Help Britepaths Bring Families Holiday Cheer

Help Britepaths Bring Families Holiday Cheer

For people struggling to pay for food and rent, it’s tough to think about the holidays without a sense of sadness. So Fairfax-based nonprofit Britepaths is doing what it can to help, but it needs the community’s assistance to make Thanksgiving and Christmas a happy one for 500 local families in need.

Due to the pandemic, Britepaths and the social workers who refer families needing help won't be able to directly deliver food and gifts to the recipients. So instead of people sponsoring families, as in past years, Britepaths is requesting donations of money and gift cards.

It will mail an average of $100 in gift cards to each family referred to it, enabling these families to purchase food for Thanksgiving and the December holidays, as well as buy gifts for their children. And monetary contributions in any amount will help Britepaths purchase these cards. For more information – or to arrange for gift-card delivery to the office – contact Vanessa De La Rosa at or 703-273-8829, ext. 888.

Donate at Checks payable to Britepaths may be mailed to Britepaths, 3959 Pender Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22030. Write “Holiday” on the memo line. Or mail gift cards to Britepaths that may be used at Walmart, Target and major grocery stores such as Aldi, Safeway, Giant and Lidl.

“The holidays will be so different for all of us this year, and especially challenging for families who are struggling from lost income, illness and other effects of the pandemic,” said Britepaths Executive Director Lisa Whetzel. “It’s a heartwarming feeling to know your act of kindness can make such a big difference for our neighbors at a profoundly difficult time.”

Staff at Fairfax County Public Schools with which Britepaths partners referred families needing assistance. Locally, these schools include Lanier Middle, plus Daniels Run, Providence, Fairfax Villa and Eagle View elementaries.

“Donations of funds or gift cards are greatly needed to ensure that all families will receive assistance,” said Whetzel. “We hope community members will be inspired to make the season brighter for hardworking families who may otherwise go without holiday meals and presents for their children.”

Britepaths is in its 36th year of providing help and a way forward for individuals and families, throughout the county, who’ve fallen on hard times. Whetzel said the organization is grateful to the Walmart in Fairfax City for sponsoring its Holiday Program efforts in the local area.