Richmond’s reputation as a tightly-knit community is reflected in large part by the many bustling community and nonprofit centers that work daily to assist local families in need. None may be more busy, integral and unheralded than the North Richmond Multicultural Family Senior Center at 515 Silver Ave., where 666 local families in need were fed over the holidays, and where the North Richmond community’s leaders and advocates meet regularly to plan programs and projects that uplift the neighborhood’s quality of life.
The center holds a special place in Andrea Bailey’s heart. A community engagement manager for Chevron, Bailey is one of many community members who visit the center regularly. She is a member of the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Committee, which meets at the senior center.
“They’re a hidden gem in that community,” said Bailey, who praised the center’s program manager, Corrine Sain, as tireless, humble and ever-present.
But the senior center operates on a shoe-string budget, sustained largely by human capital.
On Wednesday, Bailey showed up at the center with a surprise for Sain and her staff. With help from Janie Holland of Community Housing Development Corporation, which recently assumed management of the center, Bailey presented Sain with a check of more than $12,500 on behalf of Chevron.
The contribution was in addition to $15,000 in annual commitments by the company to keep the vital center open.
“Sain and the center don’t get a lot of recognition for the incredible amount of work they do in the community,” Bailey said. “The center is a true community hub.”
Holland is equally impressed by the center, lauding its many programs that go beyond supporting seniors to providing for the whole community, such as preparing bags of treats for local kids on Halloween.
“Nobody knows all the work that goes on here, you have to actually be here to see it,” Holland said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to give back, to help somebody, to have somebody walk out with a smile. And that’s what happens here: they walk out with a smile.”
Chevron’s contribution will be used on beautification projects at the center so that it is even more welcoming to local families, said Holland.