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...
Continue reading
0
  504 Hits
  0 Comments
504 Hits
0 Comments

Updates & News about the Volunteer Program

Volunteer with ACTS!
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...
Continue reading
0
  465 Hits
  0 Comments
465 Hits
0 Comments

Volunteer Spotlight: June

Anita-Cooper
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...
Continue reading
0
  367 Hits
  0 Comments
367 Hits
0 Comments

Volunteer Spotlight: Joline Doedens-Combs

certificate
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...
Continue reading
0
  544 Hits
  0 Comments
544 Hits
0 Comments

SAAM VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK: Edward McGovern

Webp.net-resizeimage-1
For the month of April, nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM),  ACTS Sexual Assault Services  will highlight the work of several of our program volunteers who give freely of their time and talents to support survivors of sexual violence.  This week’s Volunteer Spotlight features Edward McGovern, ACTS Sexual Assault Services Volunteer of the Year. Ed not only volunteers his time on our hotline, he is also a powerful speaker, which has enabled ACTS to connect with an audience that is typically hard to reach. In addition, Ed serves on the Sexual Assault Awareness Month committee and represents ACTS at community outreach events. According to Terry Swirchak, Community Educator for ACTS Sexual Assault Services; “Ed is kind, humble, gracious, empathetic and willing to put himself out there in an effort to help others. Those who have worked with Ed know him to be a great teammate and someone who...
Continue reading
1
  442 Hits
  0 Comments
442 Hits
0 Comments

SAAM Volunteer Spotlight of the Week: Iris Coleman

download-3
For the month of April, nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM),  ACTS Sexual Assault Services  will highlight the work of several of our program volunteers who give freely of their time and talents to support survivors of sexual violence.  It is never easy to hear someone’s story of sexual assault. This is what Iris Coleman has been doing over the last 2 ½ years as a Volunteer Crisis Listener for the ACTS Sexual Assault Hotline. Sometimes, Iris is the first person the survivor tells about their assault. Her job is to let the caller know that she is there to listen, believe them, and provide support. Sometimes support means offering resources, such as how to reach ACTS Sexual Assault Services. Other times it involves helping the person to make their own decision as to whether or not to seek medical attention, or involve the police. But often, listening...
Continue reading
2
  533 Hits
  0 Comments
533 Hits
0 Comments

SAAM Volunteer Spotlight of the Week: Paige Meade

219190_4715916589617_1036120319_o-1
For the month of April, nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), ACTS Sexual Assault Services will highlight the work of several of our program volunteers who give freely of their time and talents to support survivors of sexual violence.  This week’s Volunteer Spotlight highlights Paige Meade. Paige first learned of ACTS Sexual Assault Services in 2006, when she joined a survivor’s support group to help her work through the aftermath of a violent sexual assault that happened in Manassas in 1992.  “I was at my lowest, and the group welcomed me and helped me work though long-buried issues,” says Paige.  “I’m not sure what I would have done without that support, so I believe it’s important for me to give back to my community.”  Currently, Paige volunteers 96 hours per month. She is routinely on call for hospital accompaniment visits to provide support during the sometimes-lengthy forensic exam....
Continue reading
2
  805 Hits
  0 Comments
805 Hits
0 Comments

Volunteer Spotlight: Alexis

pexels-photo-914931
Helpline is a free and confidential 24/7 crisis service. Since the Helpline does not close, it is crucial that there are an adequate number of staff and volunteers to cover the Helpline at all times. There are certain times of day that callers tend to call in more frequently and more listeners are needed during those times. The topics of conversation are varied and listeners need to have the ability to discuss different types of crises. Volunteers are always appreciated. Alexis is an intern for the Helpline. She has to complete 120 hours for her internship and is more than halfway done at the time of this writing. Alexis has been willing to do her internship hours based on the needs of the Helpline. Whether that means a shift that begins at 5 AM or at 5 PM. She has a full-time job and she goes above and beyond to...
Continue reading
1
  649 Hits
  0 Comments
649 Hits
0 Comments

Volunteer Spotlight: Byron Ross

152182385415527069
In this month's Volunteer Spotlight, we are highlighting the selfless work of Byron Ross, who volunteers with the Children's Program for ACTS' Domestic Violence Services Program . The Children's Program provides a support group to youths ages 5-17, and its focus is on building self-esteem, growing problem-solving skills and exploring one's feelings. April Vandover, who is the Children's Program Specialist, describes Byron as a great asset to her program; "He has volunteered for over a year, working well with youth of all ages but he shines with the teen group. Byron has an effortless way with connecting to youth, his guidance helps those around him open up, share, and feel comfortable. Byron's efforts with the teenagers has not gone unnoticed by ACTS or those in the group.  Any time he is away (which is an extremely rare occasion), his presence is truly missed. Part of the success of the teen's...
Continue reading
2
  754 Hits
  0 Comments
754 Hits
0 Comments

Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Victorson

MEV-SCS-Portrait-2016
The Volunteer Spotlight is a new, monthly segment where ACTS recognizes the outstanding service by volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty. In this Volunteer Spotlight, we are highlighting the time selflessly given by those who serve on the Crisis and Suicide Helpline. The Crisis Helpline is a free, confidential telephone service available 24 hours a day. The extensive training for those who answer these calls is 40 hours, but the wonderful thing about this program is you work directly with the lives you touch and after the initial training, you have a very flexible schedule! Last year, our Helpline staff and volunteers answered 8,200 suicide-related calls, over 11,000 Senior Link calls, and over 7,000 calls related to crisis issues.  We want to acknowledge the awesome work of Mark Victorson, who is a longtime volunteer with the Suicide Helpline. In 2016, Mark gave over 836 hours of...
Continue reading
1
  1409 Hits
  0 Comments
1409 Hits
0 Comments

A Guide to Volunteering During the Holiday Season

Untitled-73
I want to thank you for donating your time, items and energy; what you do makes a measurable impact for both ACTS and the community. The holiday season is a wonderful time to give back; this is the season for giving and as the year ends we reflect on both the good and bad and how to do something outside ourselves. However, in general, ACTS is not open on federally observed holidays so volunteering is limited at those times. So, what can you do to volunteer? Fill out our individual   or group application. If you are interested in working with a specific program- like the Adopt A Day on holidays you must follow up with the scheduler directly and as far in advance as possible. After filling out an application, schedule yourself, your family and friends to work the days before and following the holidays at departments like the Thrift...
Continue reading
1
  933 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
933 Hits
0 Comments

Best Ways to Provide Support When One of Your Volunteers Suffers a Loss

Best-Ways-to-Provide-Support-
While it can take months or even years to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, most people realize that time doesn’t pause during that period. Life and responsibilities go on and require attention. While some people find returning to a regular routine helpful, it can be extremely challenging for others. This can be a tricky situation for a manager when a volunteer suffers a loss. But with a little planning, you can make the transition easier for your returning volunteer. Why It’s Hard Whether it’s working or volunteering, everyone knows that the first day back with an organization can be a bit of a challenge. Especially when one expects colleagues to react with sympathy and questions. It’s typical for people to have the same automatic, though well-intentioned, reaction of, “I’m sorry.”  They may ask how the volunteer is doing or what happened. Try to anticipate some...
Continue reading
1
  720 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
720 Hits
0 Comments

Volunteer Program Blog Introduction

remi-walle-86579
Welcome all ACTS employees, volunteers and prospects to the Volunteer Program Blog! My name is Tamika Martin, I am the Volunteer Coordinator. My job is volunteer: engagement, recruitment, placement, development, recognition and retention. This blog will feature: ACTS at events and volunteer days, recognition of excellent service from current volunteers by staff and information about programs that have immediate needs or are season specific (like Operation Turkey ). With the year winding down and the weather cooling; we know the holidays are right around the corner. This is the time where collectively we think outside ourselves and give to those around us. ACTS can be a great  vehicle for you and you loved ones to make a difference in the community. Here are some of programs available for single or ongoing terms:  Adopt-A-Day Program  - Provide breakfast, lunch or dinner and after-school snacks for children staying at the Beverly Warren...
Continue reading
1
  714 Hits
  0 Comments
714 Hits
0 Comments

Summer Fun Volunteering with ACTS

fraternity-photo
At ACTS, we're always happy to host groups that serve at our warehouse through our Volunteer Program. While there, our volunteers sort the generous donations which members of our community have provided to their neighbors, mainly non-perishables and clothing.  Since February, we have been lucky enough to welcome the members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity’s Social Action Committee twice a month.  They show up, rain or shine, with exuberance and excitement at the difference they are making in people’s lives through their relationship with ACTS. The 2017 goal of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Omicron Zeta Sigma Chapter’s Social Action Committee is to ensure we make a tangible, social impact within the DMV area in general, but specifically in Prince William County. In the words of Phi Beta Sigma’s Jermaine Jackson: “Our chapter’s social action volunteerism impact focus includes a partnership with Action in the Community Through Service (ACTS). ACTS provides...
Continue reading
2
  1223 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1223 Hits
0 Comments

A Letter to Our Volunteers

A Letter to Our Volunteers
Happy National Volunteer Week! I want to express my deep appreciation for the incredible perseverance and dedication of all ACTS’ volunteers , past and present.  I have seen youth volunteers spend two hours with their friends and family sorting donated items, and I have met volunteers who have spent ten years of their lives preparing food bags in our pantry .  Just this week, Comcast Cares Day brought hundreds out to Dumfries on (a very rainy) Earth Day to work making ACTS’ buildings look better and work better so we can serve the community better. A little rain could never slow down an ACTS volunteer!!  If you have spent any amount if time in your life giving back to our community through ACTS, I want to thank you.  As the Volunteer Coordinator, I am in the enviable position of meeting people as they first come to ACTS and think about what type...
Continue reading
4
  970 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
970 Hits
0 Comments

Missionaries from Germany and Russia Lend a Hand for ACTS

Missionaries from Germany and Russia Lend a Hand for ACTS
ACTS’ history is repeating itself. In 1969, twelve churches joined together and combined their resources to help a family that was in crisis. In July of 2016, a few years shy of ACTS’ 50th anniversary, three churches from three different countries have banded together to not only improve upon one of the organization’s sites, but areas around Prince William County as well.   These three churches include Crossroads Presbyterian Church, located in Dumfries, a Baptist Church from Cera, Germany, and another from Rostov-on-Don, Russia. In total, 40 missionaries have arrived from Germany and Russia to work on the grounds of the Women’s Empowerment Center, which opened last year. They were also given a tour of ACTS’ administrative building and Family Services Center by CEO, Steven G. Liga. ACTS is truly grateful of the help these missionaries have provided to assist families that are in a transitional moment in their lives....
Continue reading
0
  1847 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1847 Hits
0 Comments

ACTS Volunteers Recognized for their Service

ACTS Volunteers Recognized for their Service
Congratulations to our wonderful volunteers who joined us at the Community-Wide Volunteer Recognition Event on May 22nd. Volunteers were recognized with a Congressional record, and enjoyed a lovely picnic in the rain!
0
  1725 Hits
  0 Comments
Tags:
1725 Hits
0 Comments