TIPS FOR FAMILY GIVING

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By Anna Hargrave, Executive Director for Montgomery County“How can we get our children involved in giving?” This is one of the questions we hear frequently from our donors, especially around this time of year. We hear it about children of all ages—because parents never stop thinking about how to pass on their values.And we have plenty of ideas to offer from our many years of working with individuals and families to maximize the benefits and impact of their giving. Here’s a taste:TAKE YOUR CHILDREN WITH YOU when you volunteer or attend an event sponsored by an organization you care about, such as a site visit, presentation, or fundraiser. The rides to and from the event provide the perfect opportunity to prepare them for the experience and then to debrief. Be sure to tell them why you care, and ask about their reactions.HOLIDAY GATHERINGS are the ideal setting for starting a conversation....
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HPC Holiday Hours

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ACTS Hunger Prevention Center will be CLOSED from December 24, 2019 through January 1, 2020.  It will reopen on January 2nd from 1:00pm - 3:00pm and resume regular operating hours beginning January 3rd.  Thank you to all who donated food items over the past two months giving us the ability to distribute 2,300 pounds food to 1,832 individuals during Operation Give Thanks! Of those we helped, 579 were children and 189 were single adults. We are ready for another year of helping the food insecure in our community.Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year from the entire HPC Team!
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Today is #GivingTuesday

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We are able to provide FREE services to over 80,000 individuals every year through the generosity of our Donors!  Today is a special day for giving.  Would you be willing to consider making one more donation as the year comes to an end?  Every dollar makes a difference.85% of our Revenue --> Programs and Services15% of our Revenue --> Operational ExpensesYour donation provides:  food, housing, emergency assistance, domestic violence and sexual assault services, 24/7 crisis helpline support, court advocacy, suicide support, and emergency shelter for our neighbors in crises. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season! ------->  Donate Now <-------                                          
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Milestone: 100,000 Pounds of Food Rescued!

Milestone: 100,000 Pounds of Food Rescued!
For Immediate Release:100,000 Pounds of Food Rescued by Prince William NonprofitPrince William Food Rescue announces the milestone of 50 tons of food diverted from landfills and into food pantries.Dumfries, Virginia – 12/2/2019 – Prince William Food Rescue, a local initiative to mobilize volunteers to reduce food waste, is excited to announce the delivery of its 100,000th pound of food rescued. This benchmark comes less than four months from its inception in August 2019.A program of Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), the Prince William Food Rescue organizes small deliveries - or “rescues” - from grocery stores and restaurants to distribution locations that include churches and schools. Volunteers are notified of rescues through a mobile app, where they can claim and track their rescue.“We’re amazed by the support that our community has given to the Food Rescue program”, says Aaron Tolson, Director of Development for ACTS.  “The Prince William region is full...
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Operation Give Thanks 2019

Operation Give Thanks 2019
ACTS Hunger Prevention Center seeks to help food insecure families enjoy the upcoming holiday season.  November 1st - 20th is our annual Operation Give Thanks initiative where we provide Thanksgiving bags to families we serve, in addition to the regular bags of food they would normally receive.   Last year we provided Thanksgiving meals for 1,000 families in our community and we anticipate reaching that number again this year.  Our goal is to ensure every family we serve has a meal to share on this special holiday.  Every year we rely on donations from our community in order to share the joy of the season with our neighbors who may be struggling, and we are looking to you again this year!  Individuals, families, faith-based communities, schools, civic groups, businesses and other organizations are welcomed to donate items from the list below and can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9:00 am...
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IWALK for ACTS 2019

IWALK for ACTS 2019
The 9th Annual IWALK for ACTS is taking place this coming Saturday, October 5th at Stonebridge at Potomac Center!  The day begins with a 5K Run/Walk starting at 8:00am followed by a free Family Festival from 9:00am to 1:00pm down the main street at Stonebridge.  There will be vendors, activities for kids, police and fire vehicles, face painting, live music, food and more!  Additionally, all 5K participants will receive a $5 Off Coupon to attend Youth For Tomorrow's Country Fair that same afternoon in Bristow!  So, grab the family and have fun this Saturday supporting two amazing organizations serving our community.Registration is still open online and you can even register Saturday morning before the race.  Visit www.iwalkforacts.com/register and signup today!Image Church founded the event eight years ago with the idea to raise funds for the many programs of ACTS directly helping thousands of individuals and families hurting in our community.  Last year they...
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ACTS Helpline: Ready to Listen Every Hour of Every Day

ACTS Helpline: Ready to Listen Every Hour of Every Day
According to the Center for Disease Control, 44,965 people died by suicide in the USA in 2015; that is approximately one suicide every 12 minutes. One of the top 10 causes of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years, suicide is a disease that is preventable with some help and assistance. ACTS Helpline is one of the tools available to the Prince William community and is a tool for all to use. As September is Suicide Awareness Month, knowing more information about our services can be beneficial.What ACTS Helpline Offers  A free, confidential, 24-hour help line for people to call when they need someone to talk toTrained, compassionate staff and volunteers who are ready to listen any time of the day or nightNon-judgmental, non-advice-giving staff who listen and offer information about resources availableCrisis intervention for trauma, suicide, sexual assault,...
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How to Make the Most of Assisted Living

How to Make the Most of Assisted Living Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Guest Blog by Sharon WagnerMoving to an assisted living facility is a wonderful way to find an instant community of people who are in your age range and share your interests. Such a built-in social network becomes especially valuable in your golden years.According to this National Poll on Healthy Aging, one in three adults aged 50 to 80 feels lonely. It’s further been shown that older adults who are isolated from the world are more likely to experience depression. Get inspired by the tips below and make the most out of the wonderful opportunities offered by assisted living.Take Advantage of a Chance for ExerciseMost assisted living centers offer some sort of physical activity program. This could include anything from nature walks to senior yoga or even swimming excursions. If you’re able, take part in these course offerings on a regular basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise...
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ACTS: On a Mission to End Homelessness in Prince William

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Here are some frightening stats about homelessness in Prince William County and beyond:On any given night in the state of Virginia there are 6,067 people suffering from homelessness.In the general population, 7.2 out of every 10,000 people are homeless.Prince William County’s homeless numbers represent 7.8 out of 10,000 people alone, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness organization, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States.Homelessness is a national problem. However, here in Prince William, ACTS is helping change our neighbors’ lives through the shelters and services offered one person at a time.ACTS Works to End HomelessnessFrom emergency shelter to transitional housing to permanent housing, ACTS is providing services throughout Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park. Whether it’s a safe place for just the night, or a few weeks, ACTS provides not only the shelter necessary during a difficult period, it also provides...
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Anxious. Heartbroken. Unbearable. Angry. Painful

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That’s how women described listening to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified that Supreme Court nominee (now Justice) Brett M. Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. Dr. Blasey’s story triggered strong emotional reactions of fear, shame, shock, anger and worry – common feelings when survivors are made to remember something bad that happened to them in the past. Triggers can be physical too; chemicals and hormones released in the body during a traumatic experience can also be released when the experience is remembered.It should come as no surprise that The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reported a 201 percent spike in calls the day Dr. Blasey testified as well as “unprecedented wait times” for its online chat. Their Crisis Text Line, which provides crisis intervention, saw the numbers of people reaching out with stories of sexual abuse double...
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ACTS Celebrates 50 Years Serving Prince William

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by Olivia OvermanAction in Community Through Service (ACTS), a Dumfries-based non-profit, celebrated 50 years of service in Prince William with a 50th Anniversary Gala event held on Feb. 28 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Local officials, partners, donors, volunteers, and staff celebrated the past, present and future of an organization that contributes in so many ways to the community.   Created in 1969 after 13 churches came together to help a family whose house had burned down, today ACTS provides assistance to thousands of families in crisis in Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park. In 2018 alone, ACTS assisted nearly 80,000 individuals in crises, providing food to over 700 families a month, nearly $300,000 in utility assistance and taking 40,000 calls through their Helpline. ACTS also helps people with housing assistance, those dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as offering items through their thrift store.“It was exciting and humbling to...
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ACTS 50th Anniversary Gala

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Tickets Available!We are just a few weeks away from a once-in-a-lifetime event to celebrate ACTS 50th Anniversary!  Plans and preparations have been underway for months to create a moment where the past, present, and future are recognized and celebrated simultaneously.   What a wonderful evening this is going to be at the Hylton Performing Arts Center!The Gala will begin with a cocktail hour accompanied by live music provided by the Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra’s string quartet.  While guests mingle in the grand foyer, they can enjoy delicious hors d'oeuvres and an open bar, place bids on the silent auction gift baskets, browse the history of ACTS through photographs, or explore the tables of information about all the programs and services offered to our community.  A photographer will be making the rounds to capture the tuxes and evening gowns that are sure to make the evening sparkle.Soon the doors to Gregory Hall will open...
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Food Waste: How Finding A Solution Could Improve Lives in Prince William

food-waste-landfill Fresh food dumped at a landfill
Shocking Statistic Alert! One-third of all food produced in the world goes to waste! That is enough food to feed three billion people in a world where 805 million people go hungry every year. Statistics reveal that 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted on an annual basis. That leaves one in seven people hungry. According to the United Nations, if we recover all the food that is lost or wasted, we will have enough to feed all those who are hungry, four times over.  Read More
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What A Whir

Sound-Machine Sound machines provide privacy for our Crisis Listeners
I impatiently wait as my computer logs onto our server, mentally preparing for the emails that need a response.  I already know what they are – my cell phone was kind enough to deliver them to me earlier.  I sip on coffee and enjoy the temporary calm and quiet of the office.  The only sound I hear is the muffled whir of several small sound machines located outside of our Helpline rooms just down the hallway – evidence that some staff have been here all night long, behind closed doors, answering crisis phone calls.Prior to working at ACTS I had no idea there even was a crisis helpline in the county.  I didn’t know that, for over thirty-five years, there have been staff and volunteers on a constant rotation talking to people in our community dealing with all sorts of crisis – many contemplating (or about to go through with) suicide. ...
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Answering Crisis Calls This Holiday Season

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The holidays can be extremely tough for those who have lost loved ones, are struggling to pay bills, or dealing with other stressors in their lives.  Our Helpline Program allows us to come alongside our neighbors as they work through deep mental and emotional pain.  It is run by a dedicated staff of seven and volunteer team of fourteen.  Our trained Crisis Listeners are available 24/7 and receive nearly 2,000 calls per month - 39% of which are suicide related.  Encompassing four different resources, the Helpline program, with the help of donations received, provides:Crisis Listeners: Thirty-nine percent of calls received per month by the Helpline are suicide related. All ACTS crisis listeners are trained to help people deal with their feelings and to talk through their issues.Resources Listeners: Providing a wealth of information on the availability of resources available to people who are in crisis, such as hospital locations etc.Senior Link: A completely free service,...
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DAWSON Helps Organize ACTS’ New Hunger Prevention Center

October 16, 2018A group of about 30 employees from the DAWSON company came down from Alexandria, VA on September 20th 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 IWALK just a few...
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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 kept track of my...
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Operation Turkey 2018

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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!Thank you for helping us alleviate hunger this upcoming (though it doesn't feel like it!) holiday season!
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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 PacketsCranberry Sauce (14 oz)Instant Mashed Potatoes (13.75oz)Pie FillingEvaporated 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 Hours:Monday: 9-11:30am / 1-3pmTuesday: 1-3:30pm / 5-6:30pmThursday: 9-11:30am / 1-3pmFridays: 9-11:30amDistribution will begin on...
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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 individuals always...
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