This week is the week to jump in to help the many organizations that will help needy families through the holidays. Here are a few ideas of how to help, but the opportunities are limitless.
More than 236,000 people living in the area do not have access to enough food to sustain an active, healthy life for all members of their households, according to Catholic Charities. That is to say, more than a quarter of a million people, including many children, go hungry on a regular basis.
Catholic Charities is launching a new food distribution project, the St. Lucy Project, designed to respond to food insecurity in the diocese. “The reality in Northern Virginia is that thousands of our neighbors suffer from gripping poverty and hunger,” said Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. “Pope Francis has consistently called us to be a ‘church of the poor and for the poor.’” The project will provide food in Alexandria and other parts of Northern Virginia. See www.ccda.net for more.
Our Daily Bread will help 2,000 people for Thanksgiving and through the holidays. They need help. Sign up to deliver a meal, adopt a family or just donate. https://www.odbfairfax.org/Thanksgiving
United Community Ministries is seeking donations to its food pantry, donations to help prevent homelessness for 300 families on the brink, plus children’s books and toys. http://www.ucmagency.org/how-to-help.html
Northern Virginia Family Services needs help with Operation Turkey, for 800 families. Food, money and volunteers needed. http://www.nvfs.org/
The Arlington Food Assistance Center is facing record demand, helping more than 8,000 people, and poised to go far above its annual budget. Find out more and donate http://www.afac.org/
Cornerstones’ annual Thanksgiving Basket Food Drive will help nearly 1,000 families this season. 571-323-9555, www.cornerstonesva.org.
SHARE of McLean seeks donations of grocery gift cards and more. Checks and gift cards can be sent to: Holiday Celebration, Share, Inc. PO Box 210, McLean, VA 22101. 703-284-2179. www.SHAREofMcLean.org
LINK, serving Herndon, Chantilly, Loudoun and more, needs contributions of food, coats and holiday toys for children, plus volunteers. On Nov. 15, LINK will distribute food, gently used winter coats/clothing and grocery gift cards to more than 800 families. 703-437-1776 www.linkagainsthunger.org
FACETS helps parents, their children and individuals who suffer the effects of poverty in the Fairfax area. FACETS is always in need of volunteers, and offers a variety of one-time and ongoing opportunities. 703-865-4251 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about supply donations and FACETS holiday gifts drive is available on the website at www.facetscares.org.
You can find a list of local Fairfax nonprofits here: http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2014/aug/27/newcomers-guide-area-nonprofits/