Free Carseat Inspections

— Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections Thursday, Aug. 15, from 5-8:30 p.m., at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. No appointment is necessary. But residents should install the child safety seats themselves so technicians may properly inspect and adjust them, as needed.

However, because of time constraints, only the first 35 vehicles arriving on each date will be inspected. That way, inspectors may have enough time to properly instruct the caregiver on the correct use of the child seat. Call 703-814-7000, ext. 5140, to confirm dates and times.

Backpack Donations are Needed

From now through Aug. 16, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) is collecting 1,682 backpacks to donate to local students receiving free or reduced-cost lunches. The greatest need is for larger sizes with multiple compartments; they should be new and without wheels.

Middle-school students need 17-inch or larger backpacks with two or more compartments. High-school students need larger 18-inch backpacks, also with compartments. Elementary students in grades K through three need midsize backpacks; students in grades four, five and six need standard 17-inch backpacks.

Go to for further details and purchasing information. All backpack donations are tax-deductible, and WFCM will furnish receipts. Backpacks may be dropped off Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the WFCM Thrift Store, 13939 Metrotech Drive in Chantilly.

Recycle During Electric Sunday

Residents may recycle old TVs, computers, peripheral electronic devices — such as keyboards, speakers, printers and scanners, as well as household hazardous wastes — including fluorescent light bulbs and tubes, for free, during Fairfax County’s “Electric Sunday” events. The next one is slated for Sunday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the I-66 Transfer Station, 4618 West Ox Road in Fairfax. For more information, call 703-324-5052.

Boom Caused by Blasting

Residents of Centreville’s Singleton’s Grove community were awakened Friday morning, Aug. 2, by the sound of a large boom. According to one woman, they were “jolted awake at 5:50 a.m. to the sound of a large explosion” that shook their houses.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt said blasting was going on then in the vicinity of Government Center Parkway and Ridge Top Road in Fair Oaks. A townhouse/office project is being built in that area, and Schmidt said the county had received prior notice about the blasting.

Citizens Fire & Rescue Academy

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is giving residents a chance to learn what firefighters and paramedics do every day. They may apply to attend the Citizens Fire & Rescue Academy. Applications will be accepted until Aug. 23 or until the class of 25 is filled.

The free classes will begin Sept. 19 and run nine consecutive weeks, from 6-9 p.m., at various locations in and outside the department. Each session will cover different aspects of the organization. Topics include fire suppression, emergency medical services, training, recruitment and special operations. Attendees must be at least 18; sign up at

Beware: Prepaid Money Cards Scam

Fairfax County police are investigating a scam in which a local couple was bilked out of thousands of dollars by an unknown suspect claiming to be affiliated with the Internal Revenue Service. The caller also claimed to be holding a family member in exchange for numbers associated with prepaid money cards in the victim’s possession.

The victim relinquished information from the cards and the money was gone. But no family member had actually been held against his will. So police are warning residents to beware so they don’t fall prey to this kind of scheme.

Generally, say police, “If anyone except a legitimate business asks for your card numbers, it could be a scam. Avoid using money card numbers if someone contacts you regarding prize winnings or sweepstakes, and do not use card numbers to purchase something from a classified advertisement.”

Furthermore, they warn, “Do not give your card numbers to another person, unless you’re absolutely certain of their credibility. In most cases, the money lost from this type of scam is not insured; so when it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Hold Summer Food Drive

Summer is when WFCM is most in need of food donations. Children are home from school and need three meals a day, but many come from homes where both money and food are scarce. So WFCM is hoping local residents and businesses will hold summer food drives to help it restock its food pantry so it can provide food to local families in need. Anyone interested in doing so should contact Terry Kelly at

Meals on Wheels Volunteers

Fairfax County needs Meals on Wheels drivers in Chantilly and group Meals on Wheels coordinators in both Chantilly and Fairfax. Contact Volunteer Solutions at 703-324-5406, TTY 711, or visit

Food Donations for WFCM

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries’ food pantry urgently needs donations of oil, canned fruit, rice (2-lb. bags), canned meat, canned white beans (garbanzo, northern, cannellini, navy), fruit juice, Hamburger Helper, dry pasta, sugar, dry beans, and canned vegetables. (Also needed are shampoo, feminine napkins and dish soap.

Bring all items to WFCM’S new food-pantry location, weekdays, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at 13888 Metrotech Drive, near Papa John’s Pizza and Kumon Learning Center, in Chantilly’s Sully Place Shopping Center.

Thrift-store needs include bathing suits and shorts for all ages, Bibles in English and Spanish, plus large black yard bags. The store is at 13939 Metrotech Drive. In addition, Thrift Store volunteers are needed for two- to four-hour shifts Fridays, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Saturdays, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

How to Hire CLRC Workers

The Centreville Labor Resource Center (CLRC) serves businesses and homeowners needing help with just about any home remodeling or maintenance project. And local residents who’d like to hire a worker from the CLRC may do so easily. Either call 703-543-6272 or go to and click on the “How to Hire” link. Tell what kind of work is required, how many workers are needed and when.

The CLRC will match the needs to its registered workers’ skills and set up the job. The price for work will be negotiated. After the job is completed, employers are encouraged to provide the CLRC with feedback to ensure that the work was done well and to their satisfaction and to make sure the workers are fairly paid.

Give Caregivers a Break

Fairfax County needs Respite Care volunteers throughout the county to give family caregivers of a frail older adult a well-deserved break. Volunteers visit and oversee the safety of the older adult for a few hours each month. Volunteers are matched with families in or near their own neighborhoods. Support and training is provided. Contact Kristin Martin at 703-324-7577, TTY 711, or

Women's Self Defense Program

The Fairfax County Law Enforcement Foundation is partnering with the Fairfax County Police Department to offer the Women's Self Defense Training program. It’s based on the SAFE program formerly provided by the Police Department, but now being taught by C&J Security Corp.

The program is a two-day class that will meet on consecutive Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:15-9:30 p.m. It’s currently offered free and all class materials are included. Program funding is provided through the Fairfax County Law Enforcement Foundation.

The course is offered to females, age 13 and older. A female guardian must accompany girls 13-18. No men other than the instructors are permitted to be present during a class. For more information, call 703-246-7806, e-mail or go to