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Local Charities Need Donations, Volunteers

| November 20, 2012 | 0 Comments | Community Service

Nick and Stacy Holmquist stock shelves at the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry once a week.

With Thanksgiving this week, and Christmas, Hanukkah and other religious holidays quickly following, it is easy to get caught up in all the to-do of the holiday season.

Before getting carried away with playing Santa, the perfect host, hostess or gift-giver, perhaps everyone can take a moment to consider the true meaning of these venerable holidays: giving thanks and helping others.

Whether giving thanks means thanking God, your family or community, there are ways to give back in acknowledgement of how blessed or fortunate one is. Even when things are not ideal, one can look to the things they do have, which so many others are living without.

Within our own community in Western Prince William, not everyone is so fortunate. Some need help this year, where others may have enough to share. Here are some suggestions on ways neighbors can assist neighbors over the holidays.

Northern Virginia Family Services and SERVE

NVFS, including its Manassas branch, SERVE, is the largest nonprofit organization to feed the hungry in Northern Virginia.

NVFS has just completed collecting meals for Operation Turkey, which will bring a healthy Thanksgiving meal to over 1,100 families in the area who would otherwise not have that

Get involved locally over the holidays, in person or by giving a donation. (Couple Working in Homeless Shelter --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis)

assistance. And, it is never too late to get involved.

NVFS also hopes to be able to provide 1,500 of the members of our community in need with holiday meals, gifts and toys. Readers can help by making a monetary donation that will go towards all those great causes.

Individuals, families and organizations can also choose to purchase and donate a gift card in multiples of $25 from a versatile store like Target, Wal-Mart or local supermarket chains. NVFS asks that they mail all gift cards to Northern Virginia Family Service, ATTN: Holiday Programs at 10455 White Granite Dr. Suite 100, Oakton, VA 22124 before Dec. 13.

New toys for children of all ages are also in demand for the holiday season, and NVFS provides a list of popular toys on its website. Toys can be delivered to 13926 Metrotech Dr., Chantilly (between K-Mart and Babies-R-Us.)

NVFS encourages readers to organize a giving campaign through their religious, nonprofit, community or business organizations, or to volunteer individually. More information can be found on NVFS’s website.


Kellie Rush, executive director of House of Mercy with Jackie Hicks, manager of Anytime Fitness, who helped to collect food for the nonprofit.

House of Divine Mercy

The House of Divine Mercy is a Catholic based charitable organization which serves local families in need. It is located on the outskirts of Bristow and Gainesville in Manassas near Merrifield Gardens.

The House of Divine Mercy is a unique type of charitable organization that promotes dignity and self-affirmation among its recipients by encourages them to play an active role in helping themselves, their friends and neighbors. They also promote financial independence through education and skills training. Helping out is easy. Readers can provide monetary donations or volunteer their time, skills and talents.

The House of Mercy in Manassas is celebrating its annual “Christmas with Mercy” program for those in need in our community on Saturday, Dec. 15. For those who would  like to donate to this wonderful cause, House of Mercy is requesting new toys, new clothing and/or shoes, or gift cards.

If you’d like to volunteer to assist in the preparation, Friday, December 14 is when help is needed. Please call 703-659-1636 to sign up for a two-hour shift. Volunteers are also needed on Saturday December 15, which is distribution day. Please schedule your two-hour shift by phoning 703-659-1636. Contact House of Divine Mercy for more information. People of all faiths are welcomed and respected.

Aprons hang on the walls for the H.O.P.E. volunteers to use.

H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Eat) 

H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Eat) is also known as Haymarket Regional Food Pantry. It was founded was by several religious churches and organizations in the Haymarket area, and currently serves those people in need in Western Prince William County.

H.O.P.E. accepts food and monetary donations from individuals, businesses and organizations to help stock their food pantry. They also accept volunteers to hand out and organize food.

The great thing about H.O.P.E. is that they accept all kinds of foods from non-perishables to frozen meats and poultry. They will even accept some special treats, like cake or coffee, as long as it is not homemade in a licensed kitchen. They also need some paper goods and necessities.

H.O.P.E. is currently partnering with ReMax Gateway, Results Rehab & Fitness, Somerset Pointe Apartments, Piedmont HOA, Next Level Fitness, Vertical Rock and Giant of Gainesville, so readers can donate through a business or organization they belong to, frequent or want to join.

For Thanksgiving, H.O.P.E. has provided their community with food and supplies to cook dinner in their own homes. H.O.P.E. will need similar assistance to help provide their community with a DIY Christmas or holiday dinner.  Visit their website for more information.



© 2012, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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