This holiday season, give the original gift that keeps giving: compassion. You can buy compassion at the 2017 Alternative Gift Market (AGM), where it is available in the form of gifts that assist fellow human beings with basic needs and self-sufficiency. What better way to honor those on your holiday list than by gifting compassion in their names?

More than 30 organizations will be represented at the AGM, offering pre-determined, one time contributions that fund specific activities or aspects of their programs. Examples include $50 for a night of shelter for a woman and two children, $25 for a month of health care coverage for an area child, $30 for warm winter clothing for a local resident, and $15 for school supplies for two Northern Virginia students.

Participating local organizations include Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter, Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith), Helping Hungry Kids, Kids R First, Medical Care for Children Partnership, Friends of Homeless Animals, Lift Me Up, Young Playwrights and OAR. Global organizations include Amazon Adopt-a-School Project, BEADS for Education, Global Camps Africa, and Heifer International Projects.

Alternative Gift Market Spokesperson Nancy Gordon-Brooks explains the buying process: “Each vendor will have a table at the market staffed by representatives who can explain the organization’s mission and the available gifts. Buyers can purchase gifts in honor of someone on their holiday gift lists or from themselves. Each gift is accompanied by a thank you card describing the purchase.”

The Alternative Gift Market and Craft Fair will take place December 2 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston, 1625 Wiehle Avenue, Reston VA. While organized and hosted by UUCR, this is a completely secular event. Details and a complete list of available gifts can be found at http://www.uureston.org/agm.

By: Academy of Christian Education

April 28, 2017

The Academy of Christian Education (ACE) Jr. LEGO League is honored to be attending the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Creature Craze LEGO World Festival Expo, part of the FIRST LEGO League Championship in St. Louis, Missouri this May. The ACE Jr. LEGO League produced a LEGO creation based on FIRST LEGO League criteria, which included sounds and motion, which they presented at the FIRST LEGO League Regional Expo at the Verizon Center in March.

Based on the quality of their presentation, the ACE Jr. LEGO League was invited to participate in the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Creature Craze LEGO World Festival Expo. The FIRST LEGO League Championship World Expo has over 30,000 attendees and 38 countries represented, with ACE being the only team from Virginia. The Academy of Christian Education is an academically advanced school in Reston for toddlers through elementary, with extended care options, including after school clubs such as the Jr. LEGO League.

By: Giving Circle of HOPE

April 19, 2017

Empty Bowls Fundraiser- 10th Anniversary
Friday, April 28, 2017
5:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, VA 20171
Tickets: $25 for adults in advance/ $30 adults at the door/$15 for children under 12

For a small donation, guests receive a supper of soup, bread, beverage, and dessert, as well as a handmade pottery bowl to keep as a reminder that there are those in our community with empty bowls. Wonderful entertainment and a raffle with great prizes add fun to the evening.

All proceeds will be donated to Food for Others, the largest distributor of free food directly to the hungry in Northern Virginia.

For more information and to buy tickets online visit www.givingcircleofhope.org.

By: Reston Historic Trust

January 3, 2017

Beth DidianoThe Reston Historic Trust and Museum is pleased to announce the hiring of its first full-time executive director, Beth Didiano. Beth started work on January 3rd.

She comes to Reston from Pittsburgh, PA, where she was development manager at the Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to that, Beth was the Executive Director of the Greenbrier Historical Society and North House Museum in Lewisburg, West Virginia. As Executive Director, Beth was engaged in all aspects of running a historical society and house museum–from educational programs and tours, to marketing and fundraising, to preservation and construction projects.

Beth has a BA and MA in History with a concentration in Public History; her Masters is from West Virginia University in Morgantown. Beth’s broad range of museum, history, and organizational experience will contribute much to building the Reston Historic Trust over the coming years.

Shelley Mastran
Chair, Reston Historic Trust

By: CapTech

January 6, 2016

CapTecher mentors teens at Reston Computer ClubhouseRESTON, VA – January 6, 2016 – Consultants in the Reston office of CapTech have made a year-long commitment to the Reston Computer Clubhouse to provide mentoring and education around information technology and business processes. The Reston Computer Clubhouse has a mission of providing a creative and safe learning environment for local youth after school. Their goal is to build confidence through the use of technology. The Clubhouse provides technology and computer resources for teens that may not have access otherwise, as well as an environment of mentoring and leadership.

Thirteen consultants from CapTech are volunteering with a vision of helping teens learn about building a business as well as a mobile application. “Our goal was to align our classes with the interests of the students,” said Lily Lin from CapTech. “My parents were immigrants who arrived to the US without a penny to their name, so I find the Clubhouse, which focuses on low to moderate income communities, to be relatable on a personal level. All of the CapTech volunteers provide insights into the world of business, IT, and consulting that these kids may not otherwise have.”

Students are learning the different skills of a business analyst and consultant including defining project scope, requirements gathering, analytics and product lifecycles. “I am always impressed with the bright ideas and unique insights the kids contribute to our sessions,” said CapTech consultant Andreea Linte. “Many people don’t hear about IT consulting until college, so it’s exciting that we have the opportunity to introduce middle school aged kids to it.”

Located at the Reston Teen Center next to Reston Town Center, the Clubhouse provides more than just computer access to area middle school and high school youth. They have a sound room for creating and recording music and video and a program that combines basketball and technology. Additionally they provide tools for future success like help with job applications, public speaking and professional behavior. “The impact of CapTech has been huge,” said Ali Samey, the Manager of the Clubhouse. “The activities of building a company, marketing, and learning about consulting has been great exposure for the kids. They are using their minds in creative ways. I hope it will continue to improve getting more teens interested in our program.”

Students, parents and volunteers interested in getting involved with the Reston Computer Clubhouse can call 703-375-7020 or email ali.samey (at) fairfaxcounty.gov. “The more the community is involved with the Clubhouse, the better it is for the students,” said Samey.

About CapTech: CapTech is a national management consulting firm that bridges the gap between business and technology. CapTech delivers transformation, customer engagement, data & analytics and custom IT solutions for private companies, public companies and government agencies. The company’s collaborative approach helps organizations grow their business, engage with customers and turn information into powerful data assets.

September 2, 2015

National Preparedness Month, which begins today, highlights hazard-focused themes leading up to the National PrepareAthon! Day on Wednesday, Sept. 30. During the month, FEMA and our emergency management office will be focusing on several specific hazards, encouraging us to be better prepared for them and offering suggestions on steps to take to be ready.

Over the course of the month, we’ll focus on flooding, hurricanes and power outages — all real events that can happen here and to any one of use at any time.

The overall theme for this year’s preparedness month is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”

Throughout September, we encourage you to take part in preparedness activities and events, know what to do during an emergency and most importantly, make a plan. This means having an up-to-date contact list for those you may need to reach during a disaster and establishing alternate methods of communication in case traditional means are not available.

As we begin our focus on preparedness this month, one of the first steps you should take is to make an emergency plan. FEMA has emergency plan templates on its website that you can use. In addition, our emergency management office partnered with other emergency management agencies in Northern Virginia to create ReadyNOVA.org, a website where you can create your family emergency plan online, save it to your personal computer or mobile device and print it out and keep it with you so you’ll have it when you need it. And the ReadyNOVA site will not save any of your personal information.

We realize that there are special months, weeks and days celebrated and recognized every day of the year and that National Preparedness Month might get lost in all the advertising of other special months, like Eat Chicken Month, Happy Cat Month, National Honey Month, National Mushroom Month, Update Your Resume Month, National Coupon Month and Shameless Promotion Month.

However… and we recognize the fact that we’re a little biased… the importance of making an emergency plan to prepare yourself and your family in case of an emergency seems a tad bit more important than some of these other recognitions, although we do like honey, chicken, mushrooms and saving money with coupons.

So make your emergency plan today (if you have one, update it) and stay tuned throughout the month for more on being prepared for any emergency. And for you over achievers looking to do more, use the 30 ways in 30 days preparedness tips.

September 2, 2015

You haven’t even noticed but summer has nearly come to the end and trees are already losing leaves?

Only recently it was New Year and you enthusiastically and you made up a list of goals for the year. Did you dream to start running, eat right and be less nervous? Have you done it?

Not to worry, autumn is also a great time to start a new life. Here are 8 simple ways to start a healthy life now.

  1. Throw out your calendar

Forget about the goals and plans that you set for this year. They should not hang over you like a lump of unrealized intentions. Let’s now move on to the monthly plan. Big goals are achieved more easily when they are divided into several smaller, simpler problems. Strive each month to learn a new beneficial habit. For example, why not start practicing a half-hour walk home every day?

  1. Refresh relations

One psychological theory  argues that our mood, health and energy is directly dependent on the state of relations with relatives, colleagues, friends. If you can improve these key relationships, it will have instant therapeutic effect for you.

  1. Pass a medical examination

We all know that prevention is better than further treatment. Therefore, if you want to start a new healthy life, the first thing you need to take care of the medical examination. Otherwise, you may find that you favorite diet is holding you back, you heart is not ready for an intense workout in the gym, or the state of the musculoskeletal system suggests that it is too early to run. The websites https://www.hght.com/ and https://hghinjections.us/ can provide you with the necessary information on different medical issues. Use the help of professionals!

  1. Do not rush to tighten (not sure what this means)

The popular among athletes proverb says that “no pain no gain”, and at the posters we see exhausted sweaty faces of athletes. This leads to the fact that we are trying our best to look the same.

Relax and try to catch the fun. If your goal is not to win at the Olympics, you can quite afford to roller skate for pleasure, play tennis or just to walk in the park. Enjoy physical activity. See https://hghinjections.us/ and www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4eueDYPTIg

  1. Eat well

We all get hung up on diets and counting calories. Try a little bit to change the approach and try to eat the most colorful products. You know — carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, pepper and other colors. These bright fruit and vegetables contain phytonutrients, which are extremely useful for our body.

  1. Do not eat food from boxes

Cooking has changed over the last 50 years. Today, it is enough to put some packages in the microwave. As a result, we have weight problems, digestive tract diseases and high cholesterol. So why not start with a complete ban on all semi-finished products?

  1. Cleaning in the kitchen

Get rid of all the canned products immediately. They are harmful for several reasons.

  1. Train for 7 minutes

Exercising with a very high intensity with short breaks for rest can be used for virtually any type of physical activity: running, cycling, weight training and fitness. This allows us to achieve excellent training results in a very limited time. It is possible to start with seven-minute workout. Will you find seven minutes a day?

This press release was written and sponsored by Kingsberg Medical.

September 2, 2015

AAFMAA and DAV to Host 5th Annual Disabled American Veterans

Mobile Service Event

Event is designed to serve all members of military, active, separated or retired, with live, one-on-one professional counsel and assistance from a DAV National Service Officer in addressing Veterans Affairs entitlements, benefits and claims

Reston, Va. – August 17, 2015 – AAFMAA (American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association), the country’s longest standing not-for-profit organization expressly serving the American Armed Forces community, announced today that it will host its 5th Annual Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Mobile Service Office at its Reston, Va. campus on Saturday, September 19th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The address is 1856 Old Reston Ave, Reston, VA 20190.

AAFMAA will host DAV National Service Officers (NSO) from Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia at its historic Manor House to meet with all interested veterans. AAFMAA membership is not required and there are no time limits for individual sessions. DAV is the longest-standing Veterans Service Organization (VSO) in the country, and its NSOs are rigorously trained and ready to answer any questions about Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) entitlements, benefits and claims.

All attending veterans will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one and discuss any type of VA benefits with a DAV NSO for free. NSOs will answer any related questions and help veterans apply for benefits.  While typical VSO meetings may lack the personalization required to understand a veteran’s specific needs, this event is designed to identify how the VA can help with each individual’s unique situation.

“While National Service Officers go out to serve veterans with the Mobile Service Office regularly, this event is special because of its size and availability to all military members of the local community” said Jodee Neumann, Team Leader of VA Benefits Coordination with AAFMAA Member and Survivor Benefits, LLC. “Any veteran is encouraged to attend the event to discuss any form of VA Benefits, including educational assistance, VA healthcare, disability claims and survivor claims, among others.”

This free event is ideal for retired or separated military members who would benefit from the professional support of an advocate to communicate with the VA on their behalf. Having a personalized review of their specific situation allows those with detailed questions to receive the level of attention that they deserve.

Attending veterans should bring:

  • Discharge Certificate (DD Form 214)
  • VA Claim Number, if applicable
  • Social Security Number
  • Any other documentation regarding claims in question

Light refreshments will be provided for all attendees, and an NSO will visit with each attending veteran.


Founded in 1879, AAFMAA is the oldest private, non-profit organization exclusively serving the America Armed Forces community. The Association provides life insurance, wealth management and trust services, and member and survivor benefits to current and former service members from all branches of the U.S. military and is operated solely for the benefit of its members and their survivors. Today AAFMAA membership exceeds 90,000 with more than $25 billion of insurance in force. For more information please contact AAFMAA at 800-522-5221 or email [email protected] or visit www.aafmaa.com


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