Reston, VA

With more residents spending time at home, local and regional nonprofits are being a surge in drop-off donations.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, The Closet of Greater Herndon, a nonprofit organization in the Town of Herndon, has seen a spike in the number of cars arriving with items to donate to its store.

To meet growing demand in an efficient manner, The Closet has launched a new donation and drop-off center.

The center was constructed in collaboration with HomeAid Northern Virginia, which builds and renovates homeless shelters and supportive housing facilities.

“This is a different project than perhaps what is ‘typical’ for our work with HomeAid,” said Jack Gallagher, division president, Mid-Atlantic region, for Richmond American Homes. “But The Closet is a partner organization in need of construction support, and their general mission is well aligned with the same community we serve.”

Here’s more from The Closet on the project:

Led by HomeAid Northern Virginia, construction of the donation center was already fortuitously underway when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, closing the store and slowing the construction process. Through deliberative and creative coordination, HANV worked with its building partners to deploy small crews of essential construction workers at different time intervals to move the project forward. The opening of the new donation center was ultimately (if not intentionally) well-timed to “the great decluttering.”

The uptick in donated items expands the ability of The Closet to support local Northern Virginia nonprofits. Founded by local churches/faith-based organizations 25+ years ago, The Closet’s profits supports local organizations such as Shelter House, Cornerstones, Fellowship Square, and Helping Hungry Kids. The Closet also provide clothing and other household goods free to families and individuals referred from several Fairfax County public and private human service agencies, as well as awards annual scholarship grants to select students from five area schools in Fairfax and Loudoun counties (South Lakes, Herndon, Oakton, Park View & Mountain View High Schools).

The architecture of the structure draws inspiration from the Town of Herndon’s railroad history and the Washington & Old Dominion railroad, which is just steps away from the facility.

Photos via The Closet

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The Closet of the Greater Herndon Area, Inc. has awarded 22 local high school students $45,000 worth of college scholarships. The students span across five high schools in the community, according to a statement released by the organization. 

“We are so proud of these youth and their families and are happy to continue supporting this important educational need in our community,”  said Gene Wiley, The Closet’s board president

According to the statement, The Closet thrift shop has awarded more than $500,000 in college scholarships to more than 500 students since 1974. They have also distributed almost $3 million in direct cash grants to local service groups.

A breakdown of the awardees is below:

  • From Herndon High School, the recipients are Lucilla Antwie, Karen Ayala-Bonilla, Caleb Calderwood, Sean Frias, Maryum Khan and Judith Velasquez.
  • From Mountain View High School, the recipients are Doris Alvarado, Abonesh Tadese and Tenzin Tsering.
  • From Oakton High School, the recipients are Olohi Anteyi, Monica Alexandra Castellanos and Maria S. Rivera.
  • From Park View High School, the recipients are Ebanneh Atabe, Charlotte Edwards, Kimberly Fuentes-Galvez, Kimberly Molina Rivas, Kaitlyn Smith, and Melana Washington.
  • From South Lakes High School, the recipients are Rhema Ebna Konadu, Nicol Katherin Salinas Perez, Daniel Mebratu Tolessa and Nia Jordan Winston.

 

The thrift shop is a non-profit group based on faith-based congregations. They hold a small staff, with volunteers helping out the store as well.

Those looking to donate can drop off clothing and small household items on Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Additionally, those interested in volunteering can contact the store owner, Patricia Rhodes, at 703-437-7652.

Photo courtesy of The Closet of the Greater Herndon Area, Inc. 

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Temperatures are expected to drop this weekend, but there’s still plenty to do outside for all ages ahead of Thanksgiving weekend.

Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.

  • Children between ages 3 and 5 can dabble in the joy of nature through the Walker Nature Center’s “Nutty for Nuts” program on Saturday from 10:30 – 11:30 p.m. at the center. Staff will guide participants through hikes, craft projects and other activities. Parents and caregivers must supervise their children. Tickets start at $6.
  • Need to jumpstart Christmas shopping? Check out the 1st Baptist Church of Herndon’s sale at The Closet (681 Elden St.), a non-profit thrift shop that was founded in 1974. The sale takes place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Author Melissa Scholes Young will hold a book reading and signing featuring her book “Flood” on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.). The book, which is set in Mark Twain’s neighborhood town.
  • Experience “All-American All the Way,” a free patriotic concert at the Hunters Woods Community Center on 2310 Colts Neck Road on Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. The concert will include military hymns and will conclude with an appreciation reception.
  • Dive into fall with a harvest-themed wagon ride at Frying Pan Farm Park. The event will include hot cocoa and s’mores around a campfire. Programs begin at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. The cost is $10 and a registered adult must accompany children. Call 703-437-9101 for more information.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • The Reston Community Players’ 2017-18 season continues their presentation of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical “Aida.” The show, winner of four Tony Awards, will be performed through Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). This weekend, the show is being performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $27, with student/senior tickets available for $23.
  • Dancers of all skills levels can participate in an afternoon of dance at the Reston Community Center on Sunday between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. The program will include three mini-lessons, door prizes and light refreshments. Dance partners are not required, but you have to be at least 18 years old to participate. The cost if $5 for Reston-residents and $10 for all others.
  • Bird lovers are invited to search for birds in this Bird Walk at the Lower Grade Stream Valley on Sunday from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. Participants will meet near Glade Drive and Twin Branches Road. No registration is required for this adults-only activity. Walks are sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store.
  • Learn about the years spanning between World War I and World War II during Dr. Harry Butowsky’s six-part part lecture series at the Reston Regional Library from 2 – 4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • The exhibit, Reston: The Art of Community, will continue at the Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza) this weekend. Produced by Public Art Reston in collaboration with the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, the display showcases the legacy of public art in Reston. The exhibition will be on display through Nov. 26.
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