Reston, VA

As the winter starts to thaw, stands hawking Girl Scout cookies are starting to crop up nationwide. But rather than randomly stumbling on them, a new app can help Restonians with a sweet tooth track their dealers.

Your best bet for cookies today (Monday) will be Troop 524 setting up outside the Giant at 2425 Centreville Road in Herndon from 4-6 p.m.

More options throughout the area start showing up later in the week. On Wednesday and Thursday, Girl Scouts will be selling cookies at:

  • Wiehle-Reston East (1862 Wiehle Ave) from 4-6 p.m.
  • Lucia’s Italian Ristorante (2531 John Milton Drive) from 4-6 p.m.
  • Safeway (11120 South Lakes Drive) from 5-6:30 p.m.

On Friday, there are more than 20 locations within a five-mile radius of the Reston Town Center scheduled to be vending Girl Scout cookies. Keep an eye on the app or the online tracker to find one near you.

Photo via Facebook

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Starting today on Giving Tuesday, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum is taking on a challenge to get 25 new donors in 25 days via an app.

Alexandra Campbell, the executive director of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, told Reston Now the museum partnered in October with RoundUp App, which lets users select nonprofits to give tax-deductible donations to.

RoundUp will give the museum a $1,000 bonus if 25 new donors sign up in the app between Nov. 27 and Dec. 21.

Three people have signed up so far and donated, she said.

The app can be used on computers or iOS and Android mobile devices.

“Donations are critical for us,” Campbell said. “Having individual donations supports our mission and helps us share Reston history with the community.”

The free museum relies on contributions from the community, which help fund the free educational and public programming.

While the museum has annual and lifetime membership programs, the app is a way to encourage smaller donations from individuals. “We’re trying to engage with the community in a different way with smaller donations,” Campbell said.

Social media and the email listserv are the focus for getting the word out about the app, she said, along with publicizing it at the museum’s big events. Campbell said she hopes the app grows as a funding source.

The museum is currently running a separate online campaign to raise money for a permanent exhibit featuring the Lakeside Pharmacy icons on Lake Anne’s Washington Plaza.

The GoFundMe donations will go toward cleaning, repairing and installing the icons, which were donated to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.

Photo via iTunes store

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An organization combatting food insecurity with an app is looking to serve more people in and around Reston

Food Rescue US uses an app to target local sites around the country, including Victorville, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and New Haven, Conn.

Here’s how the app works — restaurants, grocers and food providers can list surplus food for donation. Then, volunteers follow directions in the app for picking up and dropping off the food to receiving agencies like food pantries and community kitchens, which indicate in the app what they need.

Kate Urbank, the D.C. site director for Food Rescue, told Reston Now that the D.C.-area community started in October 2016. Since then, the efforts have helped redistribute nearly one million pounds of food. “We get hundreds of pounds a day,” Urbank said, adding that donors include Capital One and Boeing.

Last year, Food Rescue started bringing food to the Embry Rucker Community Shelter from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which has food prepared by FLIK Hospitality.

The Reston nonprofit Cornerstones (11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 210), which provides support for people in need of food, shelter, affordable housing and other services, helps to operate the shelter at 11975 Bowman Towne Drive.

Volunteers pick up food five days a week from Freddie Mac and then drop off at the shelter twice a week. As the site director, Urbank operates the app, determining the type of food, amount and proximity for volunteers to take to receiving locations.

The app has had the “hottest growth” in Northern Virginia, which currently has 50 active volunteers with five from Reston and two from Herndon, Urbank said.

“I’m very open to branching off the Northern Virginia piece,” Urbank said. “It’s so ripe.”

Urbank said that she met with Food for Others, an organization in Fairfax that helps distribute food., as she looks to expand the efforts in Northern Virginia. Last week, she hired a woman in Tysons who will help with community outreach in the area.

Ultimately, Food Rescue US aims to reach all 50 states, Urbank said.

Photo via iTunes store

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Sameride, a ridesharing app that allows drivers and passengers to offer and request rides, has launched a new route from Herndon, Reston and Loudoun County to Arlington and the District.

More than 140 commuters are registered for the service, which allows app drivers and passengers to offer or request rides before taking off for their commute. Unlike taxi services, Sameride is an on-demand carpool service that helps connect drivers and drivers commuting on the same route.

Commuters can carpool on express lanes between Park & Ride commuter lots and their offices. The company, which first launched a route between Woodbridge and Tysons Corner, serves around 250 commuters. Company officials estimate the service can help customers who commute between the Herdon-Monroe Park & Ride lot and Rosslyn Metro Station $300 on rider’s fares or $590 on express lanes tolls on a monthly basis.

Andriy Klymchuk, a company representative for Sameride, said demand for a carpool matching service from Reston and Herndon has grown.

“This demand is due to the conversion of I-66 into high-occupancy toll express lanes, new residential constructions in the area and expansion of Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride lot. The same is true for Loudoun County commuters,” Klymchuk said. “In addition, Reston area serves as a hub for Sameride commuters coming on 267. Some commuters drive from as far as west of Leesburg and pick-up riders at the commuter lots near Reston.”

Klymchuk offered the following information about how the company differs from other ridesharing services:

Think about it as a commute sharing. You and your neighbor happen to work in the same location and you agree to ride to work together. With Sameride you do the same but through the app that allows you to create on-demand carpools. You can choose to be a driver or a rider, set your pick-up time and locations, commute once or daily, create ride requests or offers a few hours or a week before your commute. Drivers benefit from using HOT express lanes toll-free and riders benefit from getting a free commute. Both parties benefit from getting to the office and back home faster.

The app is available on iOS and Android.

Photo via Sameride

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