Volunteer Voice Header

  September 2016
Quick Links:

Join the Conversation:

facebook twitter
youtube linkedin

Workplace Giving:

United Way: #8099
CFC: #79645 

Lou Maroon Golf Tournament, Benefits SERVE – Sept. 14

The Manassas & Bull Run Rotary Clubs have selected SERVE as the beneficiary of its annual Lou Maroon golf tournament, which is quickly approaching on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at Evergreen Country Club in Haymarket, VA.

There is still timefor you to join in the fun:

  • Volunteer to check-in golfers, run the putting contest, sell raffle tickets, greet golfers at holes on the course, take event photos and more.  Shifts are 9am-12pm, 2-2:30pm & 2:30-5pm. Contact Navara Cannon to sign up!
  • Sign up as a foursome and golf the day away.

Just a few hours of your time will help the event raise more than $33,000 for the SERVE campus!


Save the Date: Empty Bowls – Oct. 13


Join us Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Manassas Church of the Brethren to help fight local hunger at our annual Empty Bowls event. For more information, including ticket purchases or sponsorship, click here.



Happy Birthday and best wishes to all of our volunteers with September birthdays!


Shop AND Give Back

Did you resolve to give more this year? Here is an easy way. When shopping online, try using Amazon Smile, which donates 0.5 percent of your purchase, or Goodshop, which can donate up to 10 percent, to Northern Virginia Family Service. Every little bit counts!


NVFS Community & Volunteer Engagement Team

Karen Horowitz
khorowitz@nvfs.org, 571.748.2626

Navara Cannon
Specialist at SERVE
ncannon@nvfs.org,   571.748.2536

 Meagan Perkins
Specialist at BCCS
mperkins@nvfs.org703.820.7621 x218

Jamie Johnson
jajohnson@nvfs.org, 571.748.2621

It’s Back-to-School Time! And 1,800 Students Are Better Prepared Because of You





It’s already well known that children in poverty struggle to succeed in school. They have higher absenteeism rates, are more likely to switch schools multiple times during the year and are ultimately less likely to graduate from high school.

Thanks to you and fellow community supporters, who so generously donated more than $20,000, plus in-kind supply donations, to the NVFS Back-to-School Drive this year, we provided a fresh start and high hopes to nearly 1,800 of our youth clients for their new school year.

This support is especially significant for low-income families who are faced with soaring back-to-school costs for their children. Check out this infographic from the Huntington Backpack Index to learn more about the steep cost of school supplies and activities for families with school-age children.

Thank you, also, to the 245 volunteers who donated nearly 800 hours of time sorting and counting school supplies and stuffing and distributing backpacks. We could not have done it without you!

Thank you from all of us at NVFS!


September Is Hunger Action Month
September is Hunger Action Month, and NVFS is helping to spread awareness to fight hunger. You can join the fight against hunger, too:

Canstruction: Want to help the hungry and get your creative engineering on? NVFS is holding a “Canstruction” competition to benefit the SERVE Hunger Resource Center in Manassas. Getting started is easy:

1) Collect cans and boxed foods, “canstruct” with your cans and boxes (prizes will be awarded for Most Creative, Most Popular, and Tallest).

2) Take a photo and submit it by posting it to Facebook with the hashtag #NVFScan or email your photo to Victoria Marcos. Deadline is Friday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m.

3) Once you’ve captured your creation, don’t forget to deconstruct it and donate the cans to the Hunger Resource Center!

For more information about Canstruction and anti-hunger volunteer opportunities, please contact Navara Cannon, 571.748.2536, ncannon@nvfs.org.


Octagon Brings a Day of Service to Head Start


Although it’s back to school time for some, NVFS Early Childhood Education programs have been going strong all summer long! That’s why we’re always on the lookout for volunteer groups to bring creativity and fun into the classroom, especially during the summer months.

NVFS Early Childhood Education programs are designed to meet the varying needs of low-income families with young children to ensure young minds are fully nurtured and developed. By providing year-round learning for these young children during a most-impressionable time, we help them reach the same educational and developmental milestones as their peers by the time they start kindergarten.

Just before the summer Olympics started, employees from Octagon, a sports marketing firm, brought their fourth annual “Mini-Olympics” to our Head Start center. Games and activities, including duck-duck-goose, musical chairs, Simon Says and Pictionary, had the children laughing, learning and exercising their minds!


A huge THANK YOU goes out to our Octagon volunteers for, again, creating such a memorable experience for our Head Start children!

New Team Member: Paola Torres

We are pleased to announce that Paola Torres has just joined our team as the Community & Volunteer Engagement Specialist for the Hilda Barg Shelter in Woodbridge. In this part-time position, Paola will be recruiting and engaging volunteers, coordinating in-kind drives for the shelter and building relationships with the Woodbridge-area faith, civic and business communities. Paola was previously the coordinator for our Escala Hispanic entrepreneurship program and is excited to return to NVFS focusing her efforts in the Woodbridge community where she lives.

Welcome, Paola!


NVFS Is Training Interns, Preparing Future Leaders

Just as NVFS clients are headed back to school, we have a wonderful new cohort of 25 undergraduate and graduate students beginning internships in our programs. Here at NVFS we are committed to supporting the growth and development of future mental health and human services professionals. Through partnerships with George Mason University, Marymount University, Catholic University, George Washington University and Rutgers University, among others, we host and train about 35-40 students each school year.

“We are committed to training and supporting interns because they are the future workforce and leadership of our agency and other vital human services organizations like ours,” said Karen Horowitz, director of community and volunteer engagement. “With the affordable investment of time and talent, we are able to serve more clients and provide more intensive and individualized support than would otherwise be possible.”

What do NVFS interns do? Here is just a sampling of their impact:

  • Lead mental health counseling sessions with clients who have experienced trauma, domestic violence and mental illness.
  • Provide holistic case management support for families on the brink of homelessness helping them budget with very limited resources, gain job skills, raise a family and develop coping skills to manage the stress and anxiety of living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Counsel parents with young families teaching them how to help their children meet developmental milestones and positive coping skills for managing behavior and life stresses.

“We treat our interns like staff,” said Olivia Faries, clinical coordinator. “There is an orientation and training program, we assign them caseloads and closely supervise them along the way to ensure they are continually improving their skills while providing quality client services.”

NVFS has been so impressed with the enthusiasm and abilities of our interns that we have routinely hired them after they graduate — in fact, 15 former interns have become NVFS employees over the last three years!


Volunteer Opportunities

Community Yard Sale Helpers Needed! – Come help NVFS with a community yard sale at Clock Tower – Falls Church Thrift Shop on Saturday, Oct. 22. Time slots are 7:30-10:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 1:30-4 p.m. Volunteers will help lift, move and organize the furniture and merchandise at the thrift shop as well as tagging merchandise and assistingshoppers  with merchandize and sales. If you love a good yard sale and are looking for a unique volunteer opportunity, please sign up here. Questions? Contact Jamie Johnson, 571.748.2621, jajohnson@nvfs.org.

Habla Espanol? Want to Help the Hungry? –The Food Assistance Client Intake Specialist greets and processes clients coming for food assistance, updates their information and helps them complete forms. Volunteers also monitor the food assistance line and return calls to schedule appointments. Hours are flexible Monday-Friday and include one evening shift on Wednesdays. Must be at least 18 years old and bilingual in Spanish and English. Good customer service skills are also important. All training is provided. Contact Navara Cannon, 571.748.2536, ncannon@nvfs.org.

Clothing Closet Coordinator – If you are super organized and , love clothing and fashion  and want to  help job trainees get outfitted in business attire, then this volunteer position is for you! We are looking for two volunteers to join our clothing closet teamto receive donations, sort and hang business attire, rotate stock , and drop off any excess items to one of our thrift shops. The time commitment is 2-3 hours, twice per month including each third Saturday. Contact Jamie Johnson, 571.748.2621, jajohnson@nvfs.org.

Two Opportunities to Drive out Hunger & Homelessness –

  • Hunger: Every day food goes to waste while families in our community go hungry. You can help! Food Recovery Drivers are needed weekday mornings, especially Mondays, to pick up donations from Manassas-area grocery stores/restaurants and deliver the food to SERVE’s Hunger Resource Center. Volunteers must be able to lift up to 50 lbs. Drivers must be at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license. Teens can ride with drivers to assist. Training is provided. Contact Navara Cannon, 571.748.2536, ncannon@nvfs.org.
  • Homelessness: Transportation is one of the biggest barriers to employment for homeless clients. You can help solve this problem by being a Shelter Services Driver. Volunteers are needed weekdays to drive clients in the SERVE passenger van to their jobs, job interviews and important appointments. Drivers must be at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license. Training is provided. Contact Navara Cannon, 571.748.2536, ncannon@nvfs.org.

Interpreters – Volunteers are needed to translate for clients in our mental health services office. Urgent language needs include French, Spanish. Uyghur and/or Mandarin is also needed for document translation. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, able to maintain confidentiality and submit to a criminal background check. Contact Jamie Johnson, 571.748.2621, jajohnson@nvfs.org.

Shelter Support Services – Do you enjoyed a fast-paced environment with an endless variety of activities? Volunteers embrace the role of trouble-shooter as they greet and assist visitors and clients, field incoming calls, fill client supply requests, assist staff, do various administrative tasks and more, Times are flexible between 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Must be 18 years old. This opportunity is at two locations:

  • 92-bed SERVE Shelter in Manassas – Contact Navara Cannon, 571.748.2536, ncannon@nvfs.org.
  • 30-bed Hilda Barg Shelter in Woodbridge – contact Paola Torres, 571.748.2674, ptorres@nvfs.org.
Northern Virginia Family Service
10455 White Granite Dr, Suite 100, Oakton, VA 22124
Privacy Policy | Unsubscribe © 2016 Northern Virginia Family Service