Housing, Shelter

Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum Inc

aka IHS

Palmyra, VA


IHS is a 24/7 response, all volunteer public charity. It provides short-term assistance for Pay Range 1 (indigent) patients who travel long distances for treatment at the University of Virginia Medical Center (Charlottesville), as well as for family caregivers who accompany them. IHS serves those with little or no funds to cover vital necessities and who are referred by the Office of Social Work at UVA Hospital. IHS underwrites the cost of medications and co-pays, travel, local lodging, food, and pediatric requests to serve infants, such as infant car seats.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Thomas Wade Clegg III

Co Principal Officer

Elisheva C. Clegg

Main Address

P. O. Box 163

Palmyra, VA 22963 USA


emergency medical, lodging, food, & transportation, infant car seats





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Low-Cost Temporary Housing (includes Youth Hostels) (L40)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Family Services (P40)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Emergency Housing for Patients and/or Accompanying Family Member(s)

Distribution of Meals to Outpatients and/or Family Caregivers

Medical Co-pays for Pay Range 1 (Indigent Category)

Pediatric Support (mostly infant car seats), infant clothing, breast pump rentals

Where we work

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Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The ultimate goal of this charity is to grow funding sources (grants and private donors) with a buffer to continue to meet immediate needs of this specific population of clients and their caregivers who come to this major medical center, one of two Virginia state discount hospitals serving indigent or grossly underfunded and uninsured clients.

The expected outcome is presently being fulfilled. Trends and projections for each category are closely monitored annually in order to project a budget for each category of assistance.

Barring any catastrophic event which might bring an abundance of patients to the Medical Center at one time, our present annual projections over four(4) years have been rather accurate to meet each year’s needs, although the numbers of clients, and prices for purchases of all items has increased.

Also, availability of commercial lodging had decreased, especially in high occupancy periods, although we were gratified to add another hotel in August 2013 at a fixed discount and ability to be billed for services. This makes four(4) hotels available for contact thus increasing the likelihood of availability of commercial rooms when UVA Hospitality House cannot accommodate patients and caregivers.

What is evident is our continued exposure within the community and especially the UVA Hospital of those “unmet” needs which exist for the least able among us to afford the most basic needs in order to come for treatment in Charlottesville, Virginia from very long distances. We are building that awareness one brick at a time in a community with almost 500 nonprofits and numerous churches seeking support.

The most difficult obstacle to overcome for nonprofits in the Albemarle County, Virginia area, where the UVA Medical Center is located, is the inability to make direct contact with the “stakeholders” for the efforts of this charity. In other words, the hospital workers, who are mostly state employees, cannot be sent information which might infer a solicitation, unless they allow for receipt. Only through those who are already friends of the charity can newsletters be forwarded to others, but not in a sweeping manner. And for a silent charity, working through social workers to enhance the ability for indigent clients to be served at the Medical Center, exposure is limited. Recipients of assistance do not know who is providing lodging, food packets, emergency prescriptions and infant car seats. Social workers only indicate that they will seek to assist … and then call this charity for assistance.

Also, the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC) payroll deduction annual opportunity, which is so vital for future growth of this charity, does not host any annual fairs for exposure within the facilities, as is done throughout the rest of the state. A CVC fair is no more than a tabletop presentation for distribution of literature annually in various locations on campus, but face to face opportunities for hundreds of state employees is being denied for all nonprofits in or near the Medical Center. Although IHS has experimented for two years by traveling throughout Virginia to other small CVC fairs in other state agencies, the turn-out is generally poor and not one donor has surfaced in two years from the distance fairs.

Therefore, we have determined that beyond use of the CVC website exposure, we have no options but to confine most of our exposure through churches, clubs, businesses, scouts, families and grant opportunities in a very direct manner, namely direct contact with tailored promotions. In addition, every fund-raising opportunity, such a Whole Foods 5% Day every other year, wine-tasting events when charity is assisted through ticket sales, discussions with individual church outreach programs for the local community, seeking business participation with generosity objectives, school “Make a Difference “ days involvement with making IHS full-day meal packets, and more grocery store entrance events with a table-top review of what we are doing in our food program, are all activities which are being employed and will be increased by involving more friends of the charity. The real strategy is to convince those in these categories of friends to initiate activities for consistent annual support, even with one annual dedicated effort. Increased small group participation annually is the approach mostly needed.

The core group of volunteers who are also officers, board members and advisors possess a unique variety of skills for capably sustaining present levels of productivity. These include a retired Air Force Officer with considerable experience in the information arena, two interfaith ministers with experience in a major hospital chaplaincy program, one computer expert and designer of websites and on-line newsletter and blog site, two dedicated volunteers with vast experience working with children’s groups in churches and scouting and productive activities which are shared with other potential group participation, and several volunteers who have experience with children’s groups and churches. In addition, there are volunteers within the Medical Center who serve as advisors and individual outreach people, based on their involvement as IHS monitors in the Office of Social Work. ALL of these volunteers are capable and willing to speak about the charity and are provided promotional handouts as needed.

The core asset is of course the volunteers. No one is paid in this charity. Every penny goes to directly support patients and caregivers. Present office computers are connected to three board members in different locations from their homes for 24/7 access, and this same information is now received on cell phones while all are away from home, even as far as California. Social Worker requests are seen at all hours, and three phone numbers are provided for contact also 24/7.

This charity maintains an office in a group of offices at Lake Monticello, Virginia for meeting and receipt of donations, and for assembly of meal packets following purchases. The IHS office was provided by the landlord for only $250 monthly, and has been absolutely marvelous for storage and deliveries. In addition, volunteers will meet donors for their convenience in and around Charlottesville and surrounding counties as needed. All expenses for gas and vehicle use is incurred solely as donation of time and funds by volunteers. Even training for computer education and increased skills is paid for my volunteers, including long distance trips to Washington DC and San Francisco, CA.

This charity has one asset which is slowly building over the years by the two ministers who are full- time volunteers. The ministers are wedding ministers who are registered to perform weddings throughout the United States. Each wedding performed is an introduction to a couple and their families of the opportunity to devote some of their wedding fee as a direct donation to the charity. This has produced from 20-30 new couple contacts annually, along with some family members, who receive monthly newsletters and feel a certain intimacy with the ministers and what their donations annually mean to the charity. It is an asset which will continue to pay dividends by increasing more friends for the charity.

IThis entire narrative about this charity is one of defining “unmet” needs which still includes the original concern of not enough lodging for indigent patients and caregivers. The UVA Hospitality House, which is dedicated to the indigent and underfunded, is not large enough to handle all arrivals, and also has restrictions which eliminate access to rooms. The Ronald McDonald House (RMH) also faces overcrowding, especially this summer with renovation for eight months. Parents can find themselves and their child awaiting next day surgery hundreds of miles from home and without funds for a commercial hotel room the night before. There is no RMH plan for funding assistance for their overflow, but IHS does pay for hotel rooms for RMH patients several times monthly.

Our measurements, as more “unmet” need requests were sought for assistance by UVA Social Workers, have been reviewed with the full knowledge that our ability to secure every situation would depend solely on fund-raising annually. It was understood that we would be another support in the safety net, NOT the entire safety net. This past year we concluded that present categories of unmet needs would be tailored to: (1) lodging, (2) food programs for the Social Work Office and UVA Hospitality House, (3) emergency assistance with indigent prescriptions, co-pays and travel and (4) pediatric assistance with purchases for infant car seats, electric breast pump rentals for uninsured mothers, clothing, etc.

Some key milestones have been (1) maintaining acceptance for the third year in the CVC Program for state workers for payroll deductions for annual charitable giving in Virginia, (2) twice offered Whole Food 5% days in three years for 5% of the store’s gross for a full work day, (3) being recognized by numerous schools and churches as an important asset for UVA Medical Center to support the indigent population, (4) receiving for over two years some consistent support from three reputable grant sources, (5) establishing active support as an anchor, the Charlottesville Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church UU’s consistent annual supply of over one-third of our annual target of 3,000 meal packets, (6) maintaining several other small but significant annual sources for making meal packets, such as two Louisa Scout troops, Crozet’s Henley Middle School’s annual Make a Difference Day, and Key Club support from several schools, and (7) being asked to participate as a vendor for local community festival events.

IHS is recognized by upper UVA management and individual clinics for meeting immediate, short-term assistance, especially with food and lodging. Social Workers recognize when an extended need for lodging or food is necessary, this charity has shown a willingness to be flexible. No one is ever charged for services. Social Workers screen and approve that all recipients meet the definition of absolute poverty status, but desperate situations arise for a range of patients who simply cannot purchase an emergency prescription or meet a co-pay. This charity responds 24/7, an unheard of availability.

NO social worker has ever been turned down for a commercial hotel room for a Pay Range 1 patient or caregiver, since this charity became active in June 2009. IHS also pays for Pay Range 1-3 guests at the UVA Hospitality House when a social worker indicates that there is room for guests at the House.

The Full-day Meal Packet Program provides from 2,500 – 3,000 meal packets annually. The program, which was originally dedicated to NICU parents who were going without adequate nourishment while staying with their critically ill infants for weeks and months inside the hospital, was finally extended for access for all social workers. This exposure is gaining broad recognition by all clinics, now in its third year.

IHS has been the only ”stable” source for food for two years for UVA Hospitality House (HH) to balance a single monthly Emergency Food Bank stipend of $400, which is not guaranteed annually. IHS is the only resource which the Hospitality House Manager can e-mail with a list of items for delivery within 24 hours.

IHS is in its third year providing new infant car seats in order for a child to be released from the Hospital. Previously, purchases by staff for parents was an on-going concern, until a NICU social worker asked for assistance. In 2012 this charity provided 43 infant seats. In 2013 the number of infant seats is ahead of the previous year. IHS also purchases infant clothing for departures, and other supplemental items when asked.

IHS prescription assistance over the last three years increased from $1,000 to $5,000 last year, and is already at $3,000 level this year. This assistance for after hours releases is significant for patients in need of pain control medications.

External Reviews


Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum Inc

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable