The River Ellis Foundation

We are a community-focused 501c3 nonprofit organization helping those in the Hampton Roads community who have recently encountered an unexpected hardship and are in need of a sunrise.

Our Story

We learned firsthand that tragedy doesn’t discriminate when our daughter, River, died at just two days old in September of 2018. Our world came crashing down around us as we found ourselves in the middle of every parent’s worst nightmare: instead of taking River home from the hospital to begin our lives together, we would be faced with the unthinkable task of planning her funeral.

Our Mission

Sh*t happens to good people and hardship doesn’t discriminate. Individuals in our own community are faced with tragedies and unimaginable adversity every single day. We want to be there for those people: the ones who’ve found themselves in the middle of something they couldn’t have prepared for. Those who don’t quite fit into a box, but need some support to get through the adversity they’re facing.

How You Can Help

There are several ways you can help The River Ellis Foundation and give a sunrise to someone in the Hampton Roads Community. We’d love for you to get involved!

Make a Donation

Help make a difference in the lives of those in our community who need it the most. Every dollar counts!

Nominate Someone

Do you know someone in the community who have recently faced an unexpected hardship and could use some extra support? Nominate them today!


Read latest news from our blog:

REF Helps Displaced Family of 7

REF Helps Displaced Family of 7

A family of 7 was left without a place to live due to septic flooding in their home. The River Ellis Foundation immediately placed this family in an extended stay hotel so that they could focus their limited resources on preparing to send their 5 children back to...

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REF Helps Family Recover After Fire

REF Helps Family Recover After Fire

A hospital staff member and her family lost everything they owned, including their dog, in a fire. They required immediate assistance replacing medicine and supplements that were medically necessary for maintaining their health after undergoing previous surgeries. The...

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Make A Donation

Help make a difference in the lives of those in our community who need it the most. Every dollar counts!

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Donation Total: $50.00

Get Involved

Are you looking to get involved in giving back to your community? We have many volunteer opportunities and events throughout the year. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please complete the form on the volunteer page.

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