Where to Give Locally To Help with Pandemic Hunger and Beyond

Where to Give Locally To Help with Pandemic Hunger and Beyond

Any quest to talk about the issues in Northern Virginia right now seems to lead to talk about the pandemic, and the economic crisis that follows in its wake. Hunger, food insecurity, need for donated food has grown dramatically in the area. More families teeter on the edge of homelessness.

Here are many organizations that have worked locally to fill the gaps in the pandemic. Also included on this list are some environmental groups, some ways to help animals and more.

Please email me if we have left something out or gotten something wrong. mkimm@connectionnewspapers.com

Where to Give Locally To Help with Pandemic Hunger and Beyond

  • Alice's Kids (@alicewillhelp) aliceskids.org P.O. Box 60, Mount Vernon, VA 22121 When a child is raised in poverty they suffer both publicly and privately. When there is no food in the refrigerator, no electricity or heat, these are hardships that they can keep hidden from their peers. But, when that same child can't afford to pay for the band field trip, a pair of glasses, a chorus outfit or a new pair of shoes, these are indignities that are evident to their classmates. Alice’s Kids pays for these relatively inexpensive items in the hopes of preserving the dignity of the child. It helps children from all over the Mount Vernon area through small acts of kindness. Alice’s Kids aliceskids.org 703.746.8108 contact@aliceskids.org
  • Assistance League of Northern Virginia is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that feeds, clothes and educates children in need. As a result of closures relating to the coronavirus, Assistance League of Northern Virginia has reshaped its Weekend Food For Kids program to assist the struggling families of the students we serve. Since April, Assistance League has provided 1031 grocery store gift cards, valued at more than $20,000, for four of the Title I schools that we serve in Fairfax and Prince William Counties and the City of Alexandria. To learn more about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, contact info@alnv.org or visit www.alnv.org
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington Fairfax Area operates clubs in two of the neediest areas of the county, Culmore, Mount Vernon/ Route 1 corridor, and Chantilly, focusing on character and academic success. https://www.bgcgw.org/club-page/fairfax-county-region-our-impact/
  • Britepaths' mission is to provide our Fairfax County area neighbors in need with short-term safety-net services and empower them to work toward long-term self-sufficiency. Britepaths serves more than 7,000 households in Fairfax County, households who live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. (Britepaths will launch the 2020 Holiday Program in October. Questions? Contact Vanessa De La Rosa at vdelarosa@britepaths.org or 703.273.8829 x888 britepaths.org/sites/default/files/BritepathsProgramsAndServicesJan2020.pdf
  • Centreville Immigration Forum, a safe, organized center where residents and contractors can negotiate work arrangements with day laborers. Centreville Square Shopping Center, 5944 Centreville Crest Ln, Centreville, VA 20121. Phone: (703) 543-6272 website: www.centrevilleimmigrationforum.org and email contact@theCIFva.org
  • Closet Of The Greater Herndon Area is a nonprofit thrift shop in downtown Herndon. The Closet recently awarded over $20,000 in grants to seven local non-profit organizations: Cornerstones, Fellowship Square, Herndon-Reston FISH, Meridians Recovery, Mobile Hope of Loudoun, South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry, and Herndon Woman’s Club in support of Wreaths Across America. The Closet is a source of low-cost clothing and household necessities and also gives away clothing at no cost to truly needy individuals. 845 Station Street Herndon, VA 20170 (703) 437-7652. Email TheClosetInc@verizon.net Web: theclosetofgreaterherndon.org/
  • Comfort for America's Uniformed Services (CAUSE) ensures that recuperating service members have opportunities for recreation and social interaction and receive concrete signs of appreciation for all that they have done. Mailing address: 4201 Wilson Blvd., #110-284, Arlington, VA 22203, CFC #33011, Phone 703-591-4965, cause-usa.org
  • Committee for Helping Others (CHO), Vienna, organized in 1969 by a group of churches and individuals in the Dunn Loring, Merrifield, Oakton, Vienna community to provide simple, loving charity to those in need. We spent $63,000 from April through July of this year for rent, utilities, and medical bills, most of it (over $50,000) has been for rent. This is in addition to the $200,000 in CARES funds that helped residents affected by the coronavirus with rent, mortgage, gas, electric bills, and food. All in addition to usual programs. 703-281-7614, www.cho-va.com
  • Community Foundation of Northern Virginia www.cfnova.org The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia works to respond to critical need and seed innovation in our region. Your gift helps us make grants in our focus areas of interest while also bringing a spotlight on the benefits of community philanthropists. The 2020 Raise the Region, Build a Community that Works for Everyone event is free to attend and will air live from 7 – 8 pm on Oct. 2, It will include online auction, and opportunities to engage and have some fun, all while supporting a great cause. www.cfnova.org/for-donors/donate-now
  • Cornerstones, 11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 210, Reston, serving Reston and Herndon. 571-323-9555, www.cornerstonesva.org. For nearly 50 years, Cornerstones has been helping neighbors in need. The service area of Cornerstones has grown to include most of northwestern Fairfax County, helping people build more stable lives by connecting them to vital resources that solve their needs for housing, childcare, food or financial assistance. Programs and services include the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, Emergency Food Pantry, Hypothermia Prevention Program, Gifts for Kids and annual Coat Drive. www.cornerstonesva.org. Contact Nate King, Donations and Drives Coordinator, at 571-323-9569.
  • Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO), 703-569-9160. Open to receive donations at 7205 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield. Provides food and financial assistance to those in short-term emergencies, and provides clothing and household goods to low income families. From March through August, ECHO has helped 1,012 families with 25,628 bags of food. Financial donations have helped ECHO provide fresh food coupons, rent, utility and medical bill payments. Over 900 backpacks filled with school supplies have been distributed to school-age children. Donations of fall and winter children’s clothing have provided families with needed apparel. But requests for assistance continue at the highest levels ECHO has ever experienced. www.echo-inc.org.
  • FACETS helps parents, their children and individuals who suffer the effects of poverty in the Fairfax area, a partner in efforts to end homelessness in Fairfax County. FACETS is always in need of donations and volunteers, and offers a variety of one-time and ongoing opportunities. During the pandemic, FACETS has taken a leadership role, remaining on the frontlines and expanding emergency services and basic needs programming. Our COVID-19 response efforts are focused on the following areas: Shelter, Food, Medical Outreach, Emergency Financial Assistance, Infection Prevention & Education, Prioritizing High-Risk Clients, Coordinating Services. Questions about volunteering, please contact Suzanne Hough, SHough@facetscares.org. Other info call 703-865-4251 or facets@facetscares.org. www.facetscares.org. 10640 Page Ave., Suite 300, Fairfax VA 22030
  • Fairfax City Area FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) FISH provides funds and volunteers to serve the needy and elderly in the greater Fairfax City area of Fairfax County. FISH responds to requests for life's necessities: food, clothing, financial assistance for delinquent rent, mortgage, utility bills, gasoline, and prescriptions. 703-222-0880 fairfaxfish.org/
  • Food for Others Located at 2938 Prosperity Ave., Fairfax, VA 22031, 703-207-9173. 2938 Prosperity Ave. info@foodforothers.org. Food for Others distributes food to more than 2,600 local families in need each week. Food for Others saw the demand for food quadruple almost overnight back in March when schools and workplaces closed unexpectedly. We are drastically increasing the amount of food we’re providing to families by adding six new Community Partners and nine new mobile pantry sites. Read more at www.foodforothers.org
  • Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. Each year, nearly 5,000 pets, including cats, dogs, small mammals, reptiles and livestock, come to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. Friends of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter funds important needs throughout the Shelter such as behavioral training and dental or medical care beyond what the shelter’s budget can provide. generalinfo@ffcas.org 571-212-9858 www.ffcas.org/
  • Friends of Guest House Northern Virginia offers structure, supervision, support and assistance to female ex-offenders who want to improve their lives and break the cycle of incarceration. Friends of Guest House offers the only program for women of its kind in Northern Virginia. One East Luray Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301-2025, 703-549-8072, info@friendsofguesthouse.org, friendsofguesthouse.org/
  • Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia transforms the lives of lower-income families in need by providing affordable homeownership opportunities in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Falls Church. Learn more at www.habitatnova.org.
  • Herndon-Reston FISH (Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help), 336 Victory Drive, Herndon, 703-391-0105 herndonrestonfish.org Herndon-Reston FISH has assisted local residents in short-term crises by since 1969. 703-437-0600.
  • Homestretch, to empower homeless parents with children to attain permanent housing and self-sufficiency by giving them the skills, knowledge and hope they need to become productive participants in the community. Since 1990 Homestretch has helped over 2,000 families achieve permanent housing and self-sufficiency. 303 South Maple Ave, Suite 400, Falls Church, VA 22046 Phone: 703-237-2035 homestretchva.org
  • Just Neighbors provides immigration legal services to low-income immigrants in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, especially those who are most vulnerable. 7630 Little River Turnpike, Suite #900, Annandale/ justneighbors.org
  • Lamb Center, www.thelambcenter.org, day center for homeless, Fairfax 703-691-3178.
  • LINK, serving Herndon, Chantilly, Loudoun and more. holiday@linkagainsthunger.org. 703-437-1776 www.linkagainsthunger.org.
  • Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) seeks to provide low-income individuals, senior citizens, and families residing in Fort Belvoir, Lorton, Newington and other portions of southeast Fairfax County with access to basic needs and the opportunity to empower themselves through LCAC’s self-sufficiency programs. https://lortonaction.org
  • Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation helps homeless pets find their way into loving homes through rescue and adoption. We offer same-day adoptions and two-week trial periods.All pets are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. lostdogrescue.org
  • Mount Vernon At Home, 703-303-4060, www.mountvernonathome.org. Mount Vernon At Home membership helps connect senior members of our community, neighbors helping neighbors with volunteer support. Mount Vernon at Home has stepped up its efforts to help members stay safe, secure, and connected during the pandemic crisis. More grocery shopping and errand services to members; online activities and support for members to access these new technologies; members check in with members by phone regularly; weekly email newsletters with helpful, important and enjoyable items to keep members connected during this time.
  • NAMI Northern Virginia (National Alliance on Mental Illness) works to raise awareness and provide education, advocacy, and support programs for people living with mental illness, families, students, educators, law enforcement, and the public throughout our neighborhoods. Many excellent programs. NAMI Northern Virginia serves Fairfax, Falls Church, Arlington, Alexandria, and Loudoun www.nami-northernvirginia.org/ HelpLine: 571-458.7310, Email: info@nami-nova.org
  • National Capital Food Bank, 6833 Hill Park Drive, Lorton, serving all of Northern Virginia, (571) 482-4770. We work with 450+ nonprofit partners across the region, partners who distribute an average of 88,000 meals daily. Together, we provide more than 30 million meals every year. www.capitalareafoodbank.org
  • Neighborhood Health, 6677 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22306. The organization partners with its patients to treat the whole person through medical, behavioral health and dental programs. 10 clinics throughout Arlington and Fairfax counties. Participating with all insurance including commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid, 703-535-5568, www.neighborhoodhealthva.org
  • New Hope Housing, ends homelessness in Northern Virginia by providing housing, offering hope, and building community. We currently offer various Housing Programs, and Support Services. 8407E Richmond Hwy., Alexandria, VA 22309 www.newhopehousing.org/how-to-help/donate/
  • Northern Virginia Family Service. The organization provides the essential building blocks for financial, emotional and physical well-being, serving as leaders and innovators for the Northern Virginia community. Every year, it empowers 35,000 individuals to achieve self-sufficiency. www.nvfs.org Northern Virginia Family Service, 10455 White Granite, Drive, Suite 100, Oakton, VA 22124. 571-748-2500
  • OAR rebuilds lives and breaks the cycle of crime with opportunities, alternatives, and resources for offenders and their families to create a safer community. 10640 Page Ave., Suite 250, Fairfax, VA 22030, 703-246-3033. OAR needs volunteers and financial donations. oarnova.org/donate
  • Our Neighbor's Child (ONC) is a network of more than 400 community volunteers that serve nearly 2,000 children in the Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton and Fairfax areas each year. The mission is to unite the community in this effort, to ensure that every child has a holiday season filled with joy. www.ourneighborschild.org/
  • Pathway Homes provides non-time-limited housing and supportive services to more than 600 adults with serious mental illness and other co-occurring disabilities in Northern Virginia. www.pathwayhomes.org
  • Potomac Riverkeeper Network works to protect the public’s right to clean water in our rivers and streams; to stop pollution to promote safe drinking water; to protect healthy river habitats; and to enhance public use and enjoyment. 3070 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007. (202) 888-2037 www.potomacriverkeepernetwork.org
  • Potomac River Conservancy, 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 805, Silver Spring, MD 20910, 301.608.1188 potomac.org, seeks to improve the Potomac River’s water quality by building an impassioned base of river advocates to impart change at the local level.
  • PRS, Inc. is a nonprofit providing mental health, crisis intervention and suicide prevention services in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Seeking to change and save lives in our community by empowering hope, safety, recovery, wellness, independence and community integration.. PRS also provides crisis counseling and connection to supports CRISISLINK When crisis calls, we answer 24/7 Call: 800-273-TALK [8255] Text: "CONNECT" to 85511
  • Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church (Rebuilding Together-AFF) is a nonprofit organization that makes critical repairs at no charge for low-income homeowners and nonprofit organizations. Our volunteers make homes safe and healthy, and they help seniors age in place. Since 1988 we have repaired 2,273 homes and non-profit residential facilities in our area. 10723 Main Street, #135, Fairfax, VA 22030; Phone: 703-528-1999 https://rebuildingtogether-aff.org/
  • Second Story — Second Story (formerly Alternative House) provides shelter and residential services for homeless, runaway or abused teenagers, unaccompanied youth, and young mothers and their children. Community-based programs provide after-school homework help, life skills support, and safe havens for 2nd-12th graders in vulnerable communities. 24/7 Crisis Hotline: Call 1-800-SAY-TEEN, or Text “TEENHELP” to 855-11 second-story.org.
  • SHARE of McLean is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. We are supported by donations from local religious congregations, community organizations and individuals. Our year round programs include family emergency financial assistance, food pantry, used clothing room, recycled furniture, back-to-school supplies. Share provides assistance to neighbors within the zip codes of 22101, 22102, 22066, and the Pimmit Hills section of 22043. Donors can donate money online by credit card, PayPal or by mailing a check. Share volunteers will purchase what is most needed and available. DONATE page www.shareofmclean.org/donate. Grocery Gift Cards can be left at the McLean Giant front desk for pick up by Share. For more information (703) 229-1414 info@shareofmclean.org www.shareofmclean.org
  • Shelter House provides crisis intervention, safe housing and supportive services to promote self-sufficiency for homeless families and victims of domestic violence in Fairfax County. Shelter House's mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence by engaging the community, building effective relationships and providing crisis intervention, safe housing and supportive services. In the last year, Shelter House served 845 households comprised of 1,989 individuals - nearly 1,000 of which were children. Of the households that exited shelter, 64% moved to permanent housing. Contributions support our vision of a community free of homelessness and domestic violence. www.shelterhouse.org
  • Shepherd’s Center of Oakton Vienna providing services, personal enrichment, volunteer opportunities for adults 50 and over. Currently serving 3,000-plus mature adults in the region. 703-281-0538, www.scov.org
  • Tahirih Justice Center, 703-575-0070, www.tahirih.org/locations/greater-dc/, 6400 Arlington Blvd. | Ste. 400 | Falls Church, VA 22042. Tahirih Justice Center provides a broad range of direct legal and social services, policy advocacy, and training and education to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing violence. For help, call 571-282-6161 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. Translation services are available in every language.
  • TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, 3033 Wilson Blvd., Third Floor, Arlingotn, VA 22201, Call 24/7 800-959-TAPS (8277) The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors offers compassionate care and resources to all those grieving the loss of a military loved one. Make a donation to support surviving military families and loved ones. You can also make a gift in honor or memory of a loved one. www.taps.org/donate
  • Touching Heart in Herndon is a nonprofit organization focused on how to enlighten, excite, and educate children about how they can experience the true joy that comes from helping those in need. www.touchingheart.com, 703-901-7355.
  • United Community, Mount Vernon, 703-768-7106, 7511 Fordson Road, Alexandria, VA 22306 assists low-income families and individuals living along the Route 1 Corridor. Make a Financial Contribution 7511 Fordson Road, Alexandria VA 22306. See the website for donation information, new food pantry hours and new volunteer platform. www.unitedcommunity.org
  • Western Fairfax Christian Ministries — 4511 Daly Drive, Suite J, Chantilly, VA 20151 in Chantilly. email Volunteer Coordinator Debbie Culbertson at dculbertson@wfcmva.org Fiscal Year 2020 WFCM provided the equivalent of 267,851 meals or a total of 641,520 lbs. of food to clients. In addition, WFCM kept over 2,000 individuals housed by providing rent/utility assistance in the amount of $358,320. wfcmva.org/