Shenandoah County: Chamber of Commerce to host resource fair for needy

^ Posted Jan. 17

By Sally Voth

The Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce is presenting an opportunity next week for those in need of help and those wanting to offer it.

It is partnering with the Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter in a community resource fair from 4-6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Woodstock Presbyterian Church, 142 E. Court St., Executive Director Jenna French said.

"The idea came about through the nonprofit sector meetings we were having at the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce," she said.

The Woodstock chamber is now part of the new countywide body.

French said every year some local organizations, such as the Alliance for Shelter and Response Inc., need to get a count of the number of people in the county who are homeless or living in shelters.

"But, it's very hard to get those people to come and be counted, and we thought, well, how could we give them some incentive," French said.

The fair was a way to give attendees a brown bag meal and personal hygiene kits if they were interested, she said.

"More importantly, we will have local nonprofit agencies from throughout the county that offer resources and assistance there to answer questions or have information available for people to take with them," French said.

The fair is designed not just for those facing homelessness, but also those who may be displaced, or just struggling to make ends meet, she said.

The chamber will accept monetary donations for the hygiene kits, but also is looking for donations of personal items, including soap, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, combs, wash cloths, detergent pods, rolls of quarters for laundry, and phone cards, according to a chamber news release.

French said area residents could clean out their drawers of hotel shampoos and soaps and other sample-size toiletry items.

Donations can be dropped off at the chamber's office or Woodstock Presbyterian Church. They can also be taken to the New Market and Strasburg chamber offices for pickup on Monday, French said.

She said there also is a blood drive going on at the Presbyterian church from 2-7 p.m. Tuesday.

For more information about the fair, call the chamber at 540 459-2542, or email

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or

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