Caesars Virginia donates $200,000 to charities in Danville community

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 4:58 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Before its temporary casino opened to the public, Caesars raised $200,000 at its private test nights to give to two local nonprofits.

House of Hope and Haven of the Dan River Region each received $100,000 from Caesars – an amount that surprised both organizations.

“We’re still in shock,” said Charisse Hairston, CEO of Haven of the Dan River Region. “I definitely did not expect this. I knew that when they came, they wanted to make a great impact in the community. They’re showing that now.”

House of Hope will use the funds to hire staff for its homeless shelter and increase case management resources.

Last year, they helped give shelter to 240 people. This year already, they’ve served around 100, putting them on track to serve close to 400 by the end of the year.

“From what we’ve seen, the situation isn’t getting any better,” said Jude Swanson, Executive Director of House of Hope. “We are seeing a record number of folks that need assistance from our emergency food and shelter program. So, working to meet that need is definitely something that we are striving to do. We’re also trying to surround these folks with supportive resources to really help them get back on their feet.”

Haven of the Dan River Region helps people who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault by providing emergency relief. They say one in four people experiences domestic violence in Danville, while the national average is one in five.

They will use the donation to expand their services and potentially add a new shelter within the city.

“When they come to us, a lot of times, they don’t have anything. So, to be able to have this type of contribution that does not limit us to what we can do for them, we’ll have to explore what services we can provide. I’m just excited to be able to help more with that,” added Hairston.