Monday, April 25, 2016

Our little corner of the world

Volunteers, including Goochland Sheriff James L.Agnew, pedaled for 12 hours on April 13 to raise funds so second graders can learn to swim at the Goochland YMCA

Anyone who’s lived in Goochland for more than a minute knows it’s a special place. Some days it seems like every one of our approximately 22,000 residents, except those who are “guests’ of the Commonwealth, is out doing something to boost the community.

Goochland Schools recently received the Governor’s Volunteerism Award from Gov. McAuliffe after having been nominated by Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services (GFCFS), a volunteer jewel in its own right.

Pitching in to is nothing new to Goochlanders.

Perhaps the most basic, and vital, example goes back to 1952 when Goochland Volunteer Fire-Rescue was founded. Though dwindling in number, our fire-rescue volunteers devote untold amounts of their time and impressive talent to save lives and protect property in Goochland. They are well-trained, highly skilled, and dedicated; we are grateful for their service.

There are many other examples.

The Friends of the Goochland Branch Library fought for years to obtain larger quarters for Goochland’s only public library, in spite of a Board of Supervisors who seemed to believe that the existing library, crammed into an unsuitable old bank building, was perfectly adequate to meet community needs. (Rumors that these supervisors were functionally illiterate were never proven.)

Undaunted, the Friends lobbied the General Assembly and raised their own funds until the supervisors relented. Nevertheless, the folks who declared that it would be a cold day in Hades when Goochland got a new library had the last laugh. In fact, the day the community turned out to move the books from the old library to the new was exceptionally frigid.

Church groups and those who help out with local sports activities, GYAA and GUSA to name two, help kids learn valuable lessons that equip them with tools to thrive wherever life’s path takes them and have fun to boot. Scouting is strong in the county thanks to dedicated volunteers.

Shalom Farms on Rockcastle Road ( grows food for the inner city with volunteers helping with the work. This not only enhances nutrition for the economically challenged, it provides an opportunity for people, especially children, to learn where food comes from.

Volunteers with the Goochland Historical Society use their skills and interests to preserve area history and share it with the community. They are partnering with the county to restore the old jail and enhance the Courthouse green.
In return for the horticultural education Goochland-Powhatan Master Gardeners receive in their training program, they volunteer to share their knowledge with the community.

The Friends of Goochland Parks work to improve and promote county parks. It was instrumental in the creation of Tucker Park at Maidens Crossing and its continuing evolution into a recreational jewel for Goochland.

The Chamber of Commerce provides a mechanism for local businesses to network and support each other to enhance the county’s economy.
Our Rotary Club ( participates in good works locally and globally. Rotarians are active in many other county organizations; this “cross pollination” is a tremendous asset for the community.

The Goochland Woman’s Club raises money to support an array of good causes.

Our schools benefit from the volunteer efforts of the Goochland Education Foundation.

Other groups try to make things a little bit better for those less fortunate. GFCFS provides a wide range of services and programs for those who fall through the cracks of other programs. Its annual food drive is under way, fill a bag if you can.

The Kates Foundation works with the Virginia Correctional Center for Women—known locally as “the women’s farm—to help offenders mend their ways and become productive citizens when their debt to society is paid. The annual Kates Day event, which offers an opportunity to visit the VCCW; buy amazing plants grown by the offenders; learn about the mission of the VCCW; and eat dinner prepared and served by offenders will be held on May 4. Visit for complete information.

Habitat for Humanity; Goochland Christmas Mother; and Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA); the Lion’s Club; and FLAG, our local animal rescue group, all depend on volunteers.

This list is by no means all inclusive, but it shows just how much we Goochlanders care about our little corner of the world. Each of these very worthy groups brings people together to do good and in turn creates bonds that build community.

(Hat tip to Margaret Reynolds for this post theme.)

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