Letter from the Madison House Executive Director, Tim Freilich, to the extended Madison House family of volunteers, alumni, and friends:
As you all know by now, this has been a difficult and tragic weekend for Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. I watched with horror on Fridayevening as hundreds of people with torches in their hands and hatred in their hearts snaked their way up towards the Lawn. The whole world watched with horror on Saturday as the white supremacists and neo-Nazis spewed their twisted ideologies all over downtown Charlottesville, trying to tear our community apart. They did not—and will not—succeed.
For nearly 50 years, Madison House has worked to bring the Charlottesville and University communities together. With more than 3000 students working weekly volunteer shifts at the area's schools, hospitals, agencies, and non-profit organizations--we know firsthand the strength, goodness, and resilience of this community.
Madison House joins the the City of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia in firmly rejecting hate and condemning white supremacy in all its grotesque forms. We grieve the tragic loss of life this weekend, and are keeping those who were injured close in our thoughts and hearts.
But tomorrow we get back to the important work of strengthening this amazing community. We get back to the work of developing strong, civic-minded leaders for our democracy. We get back to the work of matching mentors with kids, future doctors with hospital shifts, coaches with teams, bigs with littles, and students with elders in need of companionship. We get back to work. Because that's what we do at Madison House: We build leaders, we build partnerships, and we build community—our community.
I took this job because it gives me a chance to support our student leaders as they harness the unstoppable energy and creativity of their peers, and send them beyond the serpentine walls of the University out into the community I love. I'm writing to assure you—our extended Madison House family—that in the months and years ahead Madison House will continue to play the key community-building role that you've come to expect. We'll just be working harder than ever before.
With deep and defiant love for Charlottesville, the University, and Madison House,
Tim Freilich, CLAS '93, LAW '99
Madison House Executive Director