By Becca Pizmoht

Staff Writer

Madison County non-profit organizations are working together to provide coordinated mobile services and a county resource guide.

The Madison Non-profit Council is an informal group that is considering changing to an official role as a clearinghouse organization for all local charities. The group is considering filing for 501(c)3 status and forming a board of directors.

Ren LeVally, coordinator of the Madison Non-profit Council, pointed out that grantors often look more favorably at groups working together to achieve common goals and is hopeful that interagency cooperation may lead to a solution for the county’s transportation problem.

When local nonprofit Aging Together held its series of community conversations earlier this year in different parts of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board region, transportation issues were one of the most common discussions. Transportation is a growing problem for senior citizens that live in rural areas of the five counties served by Aging Together. Even those with cars or family can have issues if they are temporarily unable to drive or if family and friends cannot leave work or other obligations to drive them.

The non-profit council has already decided to host a coordinated service event at the Reva Fire Station, the date of which hasn’t yet been decided.

Brenda Clements, executive director of the Madison County Free Clinic, is enthusiastic about the possibilities of the multiple agencies working together. The free clinic has started a remote clinic and has applied for a grant to hire a nurse practitioner to provide exams to people in more remote parts of the county. The free clinic now is offering services in seven different locations throughout the county.

“We are in favor of the organizations working together and are hoping to have agencies piggyback on our remote clinic services,” said Clements. “Having a clinic that you can’t get to is not having a clinic. With no public transportation, many people haven’t been able to access our services.”

LeVally said several churches are working with the non-profits in planning remote services.

“We’re focusing on bringing services to points across the county on a rotating schedule,” said LeVally. “We’re starting with a mobile food pantry with the Blue Ridge Food Bank at the Reva Fire Hall. The non-profit council, department of social services, free clinic, Aging Together, MESA, senior center, Rural Madison, Services to Abused Families (SAFE) and several churches are all working together.”

For more information about the Madison Non-profit Council, contact Ren LeVally at ren@localcause.net.

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