2020 Community Impact Appreciation Winners

Financial investments, in-kind donations, mentoring programs—there are numerous ways that local businesses contribute to the overall betterment of the greater Lynchburg region. To complement our

Financial investments, in-kind donations, mentoring programs—there are numerous ways that local businesses contribute to the overall betterment of the greater Lynchburg region.
To complement our Giving Back Awards, the Lynchburg Living Community Impact Appreciation feature is a way to give local businesses a pat on the back as well. This year, we selected eight businesses to recognize for their outstanding efforts behind the scenes.

Apocalypse Ale Works

How does your business impact the community?
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in March, the service industry was abruptly decimated. Not only did that affect our own livelihood, but it also affected all of our friends within the restaurant and service industries as well. We quickly partnered with Sysco for a food drive for all furloughed workers. We have continued collecting non-perishable foods to help support our community. Additionally, we have been working closely with local officials on improving infrastructure and have already committed another $24,000 on a project that will help dozens of local businesses in our area. Finally, this November will be our Apocalypse Helps Give Back Month, where we will partner with a different local charity every Saturday and help raise money, food, and clothing for our local neighbors.

Why does your business choose to focus on these causes? 
Our goal is to help move our community forward. Big box stores provide jobs and goods to our community, but we strive to be more than that. Whether it’s providing food, hosting fundraisers for families in need, or helping our local infrastructure grow, a rising tide floats all ships.

Founded: 2012
Located: 1257 Burnbridge Road, Forest
Number of Employees: 9

Beacon Credit Union

How does your business impact the community?
Beacon Credit Union understands the importance of giving back to the community. We have sponsored events and campaigns that have raised awareness and more than $57,000 for our nonprofit organizations. In addition, we understand that our employees want to serve in the community as well, so we award PTO hours to our employees who volunteer at approved charities. Beacon also believes in the investment of children and their futures. Each year, we award six scholarships, $12,000 total, to students in our community to assist them in their educational journey.

Why does your business choose to focus on these causes? 
Ultimately, it is our responsibility as human beings to care for one another. It’s an honor to be part of this community, and we want to pay it forward. We believe that a charitable focus is imperative to any business organization and that it brings both the community and employees together for a common goal.

Founded: 1939
Located: Branches in Lynchburg, Madison Heights, Bedford, Danville, Buena Vista
Number of Employees: 80

Brownstone Properties, Inc.

How does your business impact the community?
Since our company’s beginning, we have supported programs and events focused on children and education. This past year, we sponsored the Bedford Hills Elementary School Carnival and Linkhorne Middle School Color Run. These events helped raise funds to support the PTO at each school and also provide assistance to teachers for programming needs. We also were the title sponsor of The Optimist Club of Lynchburg Oratorical Contest. This contest was created to encourage middle and high school students to participate in public speaking as part of a global competition through Optimist International.

Why does your business choose to focus on these causes? 
Our company set a goal to support local causes very early. Over the years, as our owners got involved with their own children’s schools, education became a recurring cause. Through personal involvement it was impossible to ignore both the financial need and the need to encourage and engage these young people to be their best. In addition, we have supported various athletic, band, and theatrical programs of local schools because we also recognize the importance of extracurricular activities in the development of our youth.

Founded: 1998
Located: 3720 Old Forest Road, Lynchburg
Number of Employees: 18

CloudFit Software

How does your business impact the community?
CloudFit exists to generate funding for nonprofits including KidFit and JobFit. KidFit provides mentoring and opportunities via athletics for all youth whether they can pay or not. KidFit trains youth in Lynchburg in speed, strength and agility as well as enables athletic camp and travel ball opportunities for youth. JobFit enables students and career changers to get real training and real experience, including paid internships, to lower the barrier to entry for great IT careers. CloudFit employees get to volunteer a number of hours per year as PTO for CloudFit.

Why does your business choose to focus on these causes?
CloudFit was literally founded to enable KidFit and other charities—the company bylaws require that CloudFit support KidFit and other charities. CloudFit’s founders believe that their mission on earth is to change the industry through CloudFit, but more importantly to use CloudFit to generate revenue that will help change lives through KidFit, JobFit and beyond. CloudFit is headquartered in Lynchburg because of a desire to help the Lynchburg region by providing hope and game-changing job opportunities for the wonderful people in this region.

Founded: 2018
Located: 300 Lucado Place, Lynchburg
Number of Employees: 140

I Scream You Scream

How does your business impact the community?
This has been a difficult year for all, but we did not want our local nonprofit groups to suffer or be unable to continue their great causes, so we continued our Community Give Back program. Our program started in 2016 with the goal to help local nonprofits, organizations, and individuals in need. This year we have donated a percentage of sales to local schools, church groups, humane societies, sports organizations for individuals with disabilities, a local fire department and other organizations.

Why does your business choose to focus on these causes? 
We believe we all have the privilege and responsibility to use our talents and gifts to help others. Reflecting on our business, we feel we had a platform and opportunity to help and connect people, businesses, and organizations by giving financially, using our large social media following to advertise the efforts of local nonprofits, and provide a place for these groups to connect with the families of our community. Communities are stronger when people are united and working together for the betterment of all. Loving people is what it is all about.

Founded: 2012
Located: 13955 Wards Rd. Lynchburg
Number of Employees: 17

Jersey Mike’s Subs

How does your business impact the community?
• Month of Giving Fundraiser, raised $7,087.89 for The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lynchburg
• Three times per year, Meals on Wheels Fundraiser generates $12,000+ in donations
• COVID Donations
• Donated 850 subs to feed both hospitals
• Donated 150 subs to feed the Lynchburg Police Department
• Donated $6,176.03 to local schools through Spirit Fundraiser Nights
• Donated 1,100 Free Sub Coupons to local teachers
• Donated $3,576 to local organizations through our BOGO Fundraiser Coupons
• Donated 115 lunches to the Boys and Girls Club Golf Tournament

Why does your business choose to focus on these causes? 
Jersey Mike’s Subs as a company has a long-standing tradition of giving back and supporting the community that supports us. Our mission is Giving… Making a difference in someone’s life. We believe that making a great sub sandwich and making a difference can be one in the same. It gives us great pride to know that we have been able to make such an impact on the Lynchburg community since opening our first store in 2008.

Founded: 2008
Located: 3919 Wards Road, Lynchburg; 3901 Old Forest Road, Lynchburg
Number of Employees: 40-45

Sentry Equipment & Erectors, Inc.

How does your business impact the community?
Sentry makes a community impact through working with the youth of Lynchburg. Our engineers and shop team have welcomed many students into our facility to demonstrate first-hand how our equipment is designed and assembled. Last fall, Sentry hosted Ross Learning Academy’s STEM program students, during which our team gave students thought-provoking, hands-on exercises and a tour of the facility. Additionally, our engineers often visit Lynchburg City Schools to explain how our Electrical Engineering group brings our systems to life.

Why does your business choose to focus on these causes? 
Sentry’s passion is to ignite the young minds of Lynchburg. We love our community and hope to help the next generation get excited about their education in a hands-on environment. Here at Sentry, our team takes great pride in the work that they do, and to share that with the youth of Lynchburg is an honor.

Founded: 1980
Located: 13150 E Lynchburg Salem Turnpike, Forest
Number of Employees: 221

The Water Dog

How does your business impact the community?
Since opening our doors in Downtown Lynchburg, we have made it a priority to give back to the organizations around us, including the Downtown Lynchburg Association, Riverviews Artspace, Lynchburg Humane Society, Miller Home for Girls and many others. We also enjoy bringing our community together through a variety of events such as Pints After Pedals, Oktoberfest, and TWD Runner’s Club. In 2019, we reinvested in Downtown Lynchburg by purchasing The Glass House and have made an economic impact with that venue by donating a portion of our proceeds from the events we hold.

Why does your business choose to focus on these causes?
At face value, what we try to do is pretty simple: bring together great craft brews and tasty food with an awesome environment and some pretty rad people. But on a deeper level, we are passionate about connecting with the people and organizations around us that call Downtown Lynchburg home.

Founded: 2016
Located: 1016 Jefferson Street, Lynchburg
Number of Employees: 50


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