Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A Spectacular Start to 2022

Starting 2022 Filling Pantries, Brining Cheer and 

Helping the Homeless

S4G Members Support One Family's Journey to Self Sufficiency

March - Homestretch

During March, S4G members were asked to support “Jane,” a single mother with two daughters who was recently referred as a client.  The family is in transitional housing and while Jane works, she is in the difficult position that her income precludes her from eligibility for government services such as SNAP. She needs funds to meet her family’s basic needs and that’s where S4G jumped in to support this family. 

Over the course of the month, S4G members met virtually with Homestretch and a recent graduate to learn more about the award-winning program to empower homeless families with children living in Virginia to attain permanent housing and self-sufficiency by giving them the skills, knowledge and hope they need to become productive participants in the community.  
  • Only about 50% of adults entering Homestretch are employed, that number rises to 92% while in the program.  
  • The average monthly income for a family is $950. After graduating, families' incomes average $2,354—a 150% increase. 
  • Families enter the program $4,814 in debt and after two years they will not only have cleared the debt but accumulated $5,989 in savings. That's a difference of over $10,000 by saving 10% of their income. 
At an event held at Bear Branch Tavern in Vienna, S4G members celebrated our collective giving of $2,650 which will provide the family with gas and groceries for more than three months.  With prices rising, our support is particularly welcome at this time.  Members also wrapped donations of much needed clothing, shoes and art supplies for the Jane and her daughters.

Special thanks to:
  • S4G members who generously sponsored this project and joined us at our March social!
  • Alice's Kids who donated gift cards for the family to share the joy of a shopping adventure together.  
  • Bear Branch Tavern for hosting our social.
  • Team March! Team leaders Dianne Gurdak and Margaret Kerfoot; team members Michelle Alonso, Debra Comizio, Sarah de Kramer, Julie Heiden, Monique Lukacs, Bonnie Manousos, Clare Shumaker, Stacey Sweeney and Karen Tovey; Steering Committee Liaisons Faith Boettger and Patti Cooksey.

Seniors Weren't the Only Ones Smiling in February!

February - Shepherd's Center of Northern Virginia

Thanks to the generosity of our members, we exceeded our goal by almost 30% and raised $2,580 for Shepherd's Center of Northern Virginia!

Members gathered on Wednesday evening at the home of Patti Vaughn to assemble bags and hear from Carolyn Pennington, ED of Shepherd's Center. We were also joined by Board Member, Jayne Young, who enthusiastically jumped into our assembly line.  Some chaos and lots of laughter filled the air as we gathered violets, pottery, cookies, chocolates, puzzles and homemade cards to fill 60 canvas bags. 

On Thursday, volunteers delivered winter cheer on a gloomy day and the calls and thanks poured in from grateful seniors—one collects pitchers and coincidentally the pottery she received was perfect for her and another loves African Violets and has not had one in long time.  Such a heartwarming end to a wonderful project!

We are so grateful for the donations and special accommodations from the community that made many of the gifts possible:
  • Ceramic pieces donated by the Empty Bowls fundraiser benefiting Food for Others and were created by its talented potters.
  • Cookies baked by Davis Career Center students which provides social and vocation skills to disabled students ages 18-22.
  • Chocolates created by Cameron’s Chocolates that provides permanent employment for young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
  • Homemade cards created by the Junior Volunteer League.
And none of this would be possible if not for the giving hearts of S4G Members!
Thanks Team February! Patti Vaughn (Lead), Faith Boettger, Debra Comizio, Patti Cooksey, Marie Crizer, Lee Ellis, Margaret Herbold, Phyllis Lee, Mary Michelson, Leslie Pennington, Ann Smith, Victoria Stuppy, Beth Tecala and Donna Whitaker

In January, we filled the SNAP gap...and then some!

January - Family PASS and Britepaths!
Our generous community of women givers donated over $2,500 to Family PASS and Britepaths

Team January used those funds to purchase much needed cleaning supplies and personal toiletries for families in need who are not able to use SNAP for those items.  And there's more!  Britepaths received a matching donation of $1,200 from board member and Team January co-chair, Angie Delboy.

Then we gathered virtually on Monday, January 24, to Social and Good!  First the Good.  Representatives from Britepaths and Family PASS shared their respective missions and the programs in place to support hard working families in need in our community. 

Following an active Q&A with the nonprofits, members toasted 2022 with Team January's signature cocktail, shared stories during an icebreaker, and played a game to guess the value of the personal and cleaning supplies S4G stocked in each organization's pantry. The real winners are the families that will benefit from the generosity of our members.  Thank you!
Team January: Patti Cooksey, Angie Delboy (Leads), Lee Ellis, Jenny Kim, Sarah Shamlal, Ann Smith and Patty Vaughn