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News and Information
January 24, 2022
New “Christmas Hope” Initiative Serves Seniors in Need Christmas Hope gift bags were delivered to residents of Tall Oaks Assisted Living Center in December. This month, Fairfax County Senior Center staff wrapped up “Knitting Communities Together” with their annual winter warming service project. The project, which kicked off in October, is a donation drive to collect new or handmade hats, gloves, mittens, scarves and socks for adults and children in Fairfax County. The items collected are given to local nonprofits Cornerstones, Homestretch and ShelterHouse, who distribute them to the people they serve, including adults and families experiencing homelessness. For year three of the project, staff expanded the scope by creating a second initiative called Christmas Hope. For the Christmas Hope project, staff “adopted” residents who were placed in the Tall Oaks Assisted Living Center and Dulles Health & Rehabilitation Center using county grants. These residents had no family or other means to receive a Christmas gift, so staff worked to collect items and assemble a bag of gifts for each resident. The reusable gift bags contained an assortment of useful items for winter months – a shawl, lap blanket or afghan, a knit hat and gloves, fuzzy socks, candy canes, a puzzle book, and personal hygiene items. The shawls, blankets and afghans, hand-knitted or crocheted by donors, were an especially meaningful gift for the seniors who received them. John, a staff member of HomeStretch, receives a box of donated items. From November through January, the Winter Warming Project distributed a total of 1,404 items to Cornerstones, HomeStretch and ShelterHouse locations. In December, Christmas Hope distributed gift bags to 30 residents of Tall Oaks and 15 residents of Dulles Health & Rehab. Additionally, because of the large number of donations received, they were able to supply 14 warming center starter packs (containing 10 items each, including new hats, gloves and scarves) to support the warming center initiative, a hypothermia prevention program, at Fairfax County Senior Centers. The grand total of items donated was 2,039. The project was no small feat, requiring assistance and coordination among staff from across the county. The project was organized and led by staff at Pimmit Hills Senior Center and Herndon Senior Center, which also served as staging centers for the operation. Staff from Lewinsville, Little River Glen, Kingstowne, Hollin Hall and Lorton Senior Centers coordinated periodic deliveries to Herndon Senior Center, where donated items were sorted and packed for transfer. ServiceSource staff supported the project in a variety of ways, including transporting donations, teaching loom knitting to senior center participants, and hosting virtual programs promoting the service project on the Virtual Center for Active Adults. Ultimately, the success of the project was due to the generosity of the Fairfax County community. Individual donors dropped off handmade and purchased items at donation sites throughout the county. Senior Center participants and Senior Center groups used their time and talent to create beautiful one-of-a-kind hats and scarves to donate. These groups include the Virginia Bluebells, Herndon Knitkniks, Hollin Hall Knit & Crochet Group, Lewinsville Knit and Crochet Group, Pimmit Hills Iranian Elderly Foundation, and dance groups the Merry Notes, Dixie Stars and Round Dance Group with Christina Eum. Florita Tildon of the St. Timothy’s Shawl Ministry drops off hats at a donation site. Community groups also stepped up to help. St. Timothy’s Shawl Ministry provided over 100 hats and scarves while also supporting Christmas Hope with beautiful afghans, shawls and lap blankets. Other items were donated by Pruitt Title, LLC, Home Care, LLC and Giant Food at Town Center Plaza in Sterling. The Winter Warming Project will return for a fourth year in October 2022. One additional benefit of the project is that Senior Centers will continue to offer loom knitting programs – a useful skill that also helps build social groups and community inclusion. Donation sites continue to accept donations of clean, new yarn throughout the year to support senior centers across the county. To donate, please visit any of these locations: Herndon Senior Center: 873 Grace St, Herndon, VA 20170 Kingstowne Center for Active Adults: 6488 Landsdowne Center, Alexandria, VA 22315 Lewinsville Senior Center: 1613 Great Falls Street, McLean, VA 22101 Little River Glen Senior Center: 4001 Barker Court, Fairfax, VA 22032 Mott Community Center: 12111 Braddock Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 Pimmit Hills Senior Center: 7510 Lisle Ave, Falls Church, VA 22043 Sasha Swinnerton and Kathy Fries delivery Christmas Hope gift bags to Dulles Health & Rehabilitation Center. If you are interested in loom knitting or joining a knit or crochet group in the county, please contact one of the Fairfax County Senior Centers or email Kathy Fries.
January 11, 2022
The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation has launched a transformative statewide network of Ready Regions that will bring all of the Commonwealth’s communities together to support early childhood success. We are pleased to share that the Fairfax County Office for Children, a division of Neighborhood and Community Services, has been selected to serve as the lead organization for the Ready Region Capital Area. This region includes Arlington and Fairfax Counties and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. Ready Regions will be a community collaboration to prioritize high quality child care and early childhood education. Ready Region Capital Area partners include early childhood programs, school divisions, parents, community organizations, local governments, businesses and other key stakeholders. Partners will work together to coordinate services and resources for families with young children and bring new resources and support to early childhood programs. An important component of the Ready Regions’ effort will be to support the participation of publicly funded early childhood programs in Virginia’s quality measurement and improvement system. Ready Regions will bring unprecedented levels of coordination, accountability and family engagement to early education programs in every community in the Commonwealth. “I am delighted that Fairfax County will be a leader in advancing the work of the Ready Region Capital Area. I look forward to our communities working together to facilitate greater family and community engagement to ensure that our region’s early childhood systems are meeting the needs of families,” shared Dalia Palchik, Fairfax County Supervisor and Chair of the Board’s Health and Human Services Committee. For additional information, please see the full VECF press release or contact Anne-Marie.Twohie@fairfaxcounty.gov.
December 16, 2021
The Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services’ Braddock District Neighborhood College, a free seven-session certificate program, is now open for registration. Sponsored by Braddock District Supervisor James R. Walkinshaw, this unique program is open to Braddock District residents interested in learning about Fairfax County and the Braddock District. Sessions will feature guest speakers, interactive activities, breakout room discussions, networking opportunities and information about advisory boards and other volunteer opportunities. The program is designed to provide each participant with a valuable and enriching experience. Classes will be held virtually on consecutive Thursday evenings, 6:30-8:30 p.m., from February 17 to March 31, 2022 via Zoom. For more information and to register, visit http://bit.ly/BraddockNeighborhoodCollege. Registration must be received by February 4, 2022. Residents can use Fairfax County’s MyNeighborhood page to confirm in which magisterial district they reside. For more information, please contact Tareque Obaidullah at 703-533-5750 or Tareque.firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Health & Human Services
This agency is a part of Fairfax County Health & Human Services (HHS). HHS is a network of county agencies and community partners that support the well-being of all who live, work, and play in Fairfax County.