We’re changing lives
Established in 1992, the Warm Hearth Foundation is a charitable nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of seniors. We support the mission of Warm Hearth Village – fostering a person-centered approach to aging in an inclusive environment that redefines retirement. Along with our staff, residents and the community, we work to identify the needs of our low-income residents and meet those needs through collaborative and innovative initiatives.
We strive to educate our community about the challenges faced by low-income seniors that range from food insecurity to safe housing and access to health care. Though many of the seniors in need on our campus worked hard and saved for their future, they now find themselves in need of life’s most basic necessities. Together with the generosity of our faithful donors, the business community, local colleges and universities and government funders, we are able to meet some of those needs with support totaling more than $500,000 every year.
Life’s basic necessities
More than one-third of the nearly 600 residents who live at Warm Hearth Village are seniors on low, fixed incomes. We struggle to keep pace with these growing needs and rely on our donors and the community for help. Our Neighbors in Need fund helps us fill in the gaps for these seniors and fulfill immediate needs such as food, shelter, health care, personal care supplies, pet supplies and emergency assistance.
An integral component of our work through Neighbors in Need is our Micah’s Program. In 2012, the Warm Hearth Foundation, in partnership with St. Michael Lutheran Church (Blacksburg, VA), began a program to help combat food insecurity on our campus. After successfully implementing Micah’s Backpack for school-aged children, St. Michael Lutheran expanded its efforts to address the issue of hunger facing the senior population. The new program was dubbed Micah’s Soup for Seniors.
In a matter of months, Micah’s Soup for Seniors grew to serve 100 households. With the success of Soup for Seniors, we began to look for opportunities to address and meet additional challenges and needs facing these residents. Since 2012, our Micah’s Program has grown beyond Micah’s Soup for Seniors to include:
- Micah’s Garden – providing fresh produce, and thus promoting more nutritional dietary options.
- Micah’s Personal Care Items – providing access to items such as soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, toilet paper, incontinence products and basic household cleaning supplies.
- Micah’s Pets – allowing residents to keep their pets, which studies show has numerous health benefits in addition to promoting exercise and socialization for pet owners.
- Micah’s Meals – providing a hot, prepared meal once a month made with excess ingredients from Warm Hearth’s kitchens while also reducing food waste and promoting sustainability on our campus.
- Micah’s Soup for Seniors expansion through a partnership with Feeding America of Southwest Virginia via a USDA program called the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), providing an additional monthly food delivery to qualifying residents in our HUD-subsidized apartments.
- Micah’s Helping Hands – a resident-driven initiative, consisting of the ongoing collection of supplies to support the needs of low-income seniors on our campus.
A safety net for the future
The Brian H. Smith Benevolence Endowment was established by residents as a way to build a safety net for seniors in need or those who spend down their resources well into the future. The fund was started with a $5,000 gift more than nineteen years ago and now stands at over $1.9 million. The Foundation strives to grow this endowed fund to provide sound financial footing for the organization and so that earnings from it can be used to support seniors for many generations to come. Distributions are made to the Kroontje Health Care Center or Showalter Center annually to support charitable care provided there.
Warm Hearth Village is an innovative provider of senior services in our region. Wybe Kroontje established a powerful mission and vision and a 100-year plan for our continued growth and development. This, combined with dutiful strategic planning by our volunteer board of directors and our staff, positions us to meet the changing needs of seniors in our community and beyond. As a nonprofit organization, we are continually challenged to provide superior quality care and services while making programs affordable to our residents. We seek and use donated funds for:
- Land acquisition
- New construction
- Transportation resources
- Endowed Human Services positions
- Specialty programming designed to meet the unique needs of people over 55
Warm Hearth Village has grown immensely over the last 45 years and now employs more than 300 people in careers that range from nurses to groundskeepers and everything in between in both residential and home care settings. Our employees are the cornerstone of Warm Hearth Village and one of our most valuable resources.We raise funds to support employees in the following ways:
- Training and education
- Employee appreciation initiatives
Shopping for Neighbors in Need
If you shop at Kroger, on Amazon or pay with American Express, you can help seniors in need of housing and care at Warm Hearth Village when you make your everyday purchases. Click the buttons below to add the Warm Hearth Foundation to your accounts. A percentage of every purchase through these retailers or made with your American Express will be donated automatically to the Warm Hearth Foundation.
Warm Hearth Village has been a refuge for seniors in need for over 45 years, providing a safe and comfortable place to live and even providing them with healthcare services when they are unable to pay. Please take a look at the slide show below to see how the funds you give to the Foundation are used for improving the lives of seniors.