Virginia Repertory Theatre’s Grande Matron Patron, Pollard has devoted more than five decades to Richmond theater, beginning in the 1960s with the Barksdale Theatre, then working with Theatre IV and Virginia Rep since the merger. Both financial angel and onstage actress, she’s performed at Hanover Tavern, Willow Lawn and the November Theatre. In her 90s, she’s still up for the spotlight, having recently appeared in a cabaret to benefit the Virginia Rep’s Robert Watkins and deVeaux Riddick fund.
It’s not all about playing with puppies when you volunteer with the Richmond SPCA. Allen has devoted time to the agency since 2013, and is one of the folks who will do whatever it takes to make the no-kill shelter operate smoothly, according to the shelter. That includes cleaning soiled bedding and towels generated by 300 animals. And when one of the Richmond SPCA’s large washers went on the fritz and there was no money to fix it, Allen set up a fundraising effort of her own, reaching out to friends and neighbors to raise enough cash for a new washer. She’s already worn the Santa hat for pet lovers, paying the adoption fee for four pets in need of a home last December.
You’ll find this Army veteran serving three times a week at the FeedMore Distribution Center as the volunteer team leader on the morning shift. He’s been working with the hunger relief nonprofit for more than six years, and was recruited to serve on the Volunteer Advisory Council. “There is a noticeable and positive energy shift when Bill walks into the room,” says Jessica Howe, FeedMore’s public relations manager. “He has a way with people that is genuine, authentic and comes from the heart. When you cross paths will Bill at FeedMore, you know you will smile, laugh and your day will be better because of Bill.”
There are several Richmond families with roofs over their heads courtesy of Mike Varner and Superior Distribution. Varner’s company is a long-term contributor to Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity, and has donated roofing materials for three Habitat homes, including all of the roofing for a recent build on Maryland Avenue that is now home to a hard-working single mom and her 3-year-old son. It’s a relationship that began with a simple solicitation for a one-time donation. Varner, the Richmond branch manager, said, “Sure, we can help.”
Community service has been a part of life for 80-year-old Peg Holliday, a volunteer with the Richmond Wildlife Center. According to her nominator, Melissa Stanley, the executive director and founder of the center, Holliday spent 65 years volunteering with the American Red Cross. Since 2013, she’s been working with the wildlife center, which provides veterinary care to sick and injured wildlife. She volunteers three to four days each week, performing duties ranging from washing laundry and dishes to driving wildlife patients across the state.