Benefit Raises Funds for At-Risk Youths and Adults

Benefit Raises Funds for At-Risk Youths and Adults

Members of the Assistance League of Northern Virginia held a benefit dinner in April at Dante Ristorante in Great Falls to raise money for at risk youth and adults.

Slated to raise between $13,000 to $15,000, the support from the 130 guests present at the event will allow the group to expand existing philanthropic projects — Operation School Bell and Operation Hugs — and broaden its presence in the Northern Virginia area.

Through the course of the evening guests were able to enjoy outdoor dining and a wide range of wines at four tasting tables staffed by The Wine Seller in Herndon.

During the silent auction, people were able to bid on everything from luxury accommodations and trips to top resorts to Washington Nationals tickets and personal-care services designed to provide an escape.

Through its two philanthropic projects, Assistance League of Northern Virginia is able to serve the community by working with children and adults in need.

OPERATION SCHOOL BELL allows volunteers to provide language arts mentoring and sponsor a books-on-tape reading development program for at-risk early elementary-school students.

With Operation Hugs, three programs are offered including a Lullaby Program, Hugs Pillow Program and an Assault Survivor Kit program.

Through the Lullaby Program, members provide infant clothing, blankets and other basic items for at-risk newborns.

For the Hugs Pillow Program, members make comfort pillows for young victims of sexual assault and abuse.

Members also collect, donate and package sweat suits and toiletries for adult victims of sexual assault and abuse for its Assault Survivor Kit program.

Assistance League collaborates with the Fairfax County Public Schools and Inova Fairfax Hospital to plan and implement these philanthropic services in response to identified needs.

On behalf of Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children Jennifer Goins, director of development, Carrie Bullard, director of the child life program and Sue Brown, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner with the forensic assessment and consultation teams attended the event on behalf of Inova Hospital.

Joy Hanbury, principal of Providence Elementary School in Fairfax and members of the school's guidance department staff also attended.

Founded in 1999, Assistance League of Northern Virginia is one of 113 chapters of National Assistance League — a nonprofit, nonsectarian, volunteer service organization founded in the early 1890s that promotes volunteerism through training and education in 25 states. Locally, Assistance League members implement its mission to promote the well being, self-esteem and education of at-risk youth and adults living in Northern Virginia through Operation School Bell and Operation Hugs. For more information about Assistance League of Northern Virginia, contact the vice president of membership at 703-758-1085 or the president at 703-758-8454. Information about National Assistance League and chapters is available at