Spreading Holiday Cheer Through Village of Impact

Local families learn about our neighbors living in poverty and the additional hardships poverty brings during the holiday season

At our December Village of Impact service day, local families learned about families living in poverty and the additional hardships it brings during the holiday season, and participated in a volunteer activity.

Children as young as 3 and as old as 15 decorated stockings with bells, glitter and pom-poms so young children have stockings stuffed with goodies just like their peers. Volunteers also colored winter scenes and snowflakes for display in the waiting room of our Hunger Resource Center for families in need of emergency assistance, bringing an element of festivity during a difficult time.

After completing the project, the children gathered together to read a book, Maddi’s Fridge. This book is about best friends who live in the same neighborhood and attend the same school. One has a fridge stocked full with nutritious foods; the other has an empty fridge with nothing more than bread and milk. After reading about how one friend’s family helps the other friend’s family, the group discussed ways they can show kindness to their peers who face similar struggles.

Did you know… 40 percent of children in Prince William County, 28 percent in Fairfax County and more than 55 percent each in the cities of Alexandria, Manassas and Manassas Park qualify for free and reduced-fee school lunch?

Meanwhile, the parents and teens learned from Andrea Eck, executive vice president of programs, just how prevalent poverty is in our region, despite its wealth. Family stress escalates during the holidays, hunger becomes a public reality because traditional holiday meals are pricey and schools are closed, and the exchange of gifts is scarce.

Our next event will be held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 21) at our Training Futures office in Tysons, where participants will learn how workforce development can transform the lives and opportunities of our neighbors. RSVP today.