COVID-19: Local Campaigns & Fundraisers in Virginia's Blue Ridge

The people of Virginia’s Blue Ridge have come together to support one another to get through the COVID-19 crisis.

Local organizations and businesses are partnering together, and there are many opportunities for individuals who are able to show their own support.

Here is a list of local campaigns, initiatives, and fundraisers in Virginia’s Blue Ridge related to supporting small businesses and getting through COVID-19.

Local T-Shirt Campaigns

Various local screen press and printing companies have created special campaigns where you can purchase t-shirts featuring local businesses and a portion of the proceeds will go toward those businesses.

Roanoke Strong Initiative & Facebook Page

Valley iPhone Repair created the Roanoke Strong Challenge as a way to encourage support of local businesses and restaurants by challenging people to buy gift cards and then giving them to front-line workers. A Roanoke Strong Facebook page has also been created and is showcasing various ways that people are supporting the local community.

Cardinal Bicycle – Bike Rentals for Essential Workers

Cardinal Bicycle has created a bike-rental program for essential retail, healthcare, and food-service professionals who are in need of transportation to be able to get to work. Contact the shop at (540) 344-2453 to book an appointment and learn more. Cardinal Bicycle Program >

Dr Pepper Park – Rock to the Rescue Fundraiser Concert Series

Dr Pepper Park is bringing live music to Virginia’s Blue Ridge and raising funds to benefit Downtown Roanoke businesses by hosting a special Rock to the Rescue series. The concerts are streamed via the Blue Ridge PBS YouTube streaming site and Dr Pepper Park is accepting donations for virtually attending the concerts. 75% of proceeds will go directly to Downtown Roanoke businesses.

Salem Red Sox – I Miss Baseball T-Shirts, Opening Day To-Go Meals

The Salem Red Sox have organized multiple programs to benefit local organizations and communities. The Sox sold special I Miss Baseball T-Shirts and contributed a portion of sales to local charities, and they also organized a to-go meal program for front-line workers on what was supposed to have been Opening Day for the 2020 season.

Roanoke Valley Virtual Tip Jar

Support individuals in our local service industry who’ve lost income because of COVID-19 by contributing in this virtual tip jar! You can give directly to individuals who are listed or contribute to the overall tip pool. Virtual Tip Jar >

Carilion Clinic – PPE & Medical Supply Donations

Carilion Clinic has requested assistance in responding to COVID-19 by asking for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies. Numerous local companies have answered the call and provided supplies and equipment for our healthcare workers. Supplies may continue to be donated at Goodwill Industries of the Valleys store locations. Donation Information >

United Way of Roanoke Valley – COVID-19 Community Response Fund

The United Way of Roanoke Valley’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund will support the work of local non-profit organizations that are serving individuals and families with needs related to food, supplies, healthcare, housing, utilities, employment, childcare, and transportation. Fund Information >

WSLS - Food for Frontline Campaign

As a show of support and appreciation for area frontline workers, local news station WSLS has created a special Food for Frontline Campaign. All donations to the program will go to provide meals prepared by local restaurants that are then served to frontline workers. Food for Frontline Program >

Roanoke Socially Distant Stage Race

This is a 6-stage socially distant cycling event that can help keep people motivated and active while also raising money for the Roanoke Valley United Way COVID-19 Community Response Fund. The suggested donation is $30 but participants are invited to give what they can and then complete the cycling stages (2 road stages, 2 mountain biking stages, and 2 gravel stages) on their own time between May 2 and May 25. Roanoke Socially Distant Stage Race Info >

Support Local Business Campaigns

As a way to help keep residents informed about businesses that are still open or offering adjusted services, many local governments and economic development organizations have created lists and resources specific to their locations. For more information, visit the following pages:

Local Companies Making Products & Supplies

It’s been an inspiration to see local companies shift from making the products they’re known for to produce life-saving equipment and supplies that are in need

Local Restaurants Providing Meals

As many restaurants have adjusted to offering some type of takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery service, a few have also started offering meal programs for children and those in need.

Gift Cards & Gift Certificate Programs

Purchasing a gift card or gift certificate to use at a later date is a great way to show support for a local business that you can't currently visit right now, and some businesses are offering the added incentive of donating a portion of gift card proceeds to local charities.

Go Fund Me Campaigns

For those who are able to contribute, there are various Go Fund Me campaigns that have been created to support individuals and local businesses.

  • Feed the Frontline Roanoke: a fund for supporting local restaurants and providing meals to front-line healthcare workers & first responders
  • Our Daily Bread Salem – Feed Our Children: support the restaurant’s initiative to provide free meals to pre-school and K-12 kids in the area
  • Mill Mountain Zoo Needs You: though the Mill Mountain Zoo is currently closed to the public, it still needs funds to cover the costs of feeding and caring for its animals
  • Roanoke VA Restaurant Workers Support: a fund for area restaurant workers who’ve been impacted by COVID-19

If you, or someone you know, is in need of assistance and resources, the local chapter of Virginia Career Works has compiled information related to Food, Utility, Housing, & Mental Health resources > 

We know this is an uncertain time and people have lots of questions. Feel free to reach out to us through our Contact form - we can't promise that we'll have the answers but we'll do our best to provide you with helpful information and resources.

Complete the VBR Support Local Bingo card and take advantage of some fun ways you can show your support for local businesses in Virginia's Blue Ridge.

Enjoy a virtual shopping spree in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge and support local retail businesses and stores that are offering online shopping service.

Find out which local food & beverage businesses in Virginia's Blue Ridge are offering some type of takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery service and show them some love by placing an order.

Partner Resources

Visit VBR Partner Resources

For our local businesses and organizations that are partners with Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, we've created a special page in our Partnership section with additional resources and organizations to connect you with that can provide assistance during this time.

Tourism Impact Survey: Let Visit VBR Know How Your Business Has Been Impacted by COVID-19 >

Resources & Links

The following are helpful resources that other websites in the community have created, such as ideas for activities, ways to support local businesses, and updates related to cancellations and breaking news.