In honor of the holiday season I would like to share a list of just a few of my favorite area organizations working hard to keep our community healthy, safe, and thriving. I hope you'll consider making a contribution (time, money, or both!) to one of these worthy organizations. And please share your favorites and I'll add them to the list!
Though Our Daily Bread's name changed to Britepaths on July 22, 2016, our mission remains the same: 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. In more than 30 years of providing help and hope to struggling residents in the Fairfax County area, Britepaths has been committed to tailoring our services to meet the ever-changing needs of the working poor or those in crisis. We are a dedicated leader in developing sustainable solutions meeting the challenges of low-income working families through emergency assistance, financial literacy and one-on-one mentoring.
Formerly Alternative House the vision of Second Story is of a community in which all young people are safe, live in a nurturing environment and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Founded in 1972 as “Alternative House,” Second Story transforms the lives of children and youth, helping them stay safe, make positive decisions, achieve educational success, and overcome personal crises. We offer children, youth and families hope for brighter futures by providing counseling, shelter and neighborhood-based support.
Our Mission is to distribute free food to our neighbors in need, in partnership with our Northern Virginia community, and to provide opportunities for people to volunteer their resources. Food for Others is an important part of Northern Virginia’s safety net for those needing food when an emergency strikes, and for the growing number of working poor who are unable to make ends meet and need to supplement their inadequate food supplies. Local merchants, the USDA, food drives, and crop harvests provide the food; volunteers and staff provide the hands; and charitable contributions and fundraising events provide the funds. Charitable contributions provide a major part of Food for Others’ budget.
Shelter House, Inc. is a community-based, non-profit organization serving homeless families in Fairfax County, Virginia. Our organization was formed in 1981, when several ecumenical groups came together to better serve Fairfax County’s low-income population. In 1985, Shelter House’s facility was moved to its current location in Falls Church. In 2007, Shelter House was awarded Fairfax County’s contract to operate the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax. In 2010, Shelter House became the first non-profit to operate Artemis House, Fairfax County’s only 24 hour Domestic Violence Shelter.
For 26 years, Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR) has served as Loudoun County’s primary emergency food pantry, providing food assistance to the hungry and food insecure in Loudoun. Last fiscal year, LHR distributed over 1.2 million pounds of food. We provide fresh groceries for the whole family, plus we can help find further assistance to meet other needs through our network of partners. Often, we are the first place families seek out for help during times of need.
Pathway Homes, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (PDF) providing non-time-limited housing and supportive services to adults with serious mental illness and other co-occurring disabilities in Northern Virginia. Founded in 1980, Pathways currently serves nearly 600 adults with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders in community-based homes in Northern Virginia.
The Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program was founded in 1989 by a group of community-minded Fairfax County citizens responding to a request for a CASA program from the Fairfax County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court (Court). Since that time, Fairfax CASA has operated as a 501(c)(3) public charity accepting support from individuals, corporations, and public funds to ensure that children who are victims of abuse and neglect are placed in safe and permanent homes as quickly as possible. This purpose is accomplished by recruiting, training, and supervising community volunteers to serve as special advocates for children whose families have been cited for abuse and neglect by the Court.
Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the well-being of children, improve parent-child relations and prevent child abuse and neglect by: educating the community about the scope, nature and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the importance of positive, nurturing parenting; providing direct parent education; & advocating for children in the community, the legislature and the courts.
Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia (Habitat NOVA) rallies our community together to help families build strength, stability, and self-reliance to create better lives for themselves and their children. We provide a hand-up to affordable homeownership for Northern Virginia families looking to invest in themselves and their communities.
Jill’s House is a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to providing support for families (without regard to race, religion or ethnicity) raising children who have special needs through short-term overnight care and activities allowing respite for their families. We want to change the face of disability ministry in America so that each family of a child with an intellectual disability has respite within reach and access to a church that embraces them
FACETS is a non-profit organization helping parents, their children and individuals who suffer the effects of poverty, meeting their needs through emergency shelter, food, and medical needs, help them gain safe, sustainable and permanent housing and work with them to end the cycle of poverty through educational, life skills and career counseling programs.