Where the Money Goes
The Short Version
Funds raised are used to support the work of Teens Opposing Poverty/Together Opposing Poverty and its work in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Here is a quick summary of where your donation goes:
- Rental assistance to prevent eviction, primarily for families living in motels in the region.
- Provide food, clothes, toiletries, paper products, school supplies, transportation assistance and work-related items for people living in poverty.
- Recruit and train groups of all ages to meet needs and offer encouragement and hope for the poor.
- Repair homes belonging to low income families and individuals, many of whom are elderly or disabled.
Want to learn more? Check out TOP’s website at www.TeensOpposingPoverty.org
For over 20 years Teens Opposing Poverty (TOP) has empowered teens to make a difference in the lives of homeless and poor people. Beginning in Washington, DC and expanding throughout Virginia, TOP has trained youth from hundreds of church, school and civic groups to meet the needs of the homeless and poor.
Over the years, we have discovered that TOP often becomes more than just a youth group project. Young adults, older adults, and children’s groups have all been involved in TOP’s outreaches.
In response to that reality, we added Together Opposing Poverty to include these other age groups in our outreaches. While TOP is still focused on youth, we are thrilled to work with anyone who wants to make a difference in the lives of the poor.
TOP’s mission is to empower people of all ages to meet physical needs and offer hope, friendship and encouragement to poor and homeless people.
But in all of TOP’s ministries and outreaches, the focus is on building relationships and offering encouragement, joy, hope and love. When every day is a struggle, no program can succeed in helping people climb out of desperate poverty without nurturing hearts, minds and spirits.
These relationships bless our volunteers as much as they bless the people we serve.
A Safety Net
Because of the nature of TOP’s outreaches, we often work with people who (for a host of reasons) don’t qualify for other forms of assistance. Through the relationships our volunteers build, we learn of unmet needs ranging from things needed to survive to resources needed to escape their current situations. TOP strives to remain flexible in meeting these needs, working with people on a case-by-case basis instead of establishing rigid eligibility requirements.
TOP is Christian-based and is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.
TOP in the Northern Shenandoah Valley
Impact the Valley
TOP works with area churches and other organizations to sponsor a local, ecumenical, mission event bringing teenagers and adults of all ages together for a week of service.
Since 2005, over 700 volunteers have repaired over 60 homes belonging to low income families. Many of these homes are owned by elderly and disabled people.
Impact the Valley volunteers have repaired homes for people in the city of Winchester and in the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Warren and Shenandoah.
Picture a family having to live in one room. That happens more often tha most people realize in Winchester and Front Royal.
These families are considered homeless by the Commonwealth of Virginia. For a variety of reasons, they have difficulty getting into apartments. They don’t have a steady income, they have poor or no credit, or they can’t generate the security deposit and other up-front costs needed to get into other housing.
Many of these families use most (sometimes nearly all) of their income just to pay rent.
Since 2009, TOP volunteers have met the physical needs of these families providing food, clothing, paper products, school supplies, laundry detergent, toiletries and other items to help alleviate their financial stress.
Through Kelsey Kares, our direct-aid fund, we have helped over 27 families pay their rent to prevent eviction from the motels. With more resources, that number would have been much higher. We have also purchased work clothing and provided transportation and communication assistance for people looking for work.
Working with the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center, TOP has helped over 40 soon-to-be-released prisoners obtain legal identification through a program known as Stepping Stones. We have also helped homeless families and others obtain much needed legal ID.