NEWPORT NEWS—After nearly 20 years of delivering its mission on the Peninsula, the non-profit agency Eggleston has invested more than $2.3 million to continue to provide key services to adults with disabilities. They recently opened the Eggleston Wellness Center, located at 645 J. Clyde Morris Blvd. in Newport News and purchased two homes for their residential services program.
To celebrate their expansion on the Peninsula, Eggleston is partnering with the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to hold an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 21 from 4pm to 6pm at the newly opened center. The keynote speech will be delivered by Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resource, Mr. John E. Littel at 4:30pm, followed by remarks from Newport News Vice Mayor, Saundra Cherry and Eggleston CEO Paul J. Atkinson Sr.
“We call it a Wellness Center because there is a fully equipped gym in the facility,” said Danielle C. Nance, vice president of marketing and development for Eggleston. “The building was previously owned by the Women’s Weight Loss Center, and when the property was sold to us, they donated all of the equipment. We would love to be able to offer that space to the community in some way to create opportunities for people with and without disabilities to connect organically.”
Eggleston is a non-profit organization that started in Norfolk in 1955. It was created by a group of seven parents who were looking for opportunities for their adult children with disabilities to do more meaningful activities and find employment so they could be active members of the community. The organization grew with some seed money from what would eventually become the United Way and became known as the Tidewater Vocational Center. They changed their name to Eggleston in 1979 when local philanthropist Louise W. Eggleston bequeathed a building to the organization after her death.
“She was very engaged and involved with the organization before her passing,” said Nance of Eggleston. “Her gift was really the catalyst for the growth we would then experience throughout the 1980s and 1990s that has brought our organization to the evolutionary place where it is today.”
The opening of the Wellness Center in Newport News also brings job opportunities including Direct Support Professional positions in their residential and day program areas.
“Those individuals will be working with individuals with disabilities, helping them to be empowered and to support them,” said Nance. “Everything from going out in the community to activities and daily living, and really forming natural friendships with these individuals. It’s a unique and wonderful opportunity. And really, the only requirement is that you want to do good and you’re passionate about the people we serve and the work we’re doing. We can train the right individuals.”
Eggleston is currently offering a $500 referral program on the Peninsula for employees who complete six months of employment.
“I know referral bonuses are very common these days,” said Nance. “But I think it goes a long way toward saying we really do want to find people who want to join a team that is making a difference and that are working alongside people who feel good about the work they are doing.”
In addition to their brain injury services on the Southside and their Warrior Bridge Veteran’s Program, Eggleston also has created a number of business enterprises, so there are a variety of jobs available across Hampton Roads. They do document shredding, laundry services, a retail garden center, and a landscaping business. Through their association with the U.S. Ability One program, they are able to hire a significant number of people with disabilities to have meaningful jobs that provide good pay and benefits. Got a car to donate? They do all the detailing, vehicle prep, and conduct the auctions themselves so all of the money raised is reinvested into the organization and creates jobs.
For additional information on Eggleston and job opportunities, visit egglestonservices.org.