<i>Send announcements to The Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. Call Jean Card at 703-917-6437, with questions. This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost.</i>

Family Compass, a child psychology practice in Reston will be offering a free parenting workshop at the Reston YMCA, Sept. 22, 7-8:30 p.m. The topic is Getting Your Kids to Sleep: The Latest Research. Dr. Deborah Cohen will present information about common childhood sleep problems, including specific suggestions for improving your child's sleep habits. In addition, we will discuss how emotional and behavioral regulatory difficulties relate to sleep problems in children. The talk is free and open to the public. Reston YMCA is located at 12196 Sunset Hills Rd., Reston. Call Family Compass at 703-471-5517.

Tips to Avoid Dehydration from GNC of Herndon:

Don't let the dog days of summer stop you from exercising and don't let the exercise dry you out. Drinking fluids before, during and after exercise is the key to peak performance.

To prevent dehydration:

* Drink at least 16 oz. of fluid two hours before exercise and 6-12 oz. of fluid every 15 minutes during exercise.

* Weigh yourself before and after exercise to determine the amount of water you lose or your "sweat rate." You’ll need to replace each pound with about two cups of water or sports drink.

* Check your urine. It should be clear or very light if you’re well hydrated.

The best sports drinks will contain electrolytes such as phosphate, chloride, potassium and sodium that help to keep your body's fluids in balance. Added carbohydrates will supply energy to working muscles or replace what has been lost during activity. Sports drinks can be powders that you mix yourself or ready-to-drink bottled drinks. Keep your sports drink cold and choose a flavor that you like because it will help you to drink more.

For more information on how you can adequately hydrate your body, visit the GNC in Herndon at 2535 John Milton Drive, or visit

Virginia Health Information. The non-profit, independent organization's Web site,, reports on inpatient cardiac care provided at all licensed hospitals in Virginia. The information compares their performance and mortality outcomes. VHI’s study is based on more than 100,000 cardiac patient discharges submitted by Virginia hospitals for the year 2000.

Asthma Auto Program. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Maryland-Greater Washington, D.C., Chapter, is accepting donations of unwanted vehicles to raise money to fund educational programs, asthma-care training, scholarships, research, and patient assistance for area residents. Call 800-727-9333.

Express Care. A non-profit organization dedicated to providing services including scheduling doctor's appointments and securing medicines, groceries for the homebound, health screenings and education through the "Care Connection" television program. The organization also works in assisting immigrants to understand the cultural practices and skills necessary to succeed in American society. Donations and volunteers are needed. Call 703-456-0020, e-mail or visit

CrisisLink is a confidential, free hotline and crisis response team, helping people deal with anxiety and stress. In the wake of the recent heightened security alerts in the Washington, D.C., area, CrisisLink is providing emotional support and links to community resources. The hotline number is 703-527-4077 or 1-800-784-2433. Visit

Bereavement Support Groups. Three groups, sponsored by Haven of Northern Virginia, meet at Reston Community Center, Lake Anne. The General Bereavement Group meets the first and third Wednesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. The Suicide Survivors Group meets the first Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. The Widow/Widower Support Group meets the first and third Thursday of every month, 2-3:30 p.m. and the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m. Call 703-941-7000.

Reston Epilepsy Group, sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region, meets the second and fourth Friday of each month, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Herndon High School, Entrance 5, Room 123, 700 Bennett St., Herndon. Free. For information, call 703-425-6660.

Lupus Support Group meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month, at 6:30 p.m., at Reston Hospital Medical Plaza, Suite 117, 1800 Town Center Drive, Reston. Call 703-689-9240.

Diabetes Support Group meets the fourth Wednesday of the month, at 7:30 p.m., on the Reston Hospital Center campus in the Pavilion, 1850 Town Center Drive, Suite 307. Call 703-689-9100.

Spiritual Support Group. Designed for oncology patients or those dealing with major illnesses. The non-denominational support group meets in the Radiation Therapy Department in the Pavilion on the Reston Hospital Center campus, 1850 Town Center Parkway on the first Tuesday of the month, at 6:30-7:30 p.m. Call 703-689-9325.

New Mothers Support Group. Meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month, at 10-11:30 a.m., in the Community Room at the Reston YMCA, 12196 Sunset Hills Rd., Reston. Call 703-689-9240.

Mothers of Toddlers Support Group. Meets the fourth Thursday of each month in the Community Room at the Reston YMCA, 12196 Sunset Hills Rd. Call 703-689-9240.

Sterling/Reston DRADA (Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association) Support Group meets first and third Tuesdays of each month, 7-9 p.m., in Reston. Call Ginny at 703-966-2510.

The Reston NAMI Support Group. Group meets twice a month, from 7-9 p.m., at the Reston Regional Library, 11925 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston. This is a National Alliance for the Mentally Ill support group for family and friends of people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder (manic depression), obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders. Call Rhonda at 703-716-0674, or Barb at 703-715-2485.

Amputee Support Group of Northern Virginia. A support group for amputees, their families and friends. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, from 7:30-9 p.m., at the TeleStar Court building. Call Irvin Axelrod at 703-222-7120 or e-mail

Shoplifters Anonymous. Group offers a new 12-step meeting program for those who wish to stop compulsive shoplifting. The group meets every Thursday, 7-8 p.m., at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, 7426 Idylwood Rd. Call Sue at 703-759-0396 or Carol at 703-764-0347.

The Reston Hospital Center. The hospital at 1850 Town Center Parkway, Reston, is offering the following classes.

* Childbirth Preparation. Topics include family-centered maternity care, birthing options, relaxation and breathing techniques, breast-feeding and baby-care basics. Weekend classes are also available. Call 1-877-689-3627.

* Diabetes Class Series. Learn how to successfully manage diabetes from certified diabetes experts. Topics include nutrition and meal planning, monitoring, dealing with complications and exercise. Call 703-689-9100.

* Healthy Community 2010. A health screening program designed to improve the health of the community. Call 1-877-689-3627.

* Sibling Classes for children 3-4 and 4-6 years old. Children will hold and diaper an infant doll, watch a video on becoming a sibling and visit the nursery and birthing suites. Cost is $15 for one child and $25 for two. Call 1-877-689-3627.

* Joint Replacement Orientation Program. Free class to educate families about total joint replacement surgery. Learn about planning, what to expect at the hospital and what to do after surgery. Class meets the first Thursday of the month, from 9-10:30 a.m., and the third Tuesday of the month, from 4:30-6 p.m. in Suite 307.

Reach to Recovery Program. The American Cancer Society offers free services to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo recent surgery. A trained volunteer who has survived breast cancer is available to talk with patients confidentially, provide helpful information and offer emotional support. A "Reach kit” is given to each patient, which includes a leisure bra, a soft prosthesis for mastectomy patients, exercise items and literature. Held on the first Thursday of the month, at 10 a.m. Call 703-938-5550.

Mitral Valve Prolapse/Sysautonomia Support Group. The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month, at noon. Call 703-689-9240.

Ombudsman Program. Volunteers are needed for the Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Volunteers are assigned to a specific nursing home or assisted living facility and make weekly visits. Using the skills of listening, observing and mediating, the ombudsman works with the residents, their families and the staff of the facility to ensure that residents' rights are being protected. Applicants must successfully complete a training session and must be available to volunteer four hours per week, primarily during business hours. Call 703-324-5435 for an application. Visit

Foster Care. Homes are needed in the area for foster children. Call Children’s Services of Virginia at 703-331-0075 or visit

Haven of Northern Virginia. A support group for suicide survivors. The group is open to anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. There is no charge and space is limited. Call 703-941-7000 or visit

The Family Compass talks are free and open to the public. Presenters will be available for 30 minutes before and after talks to discuss issues with attendees and answer questions. RSVPing is not mandatory, but preferred. 11150 Sunset Hills Rd., Suite #150 in Reston. Call 703-471-5517 or visit

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder support groups sponsored by the OCD Foundation. Family and friends group meets on the first Monday of each month from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Call Marie at 703-978-6425. Sufferers group meets every Monday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Call Peter at 703-535-6575. Both groups meet at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, 4000 Lorcom Lane, Arlington, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Suicide Survivors. CrisisLink, a suicide prevention organization and hotline located at 5275 Lee Highway, Suite 301, Arlington, sponsors a healing and educational Suicide Survivors’ Support Group, meeting the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, 7:30-9 p.m. Call 703-516-6771.

Inova VNA Home Health. Volunteers are needed to act as friendly visitors providing companionship to lonely, homebound patients. Volunteers are asked to spend one or two hours per week talking with a patient, running errands and doing odd jobs. Visiting can be done during the day, in the evening or on the weekends as the volunteer’s schedule allows. Training will be provided and placements are made based on geographic location. Office volunteers are also needed in the VNA's Springfield office. Contact Marion Hart or Adele Jenney at 703-916-2885.

Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization. Group provides free services including educational programs and lectures, brown-bag seminars, quarterly newsletters and a 24-hour HOPEline. The HOPEline, 703-461-9616 or 1-800-970-4411, is staffed by trained breast-cancer survivors who provide information and emotional support to callers. Call 703-461-9595 or visit

Alzheimer’s Family Day Center. Center has a support group for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their spouses. The couples participate in a potluck dinner along with discussion/support group. The dinner has educational as well as social benefits through speaking to and learning from others who are “going through the same thing.” The dinners are held at the Family Day Center, 2036 Westmoreland St., Falls Church, 6-8 p.m., on the third Tuesday of the month. Call Joan at 703-204-4664 to register.

AARP Widowed Persons Service. Service sponsors free weekly support groups to anyone widowed less than two years. Monthly educational meetings, travel and other activities are also offered. Call 301-949-7398.

The National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers free self-help groups in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. for people living with MS. Contact the chapter at 202-296-9891.