GET CONNECTED with our CHURCH FAMILY … responding to human need

During this time of crisis, many in the congregation have asked how they can help others and continue to stay safe by taking advised precautions against the coronavirus.  Please consider helping our mission partners with a donation so that they may continue to serve.

FALLS CHURCH-McLEAN CHILDREN’S CENTER

There is great news to share with you about the McLean-Falls Church Children’s Center.  From their mid-July reopening with 20 students, their enrollment is now 42.  They expect to have 50 students by mid-September.  That’s a comfort to the Center staff for making their payroll, and more-so for the parents who depend on the Children’s Center reliable and nurturing care for their pre-K children.

A big change is coming in September when Fairfax County students become full-time virtual scholars.  The Center will have one new classroom of 14 elementary students for their virtual school day.  Qualified teachers will support the children’s online instruction and provide a safe and nurturing learning environment during and after school.  The elementary students also will receive nutritious snacks and lunch, as do the pre-K kids. 

The Center has received a grant from the Battelle Institute geared toward after-school programs, but your targeted donation can help further.  Please visit https://fcmlcc.networkforgood.com and designate “New Elementary School-Age Program”. 

We all know that hungry kids can’t learn optimally, so if you’d like to support the program of daily snacks and lunches, please use the same link above and designate “Nutrition Program”.  For a donation of $300, you can sponsor a whole week of morning and afternoon snack for every child PLUS a great lunch prepared by The Good Food Company in Arlington.  To learn more about this great program, please visit https://goodfoodco.com.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

WESTGATE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Fairfax County will begin the 2020-21 school year with virtual learning for all students. Many have asked how they can help support the students at Westgate Elementary School during this time of uncertainty and distance learning. Lewinsville has partnered with Westgate for several years to support its back-to school backpack program as well as help food assistance for students and families in need.  Thanks to Lewinsville’s partnership with Westgate it is now a site for Fairfax County’s breakfast and lunch meal program; 120 students will continue to receive this support during the school year.  

How We Can Help!

  • Food Support – 8 to 10 families, need help to buy groceries.
    • Provide grocery store gift cards from Safeway, Aldi or Giant in suggested denominations of $50.00 and $100.00.
  • Virtual Back Packs – School supplies are provided to all students who request them. The supplies we collect will be distributed throughout the year.

How to get these items to Lewinsville or to Westgate?

  • Drop off items during the “Drive-Thru” event on Festival Sunday, September 13th. (More info coming soon)
  • Drop off any of the items listed above (grocery gift cards or school supplies) at Lewinsville office in the box labeled “Westgate” when someone is there. Sandy Albrecht is usually in the office 8:30 am -12:30 pm Monday-Thursday and 8:30-11:30 am on Fridays. If you don’t have a key to the church, call her at 703-356-7200 to let you in.
  • You may also make a donation to Lewinsville and annotate your donation to the Westgate Food Program. CLICK HERE to donate
  • School Supplies. You may order school supplies online at Amazon, Staples, Target and have them sent directly to the school. Attention: Brandy Campbell, Westgate Elementary School, 7500 Magarity Rd, Falls Church, VA 22043

Grateful thanks to all for your generous giving for this special outreach program that seeks to provide much needed help to low income families living in our neighborhood. Questions/Contact: Karen Siple (Karen.siple@cox.net) or Carol Kaffenberger (ckaffenb@gmail.com)

SECOND STORY

SAVE THE DATE: Mark your calendars to attend Second Story’s Beacon of Hope Virtual Fundraiser on October 27th at 12:30pm.  This key event is a vital part of keeping the important work of Second Story on a solid financial footing.  Make your plans to participate, and expect more details closer to the event.

Second Story provides a wide range of programs and services to supporting at-risk youth, young single mothers, and under-served neighborhoods of Fairfax County.

How can we help?  The Lewinsville congregation always has generously supported Second Story’s different support programs to Teens in Crisis, to Young Mothers, and to the local Community Outreach Centers.  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they now have some particularly urgent needs to locate additional housing space for youth in crisis and for a specific list of non-cash items.  Please see https://www.second-story.org/news/our-immediate-covid-19-needs/ for more details about what’s needed and who’s being served.  If your preference is to shop online, e.g. Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc, you can have items shipped directly to Second Story, Attn: Christine Bartell, 2100 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA 22182. 

SHEPHERD’S CENTER OF McLEAN-ARLINGTON-FALLS CHURCH

Shepherd’s Center volunteers provide “no cost to client” services to older adults, typically for transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store and pharmacy.  The need for service always exceeds the volunteer pool – particularly due to the COVID-19 isolation.  If you feel you can safely drive one of their clients on a local trip, that service would be a valued gift.  With fewer people willing to drive, they’ve expanded their Friendly Caller program, whereby volunteers are paired with a client who wishes to have a friendly visit by phone periodically.  That is a great need, as many of our clients are living alone and feel very isolated during this pandemic.  And of course, your cash contribution is always welcomed at http://scmafc.org/

L’ARCHE OF GREATER WASHINGTON

L’Arche operates four group homes for their local clients and support volunteers.  Activities in which the public might visit and participate are curtailed due to the COVID-19 isolation.  However, they have many out-of-the-ordinary expenses that would benefit from your supporting financial donation.  Remember that L’Arche participates in the Amazon Smile program, in which Amazon donates 0.5% of your qualified purchases to the charity of your choice.  If you frequently shop with Amazon, those purchases can provide a sizeable financial benefit to your charity.  Details of the program can be found at http://smile.amazon.com.  This donation cost you nothing as an Amazon shopper.

CHESTERBROOK RESIDENCES

Chesterbrook Residences is having a hard time with the Corona Virus. At least 17 residents and 7 staff have had the virus; several people have died. All of the residents are confined to their apartments with no visitors. This has been going on for 2 months–residents are discouraged. We purchased carnations for them for Mother’s Day and gave them each a few Hershey Kisses another day. We are asking our congregations to chip in for other “goodies” to brighten their day.

We (Volunteer Coordinators and other friends from the Congregations) have decided to try to deliver a little token gift once a week to let the residents know we are still thinking about them and keeping them in our prayers. A cheer committee has set up a schedule of needed items – CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE ITEMS. We need 80 of each item. Most can be split so you can purchase an amount that works for you. Here’s the process:

  • First, contact Claire Grossi (cbgrossi@gmail.com – 703-893-6989) to obtain the shipping address for Nancy Stansberry
  • Go to the items list (link above)
  • Select the item you want to contribute
  • Copy and paste the URL provided into a new brower tab or window to order
  • Go back to the Items list and select the item you are going to order. Click on Submit at the bottom of the page
  • Then go to the other tab and complete the order process.

Any questions, call Claire Grossi, cbgrossi@gmail.com 703-893-6989. Thanks so much!

THE KENSINGTON

Do you have access to a sewing machine and in need of something to do? Help out your community and sew surgical gowns for the Kensington Senior Living! The Kensington provides all materials needed to make 10+ gowns and instructional videos and templates for gown creation. You can schedule a no-contact fabric drop off and gown pick up at your front porch. Contact Taylor Tomasso for details: 703-909-1719 or taylor@kensingtonsl.com

HOMESTRETCH

Homestretch is THE local nonprofit that empowers homeless parents with children to move from homelessness to financial independence and long-term stability. Through Homestretch’s 30-year history of unbelievable success working with homeless parents with children, they continue to do Incredible work leading to Amazing results. Case in point, Homestretch has over a 90% success rate getting their families to be fully independent following a two-year re-entry program – the highest results in the country.  Homestretch saves lives, re-creates families and sets a foundation like no other for self-empowerment.  And Homestretch needs the community’s help now more than ever.  

The novel Coronavirus has hit our homeless families especially hard.  In fact, many Homestretch families in our community have lost jobs, experienced personal setbacks, and have limited access to food and other necessities. There are TWO ways you can help:

First, Homestretch families need grocery store gift cards, VISA gift cards, Uber gift cards, diapers, wipes, paper towels, and toilet paper. CLICK HERE to download the flyer for how to help!

LEWINSVILLE RETIREMENT RESIDENCE

Lewinsville Retirement Residence (LRR) waived the April meal service fee residents pay so the residents have additional financial resources available for emergencies during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The cost of this action is about $35,000 per month. 

How can we help?  To help offset this cost, please consider making a donation of any amount to: Friends of The Lewinsville, Treasurer, 1515 Great Falls St., McLean, VA 22101 with a note that the donation is for “meal program subsidy.”  A tax receipt will be provided for your donation.

MIRIAM’S KITCHEN

Miriam’s Kitchen serves the Homeless in Washington D.C by providing meals, permanent housing, and supportive services. They have helped house more than 1,570 veterans since 2013! During this Covid-19 Pandemic, they are still serving meals using DHS guidelines with 75 emergency volunteers. But additional help is needed, and you can help in these ways:

  1. Support our emergency response efforts at www.miriamskitchen.org/helpnow 
  2. We need fresh fruit and creamers and plasticware. Check out our Meals Program COVID-19 Amazon Wishlist  
  3. Tell your friends and family so they can support us too. 
  4. We can always use more masks and hand sanitizer. 

SHARE

SHARE meets the emergency needs of our neighbors in McLean and nearby.  The groups SHARE serves include the working poor, disabled persons, the homeless, recent immigrants, and the elderly as well as those facing a crisis such as illness, job loss or other family emergency.

How can we help?  Food donations can simply be left in SHARE’s outside donation bins at SHARE (McLean Baptist Church), 1367 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA, 22101—a safe method of giving.  For other ways to help, please visit  https://www.shareofmclean.org