Wanda L. Moore-Skinner, who helped provide resources for those in need, dies at age 68

Jeremy M. Lazarus | 11/16/2023, 6 p.m.
For 37 years, Wanda Louise Moore-Skinner quietly provided assistance to financially desperate individuals and families.
Ms. Skinner-Moore

For 37 years, Wanda Louise Moore-Skinner quietly provided assistance to financially desperate individuals and families.

Operating out of the limelight, the woman dubbed “the charity lady” doled out funds to pay overdue water and light bills, cover unpaid rent to prevent eviction, fix cars, repair broken pipes and extend hotel stays for who lost their homes to fires.

The Portsmouth native did so as the volunteer director of the Cooperative Outreach Ministry that five Baptist churches launched in 1986 – First Baptist-Washington Park, Good Hopewell, Providence Park, St. John and 7th Street.

The ministry, which continues today, enabled the five congregations to pool their charity donations and do more than if they acted separately.

She worked with social services departments and other charities to ensure the funds were spent to support needy people, from congregants of the five churches to unchurched people in trouble.

Rosa A. Jiggetts, a retired nurse who created a helpline with her late sister, Lydia, and continues to operate it, called Ms. Moore-Skinner a godsend in backing up that effort.

Ms. Jiggetts noted she was honored several times for the helpline, but she said Ms. Moore-Skinner was the real heroine who never received the accolades she deserved.

“I couldn’t have done it without Wanda. I would call her for help, and she would stroke a check,” Ms. Jiggetts said. “She never said ‘no.’ So many people benefited who had no other place to turn to.”

Ms. Moore-Skinner, who toiled in obscurity and went largely unrecognized even by the churches she served, ended her extraordinary community service on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, after losing her battle with cancer. She was 68.

Her life was celebrated Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Providence Park Baptist Church in North Side.

Currently, the outreach ministry is searching for a successor.

Ms. Moore-Skinner came to Richmond more than 40 years ago. She began a career in education after earning an associate degree in special education from Brightpoint Community College.

Ms. Moore-Skinner served for years as a classroom aide for disabled children in Chesterfield County Public Schools. She also took in foster children.

She worked with hundreds of children and teens in serving for several decades as youth adviser for the Chesterfield Branch NAACP.

The Chesterfield resident also was a dedicated member of North Richmond-based Good Hopewell Baptist for 42 years and attended the Sunday service the day before her death.

Along with her role with the Cooperative Outreach Ministry, she was a trustee, choir member, youth adviser and chair of the Pastor’s Aide Society.

Survivors include her husband, Marvin L.Skinner; her daughter, Kiera Coleman; four sons, Marvin Busey, Sha Sha Busey, Traeshaun Moore and Joel Skinner; brothers Frankie Moore and Richard Moore; sister Carolyn Vinson; and seven grandchildren.