This Friday is the fifth annual Warm Up Williamsburg, a soup tasting event that raises money for Community of Faith Mission and its Emergency Winter Shelter program.
Annabelle Socha, director of fundraising for Community of Faith Mission, said the Emergency Winter Shelter program provides shelter to homeless people 18 weeks a year, rotating weekly to a different area church.
“We have over 30 faith groups that are participating now,” Socha said. “Some as shelter hosts, some as shelter partners and the shelter is in its seventh year and has come a long way in that time thanks to the support of the community.”
She added that more than 2,000 people a year volunteer their time to help run the program.
“So it's clearly a very grassroots effort,” Socha said.
To help raise money for the Emergency Winter Shelter, Socha said Warm Up Williamsburg has various soups donated from restaurants around the area.
“We have probably had eight (restaurants) who have participated since the first year,” Socha said. “We have a lot of support from groups like the Culinary Institute of Virginia.”
She said the community has been supportive of not only Warm Up Williamsburg, but also the Community of Faith Mission.
“I think that just reflects Williamsburg in general. If you identify a problem and give people a means to get involved and help, they really want to do that,” Socha said. “It’s been really rewarding to see both COFM and Warm Up Williamsburg grow over the past several years.”
During the event, Socha said the band Elderberry Jam will be providing live music.
“The idea is we just want people to come out and have an enjoyable evening out,” Socha said. “And at the same time, they are benefiting the Community of Faith Mission.”
Want to go?
Warm Up Williamsburg takes place 5:15-8 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Williamsburg Community Chapel on 3899 John Tyler Highway.
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at cofm.info/warm-up-williamsburg or by calling 757-903-7031.
To volunteer for the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-903-7031.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.