Mission & History

Our Mission and History

Our Mission

Volunteers of America Mid-States creates positive change in the lives of individuals and communities through a ministry of service.

Established in 1896, Volunteers of America Mid-States is one of the region's oldest, largest, and most diverse not-for-profit businesses. Today, we offer more than 40 distinct human service programs in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Clark and Floyd Counties in Southern Indiana. Our programs are focused on housing for families, veterans, and low-income seniors; addiction recovery services for men and women; care and support for individuals with developmental disabilities; and HIV testing and education.

Each program, regardless of its focus, labors under the shared agency mission to create positive change in the lives of individuals and communities through a ministry of service. Last year, we reached more than 20,000 people through our services.

Volunteers of America Mid-States is a local affiliate of Volunteers of America, Inc. based in Alexandria, Virginia. Under a national charter, it provides services designed locally to address specific community needs.

Volunteers of America Mid-States is governed by a voluntary 29-member Board of Directors, President & CEO Jennifer Hancock, and six executive team members. We employ more than 700 staff members and engage approximately 1,400 volunteers each year.

Working in partnership with government agencies, businesses, individuals, local faith congregations, and other non-profit organizations — and supported by thousands of individual donors and volunteers — we address the most pressing social needs in the communities we serve.

Programs are funded through a diverse array of funding streams, including federal, state, and local grants and contracts; private foundations; and public contributions. In Fiscal Year 2015, nearly 83 cents of every dollar was spent on direct services.

Our History

Volunteers of America was founded in 1896 by social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth. They envisioned a movement dedicated to “reaching and uplifting" the American people. On behalf of the organization, the Booths pledged to “go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand." That declaration continues to guide Volunteers of America's outreach efforts today.

The name Volunteers of America was selected by the Booths to signify that the organization was comprised of people voluntarily choosing to help others. Then, as now, our services are delivered through a partnership of professional staff, volunteers, and other community supporters.

Volunteers of America opened its first location in Kentucky in 1896 — the same year Ballington and Maud Booth founded the national organization — bringing food, medicine and comfort to people not served by other charities.