Send announcements or events, which are open to the public at no or minimal cost, to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102 or e-mail <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>. Deadline is Friday, two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call 703-917-6454.
The Loudoun County Fire-Rescue System and the Loudoun Career Fire Fighters Association are participating in the 61st annual Toys for Tots Campaign. New, unwrapped toys will be collected at the Fire and Rescue Stations, Nov. 18-Dec. 19. Drop off points include fire stations: in Ashburn at 20688 Ashburn Road and 21730 Red Run Drive; in Sterling at 104 Commerce St. and 46700 Middlefield Drive; in Leesburg at 143 Catoctin Circle S.E. and 61 Plaza St. N.E. Call the department’s Toys for Tots coordinator, Lt. Nicole Hankin at 703-737-8011.
LINK is seeking volunteers to help with its holiday basket and winter coat distributions. Volunteers are needed Saturday, Nov. 22 and Dec. 20, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, 46833 Harry Byrd Highway, Sterling, for food distribution; and for winter coat distribution, Nov. 22, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., at Sterling United Methodist Church, 304 E. Church Road, Sterling. Donated coats can be dropped off, from Nov. 16-22, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call 703-437-4409 or e-mail Diana@hamiltongroup.com.
Nonprofit organization, Operation Pinecone, begins its holiday collections drive and plans three packing parties to prepare donations for shipment to our troops stationed in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and delivery to local military hospitals, Saturday, Nov. 22, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Dulles South Multipurpose Center, 24950 Riding Center Drive, South Riding; Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m., Moe’s Southwest Grill, 667 Potomac Station Drive, Leesburg; and Saturday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m., Moe’s Southwest Grill, 5005 Westone Plaza, Chantilly. To volunteer or donate items, visit www.operationpinecone.org.
The Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Association is holding a "Gingerbread Farmers Market Stand Contest" Dec. 6. The contest will be held at the Leesburg Winter Farmer’s Market, 32 Catoctin Circle S.E., Leesburg. Create a farmer’s market stand out of edible product. Visit www.loudounfarmersmarkets.org for entry forms.
The Loudoun County Holiday Coalition's "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" program is seeking donations. The program provides a food basket in November and gifts, clothing and if resources permit, a food gift card in December for the disabled, the elderly and families who are financially eligible. Of critical need are food store gift cards in $10 increments and cash contributions. New clothing is always needed for people of all ages, as are personal care and household care items and new toys.
Contributions can be made to the County of Loudoun and sent to the Holiday Coalition at 102 Heritage Way, N.E., Suite 103, Leesburg, VA 20176. Donations can be dropped off at various collection sites across the county. Information about how to donate, where to drop off collections, how to volunteer or apply for assistance is available on the county Web site at www.loudoun.gov/holidaycoalition. To volunteer, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions about the program may be directed to Kara Earl at the Holiday Hotline, 703-737-8367.
The 2008 Loudoun County Holiday Buy Fresh, Buy Local guide has been released and lists sources of local foods, winter farm products, Christmas trees, decorations and more. Copies available at community centers, libraries, tourism offices, the Heritage Farm Museum, wineries and a number of area stores. Call 703-777-0426, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit www.buylocalvirginia.org for individual copies.
"The Lure of Loudoun: Centuries of Change in Virginia’s Emerald County," a diary in pictures and text of Loudoun County is on sale. The book is illustrated with more than 300 color and black-and-white images of Loudoun’s landscapes, personalities, artifacts and historic documents. Cost: $45 plus tax. Available from Beth Friedmann at 703-777-7427 or Loudoun Museum, 16 Loudoun St. S.W., Leesburg.
The Loudoun County Senior Trips Program is offering overnight trips by bus to New York City, San Antonio, New Orleans, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon for seniors age 55 and older. Call Mark Humphrey at the Cascades Senior Center at 703-430-2397 for trip information and registration.