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Accessing support this holiday season: resources and programs offered near you

It’s officially the holiday season, and while you’re cherishing special moments with friends and family, it can be challenging managing a tight budget. Luckily, Virginia’s Community Colleges and its partners are here to support you now and throughout the year with emergency funding, food pantries, transportation, childcare solutions and more.

Keep reading to make sure you know where to look when you need a helping hand this winter.

Your local community college

Faculty, career coaches and leaders at each Virginia community college work hard to ensure students have access to financial assistance, food, shelter, transportation, and other resources that help everyone reach their full potential in the classroom.

Aside from offering wraparound services throughout the year, many colleges also provide students facing food insecurity with meals around the holidays. Take New River Community College  for example. Last week, the college packed over 70 Thanksgiving baskets for students who registered for a meal. Each basket was stuffed with turkey and other sides to help students and their families enjoy a delicious meal on Thanksgiving.


One stop shop

Does the name Single Stop sound familiar? If not, you could be missing out on significant federal, state and local benefits. Every Virginia community college has partnered with the online resource tool to help students locate resources ranging from food pantries to tax support.

Single Stop was featured in a 2022 article by the Washington Post, which found more than 9,700 Virginia students received more than $21 million in benefits, according to Virginia’s Community Colleges.”

The screening tool doesn’t ask individuals about household income, household size or location, so you can feel confident knowing your personal information isn’t shared when you sign up to receive support.

Virginia Career Works

With a mission of being “Virginia’s vital link between meaningful employment and growing businesses, changing lives; and advancing economic prosperity,” it’s no surprise that Virginia Career Works falls on our list of resources.

The organization connects students looking for jobs with local employers hiring in each region, and the nonprofit partners with eight state agencies and policy makers to ensure all potential job options are readily available.

To get started using the program, click the “Job Seekers” tab and create an account.

You don’t have to navigate these resources alone. Start your new career journey by reaching out to a career coach at your local community college today by visiting