As the dog days of summer continue, the second week of August brought in some truly significant gifts to our organization. On Tuesday, August 9th, a very large truck from George Mason University arrived at our Beverly Warren Emergency Shelter carrying sixty dormitory mattresses. These twin XL-sized mattresses will be distributed to each of our housing facilities, which include our Emergency Shelter, Women's Empowerment Center, and Safe House. The university's donation has given us the ability to replace mattresses that had not only been used for years, but which were much smaller and slimmer compared to the newer ones we received. George Mason's contribution also means that our housing facilities have extra beds for the future and in case of emergencies. At a time of the year when our shelters experience higher than normal bed utilization rates, ACTS is truly grateful for the university's much needed present to our shelter residents.
Leo Barrios, Associate Director of Housing Operations at George Mason, said, "[A]t Mason we strive to be responsible when it comes to sustainability and recycling efforts; the gift to your organization came as something natural from our operations. This year we have recycled over 700 mattresses and donated about 4 truckloads of used furniture. Our goal is to keep old and used materials away from landfills and to find ways to re-purpose them, by doing that we feel that we have been good stewards of the resources at hand and responsible members of the community."
The second and third acts of kindness happened within hours of each other later that week on Friday, August 12th. As it was with the beautification project of our Women's Empowerment Center that happened in July, the ACTS parking lot was the location of a dead tree needing to be cut down. True to form, a lady by the name of Angel Sankey, arrived at around noon just as the temperature was peaking to 97° with a heat index of 106°. Ms. Sankey not only cut down the tree for us for free, she also hauled away what was left of it. Ms. Sankey had responded to us via social media, and said that after hearing about the type of work we offer to our Prince William County neighbors, she was pleased to do it.
As the afternoon progressed, Brownie Scout Troop 572 arrived at our administrative office to hand us a monetary donation in the form of a check. When asked how long it took them to save the money, one of the brownie scouts mentioned that it took them over a year to save, and that they wanted to do something specifically for the homeless of our community. No comment was made about how many cookies it took them to sell to reach their goal, but the fact remains that compassion is still a trait that is held by some of our youngest community partners.
We are truly honored by the support we have received across our program areas last week. It is the dedication and helpful nature of our neighbors that keeps our organization thriving, and gives us the ability to help those in need in our area. Whether you would like to donate your time and energy as Angel did through our volunteer program, wish to support us through furniture gifts at our thrift store, or would simply like to contribute a small piece of your treasure through the administrative offices, ACTS truly appreciates every type of support it receives.