The Jenkins Foundation was named Family Lifeline’s Woodson Champion for Families honoree. The Champion for Families Award is given in recognition of outstanding service to the community, society, and humanity in alignment with the mission and values of Family Lifeline. The Jenkins Foundation was recognized at Family Lifeline’s Annual Donor Appreciation Party held October 29 at the home of Anne Grier. Patte Koval, Jenkins’s Board Chair, accepted the honor on behalf of the foundation which included age-appropriate children’s books with special plaques to be given to families we serve with small children.  

The daughter of a Richmond merchant, Annabella Ravenscroft Jenkins nursed sick and wounded Confederate soldiers during the Civil War as a self-trained nurse. Ever committed to the health care needs of Richmond’s poorest, she opened the Retreat for the Sick in 1877, same year as Family Lifeline’s founding, as an alternative to the city almshouse. Housed in the Hospital Building of the Medical College of Virginia, the faculty served as medical staff. An endowed charitable institution, Retreat has always served three types of patients – those who could pay nothing, those who could pay something, and those who could pay in full. Mrs. Jenkins served as the hospital’s board president until her death, raising funds for building improvements, patient care, and the establishment of a training school for nurses. Now known as Retreat Doctor’s Hospital, located on Grove Avenue where it moved in 1921, it continues to serve our community to this day.

Annabella Jenkins’s legacy of providing compassionate care continues through the Jenkins Foundation which seeks to apply her vision to current challenges by focusing on equitable access to health care services, as well as programs that help reduce risky behaviors and promote safe and healthy environments. The result is a more efficient health care delivery system and a safer, healthier and more productive community. With the continued support of the Jenkins Foundation, Family Lifeline has provided education, support, and wellness to at-risk individuals and families at critical points in their lives to create safer, healthier, and more stable homes.