Monday, March 28, 2011

Homeless Shelter Bag Lunches * Next One June 27th!

We will be hosting the next Bag Lunch session for the Reston Homeless shelter Monday, June 27th at my mom's house in Herndon :)  The more the merrier, please contact me if you would like to participate. We are starting to do this the first Monday of every month so if you can't make it this Monday, then you are always more than welcome to attend another session. We'd love to have you!

Here's a little background information on what we will be doing:

My mom volunteers at the Embry Rucker Homeless Shelter in Reston, VA and mentioned an opportunity for us to get involved.  We use Giant's online grocery delivery option called PeaPod to deliver the groceries to our small group leader's house and each of us pays about $15 for the groceries.   We form an assembly line to put everything together, but don't worry it's very informal. We just like to have a chance to get together and have fun while serving others.

Each bag typically includes 2 sandwhiches, a bottled water and snacks. Last time we made 60 bagged lunches and delivered them to the Reston Homeless Shelter.  Anyone can take the items to the shelter, last time Jenny, Laura and I did which was 5 minutes from my mom's house.  There is someone at the door who will assist by giving you a cart and letting you into the building.  They take the lunches to the kitchen for storage. 

Here are some pictures from our last packing event (more to come):

Just a few of the lunches we made

Here is what we put into each bagged lunch
Here are some from the 27th:

Almost originals....

Or, if you can't attend our function, you can always start your own packing event!

Here are the details from Reston Interfaith if you are interested in starting your own group:

We distribute approximately 60 bagged meals a day to residents and drop-in clients, and welcome your support of this important service. You can purchase food, prepare the meals at an off-site location and deliver them to the shelter - why not ask your family and friends to pitch in? Click here to view our bagged meal preparation guidelines Shelter Bagged Meal Guidelines or for Catering guidelines click here Shelter Meal Catering Guidelines.
To sign up, contact Susan Alger at 571.323.1383 at least one week in advance of your desired drop-off date.

Bagged Meals Needed for Embry Rucker Community Shelter Reston Interfaith's Embry Rucker Community Shelter provides a safe place for families and individuals to stay as they overcome barriers and transition to stable housing.

Rucker Homeless Shelter - Reston Interfaith

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Arlington Wreath Project - December 10, 2011

Wreaths Across America - Arlington National Cemetary

Volunteers are welcome to participate in the 19th annual Arlington Wreath Project beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10 . The welcome ceremony will take place at the intersection of Lincoln and L'Enfant drives in Arlington National Cemetary. Sections 28, 38, 43 and 60 will be decorated with more than 20,000 donated and sponsored holiday wreaths from the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine to honor our Veterans during the holidays.

Arlington Cemetary
With images of Arlington, family and friends - this is one visual way of saying thank you - to those who serve, to those we've lost, and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms of this Country.

In 2010, I tagged along with my stepmom's company Ernst & Young, who sponsors a team to volunteer and help out with lying wreaths on graves.  We all received yellow company hats which were a huge success, especially because it was easy to spot our team members in the huge crowds.

Ernst & Young volunteers :)

This year the Arlington Wreath Project plans to provide enough wreaths to cover EVERY grave in Arlington Cemetary.  Come out this year and help!! 

For more information about the Arlington Wreath Project or Wreaths Across America, please click here:

Short-Term Mission Trip 2010 *Guatemala*

Gateway Community Church

This summer we will head to Casa Aleluya Children's Home in San Bartolome Milpas Altas (outside of Guatemala City).  My church hosts this mission trip every year and is a great opportunity to sacrifice for others and experience a world outside of our comfort zones.  This year will be my 5th overseas mission trip with Gateway, and what an experience it has been!  This trip challenges your values and bring into focus things that seem to be blurred in life.  It's a time of hard work, fun and fellowship.

Each year we have the opportunity to participate in the following activities:
  • Perform light construction activities at Casa: e.g., painting, cleaning, organizing, etc.

  • Participate in Bible school activities/projects at a Mayan village church

  • Participate in an activity/project at Los Gozosos Orphanage (for special needs orphans)

Our group last year was AMAZING!! Here's a pic of all of us together after veering off from the Mayan Village and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

2010 Group

Here are some more pictures of the debrief retreat at the end of our trip:

Antigua, Guatemala aka one of my favorite places in the world

Lake Atitlan :)

Operation Kindness - McLean Bible Church

Where: MBC Tysons Campus, in The Rock Arcade
When: Second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm

In my attempt to find volunteer opportunities close to home, I decided to begin my research at one of Northern Virginia's largest communities - McLean Bible Church.  One program really stood out to me as a great opportunity to give back to those who serve so willingly, the military.  Operation Kindness is a ministry that provides God's Word as well as physical comfort items to soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq via care packages shipped to contact chaplains.  Typically our volunteers pack from 30 to 50 boxes of printed spiritual material, snacks, toiletries, socks, sports equipment, etc. for our deployed troops.

Donated Items include:
  • Christian books / literatures / tracts, CDs of MBC sermons, personal greetings and letters
  • White book socks, lip balm, baby wipes, sunscreen, insect repellent, mosquito netting, individually-wrapped rolls of toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, shaving cream, deodorant (non-aerosol)
  • Coffee (vacuum sealed), powered drink mix (any flavor, small size containers), candy (no chocolate), cookies, snacks, jerky, chewing gum
  • CDs/DVDs, CD players, batteries (especially AA), footballs, soccer balls, frisbees, playing cards, crossword/Suduko puzzles, current magazines, games, writing paper, pens and envelopes

2011 Packing Nights:Tuesday, April 12
Tuesday, May 10
Tuesday, June 14
Tuesday, July 12
Tuesday, August 9
Tuesday, September 13
Tuesday, October 11
Tuesday, December 15

For more information visit:

“the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to offer his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:28