What to Know Before Donating to A Charity in Virginia?

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, between the Atlantic coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The Commonwealth's geography and climate are determined by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Chesapeake Bay, which are home to much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdistrict. The Commonwealth's 2020 population was over 8.65 million, of which 36 percent lived in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. The region's history begins with various indigenous groups, including the Powhatans. In 1607, the London Company established Virginia Colony as the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Virginia's nickname "Old Dominion" refers to this state. Slave labor and land acquisitions by displaced native tribes fueled the growing plantation economy, but also fueled conflicts within and outside the colony. Virginia was one of the original Thirteen Colonies of the American Revolution, and the battles in Virginia secured the independence of the United States. Virginia was divided during the American Civil War when the state government of Richmond joined the Confederacy, but many counties in the northwest of the state remained loyal to the Union and became the state of West Virginia in 1863. Although the Commonwealth was a single-party system and governed for nearly a century after the Reconstruction era, the two major political parties in modern Virginia are competitive. The Virginia state legislature is the Virginia General Assembly, chartered in July 1619, making it the oldest current legislative body in North America. It consists of a 40-member Senate and a 100-member House of Representatives. The state government is unique in the way it treats cities and counties alike, manages local highways, and prohibits governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy is made up of many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley; Federal and high-tech agencies, including US Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency headquarters, in Northern Virginia; and military installations in Hampton Roads, home to the region's primary seaport.

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