Insights

Client Spotlight: North Carolina Victims Assistance Network

There’s so much we admire about the work of our friends at the North Carolina Victim Assistance Network. NCVAN is the only statewide victim service agency in North Carolina dedicated to serving victims of homicide and others harmed by violent crime. This organization chooses to exist in the darkest parts of the human experience, where confusion and grief have upended people’s visions for their families and futures. And in that space, they do the most healing thing possible: they bring people together. When tragedy strikes, the need for a support system becomes crucial. NCVAN does that on every level. In…

There’s so much we admire about the work of our friends at the North Carolina Victim Assistance Network. NCVAN is the only statewide victim service agency in North Carolina dedicated to serving victims of homicide and others harmed by violent crime.

This organization chooses to exist in the darkest parts of the human experience, where confusion and grief have upended people’s visions for their families and futures.

And in that space, they do the most healing thing possible: they bring people together.

When tragedy strikes, the need for a support system becomes crucial. NCVAN does that on every level. In the macro, the organization champions victims’ rights in North Carolina legislation. In the micro, they connect people who are grieving with counseling services, support groups, and even liaisons to hold their hands in court.

The NCVAN Crime Victims’ Memorial Garden in Raleigh perfectly symbolizes this organization’s unique ability to take a tragedy and create something beautiful that brings people together. The garden is a living, flourishing place where families gather to remember their loved ones. Volunteers—often those who have also had loved ones taken—tend lovingly to the garden and make it a place for others to find peace.

Each year, NCVAN hosts a brick dedication ceremony, where new memorial bricks are engraved with names and laid to honor those lives. The brick pathway is a powerful and grounding reminder that those who have passed are always remembered—and those missing them are not alone.

NCVAN knows that the power of this work is in bringing people together in their loneliest moments and showing them that their grief has purpose and power. Here are other ways this organization lifts its community by bringing people together:

  • The annual Know Hope 5K walk/run where participants can join in-person in Garner, NC, or remotely. Memorial photos of loved ones meet runners at the finish line.
  • Comforting conversations, where NCVAN connects those who have recently had a loved one taken with someone who has been in their shoes.
  • Regular garden beautification events, where volunteers prune, weed, mulch, and ensure the garden continues to flourish.
  • NCVAN volunteers come together to create court care kits for those who will spend long days in court fighting for justice for their loved ones.

We love that every move NCVAN makes proves that no one has to face their grief alone. We’re proud that our work with NCVAN, through their website, events, social media, and email newsletters, has played a role in connecting and strengthening this resilient community.

Todd Hiestand

Todd has over 20 years of experience as a leader in the nonprofit sector. He has served in a wide variety of roles, guiding digital marketing, technology, fundraising, eCommerce, and communications strategies. His expertise in developing systems and processes has helped launch organizations and sustain growth over time.

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