run several events at Chesapeake Public Schools’ annual Special Olympics Games. Approximately 1200 students with disabilities were given the opportunity to showcase their personal strengths and athletic talents. 


Envirothon Our Aquatic Ecologist, Shannon Junior, volunteered to judge presentations for this year’s Envirothon competition in Sweet Briar, VA. This team-based natural resources competition for high school students is focused on teaching environmental stewardship and management strategies for solving real world problems. 


Tucker family beach clean up SOLitude President Kevin Tucker and his family were part of The SOLution over spring break, braving the wind and cold to clean up an 8 block stretch of beach and dunes in VA Beach. As they were finishing up, everyone but Kevin's son Brody raced back to the house to get warm.


Peninsula Food Bank The Hampton Roads SOLitude staff spent another productive morning packing bags of food at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank for underprivileged elementary school children. In just under 2 hours, the team put together 550 bags! 


VA Beach SPCA Adoption EventTrina Duncan continues to help the VA Beach SPCA find good homes for dogs in need. A local little league baseball team invited the SPCA to their playoff games, collected donations, and made sure that adoptable animals were given much needed exposure. What a creative way to be part of TheSOLution!


tutoring at James Monroe ElementaryThe SOLution is contagious. Our leadership training coach, Brad McDonald, spends many volunteer hours reading and tutoring at James Monroe Elementary in Norfolk, VA. He enjoys rewarding the children who do a good job writing an essay or reading a book. Thanks for all you do Brad, and a special thanks to The North Face team for donating gifts for us to share!


London Grove Twp Roadside Clean Up Environmental Scientist, John Phelps and his son Jack were part of The Solution, volunteering to clean trash for a mile stretch of road in London Grove Twp, PA. They also gave a small stream some extra TLC and ended up gathering 4 bags of trash!


Love Your Lake Free Lake MakeoverWIN A FREE LAKE MAKEOVER! Is your non-profit’s lake or pond unhealthy and in dire need of ecological restoration? Are recreational activities limited due to nuisance algae and aquatic weeds? Submit your photos and story to info@solitudelake.com for the chance to win a FREE Lake Makeover! 

  


Earth Day/Arbor DayIn honor of Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 25), SOLitude partnered with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to plant one new pine tree for every new social media follower through May 15th. Be part of the SOLution, follow us today and plant more trees. 

  


Dogapalooza Adoption Event Aaron Cushing, Shannon Junior and their spouses volunteered for the 3rd Annual Dogapalooza Adoption Event at PetSmart in Fredericksburg, VA. We are delighted to report that our team found forever homes for 3 dogs from the Madison County Animal Shelter. We hope you are getting settled in your new homes Jackson, Captain and Cheyenne!


Heritage Day The Northern Virginia SOLitude team had a fantastic time volunteering once again at Graves' Mountain Lodge Heritage Day. Staff displayed our electrofishing boat and a large tank full of native fish species, introducing over 150 kids and their parents to our local fish and their environment.


DE Park Beach Grass Planting Wes Allen, Greg Blackham and his family were part of The SOLution, joining 1100 volunteers to plant American Beach Grass along the shore for Delaware Seashore State Park. Thank you for your effort to help prevent beach erosion! 


Survive and Thrive PhiladelphiaSOLitude Ecologist Gavin Ferris volunteered for Survive and Thrive Philadelphia, a Meetup group for people interested in sustainable living and emergency preparedness. Gavin used his expert wilderness skills to show attendees how to identify signs of wildlife and obtain food in case of an emergency, along with a lesson on wildlife ecology and natural history.


Virginia Peninsula FoodbankOur Hampton Roads staff have become regulars at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. This time, they prepared 536 bags of food to be stuffed into student’s backpacks at 8 elementary schools in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia.


Go Rescue Pet Volunteering

Trina Duncan helped out at the GO Rescue Pet Adoption and shelter with kennel cleaning, grooming and giving dogs much needed love and attention. Many of the dogs have medical and/or behavioral issues. As a feral dog, Zues is very timid around people, but not at all aggressive and actually loves to be groomed. 


Ojai Youth Entertainment Studios We supported the Ojai Youth Entertainment Studios (OYES), a non-profit dedicated to challenge, inspire, educate & entertain children & families through the experience of quality theatre, dance and music. The SOLution continues to help amazing people and non-profits in need each and every day.  
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Cedar Swamp Clean Up Wes Allen and Greg Blackham volunteered with the DE Division of Fish and Wildlife to remove invasive species from a forested area in Smyrna, DE, as these plants out-competed native desirable species. It was a huge undertaking, but the stumps and surrounding area are now ready to be treated to avoid regrowth.

 


Contact us to learn about our upcoming volunteering opportunities and how you can get involved.

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