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Votes

How to Make a Difference

WFCM needs people to participate in Homeless Walks.

On the surface, it seems as if the residents of Fairfax County are pretty well-off. But the real truth is that more than 1,500 of them are homeless — and they need help from those able to give it.

And that’s not all. Besides the homeless, more than 56,000 people here are living beneath the poverty level. They struggle daily just to make ends meet so they won’t lose their homes and will be able to feed their families. And that’s where Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) comes in.

“Our goal is to serve our neighbors in need with food, clothes and financial assistance,” said WFCM Community Outreach Manager Jennie Bush. “So we’re inviting area residents to join us to raise awareness and provide support to prevent and end homelessness and hunger in our community. We hope they’ll help us reach our goal of 4,000 participants by walking with us or hosting their own events.”

WFCM is a beneficiary of Fannie Mae’s Annual Help the Homeless Program which raises awareness and funds for organizations working to prevent and end homelessness. But WFCM depends on churches, schools and businesses to partner with it to meet its financial needs through the Help the Homeless program. Bush said 100 percent of all the Help the Homeless program registration fees go to WFCM “to help us run our client-assistance programs.”

“WFCM is committed to meeting the basic needs of our clients so they can stay in their homes and maintain their self-sufficiency,” she continued. “In 2012, WFCM served 3,272 people with food, clothing, rent and utility assistance.”

Here’s how to help:

  • People may host a fundraising event with participants from their school, business or church. Examples include a neighborhood mini-walk, book-club meeting, team practice or game, dog walk, swim-a-thon, exercise class, etc.

  • Visit www.hthwalks.org and click on “Organize a Community Walk.” Designate Western Fairfax Christian Ministries as the beneficiary.

  • The walks or community events may be held any time from now until Nov. 3. (Events must be registered by Oct. 18). The registration fee is $20 for youth, age 25 and under; and $30, adults. All registrations must be done online at www.hthwalks.org.

  • For more information or to schedule a “Help the Homeless Event,” contact Bush at jbush@wfcmva.org.