Ellwood’s Wooden Nickel Program is designed to help promote the recycling of shopping bags, by rewarding those customers who reuse their bags (paper, cloth or plastic). Customers now have the option to pass the money they save on grocery bags on to local charitable organizations!

When customers reuse shopping bags they are offered ten cents for every bag or two wooden nickels for the our Wooden Nickel charity program. Located at the front of the store at the Local Food Hub are two glass jars designated for specific local organizations. Customers deposit their wooden nickels into the jars. At the end of each quarter, the nickels are counted and the organizations receive a check for the collected amount.

Every three months we select two local organizations to be involved in our fundraising efforts. Due to the high volume of requests, and a limited amount of spaces on a quarterly basis, not all requests will be accommodated. Once all of your information has been received, we will contact you if we decide to move forward with your organization.

All organizations will be reviewed and announced before the beginning of each quarter and wooden nickels will start applying to the new organization on the first day of the following month. For every Ellwood’s wooden nickel that a customer donates to your organization, we give you a real nickel. It’s pretty simple and a great way to raise money and awareness for your organization. We ask that selected organizations invite members to get involved with our recycling program to increase the total contribution.


  1. Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope in the Greater Richmond area. Since 1986 we have built and rehabbed 345 homes for local families and individuals. Our homeowners purchase their homes and pay an affordable, zero percent interest mortgage, making the dream of homeownership, and the stability that it brings, a reality. Richmond Habitat utilizes more than 3,000 local volunteers each year to construct homes.
  2. Sprite’s HERO delivers programs for children that provide them the opportunity to create relationships with dogs and experience increased confidence and self-esteem. We currently manage one program, Paws to R.E.A.D.®, where therapy dogs and their handlers visit one-on- one with children in schools and libraries to improve confidence and reading comprehension. When the children read to the dogs, they improve their confidence and empathy while lowering stress and anxiety.


  1. Health Brigade has weathered lots of cultural storms since 1970 when we opened as the first free clinic in Virginia. We have been advocating for those we serve because it is the right thing to do. Health Brigade provides quality health services, especially to those least served in a compassionate and non-judgmental environment. Through Primary Care Medical Services provided to low income and uninsured residents in the Greater Richmond area we give our clients the opportunity to improve their health and wellness. Health Brigade’s Health Outreach & Advocacy Services are provided through education to the larger community and to individuals in need of services such as HIV Testing & Linkage care, STI Testing & Education, as well as LGBTQ support and advocacy. Our Mental Health & Wellness Services are provided to clients of Health Brigade to enhance life satisfaction and well-being through support groups, specialty mental health treatment, and other wellness services. Our efforts are often not mainstream. But, that’s okay. We are health crusaders. We know we make a difference. We are Health Brigade!
  2. The Bon Secours Community Hospice House offers the warmth and comfort of home to those at their end-of-life journey in a beautiful garden setting. An experienced team of physicians, nurses and caregivers provide holistic care for the patient and their loved ones. The Hospice House serves people from throughout the Richmond community, and all are cared for with respect and compassion, regardless of economic circumstances.


  1. Richmond Peace Education Center has been an unwavering voice for peaceful conflict resolution, social justice, and nonviolent social change in the Richmond, Virginia region. Through our workshops, public events, youth empowerment programs, and conflict resolution training, RPEC is making a difference in the region.
  2. Change the World RVA is a 501(c)3 established to support high school and college students in Richmond, Virginia who are experiencing homelessness and housing instability.  We partner with an army of volunteers, churches, and organizations to make a meaningful difference in the lives of homeless youth.  We are an all-volunteer organization.  We are the only organization in the region that specifically addresses the needs of high school and college students facing homelessness.


  1. Virginia Pride: our mission is to be a vehicle for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender awareness, networking and education to reach the broader Commonwealth Community. Through various methods, we seek to provide unique events designed to instill pride, celebrate unity and embrace diversity in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We strive to improve the lives of LGBT Virginians by creating visibility and promoting full human and civil rights through education, networking and celebrations that advocate equality.
  2. Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Rivers Center is a field station devoted to environmental research, teaching and public service. The mission of the VCU Rice Rivers Center is to be internationally recognized for its academic programs focused on scientific research, education and public outreach, and for informing public policy related to river ecosystems, their watersheds and the conservation of species that inhabit those watersheds.


  1. Richmond Young Writers was founded in the summer of 2009 with the intention of introducing young people to the joy of creative writing through workshops taught by professional writers in the community. We believe words have the power to heal, to soothe, to mend, to bridge the gap between friends and enemies, outcasts and frenemies. We believe in the power of passing notes and writing letters, making lists and documenting daydreams, capturing nightmares and lassoing them with the pen onto the page, working with the act of taming the wild and setting our wildness free—in notebooks, between snacks, with other writers committing the same brave, revolutionary acts on paper. Full and partial scholarships are offered in each workshop to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in our programs.
  2. Girls on the Run is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. Important social, psychological, and physical skills and abilities are developed and reinforced throughout the program. At each season’s conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result—making the seemingly impossible, possible, and teaching girls that they can.


  1. UnBoundRVA is a Richmond-based non-profit organization that connects individuals from low-income communities to the resources, training, and the support needed to successfully launch, own, and operate new businesses. We aim to impact all of Richmond by empowering individuals through small business ownership to positively impact their families and their communities.
  2. The RVA Environmental Film Festival was founded as “The Biggest Picture: Richmond’s First Environmental Film Festival” in 2008 and 2009. The festival’s goal is to offer entertaining and educational films that leave attendees with increased awareness of environmental issues that we face locally and globally. On February 6th – 12th, 2017, several local organizations will partner to present the Seventh Annual RVA Environ- mental Film Festival at several local venues. The festival will showcase local and national films selected to raise awareness of environmental issues relevant to the Richmond region, our nation, and our planet. This event is free and open to the public.



Email Colin Beirne at CBeirne@EllwoodThompsons.com for more info.