Power of Social Work, Collaboration on Full Display During Winter Weather Event

March 15, 2021

While March has given way to warmer weather and longer days, it was just a few short weeks ago that back-to-back ice storms caused significant disruptions throughout Virginia. In the South Hill area, home to one of UMFS’ seven regional offices, many were threatened with power outages in the wake of winter weather. UMFS Social Worker Jessica Qualls (pictured) knew that could be particularly problematic for one young person in foster care, whose medical equipment requires electricity.

“Jessica and her team reached out to us to see if we could help,” said UMFS Volunteer Coordinator Kate Ockerman. “We contacted South Hill United Methodist Church, and they connected us with a local organization called Volunteers for Christ. By 3 p.m. the same day, Volunteers for Christ were on their way to the home of the foster parents with a generator!”

Thankfully, the foster family never lost power. They did, however, gain much-needed peace of mind during a time of uncertainty, all thanks to the foresight of Jessica, and an outstanding collaboration between the UMFS volunteer team, South Hill UMC, and Volunteers for Christ.

“My heart is so full and happy,” Jessica said. “Our team and the community proved that they will move mountains to provide for our children and families. And after the foster mother learned they’d be receiving a generator, I could hear her holding back tears of joy.”