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LINK Needs Children’s Coats, Winter Clothes

Addressing hunger in the area.

Father and son volunteer and team up to assist needy LINK families by sorting winter coats and sweaters by gender and size at a make-shift clothing store in Sterling United Methodist Church (SUMC). Hundreds of families flow through the LINK clothing store all day and more than 1,000 gently used winter coats, 1,000 mittens and numerous hats, scarves and winter clothing items are distributed to LINK guests. The SUMC Women’s Group and Youth Group support this event.

Father and son volunteer and team up to assist needy LINK families by sorting winter coats and sweaters by gender and size at a make-shift clothing store in Sterling United Methodist Church (SUMC). Hundreds of families flow through the LINK clothing store all day and more than 1,000 gently used winter coats, 1,000 mittens and numerous hats, scarves and winter clothing items are distributed to LINK guests. The SUMC Women’s Group and Youth Group support this event. Justin Letendre

Nine hundred twenty-three million people do not have access to enough food to eat globally--more than the populations of the USA, Canada and the European Union (Source: U.N. World Food Program 2009.) In direct opposition, there is enough food available globally to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person daily. Hunger also exists in our own communities. In Fairfax County, 24 percent of the children attending school qualify for free and reduced lunch. In Loudoun County, 16 percent qualify for free and reduced lunch. The hungry population extends to senior citizens as well. LINK is seeking civic groups, churches, businesses and schools to partner with LINK to help provide food for needy families this year.

Volunteer Dates and Hours

November:

  • Monday, Nov. 12--Sorting from 9 a.m.–noon; 7–9 p.m., at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
  • Thursday, Nov. 15--Sorting from 9 a.m.–noon; 7-9 p.m., at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
  • Friday, Nov. 16--Sorting from 9 a.m. until finished, at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
  • Saturday, Nov. 17--Volunteers to help re-stock food, assist families, act as translators and clean-up, 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m., at Christ the Redeemer Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church

Drivers to help deliver food to people who are home-bound, 9 a.m.–noon, at Trinity Presbyterian Church

NOTE: Volunteers are also needed to pick up food donations from schools during school hours located in Herndon, Sterling and Ashburn area and drop it off at either Christ the Redeemer or Trinity Presbyterian between Monday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 16.

December:

  • Monday, Dec. 10--Sorting from 9 a.m.–noon; 7-9 p.m., at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
  • Thursday, Dec. 13--Sorting from 9 a.m.–noon; 7–9 p.m., at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
  • Friday, Dec. 14--Sorting from 9 a.m. until finished, at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
  • Saturday, Dec. 15--Volunteers to help re-stock food, assist families, act as translators and clean-up, 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m., at Christ the Redeemer Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church;

Drivers to help deliver food to people who are home-bound, 9 a.m.–noon, at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

NOTE: Volunteers are also needed to pick up food donations from schools during school hours located in Herndon, Sterling and Ashburn area and drop it off at either Christ the Redeemer or Trinity Presbyterian between Monday, Dec. 10, and Friday, Dec. 14.

Contact Information: Holiday Basket Program Coordinator

Lisa Lombardozzi, call 703-973-4444, or e-mail LisaLombo@signatu...

For Volunteer Coordinator, Becky Field-Ross, call 703-434-9099.

or e-mail fieldross@aol.com...

On Sept. 30, LINK celebrated its 40th anniversary with board members, volunteers, church leaders, elected officials, friends and some of the original volunteers who helped establish LINK in the summer of 1972. It was a grand turnout and everyone enjoyed having a chance to visit and share stories. In addition, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized LINK’s service to the community on Oct. 16, with a formal Resolution and the Virginia Assembly signed a Commending Resolution honoring LINK’s 40th Anniversary.

LINK is an all-volunteer non-profit coalition of churches and community organizations providing emergency food assistance to needy families in Herndon, Sterling and Ashburn. Our motivations are rooted in spirit, mercy and responsibility to others.

LINK provides hundreds of families with various kinds of support during a typical calendar year. Supplying emergency nonperishable food to local people in need is the main ministry of LINK. The organization delivers food to the homes of approximately 80 families (about 300 people) per month in the Herndon, Sterling and Ashburn communities, five days a week, 52 weeks a year. In 2011, LINK volunteers made 887 deliveries, providing food for 4,435 people; $19,020 in grocery gift certificates was also included with these deliveries. Guests request assistance through a direct phone line, referrals are made through social services staff, and volunteers also work with the public schools to assist families with school children. Each qualified family is given about five day’s supply of non-perishable food and a certificate to purchase perishable food.

During Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2011, LINK served an additional 1,758 families through our holiday program. This number represents a little over 8,900 individuals who received food for five to seven days, over $49,000 in grocery gift cards, gently-used winter coats and clothing, two new toys for children newborn through 16 years of age and fresh bread.

Below is more information on the holiday program for 2012:

*Saturday, Nov. 17, Food Distribution, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

Locations: Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, 46833 Harry Byrd Highway, Sterling, and Trinity Presbyterian, 651 Dranesville Road, Herndon.

Winter Coat Distribution, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.

Location: Sterling United Methodist Church, 304 East Church Road, Sterling.

There is a need of children’s coats in particular this year--even one or two coats will make a difference.

*Saturday, Dec. 15, Food Distribution, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

Locations: Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, 46833 Harry Byrd Highway, Sterling, and Trinity Presbyterian, 651 Dranesville Road, Herndon.

Toy Distribution, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

Location: Herndon United Methodist Church, 701 Bennett Street, Herndon. Families will receive a ticket from the food pick-up location to be used to pick up toys.

Donations Needed:

Food--Donations of non-perishable food can be dropped off during the sorting hours listed below at either Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church or Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Coats--Donations of new or gently-used winter coats, scarves, mittens and/or hats can be dropped off at Sterling United Methodist Church, Nov. 12–16, 8:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m., and Nov. 17, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Toys--Donations of new toys can be dropped off at Herndon United Methodist Church, Dec. 10–15, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Monetary Donations--Donations can be sent to: LINK, P.O. Box 443, Sterling, VA 20167-0443. If the donation is to be dedicated to a certain purpose, please include that in the memo line.

Translators Needed--Volunteers who are bilingual and speak Spanish (teenagers are also welcome) are needed to volunteer the day of the holiday programs on Nov. 17 and Dec. 15.

Boxes Needed--There is typically a need for 500 empty boxes for both the November and December basket programs. Boxes should be approximately 18 by 12 by 15 in size. They will be loaded with heavy canned goods, so a smaller size box is better.

Volunteers Needed--To volunteer; register online or send an email to Becky Field-Ross (fieldross@aol.com), the volunteer coordinator. To sign up, go to: www.linkagainsthunger.org