Building Goodness in April holds fourth annual fall service project

Darden students repair nonprofit organization buildings, Central Virginia homes

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Throughout the work day, students are able to interact with their classmates in a different environment while participating in the betterment of their community.

For the fourth successive year, Building Goodness in April organized one of Albemarle County’s largest community service projects: Fall Build Day.

Students from the University’s Darden School of Business worked with volunteers from the Building Goodness Foundation Oct. 10 to continue repairs to institutions in the Charlottesville Community.

The volunteers worked to repair two nonprofit organizations in Albemarle County — the Barrett Early Learning Center and Camp Holiday Trails in Albemarle County. Ninety Darden students and 45 contracted volunteers worked all day to paint and repair fences, install insulation and repair siding.

Building Goodness in April is a partnership with Building Goodness and the University’s Darden School of Business. The organization makes repairs and renovations to homes during the bi-annual one-day event to keep buildings warm and safe. The organization was founded in 1991 when a group of Darden students recognized that many institutions in the Charlottesville area required reparations and wanted to give back to their community. Originally called Christmas in April, the organization evolved 15 years later to become Building Goodness in April, President Kevin Mitchell said.

The organization has since become well-known at Darden, said Mitchell, a second-year Darden student.

The bulk of the year leading up to the spring work day is spent planning, said Darden Prof. Kenneth Eades, the group’s faculty representative. The goal is to have a portfolio of 8 to 12 homes for the spring work day.

“The community is active in referring us to the potential homes that need our help,” Eades said. “They are our contact points.”

The work done by the organization often includes replacing gutters, drywall and windows, building wheelchair ramps and replacing rotting woodwork in low-income, elderly and disabled residences in Central Virginia.

“It’s a great way for us [Darden students] to give back to Charlottesville,” Mitchell said. “It became a special place in each of our lives.”

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