Working to End Domestic Violence in Prince William County

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Step out with ACTS Domestic Violence Services (Turning Points) by joining our 2018 Purple Purse Challenge! Together we can help put an end to domestic violence in Prince William County! 2018 was a big year as we launched a new and vital partnership with the Prince William County Police. The LAP program, or Lethality Assessment Protocol, allows us to reach high danger victims with safety planning and advocacy as never before. But the need is greater now. Many have no where to go in order to stay safe. Your support will provide needed resources to help high danger victims who need safe shelter and transportation, sometimes in the middle of the night. Your gift will help people like Laura, a survivor of domestic violence:  “My bruises were in my head.” Laura told us. “It felt like love at first, but then he became jealous and suspicious of me,” she said. “He...
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IWALK FOR ACTS 2018 RAISES OVER $151,000

Helping Families in Crisis in our Community   It was beautiful weather and hundreds of people took over the streets of Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center on Saturday October 6th. Over 700 walkers and runners participated in the 8th Annual IWALK for ACTS hosted by Image Church and Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) to benefit ACTS. The event featured a 5K run/walk through the town center followed by a family festival where thousands more joined the event. So far, the event has raised approximately $151,000 to support our most vulnerable neighbors in need and funds are still coming in! "The 8th Annual IWALK for ACTS was a great success.  We are so grateful for our partnership with Image Church, who created this event and has continued to lead it, as well as Wegmans and Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center who are among the 55 sponsors and partners for this...
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DAWSON Helps Organize ACTS’ New Hunger Prevention Center

October 16, 2018 A group of about 30 employees from the DAWSON company came down from Alexandria, VA on September 20 th and spent the entire day at our Hunger Prevention Center (HPC).  They helped move food from other storage locations into the HPC, then sorted, organized, and shelved pallets and pallets of food.  Once they had gone through all of the pallets and boxes of donated foods, they noticed several shelves were still empty.  Going above and beyond, the team of volunteers chose to go shopping and then returned to stock those shelves with the needed items!  This group of employees rocked it at our warehouse and we are so thankful for their support in such a tangible way! In addition to having a group volunteer at the HPC for a day, DAWSON has also begun helping ACTS through sponsoring training, supporting our Sexual Assault program, and sponsored the...
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Operation Turkey '18 Underway!

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Now that ACTS' Hunger Prevention Center is officially open, Thanksgiving will soon be around the corner, and we'll need your help to ensure that every family receives a Thanksgiving meal this year! Last year, 783 Total Families were assisted, which included 1,379 adults and 1,123 children. This year, our goal is to provide meals for 1,000 local families, and we hope that, with your help, we can achieve this!  The following items are what we need most: Canned Sweet Potatoes (15oz) Boxed Corn Muffin Mix (8.5oz) Boxed Stuffing Mix (6oz) Boxed Pie Crust Mix (9oz) Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix (15oz) Gravy Mix Packets Cranberry Sauce (14 oz) Instant Mashed Potatoes (13.75oz) Pie Filling Evaporated Milk (12 oz) Please bring all donated food to ACTS Hunger Prevention Center location at 17958 Dr. David Cline Lane in Dumfries by October 12th during the facility's hours of operation. These times include: Drop Off...
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ACTS To Hold Grand Opening of Hunger Prevention Center

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We did it! After two years of planning, purchasing, constructing, and more planning, I’m very happy to tell you that our Hunger Prevention Center (an expansion of our food pantry program) has now been operational for a month. It makes me even happier to say that we will be holding our official grand opening of this massive undertaking this week on August 15th from 11am-1pm, and you’re invited. Two years is a long time to be committed to a project. Thanks to your donations, the Hylton Foundation, and the unwavering support of ACTS’ volunteers, we were able to achieve something spectacular. I think the first lingering question in the community is, “Why did we do it?” On the outside, our food pantry was running pretty well. There was a location for clients to pick up food, as well as one for donors to drop off food. Local grocery stores and...
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Partner Workout Session Brings in Hundreds of Dollars to ACTS

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On July 7th, personal trainer and yoga instructor, Alicia Cross , and Coach TJ Fabis of Priority Wellness hosted an afternoon of fun and fitness at Occoquan Regional Park to benefit the clients of all of ACTS programs. The two conducted a half-hour partner boot camp workout followed by a partner yoga practice. Anyone how donated the $10-$20 suggested donation was entered into a drawing for great prizes like a gift certificate for a month of Nutrition Coaching from Alicia Cross Training and month of complete wellness/fitness programming from Priority Wellness.  After the event was over, I sat down with Alicia to talk about how the event went and why she and Coach TJ chose to hold a fundraiser for ACTS: Ethan:  Do you typically hold events together, or is this the first time you've partnered for a cause?   Alicia: This was the first event TJ and I co-hosted.    Ethan:...
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Suicide and Self-harm in the Media Today

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If you’ve been struggling with thoughts of suicide, feeling hopeless, feeling lonely and isolated, worried about someone you care about, you have help available through ACTS Helpline. Your call will be greeted by a compassionate trained listener. This person is there to help clarify your problems, offer suggestions, and most of all, listen. Call our helpline, day or night, at (703) 368-4141. Anthony Bordain, Kate Spade and 13 Reasons Why have all brought attention to something we should all have awareness of by now; suicide is the 10 th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 45,000 Americans die by suicide yearly. Numbers are expected to be higher since under reporting is known to occur. Impacts of these tragedies shock people in different ways. Kate Spade and Anthony Bordain were both lost within one week of each other. There has also been...
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Virginia Fresh Match Means More Healthy Fruits & Vegetables For Virginia Families

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ACTS' Hunger Prevention Center is a supplementary food program designed to assist families in Prince William County, many of whom are on governmental food assistance programs such as WIC and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) Families who are in need of food all receive fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, bread, canned goods, and household necessities through ACTS' Hunger Prevention Center. Special food packages are made for individuals with dietary restrictions, and we are even able to provide diapers if they are needed.  No one leaves our Hunger Prevention Center empty-handed. We also continue to participate in outreach and awareness campaigns with the assistance of the Greater Prince William Food Council and local farmers.  At over 60 sites across the Commonwealth, Virginia Fresh Match doubles the value of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps), helping Virginians bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables. When customers spend $20...
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Raising Awareness in Prince William County with International Belly Dancing

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In May, ACTS Domestic Violence Services took part in the world’s largest international belly dance event – the Shimmy Mob ! Created to raise awareness about domestic violence, the Shimmy Mob celebrates world Belly Dance day by joining groups across the globe in dance performances designed to raise funds for shelters and victims of abuse. On May 12, patrons of the Manassas Mall were treated to a performance by the Prince William Troupe that included all styles of Belly Dance, and a short show full of fun and variety. Tina Bauch, Team Leader for Shimmy Mob Prince William 2018, said that each year her dance troupe participates in the Shimmy Mob, along with groups across the country. One of their goals is to break the record for flash mob Belly Dancing, which they do each year. On the same day, having the same goals, troupes unite by dancing the same...
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Life After Losing Your Spouse

Life After Losing Your Spouse
Read the whole article at: ACTS Helpline provides numerous support lines to ensure that no one is ever alone.Your call will always be greeted by a compassionate, trained listener. This person is there to help clarify your problems, offer suggestions, and most of all, listen. All calls made are confidential and anonymous, allowing you to be completely open about what you’ve been going through. If you would like to sign up for ACTS Senior Link service, call 703-441-8606 ext 210 and ask for Senior Link. Introduction The death of a spouse is one of the most difficult challenges many of us will have to face. Your world is turned upside down, and it’s not easy to come to grips with the many emotions that you will inevitably feel. This is especially true if you had been married to your spouse for a significant amount of time. Nobody likes to think...
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Stamp Out Hunger Drive Brings in 8 Tons of Food to ACTS Hunger Prevention Center

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On Saturday, May 12th, the 26th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive was held in cities and towns all across America, and post offices located within our area were part of this nationally-coordinated event. Annually held on the second Saturday in May, this drive is the outgrowth of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ tradition of community service, a tradition exhibited repeatedly by members of the letter carriers’ union over the years. The drive began in 1991, and since that time, it has grown to cover all 50 states.  Like most good things, the idea is very simple. On the second Saturday in May, postal workers deliver mail to neighborhoods and collect food donations that have been stored in mailboxes. The food is collected and donated to charities that support hunger prevention to local residents. In our service area, four different post offices collected food...
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ACTS Hosts NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program

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What is the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family-to-Family Education Program? NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session education program for family, partners, friends and significant others of adults living with mental illness. The course is designed to help all family members understand and support their loved one living with mental illness, while maintaining their own well-being. The course includes information on illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other mental health conditions. Thousands of families describe the program as life-changing. The program is taught by trained teachers who are also family members and know what it is like to have a loved one living with mental illness. Tuesday and Thursday evenings June 19 - July 31, 2018 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ACTS 3900 Acts Lane, Dumfries, VA 22026 Participant Perspectives “This course overall was the single most, without a doubt, helpful and informative thing ever offered in all...
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Updates & News about the Volunteer Program

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As ACTS fiscal year comes to a close, we're excited to share that our volunteer program is being revamped! Currently:  We are working on ways to expand our Senior Link program by means of senior visits. Our intention is to have friendly visits of fellowship or an activity, like BINGO where we give out gifts or treats and information about Senior Link. This event is open to all including youth and families. Registration will be offered via sign-up sheet and dates will be announced on Facebook. July is the launch of volunteer orientations. This is a one-time hour session offered on Monday Mornings or Thursday Evenings to give an overview of ACTS, our services and information about the various ways to volunteer and give back within the organization. Sign up We continually look for ways to improve our volunteer programs and recently emailed a survey to active volunteers that can...
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Volunteer Spotlight: June

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This month’s Volunteer Spotlight is on the Volunteer Program. I have been a part of the ACTS team since September 2017; in my short time, I have had a lot of assistance making sure that our vast number of volunteers have undergone intake, feel appreciated and have information about our growing number of events and programs. I want to especially thank, Ethan Vick, who is a staff member and has been incredibly patient and helpful as I learned and developed within the Volunteer Program. The volunteers I want to spotlight are new to my program as Group Leaders but not new to ACTS, as they worked previously under the manager of the Thrift Store for the last few years. The Group Leaders are Natita Knight and Anita Cooper. The purpose of a Group Leader within this program is to assist groups during their day of service. Leaders also give instructions...
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ACTS Introduces New Board Members

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ACTS Board of Directors provides strategic vision, policy guidance, and fiduciary oversight to ensure ACTS is a good steward of the resources entrusted to us and we stay true to our mission. Members of the Board are drawn from the local community and serve on a voluntary basis for terms of three years each.   Today, we'd like to welcome Dru Kyme and Adil Khan to our board. Dru Kyme currently provides tax and book work in the Woodbridge area. A graduate of Gar-Field High School and alumni of both Radford University and George Mason University, Mr. Kyme worked for the U.S. Naval Audit Service for a number of years in our nation's capital. Upon his acceptance to ACTS Board of Directors, he says, "I am excited to be with ACTS so that I can give back to the community that I have been a part of for so long."  Having lived in...
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Update on ACTS' Hunger Prevention Center

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As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day Monday, we'd like to share that, due to unforeseen circumstances, our Hunger Prevention Center launch date has been moved to June 19th. So many improvements have been made recently to make this newest addition to ACTS as efficient as can be, and we can't begin to thank our supporters, volunteers, and vendors enough for the work they have accomplished so far in making this feat possible. The Hunger Prevention Center will be a site where we will be able to store more food and make the process for our clients who receive food so much easier. In order to facilitate this new change, our Food Pantry operations will be limited throughout the month of April.  WHAT TO EXPECT During the closing of the Food Pantry, we will still be providing food to our clients. They will be...
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My Partner Is Trying to Make Me Seem Crazy. Am I Crazy?

Am I crazy?
As seen in: ACTS Domestic Violence Services' Adult Advocacy Program focuses on your safety, helping you set boundaries, and empowering you to lead an abuse-free life using resources we can help you attain. Individual and group support are both available. Call anytime: 703-221-4460 Sarah’s* abuser made her sleep facing him in bed. It started innocently enough. He said he liked it when she slept facing him so he could watch her fall asleep. It was romantic. But what started out as a request quickly turned into a demand. He convinced her that rolling over meant “turning her back on him,” and he’d become furious, even if she did it unthinkingly in that period between wakefulness and slumber. Sarah used to lie awake until she was certain he was asleep and then quietly roll over onto her right side, which is how she preferred to sleep. Sarah had to take two Tylenol...
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Make IMPACT

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ACTS makes the impact it does in our community because our staff, volunteers, supporters, faith communities, businesses, and other partners have joined together.  We could not do what we do alone, but together we each do our part, and it adds up to something spectacular. A year ago, I joined a brand-new organization that has taken this concept to a whole new level.  It is called IMPACT Club.  Founded right here in Woodbridge, it has already spread around the world, with local chapters as far away as New Zealand!  The concept is simple: four times a year, individuals commit to donating $100 to a local nonprofit.  Three nonprofits are then chosen at random from a pool of nominees and invited to give a five-minute presentation to the group.  The club votes, and the winner takes home the entire collection. It’s simple.  $100 is a nice donation to a nonprofit.  One...
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Volunteer Spotlight: Joline Doedens-Combs

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Co-written by (listed alphabetically): Tamika Martin, Linda Neice and Gine Ryan. This month’s volunteer spotlight is: Joline Doedens-Combs. Because of her incredible services, she is also the Volunteer of the Year for Domestic Violence Services (DVS). We cannot begin to describe how Joline’s selfless work assists both ACTS and our clients; so I want to describe a day at our offices: Nearly every day at the ACTS Court Office, there is a flurry of activity in brief crisis counseling for walk-in clients who are seeking protection from their abusive family members. Because of the nature of the cases, often it is necessary that we operate within a very short window.  It is a race against time for: preliminary protective order hearings, faxing the client’s paperwork to qualify for pro bono legal aid, finding an attorney who will represent a client for their permanent protective order hearing. Often, we receive pro...
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The Facts Behind Senior Hunger

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Nearly one in every six seniors in America  faces the threat of hunger  and not being properly nourished. This applies to those who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from and those who don’t have access to the healthiest possible food options. The issue is severe enough that the AARP reports that seniors face a healthcare bill of  more than $130 billion every year  due to medical issues stemming from senior hunger. Senior hunger is an expansive issue that requires an understanding of exactly what constitutes a senior being “hungry,” the issues that stem from senior hunger, and how seniors who are hungry can be helped. To understand the concept of seniors being hungry, you must understand what it means to be “food insecure.” When you are food insecure, it means that there is “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain...
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