Thanks to the ACAC Downtown team and community, families at Friendship Court received gifts through a special drive organized by the neighboring athletic center to help bring joy to the neighborhood children. “ACAC has been a wonderful community partner in making sure many of the children and families who live at Friendship Court are able to enjoy Christmas in a special way,” said Claudette Grant, Friendship Court community organizer.
As one mother said, “ACAC outdid themselves this year. My children received so many amazing gifts. We are set for several months because of the generosity of this community.” The gifts are much appreciated. For many of the Friendship Court families, Christmas would be difficult without the generosity and support of ACAC Downtown. The staff and patrons of ACAC not only give so freely of their time to make sure this event happens every Christmas, but they take the act of giving to a higher level. On several occasions, members of the athletic center checked in with staff to make sure families in need received the items requested or would have enough assistance to put together certain toys. “It is nice to know we have so many angels in our community who make sure Christmas is joyous for several happy little ones,” said Claudette.
Thanks to Paul Kyriacopoulos, assistant general manager, who with his team, organize and deliver hundreds of gifts for Friendship Court residents each December. Thanks ACAC community!
Kids and adults came out for the 3rd Annual “Love the Court” community event at Friendship Court on Wednesday, August 9. The successful event, sponsored by Portico Church and Piedmont Housing Alliance, is a way to bring together people from the community to enjoy a night of fun before kids get ready to go back to school.
Several partners like the City of Charlottesville and PVCC’s adult career and education center were there to spread the word about programs in the community with the residents of Friendship Court. Several local barbershops, like Studio 360 and A Cut Above the Rest, were on site to offer free haircuts to kids. Leslie Brown of LLC Hair Studios was also on hand to provide styling services. Food was flowing and kids were bouncing from the dunking station, to the face painting, back to the basketball court, and to the bounce house. Desmond Glenn, Pastor of Community & Discipleship at Portico, said their goal is to keep bringing people together. “It’s all about creating relationships and loving our neighbors. We also try to make sure we are proactively seeking racial reconciliation,” Desmond says.
Each year, the event seems to bring more and more people together.
For more information, see www.porticocville.org. Coverage by CBS19 news
Posted in Community News and Events, In the News, Piedmont Housing Alliance
Tagged A Cut Above the Rest, city of charlottesville, Claudette Grant, Desmond Glenn, Friendship Court, LLC Hair Studios, Love the Court, Piedmont Housing Alliance, Portico Church, PVCC, Studio 360
One in six kids in Virginia struggles with hunger. During the summer, kids who rely on school-provided meals may not have access to food during the day. That’s why, at Friendship Court, where all kids qualify for free and reduced lunch programs at school, we’re providing breakfast, lunch and a snack to residents aged two to 18. In addition, thanks to the generosity, of Myrtle Houchens, a community leader and former Friendship Court resident, for three weeks of the summer, an evening meal is available Monday through Thursday. For several years, Ms. Houchens has been preparing meals during a portion of the summer to help bridge the gap for nutritious meals during the summer. We are grateful for Ms. Houchens’ commitment and dedication to the children in Friendship Court and for the resources given by Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
“Growing kids are always hungry,” said Claudette Grant, Friendship Court community organizer. It’s great to be able to provide programs at the community center to keep them busy and the nutritious meals keep them fueled.
Resources for some of the meals are provided through USDA and the Virginia Department of Health, along with generous donations from our local community. Your donation can help fill the gap so no kid goes hungry during the summer, or at any time during the school year. Give today, and help us feed the kids of Friendship Court.
The Friendship Court Athletic Club (FCAC) visited Ragged Mountain Running Shop to get outfitted with running shoes and socks as they prepare to run the Big Brothers Big Sisters Jingle Bell Relay 2 x 1 mile race on Saturday, December 17. Ten kids, ranging from seven to 11 years old, have been training for the last six weeks, working diligently with their volunteer coaches, Nick Berry and Laura Roller, from Investure LLC. Tory Twitty, activity coordinator at Friendship Court has also been assisting the youth to train for the race. The team quickly grew from six participants to 10 as word spread about the training program. The team recently participated in the Buzz-by-Belmont: Clark 5K race to help them prepare for the Jingle Bell Relay. Friendship Court Community Organizer, Claudette Grant said, “It is exciting to watch the boys grow and take ownership as they participate in this running program. Their energy is contagious.”
Initial guidance and ongoing support comes from Mark Lorenzoni and his team at Ragged Mountain Running Shop. The purchase of the running shoes and socks was made possible through support from Piedmont Housing Alliance and Ragged Mountain. “We loved having the FCAC boys come to the shop and more importantly we love being included in what is quickly becoming a special experience. Thank you again for making Ragged feel like a part of your family and thank you for all you are doing to put smiles on these boys faces,” said Lorenzoni. Mark Lorenzoni and his wife Cynthia have been promoting distance running and fitness in the community since opening their running shop in 1982. They have organized over 500 races for charity including the popular Women’s Four Miler event.
We would like to thank our partners at Investure and Ragged Mountain Running Shop for their support of this program. Come out and help cheer on the kids on December 17!
On Tuesday, September 13th, several teenagers met after school to celebrate their participation in the Youth Leadership Program at Friendship Court. Part of Piedmont Housing Alliance’s resident engagement process for the redevelopment of Friendship Court, the Youth Leadership Program equips resident youth leaders to provide input for the redevelopment, with particular focus on activity areas, green space, and programming. It is also a program through which the youth will gain valuable skills, experiences, and academic and professional networks that will create educational and career opportunities.
The kids welcomed to the meeting Liz Ogbu, architect and founder of Studio O, who has been the lead designer for the master plan process and has led several teen focus groups over the past six months. Liz talked with the teens about the latest design plan and the next steps for the redevelopment. The kids also presented Liz with a cake as a thank you for all of her hard work and dedication to the planning process and the community’s future. Community Organizer Claudette Grant said, “Liz talked with the kids about what it’s like to work as an architect and left them excited to be a part of the redevelopment of their community.”
The Youth Leadership Team will meet on a weekly basis for a period of two years.