Reston, VA

Rotary Club of Reston is soliciting donations ahead of its event to make thousands of meals for families in need.

The Reston Rotary Foundation, the fundraising and grants-making part of the Reston Rotary Club, students from South Lakes High Scool plan to pack 10,000 meals on Saturday (Jan. 11) that will get distributed in schools in poverty-stricken areas across the globe, according to a press release.

The service event through Anython will be done in partnership with Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization.

People can donate $1, $2, $5 or more to support the event.

“Initial donations made will support the efforts of the Reston Rotary Foundation’s kick-off event, and when the $10,000 goal has been met to fund the Rise Against Hunger program, additional funds will be used be support the Foundation’s ongoing community efforts,” the press release said.

The community efforts include:

Volunteers are also needed for the January event.

Photo via Rotary Club of Reston/Facebook

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Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna, a nonprofit that supports aging in place, recently expanded its programs to help seniors in Herndon and Reston.

The group assists the seniors by providing free rides, social outreach and other resources. The group decided to expand around October, a spokesperson told Reston Now.

Susan Garvey, the executive director of the center, lives in the area and noticed a lack of free resources for the elderly community, the spokesperson said.

“The uptick in ride requests have been promising,” the spokesperson said, adding that people who answer the phones are kept busy. “It was a wise step to take.”

The group announced its expansion to Reston and Herndon in its quarterly newsletter, which was published this fall.

Shepherd’s Center receives its funding from donations, fundraisers and corporate sponsors. Anyone who wishes to donate to the center can do so online.

Seniors or others interested in free rides, programs for veterans and various resources can call the center at 703-281-0538.

Photo via Sheperd’s Center/Facebook

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The Hunter Mill District’s Winter Coat Closet is open for another season through Jan. 16.

The closet, which is a partnership between the Hunter Mill District Supervisors Office and Cornerstones, offers winter coats for those in need since the program started in 2001.

Donations of new or gently-used winter coats, as well as hats, gloves, mittens and scarves are accepted. Items are needed for all ages.

The closet accepts donations at the Coat Closet, which is located at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Individuals in need can get a coat from the closet at the North County Governmental Center through March 14.

For questions, email Cornerstones at [email protected] or call 571-323-1410.

Photo via Unsplash

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As winter approaches, Cornerstones in Reston asks the community to come forward and donate cold-weather gear for those in need.

The annual Winter Coat Closet Charity Drive, which started on Thursday (Nov. 14), collects new or lightly used jackets, hats, scarves and gloves for men, women and children.

People who want to donate or are in need of winter clothing can stop by the Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Office (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) and ask for the community room on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The location will be collecting jackets until Jan. 16, but those in need can come collect gear through March 14.

Kids’ coats, as well as men’s XXL sizes, are in high demand, according to the drive’s website.

Anyone wanting to volunteer their time can contact Morgan Grant, Community Resource Coordinator, at 571-323-3674.

Photo via Unsplash 

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The NOVA Relief Center is hosting a blanket and coat drive for Syrian refugees. The Hunter Mill District Office is once again collecting blankets and coats for the drive beginning Nov. 23 through Dec. 9.

All items will be shipped free of charge to three refugee camps in Jordan this winter.

Locally, donations can be dropped off at the Hunter Mill District Office (1801 Cameron Glen Drive), as well as at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(1515 Poplar Grove Drive in Reston and 2727 Centreville Road in Herndon).

Other drop-off locations are also available online.

The center accepted clean items that are new or in gently-used condition. Sweaters and sweatshirts are also welcome. Gloves, hats and scarves must be in new condition only.

More information about the drive is available online.

Photo via NOVA Relief Center

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The YMCA Fairfax County Reston is hosting a fundraising gala in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

This year’s annual gala will be held at the YMCA (12196 Sunset Hills Road) from 6-11 p.m. next Saturday (Nov. 16) and feature a dinner party, silent auction and after-party, according to the event page.

“Our mission ensures that no one is turned away from access to ‘Y’ programs and membership,” the page said.

Last year, the gala raised $280,000 for the center, according to the  YMCA’s website.

Individual tickets start at $150 and sponsorships start at $1,000.

Image via YMCA Fairfax County Reston

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An upcoming fundraiser in Reston will help save the Amazon Rainforest.

There will be family fun activities including a yard sale, a ranger station, live music and crafts for kids at the Pony Barn Picnic Area (Steeplechase Drive and Triplecrown Road) on Sunday (Oct. 27) from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., according to a press release.

Admission is free but all of the donation funds from the event will go towards the Amazon Conservation Team, an organization that preserves indigenous communities and natural ecosystems, the press release said.

“The Amazon Rainforest supplies 20 percent of the oxygen we need to live on Earth; however, the size of three football fields are being deforested every minute at the Amazon, according to latest government data,” the press release said.

The event is sponsored by several local businesses around the Reston community.

All are welcome to attend. Anyone wanting to sponsor a yardsale table can email the event organizer.

Photo via Reston Association

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Tuesday Morning Notes

‘Share a Haircut’ at Local Hair Cuttery Locations —If you bring a child up to 18 years of age to any local Hair Cuttery through August 15, the business will donate a free haircut certificate to children in the community. [Reston Patch]

North Hills Clay Tennis Courts Renovations In Progress — The clay courts are scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2020. [Reston Association]

Farmers & Makers Market is Today — Local artisans and farmers will offer a variety of items at the weekly market, which runs through November. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Reston Town Center. [Reston Town Center]

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) Diners at the Noodles World Kitchen in Herndon tonight (March 20) can support a local public school in Herndon.

The management at the Noodles World Kitchen at 2405 Centreville Road will donate 25 percent of tonight’s sales to the Lutie Lewis Coates Elementary School.

Customers who eat the noodle chain — formerly known as Noodles and Company — between 4-8 p.m. can tell the restaurant staff that they are supporting Coates.

Image via Google Maps

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Diners at Not Your Average Joe’s on select days in March can help raise money for a nonprofit that combats student hunger.

On the four Tuesdays in March, the restaurant (1845 Fountain Drive) will donate 15 percent of bills for diners who ask to have their meals support Helping Hungry Kids.

The nonprofit gives food packages to more than 400 elementary school students in Northern Virginia who don’t have enough food on the weekends.

Most of the 12 elementary schools that receive the packs are ones in Reston and Herndon, which include:

  • Clearview
  • Coates
  • Dogwood
  • Terraset
  • Aldrin
  • Armstrong
  • Forest Edge
  • Lake Anne
  • Hunters Woods

Each pack, which contains non-perishable food for two breakfasts, two dinners and several snacks, costs about $6, according to the nonprofit’s website.

File photo

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The finalists were recently announced for the 2019 Best of Reston Awards.

A reception hosted by Cornerstones, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and SOS International LLC (SOSi) on Tuesday (Feb. 19) unveiled the honorees.

An awards gala will take place on April 4 to celebrate the honorees:

SOSi presented Cornerstones with a $50,000 check at the event. The community nonprofit also received a $100,000 check from Bob and Lisa Van Hoecke.

Started nearly three decades ago, the annual Best of Reston Awards recognize individuals, businesses and community groups that have helped Reston and Herndon through philanthropy and volunteering.

The gala on April 4 is set to be held at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street).

Photo via Chip McCrea Photography

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An upcoming program at a Herndon public school is going against the grain of conventional education by teaching students the value of community service and baking.

Students at McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive) can expect the Bake for Good Program to arrive at their school next month.

Meant for fourth- to sixth-graders, the free program teaches students “the value of giving back to their community while learning to bake bread,” according to Fairfax County Public Schools. Representatives from King Arthur Flour, the sponsoring organization, will present the cross-curricular program, which has three main goals: learn, bake and share.

“Students will use practical applications of math, science, and comprehension skills while learning how they can make a positive impact in their local community,” according to the FCPS announcement.

Each student will then bake two loaves of bread — one to take home and one to donate to LINK, which provides emergency food and financial help to people in the western part of the county.

The program begins at McNair Elementary School on March 12.

Image via Google Maps

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A GoFundMe page is raising funds for the family displaced after a fire broke out in their home in Herndon yesterday.

The campaign, which was created and activated today (Feb. 1), aims to help Tim Gaffney’s family cover the costs of “small things that add up” — clothes, toiletries, shoes, coats and more — with the hope that insurance will cover the larger losses.

In just a few hours, the GoFundMe page has raised nearly $2,000.

The Red Cross has put the family up in a hotel, according to the fundraiser.

The GoFundMe page says the following:

January 31, 2019 Tim Gaffney woke to the smell of smoke. The entire garage was engulfed and it was quickly moving to the house. He woke Ryan and Tara and they were able to get out. Janeen and Sofia were in MA at a skating event.

Flash forward 24 hours and my oldest friend in the world and her family are homeless.

The Red Cross has put them up in a hotel and friends have rallied around them. But this is just day one.

Our hope of course is that insurance will cover the larger losses. House. Cars. Boat. It’s all the small things that add up. Clothes. Toiletries. Shoes. Coats.

We are asking for any help you can provide to get this family through the next really difficult months until they find their new normal.

Anyone not comfortable with sending money is more than welcome to send gift cards. Anything — I mean anything — will be so appreciated.

Thank you on on behalf of Tim, Janeen, Ryan, Sofia and Tara.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about two hours after arriving at the house in the 12100 block of Westwood Hills Drive around 6:38 a.m. on Jan. 31.

The three people in the home at the time of the fire were able to self-evacuate. Two of the occupants received treatment for smoke inhalation, according to the fire department.

Photo via @ffxfirerescue/Twitter

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The 36th annual Capitol Steps fundraiser performance on Sunday (Jan. 27) raised nearly $400,000 for Cornerstones to help families in the Embry Rucker Community Shelter.

The D.C.-based political satire group is known for mocking both sides of the aisle in songs and comedy skits. A sold-out crowd of 700 attendees came to this year’s annual benefit show at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

“Even though we live in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, more than 1,000 men, woman and children — 30 percent of whom are children — are homeless in this community,” Jeff Detwiler, the president and chief executive officer of Long and Foster, said before Capitol Steps performed. “We believe that supporting Cornerstones in its mission makes us as a community stronger.”

Bob Van Hoecke, co-chair of the event, noted that some attendees may be experiencing stress from the longest partial federal government shutdown, which ended days before the performance. “Cornerstones is here for anyone in our community in need because of the funds we are able to raise tonight and throughout the year.”

Del. Ken Plum rallied the crowd for the annual “Empty the Shelter” Paddle Auction and then thanked them after they raised $100,000 for Cornerstones’ rapid re-housing programs.

At the end of the night, a total of $412,557 had been raised for the cause, according to information provided by Cornerstones — a sizable increase from recent years. (The annual benefit performance raised roughly $340,000 in 2018 and almost $300,000 in 2017.)

Photos by Chip McCrea Photography

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