True charity is looking outward, not inward. To celebrate our 100th anniversary, Kaufman & Canoles is reaching out and donating funds to charities that give their time, enthusiasm and boundless energy to making a difference. We’re pleased to announce our March recipients—Together We Can Foundation, the American Red Cross, Spike's K9 Fund and SMILE, Inc.—and we thank them for all the good work they do in our community.

Together We Can Foundation

Together We Can Foundation was nominated by Rob Goodman, a Member in the Private Client Services and Commercial practice groups. The Together We Can Foundation (TWC) is a program for at-risk youth transitioning into adult life and the workforce from foster care and poverty-stricken environments. Through educational skills programming including courses in career identification, personal presentation skills, and money management, the people at Together We Can have been altering the future of Hampton Roads' at-risk youth. As of June 2018 this programming has impacted 3,784 youth across the Hampton Roads area. Tom Crockett is the Executive Director for TWC and stated that our funding is coming at the perfect time as they just started a new initiative called RFW or Ready for Work in which adolescents will learn the necessary skills and training to exceed in a working environment. For more information on the Together We Can Foundation, click here.

Spike’s K9 Fund

Spike’s K9 Fund was nominated by Robin McNutt, Facilities & Human Resource Assistant in the firm’s Norfolk office. Robin had the opportunity to work directly with the K9s from this organization in 2011 during her deployment and work on Operation Odyssey Dawn. She states “The K9s were our first line of defense and they did not have the proper equipment to protect them if anything were to happen. After spending a few months with the dogs, I grew attached to them and saw them more as family than military working dogs.” Spike’s K9 fund was started by retired Special Warfare Operator James Hatch. While serving overseas James’ own life was spared by his K9, Spike, who paid the ultimate sacrifice. James states, “Dogs saved me in the many ways a person can be saved. Powerful as they are, they can’t advocate for themselves when they need help. That’s why it’s my mission to take care of them. And I can’t do it without you.” Our donation will go directly to the K9 Krijger Ballistic Vest Campaign which will equip working dogs with the proper safety equipment when they are on the front lines. For more information, please click here.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross was nominated by two of our K&C colleagues: Anna Gallo, Receptionist for the firm’s Richmond office, and Gail Sampson, Litigation Paralegal in the firm’s Norfolk office. Both Anna and Gail have incredible life stories that led them to nominate the Red Cross. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd destroyed Anna Gallo’s family home. The day after the hurricane struck, the Red Cross was handing out cleaning supplies to people in the community picking up the wreckage. While she and her family, and their pets, were waiting for the repairs to be made to their home, the Red Cross paid for their hotel stay for two weeks and provided meal vouchers for three meals a day. In the summer of 2012, Gail Sampson suffered a catastrophic medical emergency and almost lost her life. She was saved by a blood transfusion made possible from the blood collected by the American Red Cross through their blood drive program. The American Red Cross’s mission is to “prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergency by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” We see that mission statement clearly lived out in the two life experiences of Anna and Gail. For more information on the American Red Cross please click here.


SMILE, Inc. was nominated by Brandon Allred, an attorney in the firm’s Real Estate Strategies and Business Tax practice groups. SMILE’s mission is to “enhance the lives of children impacted by a life-threatening condition through education, encouragement, and empowerment.” SMILE provides children impacted by life-threatening conditions with assistive and adaptive equipment, which is not covered by insurance and can be very costly, to enhance their quality of life. SMILE was created in honor of Virginia Beach native Samantha Trost. Samantha was a bright, happy, and energetic young adult who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, at just 16 years old. She went on to graduate from First Colonial High School with honors and attended East Carolina University for two years before she lost her battle with cancer in 2009 after it metastasized to her lungs. Samantha’s legacy lives on through this organization because “she had a way of making you love her and those around her by just smiling.” For more information on SMILE please click here.

USO of Hampton Roads & Central Virginia

The USO of Hampton Roads & Central Virginia (USOHRCV) was nominated by Paul Hawkins, an Associate in the firm’s Government Contracts & Construction practice group. The USOHRCV serves United States military service members and their families in a region with the 3rd largest concentration of military personnel in the country. Their mission is to strengthen military service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country through their service to their nation. USOHRCV is a 100% locally and privately funded non-profit organization that receives no government funding. Paul, a member of the US Navy Reserves and a member of the USOHRCV Board of Directors, submitted a heartfelt nomination about the remarkable personal sacrifices our service men and women and their families make for our freedom, so it seems only fitting to support the 1% of Americans that are willing to defend our freedom. The USOHRCV supports 12 sites in Hampton Roads and Central Virginia with a broad variety of programs and events including wounded, ill and injured health and wellness, Families of the Fallen, deployment and homecoming support, Canine Comfort Crew, Pathfinder transition services, the Outdoor Adventure Team and so much more. For more information, click here.

NATASHA House, Inc.

NATASHA House (“New Alternative Toward A Secure Home Atmosphere”) was nominated by David DiFiore, paralegal in the firm’s Newport News office. NATASHA House is a transitional home located in York County for homeless women and their children that empowers and equips them to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Beyond providing a safe place to sleep, NATASHA House provides unconditional love and support while nurturing the emotional needs of mothers and children with counseling, mentoring and group interaction. The residence can accommodate up to 7 families for up to two years, as they work toward maintaining permanent housing through financial budgeting, rebuilding of credit and responsible life choices. Following their residency, the women and children may continue to utilize the outreach programs. David’s nomination spoke of the program’s successful and proven ways to overcome homelessness and keep families together. Since opening their doors in September 2010, NATASHA House has housed 98 families, including 157 children and 85 of these families remain in permanent housing, an 87% success rate. When asked about how the donation would be used, Karen Brown, Executive Director, stated, “The funds will be used to build a second greenhouse to support NATASHA House’s Seed 2 Table Career Readiness Program. The second greenhouse will allow the women to expand their tomato garden and salsa sales.” For more information, click here.

Critters 4 U Rescue, Inc.

Critters 4 U Rescue was nominated by Andrea King, Marketing Coordinator in the firm’s Norfolk office. Critters 4 U Rescue is a no-kill shelter that rescues and rehabilitates homeless, unwanted, abused, neglected, and special needs animals from the Mid-Atlantic that would probably not have a chance in a regular shelter. Andrea is a foster dog mom and volunteer with Critters 4 U Rescue. Andrea’s nomination spoke of the rescue’s continual efforts to foster the unwanted special needs animals and the costs associated with the rescues – from veterinary costs, to food and medicines. Since opening in 2009, Critters 4 U Rescue has assisted and placed over 400 animals in permanent homes. For more information, click here.

Lee’s Friends

Lee’s Friends was nominated by Kirkland Kelley, a Member in the Private Client Services practice group. Lee’s Friends is a support program for cancer patients and their families serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. Lee’s Friends helps provide basic needs for cancer patients and their families, including food and clothing, medical supplies, information, and even shelter.The organization’s many volunteers provide transportation to and from doctor appointments, hospitals, and oncology labs, all at no cost. What separates Lee’s Friends from other health-care support organizations, is their one-on-one emotional support from a trained volunteer from start to finish. Besides the practical day-to-day issues cancer patients face, the ordeal can be traumatic and isolating. Executive Director, Carol Olsen states, “Sometimes you can tell a complete stranger things that you won’t tell your family and friends, because a stranger won’t fall apart like they would. Sometimes you just need to talk about it. Someone to listen is a valuable thing. To make a difference in someone’s life is huge.” For more information, click here.

CHIP of South Hampton Roads

Children's Health Investment Program Of South Hampton Roads (CHIP) was nominated by Lauren Kadish, an Associate in the firm’s Health Care and Litigation practice groups. CHIP provides services in Hampton Roads for children through age six and expectant mothers in the focus areas of health improvement, school readiness and self-sufficiency. The program focuses on early childhood development for children living at, or near, the poverty level, particularly the first 2000 days. As a board member of CHIP, Lauren was drawn to the organization because of its unique model, working directly through home visitations with families to assess children for health and developmental issues. Families that are enrolled in the program benefit from in-home teams of registered nurses and certified parent educators that provide parents with easy to understand training, reference materials, and access to community resources empowering them to become experts on their child’s development. For more information, click here.

Jewish Family Services of Tidewater, Inc.

Jewish Family Services of Tidewater, Inc. (JFS) was nominated by Mary Beth Sherwin, a Member in the Health Care and Private Client Services practice groups. The JFS is an organization that accomplishes important work for people who are sometimes overlooked or marginalized, transforming our community and the lives of the people they support, providing a full spectrum of services to meet the health, education and welfare needs of Jewish families and the general community in Hampton Roads. Every day the dedicated staff at JFS provides help to someone without the ability to help themselves—from standing by someone’s side ensuring a hospital admission or filing an endangered persons report for someone missing in freezing temperatures. Established in 1946, JFS has a long-standing tradition of caring and concern for the community it serves. For more information, click here.

THYCA: Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association, Inc. (THyCA) was nominated by Nicole DeNobrega, Collection Manager, in the firm’s Norfolk office. As a survivor of thyroid cancer, Nicole’s nomination of THyCA was a way to give back to an organization that provides essential tools to thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers, and health care professionals. THyCA also supports research in support of a future free of thyroid cancer. Nicole hopes that, in part, her nomination will remind people to have thyroid screenings, as early diagnosis and treatment are so very important. THyCA was created in October 1995, as a network of services that link thyroid cancer survivors and health care professionals around the world. For more information, click here.

The Peninsula Community Foundation

The Peninsula Community Foundation (PCF) was nominated by Larry Cumming, a Member in the Commercial, Private Client Services, and Real Estate Strategies practice groups and Managing Director of the firm’s Hampton office. The PCF’s goal is to help citizens, government, and businesses imagine a better, stronger, more prosperous way of life on the Peninsula. Through their substantial support of strategic initiatives such as the conceptual design of Fort Monroe, helping launch the Early Childhood Initiative or by awarding scholarships, PCF is making a real difference in the community. When told of the successful nomination, Michael Monteith, CEO of PCF exclaimed “Wow . . . we are honored to receive your acknowledgement of our work!” We are honored to be able to provide it. For more information, click here.

H.E.R. Shelter, Inc.

The Help and Emergency Response, Inc. (H.E.R. Shelter, Inc.) was nominated by Carolyn Black, a legal assistant in the firm’s Norfolk office. Carolyn’s nomination was filled with compassion for the non-profit’s mission of providing safe and welcoming spaces for women and children fleeing situations of domestic or sexual violence, homelessness, or human trafficking. With locations in Portsmouth and Chesapeake, the work of H.E.R. creates a safe and prosperous future for all through awareness, services, and training for lasting change in the communities they serve. Olivia Smithberger, Crisis Service Director stated, “Unrestricted funds such as these are life changing for our organization. The funds can be used for a rental deposit, furnishings for a rental or clothing for the women and children.” For more information, click here.