Outreach at Rudd’s Trailer Park ahead of new school year

In this photo from December 2016, Moving Forward Church provided outreach to Rudd's Trailer Park. It will hold a back-to-school event on August 5. (Photo: Moving Forward Church)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Efforts to offer support to residents of Rudd’s Trailer Park are picking up ahead of the new school year.

‘Operation Rudd’s Community Fun Day’ will take place on August 5, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at 2911 Jefferson Davis Highway.

It’s a partnership between Moving Forward Church and local volunteers who want to help dozens of families facing hard times in the Southside community.

“Everybody there has a story,” says Lisa Graves of Moving Forward Church. “We just want to go in because we want to show love, and we want to find out what their story is and try to encourage them.”

Graves, whose church does regular outreach at Rudd’s, says socio-economic issues are plaguing many of the residents.

“A lot of it is drug addiction, alcohol addiction, a lot of it is domestic abuse that people just don’t want to talk about but we know it’s there,” she explains. “A lot of kids that when they graduate from high school, if they do graduate, they don’t know what to do. There’s a lot of kids that are homeless there that live in that area that we’ve found out, and the major thing is a lot of prostitution. The prostitutes are under age 18.”

Because of the struggles in the Rudd’s community, Virginia State Police, the Virginia Army National Guard and the Virginia Recovery Foundation are just a few groups that will be there to offer resources to families.

For children, volunteers will pass out backpacks, school supplies and a new pair of shoes for each one to wear to class. There will also be face painting, carnival games and free health screenings.

Anyone who wants to make a donation to the effort can drop off school supplies, backpacks and shoes at Hair Innovations Hair Replacement, 265 Wadsworth Drive in Richmond. For more on volunteer opportunities, call Lisa Graves at (804) 594-0290.

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