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ACTS Opens A New Satellite Office in Manassas

ACTS Opens A New Satellite Office in Manassas
We are very pleased to announce that on October 25th, a much-awaited for ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of our new satellite office in Manassas! This historical moment for ACTS comes thanks in part to the Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Grant Program run though the Department of Criminal Justices Services, as well as through your ongoing support. Our newest office will be the location of four new positions that will further the programs we currently have on the eastern side of Prince William, and will help us to expand our mission to more of those in need in the western part of the county. Most of the positions that will be housed at the new Manassas site will be part of our Crisis and Trauma Services Division, although we will have a representative from our Housing Department there as well. These new positions are: A housing...
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Vernell's Success Story

Vernell's Success Story
My name is Vernell Wilks, and I am the proud recipient of ACTS services.  During the early 90’s, I became a single mom due to divorce (not my decision).  After the divorce, I decided to pursue my goal of returning to school.   My objective was to become a teacher so that I could be at home with my two daughters during the summers, and by 4pm so that I could help them with homework.  After just a few months as a single mom, I took my nine year old niece in and raised her along with my two girls with no additional income.  As I had expected, being a single mom was not at all easy.  Although the drama in my life was no more, I found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.  Someone told me about ACTS and I decided to give it a try by taking a...
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ACTS Domestic Violence Services Welcomes October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

ACTS Domestic Violence Services Welcomes October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Today in Prince William County, ACTS Domestic Violence Services welcomed October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This campaign shines a light of hope on the dark reality of domestic violence in our families, our schools and our communities in Prince William County and across the Commonwealth of Virginia. One in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).  In America, one in fifteen children are exposed to domestic violence each year, often as eyewitnesses to violence, causing trauma and ongoing behavioral and emotional problems. The problem of domestic violence is not just national in scope, but affects our local communities. “In Prince William County, the Police Department fields over 9,000 crisis calls from families involved with domestic violence per year,” stated Dotty Larsen, Director of...
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6th Annual IWALK a Huge Success

6th Annual IWALK a Huge Success
The morning of October 1, 2016 began with a lot of rain here in Prince William County, but more importantly, it started with a lot of people in the area waking up early to volunteer their time to help set up tables, tents, and chairs for our annual IWALK event. The IWALK, which has been hosted by Image Church for six years now, is a time where businesses, churches, and families come together to support our organization's programs. This year, runners and walkers of all ages met in Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center, and after the 5K race was finished, they had the chance to enjoy a festival where raffles were won, good food was eaten, and songs were sung to help support our mission for our neighbors in crisis. {gallery}/media/jw_sigpro/users/0000000706/IWALK 2016{/gallery} Our 6th Annual IWALK was a huge success, and we at ACTS cannot possible begin to thank Image Church...
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IWALK Enters The Final Lap Thanks to Its Sponsors

IWALK Enters The Final Lap Thanks to Its Sponsors
October 1 is this Saturday and before we lace up our running shoes and lumber up for our 6th Annual 5K Walk and Run Festival, we would like to share some of the outstanding corporate sponsors that contributed the most to this year's IWALK. We received some very large contributions from both local companies and individuals throughout Prince William County, and we cannot begin to show our appreciation for not only each and every one of the pledges and gifts we received for our biggest fundraiser, but also the amount of hard work and dedication that went into spreading the news about this event, specifically from our partners at Image Church.  Check out this design from the back of our event t-shirt – We are grateful for the many companies and donors that are filling this space.  For the most current list of sponsors, visit  http://www.iwalkforacts.com/sponsors/ .  (Above from left...
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A New Day for Operation Turkey

A New Day for Operation Turkey
ACTS is pleased to announce that Operation Turkey '16 is well under way, and this year will bring forth some great, new changes. For those who might be unfamiliar with this event, Operation Turkey is traditionally our largest food drive for our neighbors in need of food for Thanksgiving. Our food pantry provides clients with standard Thanksgiving dinner staples such as stuffing and canned vegetables, while also giving out vouchers for turkeys.  In recent years, Operation Turkey has taken place over the span of just a few days, but this year, the event will run from November 1st through November 18th. During this time, clients are eligible to receive bags of food for their families the day that they register through our Emergency Assistance program, which means that they will not have to wait until the end of the month, nor will they have to wait in line. This will...
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ACTS Nominated for Prince William Living's Giving Back Award

ACTS Nominated for Prince William Living's Giving Back Award
With 2016 being an election year, our organization has found it's name in a very important poll. To be precise, ACTS is honored to be considered as a nominee of Prince William Living's Annual Giving Back Award. The Giving Back Award is the publication's way of promoting non-profit organizations in the areas of Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park in their efforts of creating greater awareness and support for the type of work we all do. From now until September 15th, the public is able to cast their votes on the best non-profit organization in the area from a list on Prince William Living's website. Afterwards, the top five non-profits will receive an article in the magazine that will highlight their programs and services in the community. While our organization does appreciate the amazing work that other non-profits have done for our neighbors in Prince William County, this award will...
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Meals Made The ACTS Way

Meals Made The ACTS Way
On Friday, August 19th, the Beverly Warren Emergency Shelter received a donation of 25 brown bag lunches for the clients that reside there. This generous donation was made by Ms. Terri Walton and a group from The Greater Praise Temple Ministries, who represent several different groups and organizations that make recurring food donations to ACTS. From the Food Pantry to the Emergency Shelter, food and necessary items such as toiletries are the most important donations we receive at ACTS, and it is through the help of our community partners that we are able to prevent hunger to our neighbors in Prince William County.  The group from The Greater Praise Temple Ministries participated in a program that is run through the Emergency Shelter called the  Adopt a Day (ADD) Program . Churches, school groups, and families are invited to get involved with this program, which entails the following: Meals can be dropped off at...
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ACTS Announces its 2016 School Supply Drive

ACTS Announces its 2016 School Supply Drive
School begins on August 29th for our Prince William County students, meaning that the daily morning rushes of signing permission slips, looking for missing socks, and waking up on time to catch the bus will quickly be upon us. As exciting as the start of the school year can be for some, the fact is that there will be children in our community that will arrive on their first day without any new supplies. From new clothes and book bags to pens, pencils, and paper; some families in our community will struggle to keep up with the costly items needed to start a successful year. In response to this, ACTS will be collecting school supplies this year to help curb this worry, and we need your help to do this. If it is within your means, we are asking the public to donate new or gently used school supplies to benefit students...
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A Week of Community Giving at ACTS

A Week of Community Giving at ACTS
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...
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Q&A with an ACTS Volunteer

Q&A with an ACTS Volunteer
Volunteers are an integral part of the daily operations here at ACTS, and almost every department has their own team of people who donate their time and skills to helping our community. From sorting clothes at the thrift store to assisting our staff with administrative duties, our volunteers are essential to us. Joe Delfico is one of these people, and lately, he has been working on an impact study designed to show people in the community how our organization helps people in a quantifiable way. I recently interviewed Joe, and here is what he had to say about the work he is doing with us.    Q. How long have you been at ACTS and what do you do? A. I am a volunteer with IVC the Ignation Volunteer Corp. It is a national organization with 18 offices in the US. I work out of the Northern Virginia Office. I have...
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ACTS Off to a Running Start with its 6th Annual IWalk Sponsorship Campaign

ACTS Off to a Running Start with its 6th Annual IWalk Sponsorship Campaign
October 1st is right around the corner, which means that ACTS' annual IWALK event is quickly approaching. For the first time, the 5K walk/run and family festival to benefit ACTS' programs will be held at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge, VA, and Wegmans is the Platinum Sponsor.  So far ACTS, with the help of Image Church, has already secured $35,000 in sponsorship funds. Last year, IWALK brought in $44,000 (net) to help local families struggling to make ends meet.;To get the message out this year, Kate Shifflett of Image Church has put together promotional IWALK packs called "IWALK-in-a-box.". These promo packs will include; A cover sheet with how to use the promo kit Registration forms Pledge forms Fundraising guide Sponsorship package Promo cards Kate Shifflett said, "The idea is for friends of ACTS to become Ambassadors of IWALK. With IWALK-in-a-Box they have all the tools in hand to engage others, start a...
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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....
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Staff BBQ Ends ACTS 2016 Fiscal Year

Staff BBQ Ends ACTS 2016 Fiscal Year
June marked the close of ACTS' 2016 Fiscal Year, and the organization celebrated its financial accomplishments by holding a Staff Appreciation BBQ at Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries. The event was catered by Shaun's Smokehouse BBQ, and ACTS' staff had the opportunity to mingle with each other as well as the board of directors while enjoying some fun in the sun. This could not have been accomplished without the support of our donors, and for that, we are truly grateful. Find Out more about Our Staff Here are some more of the highlights ACTS was able to accomplish during FY16: Restructured the entire organization - moving from many individual programs to two complimentary divisions sharing resources and ideas Opened its Women's Empowerment Center in Triangle Held a Grand Re-opening of the Thrift Store which included a new parking lot, paint job, children's corner, boutique, processing system and management, as well as...
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ACTS Introduces New Board Members

ACTS would like to welcome its newest board members Our Board of Directors provides strategic vision, policy guidance, and fiduciary oversight to ensure ACTS is good stewards of the resources entrusted to us and we stay true to our mission. Charles Kapur I currently serve on the Finance and Development Committees for ACTS. My amazement at, and appreciation for, the work that this organization does grows with every interaction I have. I look forward to continuing to learn more about the role ACTS plays in our community and to help guide the organization, in its mission, towards the future. George Orr I am currently on the Strategic Planning Committee and Finance Committee. I have supported ACTS for 20+ years and have seen the smiles and joy brought to those in need or crisis. During my time on the board I would look to enhance and expand those services that bring...
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Local Impact of the Food Pantry

Local Impact of the Food Pantry
  My first week at ACTS ended with me throwing away over a thousand pounds of produce, most of which was still completely fresh. It had all been donated  the previous Sunday from the VA Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners in partnership with the Dale City Farmers market; and I was instructed to dump it all as we would be receiving thousands of pounds more that coming Sunday. I was given the same instructions the following week. Every job comes with some responsibilities one might not want to do, however throwing away an abundance of perfectly fresh produce was something I refused to continue doing.             There were many reasons I could not bring myself to dump the produce week after week. I have worked on farms and am aware of all of the hard work and resources that go into planting, growing, harvesting, and processing crops. Additionally, the farmers who...
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ACTS Partners with DC Diaper Bank

ACTS Partners with DC Diaper Bank
Babies go through 8-12 diapers in a single day. At a cost of $100-$120 per child each month, diapers are an expensive necessity neither covered by WIC nor food stamps. Many of the families who seek assistance from ACTS struggle to meet their most basic needs and their inability to afford diapers is an added stress. This is where DC Diaper Bank, whose mission is “to strengthen families by providing a reliable and adequate supply of free diapers to families in need living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area”, steps in to help. In May of 2016, ACTS joined a network of 40 social service organizations in DC, MD, and VA that collectively distribute more than 100,000 diapers each month. Once a month, ACTS staff and volunteers visit the DC Diapers Bank warehouse in Silver Spring, MD to pick up 5,000 diapers as well as other necessities such as wipes,...
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ACTS Participates in Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children Program

ACTS Participates in Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children Program
Did you know that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18? On June 1, ACTS’ staff participated in an in-service presentation titled Darkness to Light’s  Stewards of Children through its Sexual Assault Services (SAVAS) department. During the two hour training, which was hosted by director Lydia Teutsch, employees learned five steps to prevent child sexual abuse, which are: "If you're too afraid to talk about child sexual abuse before it happens, you may only get to talk about it after it happens." Learn the Facts Minimize Opportunity Talk About It Recognize the Signs React Responsibly By the end of the year, all ACTS employees will take part in this preventative and educational program. If you would like to know more about how to prevent child sexual abuse in your community, ACTS Sexual Assault Services now offers an opportunity to learn about how to keep our children safe. If you are interested in learning more about...
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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!
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ACTS Success Story

ACTS Success Story
A young Hispanic woman, who was 4 months pregnant, came and filed a protective order at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Intake office and then met with one of the Turning Points court advocates. She disclosed her husband had been physically and verbally abusive towards her. She stated that several months ago her husband had come home drunk and upset. He held a knife and threatened to kill her. He also grabbed her by the neck and began to strangle her. She managed to get away and contact the police. She stated they had been separated for a few months. However he had been threatening via text message to kill her and take the baby away. The court advocate helped her file a preliminary protective order and accompanied her to court that day. She was granted a preliminary protective order and she was provided with resources for immigration agencies that...
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