UVa To Host Celebration of Homeless Organization's Volunteers

April 9, 2008

UVa faculty, staff and students will be among the volunteers honored at a People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry reception at the John Paul Jones Arena, to be held Friday, April 11 from 6 to 8 p.m.

PACEM, an interfaith collaboration of congregations in Charlottesville that hosts a rotating homeless shelter during the cold-weather months, will celebrate the contributions of its volunteers. At the event, PACEM will hand out its first Golden Pillow and Hope & Hospital Awards to recognize individuals who have made outstanding efforts to help the area homeless.

Helping to honor the award winners will be Tom Shadyac, a major supporter of local homeless prevention efforts and director of "Bruce Almighty," "Evan Almighty" "Patch Adams," and other hit movies. Shadyac will also provide an update on the First Street Church Project, a community resource center that he plans to bring to downtown Charlottesville.

Charles Marsh, professor in the University of Virginia's Department of Religious Studies and director of the Project on Lived Theology, will present the keynote address, focusing on building a better community.

Marsh, who was raised in the South with a minister father, studied literature, philosophy and theological philosophy and now teaches theology and society and philosophical theology at U.Va.

Among the contributions to be lauded at this reception are those from U.Va. students at Madison House. These students volunteer for shifts to staff the rotating homeless shelter as needed.

The event is free and open to the public.

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