In 1924, NVFS was founded by a group of volunteers who noticed a dire need in their community and jumped into action—too many of their neighbors didn’t have coal to heat their homes and were walking the streets in winter without coats.
Nearly 100 years later, volunteers continue to play a vital role in ensuring that NVFS’s robust, quality programming helps individuals and families successfully move along the path from crisis to stable to thriving. Here are just a few ways that volunteers contributed their innovative ideas, unique perspectives and specialized skills this last year:
- Leading music classes for young children to explore new sounds, patterns and rhythms; test out hand-held instruments, and sing the joys of song.
- Coaching job trainees to improve their communication skills, write resumes, develop personal statements, practice interviewing and, most importantly, build their self-confidence.
- Breaking apart and disposing of unstable playground equipment at the shelter that had become hazardous for the children.
- Driving to grocery stores and restaurants to pick up food donations and delivering them to the Hunger Resource Center, sorting incoming food donations, stocking and restocking shelves, and assembling food packages for families.
- Hand-making protective face masks (following CDC guidelines) for staff on the front lines providing essential services and to clients receiving those services during the COVID crisis.
- Changing the oil in our vehicles every 3,000 miles, replacing brake lights and turn signals and checking vehicle fluids.
Last year, over 4,000 people volunteered nearly 65,000 hours at a value of $2.2 million dollars. But, truthfully, our volunteers are invaluable—they are the roots of our programs and services that branch out across Northern Virginia. They have been good neighbors since the beginning, and we are so fortunate that they will be right alongside us for the next 100 years.