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by RestonNow.com September 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm 2 Comments

A pair of Terraset Elementary School students worked hard during their Labor Day holiday to help those in need in Texas.

Second-grader Olivia Rosengart and first-grader Kaia Rappe put together a bake sale to raise money to donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Olivia’s mother, Sandi Rosengart, said they were able to raise $300 for the cause thanks to donations from neighbors and friends.

“The money will be donated to the Houston Humane Society as well as the Save The Children organization,” Sandi Rosengart said. “Both were organizations of choice by the girls.”

Olivia’s mother said both girls are thankful for the generosity of their community to help them provide some support for the kids and animals of the Houston area.

Photo courtesy Sandi Rosengart

by Dave Emke September 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Va. Transit Ridership Continues Downward Trend — Usage of the Metro’s Silver Line stations at Reston and Tysons is increasing, but that’s one of the few bright spots for public transportation ridership in the region. [WTOP]

Board to Determine Fate of Wedell’s Seat — Following Ray Wedell’s resignation from the Reston Association Board of Directors last week, remaining board members have a decision to make about whether to fill the seat and, if so, how. The term on the now-vacant seat runs through April. [Reston Association]

Reston Sisters Make Jewelry for Good Cause — A pair of local girls founded their own charity project, Rays of Hope, in 2012. They make jewelry out of shells they find on the beach in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and sell it to benefit CancerFree KIDS, a cause they became passionate about when their cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. [Connection Newspapers]

County Expands On-Scene Mental Health Work — The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board recently added a second fully operational Mobile Crisis Unit, part of the county’s “Diversion First” initiative to offer alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness and other disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses. [Fairfax County]

by RestonNow.com August 31, 2017 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s 2017 “Fill the Boot” campaign, its annual fundraiser for the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association, is this weekend.

The Labor Day tradition, which has been going on for more than 35 years, raises hundreds of thousands each year for MDA. This year, some of that money will go to another very important cause.

“This week members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, along with the rest of the world, watched devastation unfold in Texas,” reads a press release issued Thursday morning. “We knew that we wanted to do something to help. The staff at the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and National MDA also felt that need. With that in mind a recommendation was made that, for municipalities interested, a portion of ‘Fill the Boot’ money should go to a disaster relief fund.”

Fairfax County has decided that $50,000 of the money it raises in this year’s effort will go toward the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

The campaign will take place Friday through Monday, and drivers are asked to watch for uniformed firefighters with apparatus on display at controlled intersections all over the county.

Last year, Fire and Rescue reports that the $521,509 it raised through the campaign was the most among any department in the United States and Canada — an accomplishment it says it has achieved in eight of the past 10 years.

According to the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association, funding it receives goes toward:

  • The annual weeklong MDA Children’s Summer Camp, where kids from 6 to 17 years old can have a “typical” camp experience with their peers. They enjoy swimming, boating, zip line, crafts, a talent show and many other activities all tailored to their specific disability. This week also provides a respite for the families from the sometimes 24-hour-a-day job of caring for a special needs child. This camp is provided free of charge for the families.
  • The MDA clinic at Georgetown University Hospital and Children’s National Medical Center. This “one-stop shop” allows those with neuromuscular disease to see all of their specialists, such as their cardiologist, neurologist, pulmonologist, occupational therapist and many others in one location. This alleviates the need to make appointments and travel throughout the D.C. area to the many medical professionals that they see on a regular basis.
  • Research at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University.
  • Programs designed to help people with neuromuscular disease live, go to school and work independently.

For more information about the work of the MDA, visit its website.

Image courtesy Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

by Dave Emke August 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm 2 Comments

The community is invited to Café Montmarte (1625 Washington Plaza, at Lake Anne) tonight from 5:30-7 p.m. for a fundraiser to benefit aid to Hurricane Harvey victims.

According to Mark Griffin, program chair for the Rotary Club of Reston, the event will raise money for Disaster Aid USA.

“[Disaster Aid USA] has a very good track record of giving money directly to the beneficiaries,” Griffin said in a Facebook video.

The Rotary Club will be asking for a $20 donation from each attendee, Griffin said. That will include one free drink and appetizers, he said.

Disaster Aid USA is a Rotarian-operated project, and it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity. According to its executive director, Kenneth “Larry” Agee, the organization has crews currently in Texas and Louisiana helping the cause.

“Money for supplies and equipment are needed ASAP to purchase and rent more equipment; water pumps, pressure washers, demolition equipment, cleaning supplies including spray to prohibit mold, tools for removal of wet wall board, insulation and other water-damaged building materials,” Agee said Monday.

The Rotary Club of Reston hosts its monthly networking event on the final Wednesday of each month at Café Montmartre.

by Dave Emke August 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

We’ve all been affected by the scenes coming from southeast Texas recently as Hurricane Harvey hammered that part of the country.

As residents seek ways to lend a hand to those suffering in that area, Fairfax County officials are warning that scams abound during situations such as these.

“Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or good cause,” reads the Charity Fraud page on the county Department of Cable and Consumer Services website. “Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines.”

Among the suggestions provided:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming emails by clicking on links contained within those messages.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via email or social networking sites.
  • Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by using online resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status, rather than following a purported link to the site.
  • Be cautious of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
  • If you are solicited by a charity, don’t feel rushed or pressured into making an immediate commitment. Ask the caller or solicitor to provide written information about the charity’s programs and finances before you make a contribution.

The county’s Office of Consumer Affairs is available to answer any questions a resident may have about a charity. The office can be contacted at 703-222-8435 or by email at [email protected].

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says donating cash to a reputable charitable organization is the best way to provide support from afar.

If you’re interested in helping with Harvey, here are some tips to keep in mind:- To help voluntary/nonprofit…

Posted by FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The New York Times has provided a list of local and national organizations to which one might consider donating, including:

FEMA recommends visiting the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website to find out more ways to help.

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