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Charlottesville – The Other Side of Affluence

Hi. My name is Kim Connolly and I’m Director of Marketing & Communications here at the United Way. My job is to help people understand what we do and hopefully inspire them to get involved. Here is my favorite quote:



“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

                                                                                     -- Jackie Robinson



I found it interesting that in Sunday’s Daily Progress story on the Barracks Road Goody’s store closing, the Charlottesville area was characterized as being too affluent to support a lower-end store like Goody’s. Granted, the Barracks Road Shopping Center does cater to a higher end market, but to characterize the entire area as being typical of that demographic brings to mind the ostrich’s head in the sand. (Click on the image to read The Daily Progress article.)



Sure, it’s nice to think of our community in terms of a tourism brochure, with the natural beauty and abundant recreational and cultural opportunities of Central Virginia and Charlottesville. But those of us in the nonprofit biz also get to see the flip side of that public image – the 25% of the population in Charlottesville that lives at or below the Federal Poverty Level, the 14% of families in our five county area without health insurance, the high rate of substantiated cases of child abuse in this area, and so on.



At the risk of sounding like a wet rag, we cannot ignore a significant percent of our population that cannot enjoy all this area has to offer because they are working 2 or 3 jobs, or don’t have a car, or cannot afford sports equipment or registration fees for their kids. Goody’s was one of the local stores that accepted vouchers from Santa Fund Families.



Check out this amazing blog to see what we see every day. http://www.voicesofpoverty.org/




Think about it - one in four of us in Charlottesville lives in poverty.



Open your eyes and get involved in the nonprofit organization of your choice.


Give. Advocate. Volunteer.

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