LINK keeps fighting hunger

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LINK’s mobile food pantry in Sterling

Jim Butts says he has witnessed countless changes in the 44 years he has been volunteering for LINK, a nonprofit organization that delivers emergency food to families in Sterling, Herndon and Ashburn. One thing has not changed, however: Despite the prosperity that has come to the region, there are always people who don’t know where they will find their next meal.

Butts and other longtime volunteers have helped keep the faith-based group running for decades without any paid staff members. Hundreds of other volunteers — including businesses, church youth groups, Scouts and intellectually disabled students — join them every month to help combat hunger in Northern Virginia.

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Washington Post, May 15, 2016

Volunteers make repairs to Clifton woman’s home

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Dixie Dawson ascends her new wheelchair ramp, assisted by Beth Walters of Sun Design. 

Christmas arrived almost two weeks early for Dixie Dawson.

A group of about 50 volunteers — most of whom are employees of Sun Design, a Burke-based home-remodeling company — spent Saturday repairing Dawson’s home and constructing a new deck and wheelchair ramp for her.

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Washington Post, December 17, 2015

Interfaith hosts provide a rare night out

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Jennifer Romps of Beth Chaverim serves dinner to the Gad family.

Members of Ashburn-based Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith communities united last Sunday evening to serve a free restaurant-style meal to people who seldom have the opportunity to dine out.

The event was the most recent in a series of Community Table dinners organized to provide a fine dining experience for low-income individuals and families. Members of two or more faith communities have joined to host most of the dinners, giving them the opportunity to build interfaith friendships while serving people in need, organizers said.

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Washington Post, December 13, 2015

Blankets and coats for refugees in Turkey

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Northern Virginia officials are uniting again this year in an effort to help the growing numbers of those who have fled war-torn Syria and taken refuge in Turkey.

For the past two years, local officials and volunteers have organized drives that collected more than 43,000 blankets for delivery to refugees in Turkey. This year, as the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey has swelled to more than 2 million, the drive is being expanded to include new and “gently used” winter coats, as well as blankets and cash donations.

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Washington Post, November 22, 2015

Fairfax “foodraiser” brings in tons

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Hoisted above the crowd by a crane, photographer Daniel Dancer (left) directs volunteers into position for an aerial photo in which they form the Complete the Circle logo.

For five years, Our Daily Bread has set a goal of raising 10,000 pounds of donations for its annual fall food drive. This year, for the first time, the Fairfax nonprofit group reached that target.

More than 1,500 people were at Fairfax High School on Sunday for the Complete the Circle “FoodRaiser,” bringing 11,143 pounds of food and other household items that will be distributed to people in need, organizers said. The donations will go to clients of Our Daily Bread and the Lorton Community Action Center, which was a partner in the event for the first time.

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Washington Post, November 12, 2015

Teachers start summer bookmobile

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Several teachers from Herndon Elementary School are volunteering their time this summer to get kids reading.

Every Wednesday, the group brings a self-styled bookmobile to two apartment complexes in Herndon, where the teachers lay out boxes of donated books on the lawn. Children are encouraged to look through, choose books that appeal to them and take them home to read. Best of all: The books are theirs to keep.

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Washington Post, August 5, 2015

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Master Gardeners pulling together

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When the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors abandoned the county Master Gardeners program last year, its volunteers might have packed up their rakes and hoes and gone home.

Edye Clark, the group’s president, said that a few members did leave the organization but that most pulled together and worked harder to carry out the group’s mission to educate the public about organic gardening.

Washington Post, July 10, 2013