UVA Community in Action

Last updated February 29, 2024 at 12:03 PM

UVA Employee Volunteer Resources Hub

The University of Virginia is committed to partnering with organizations in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable community. For University employees who are able, volunteering one’s time, talents, and energy to mission-driven organizations, supports community well-being and personal satisfaction.

This webpage centralizes resources that may help University employees as they consider volunteering in the community.

School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave

The University provides paid leave to employees to perform community service work for eligible organizations. Employees must seek approval from their managers in advance.

Classified and UStaff

School Assistance and Volunteer Service Leave provides up to 16 hours in any year. An additional 8 hours may be allowed for full-time employees serving in a volunteer fire department or rescue squad. To use the additional 8 hours, contact the UVA HR Leave Division.

Medical Center Team Members

Public Service Leave: All regular full-time, regular part-time, flex staff and management employees may receive approval from their supervisor for up to 8 hours of paid Public Service Leave per calendar year to attend school functions or to perform volunteer work for a school or organizations specified in the policy. Leave not taken under this policy will not be carried forward to the next year. There will be no payout for unused Public Service Leave.

You can track your volunteer hours in Kronos (Academic Division employees track volunteer hours in Workday).

Annual Day of Caring

The United Way Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring happens every September when teams of people volunteer to complete special projects at regional nonprofits, schools, and faith-based organizations. UVA employees are invited to form teams and contact the United Way to get involved.

Explore the Day of Caring FAQ Read about Day of Caring 2021

Finding Volunteer Opportunities

Browse these websites for current volunteer needs in the community:

  • ReImagineCVA: A comprehensive resource and volunteer board for nonprofits and community organizations in Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, and Orange.
  • United Way of Greater Charlottesville: Our local United Way features volunteer opportunities with area nonprofits.

  • Material Donations

    Items Needed Now: Donate and shop online for area non-profits in need

    Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) is asking for help in providing school supplies for their students. Here are ways that you, your workplace, friends, or congregation can help:

    • Host a school supply drive. CCS is asking that all items be purchased from their Amazon Wishlist to ensure consistency in their giveaways.
    • Host a supply drive to support a school. Download this list (Item #2) of needed school-wide items.  
    • Host a backpack drive. Purchase from the school division’s Amazon Wishlist, or community members can purchase their own backpacks to donate.
    • Lastly, volunteers are needed to help stuff backpacks for CCS students! If interested, please sign up.

    Questions? Please contact Dr. Denise Johnson, CCS’s Supervisor for Equity and Inclusion, 434.245.2593.

  • BIPOC-Led Organizations

  • Blood Donation

    Visit the American Red Cross Find-a-Drive website to learn about upcoming blood drives in your area.

  • Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign

    This annual campaign lets UVA employees donate to local and national nonprofits directly from their paychecks. The automatic payroll deduction option makes it convenient.

  • Tutoring

    The COVID-19 pandemic created and widened disparities across industry sectors, race, region, and income levels. While the University of Virginia was able to move employees off Grounds and continue to serve its students, the education sector suffered in Virginia, particularly in K-12 programs that were not equipped to provide remote education to all students. The learning gaps created by this are still felt today in some schools.

    UVA's Police Department launched a tutoring program to reduce this gap. Learn more about their program, and all faculty, staff, and student are invited to join them!

    UPD Tutoring Program

Choosing a Volunteer Position

  • Safety and health considerations are important to consider. If you have computer access, some organizations now offer the opportunity to volunteer virtually.
  • Find the volunteer activity that fits your schedule. Organizations need different levels of commitment for different types of volunteer activities. Serving as a mentor, for example, will require a regular commitment, while volunteering for a fundraiser may be a short-term commitment.
  • Consider what you have to offer. Do you enjoy outdoor work, or have a knack for teaching? You may also want to think about your specific personality and how your organizational skills or communication style might fit with different organizations or activities.
  • Research the organization. What communities do they serve and what issues are they working on? Subscribing to an organization’s newsletter or attending events is a great way to get acquainted. Look for a group whose cause speaks to you.

Learn From Volunteers' Experiences

  • Meet the University Police Department Tutors

    The COVID-19 pandemic created and widened disparities across industry sectors, race, region, and income levels. While the University of Virginia was able to move employees off Grounds and continue to serve its students, the education sector suffered in Virginia, particularly in K-12 programs that were not equipped to provide remote education to all students. The learning gaps created by this are still felt today in some schools. UVA's Police Department launched a tutoring program to reduce this gap. Read their heartwarming stories, watch the videos about their volunteer experiences, and consider becoming a UPD tutor!

    Meet the UPD Tutors
  • Interview with Loaves and Fishes

    Listen to Jane Colony Mills, Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, and the personal experience of one UVA volunteer, Kevin Murray, who spent time recently with this food pantry serving the Charlottesville community.

  • Interview with Aubrey O'Hara

    Aubrey O’Hara is the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for UVA Career Center, where she informs and connects students with the Career Center’s amazing resources, including online resources, one-on-one counseling, events, and career fairs. We asked her about how her volunteer experience has contributed to creating a more meaningful life.

    Read about Aubrey O'Hara's Volunteer Experience
  • Interview with Ann Lawrence Grasty

    Ann Lawrence Grasty is the Director for University Annual Giving at UVA. She helps people learn how they can engage with the University philanthropically, no matter where they want to give or how much they want to donate. We caught up recently with Ann Lawrence to ask about her volunteer work in the community. It was quite inspiring! Read on …

    Read About Ann Lawrence Grasty's Volunteer Experience

Do Good, Feel Good: The Positive Impact of Helping Others

Learn from staff at the Faculty & Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) about the positive impact of altruistic acts, like volunteering, on individual happiness, life satisfaction, and social wellbeing. Watch the “Do Good, Feel Good” FEAP webinar with Mary Sherman.

Subscribe for Updates

Join the Volunteer Center mailing list to receive news about emerging volunteer needs, events, and volunteer-related resources. You can also email Ellen Blackmon with additional questions.

Your Relationship with the Community Organization

When you are offering to perform or are performing volunteer services for a community organization, you are not acting within the course and scope of your employment with the University. You are responsible for the terms and conditions under which you will render volunteer services. 

  • Information about potential risks associated with performing volunteer services in the current environment

    In connection with this program, the University has not endorsed or approved volunteer opportunities or organizations. The participating organizations are independent and are not part of or affiliated with the University. Accordingly, the University does not control, supervise, or direct their activities or personnel and the University is not responsible for their operations, facilities, or property. The University therefore does not warrant or make any promises or representations regarding the conditions, safety, security, personnel, or characteristics of any organization or the location, facilities, or property in which you may be performing volunteer services.  You must exercise your own judgment when evaluating a prospective organization and volunteer opportunity.  The University is not responsible for resolving any problem or dispute of any nature between you and the organization for which you may choose to provide volunteer services.

    The University also is not liable for the independent organization’s contracts, torts, acts or omissions, or those of any person associated with or acting on behalf of the organization or any person being served by the organization.  Importantly, when you are performing volunteer services you are not within the course and scope of your University employment and you are not covered by the University’s or Commonwealth of Virginia’s insurance or risk management plans.

    Performing volunteer activities in the midst of a global pandemic subjects you to risks associated with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and numerous associated serious diseases, medical conditions, and complications up to and including death.  You understand and voluntarily assume all risks associated with providing volunteer services in these conditions, and you agree to waive, release, hold harmless, and not to sue the University, its employees and agents, for any and all loss, liability, damage, claim, expense, cost, injury, or death caused by or associated in any way with your performance of volunteer services.