Healing for All Walks of Life

SA-Success-story
The woman in this story was a client in our AMAC (Adults Molested As Children) support group at the PWC Adult Detention Center many moons ago.  She was a single mom whose children were living with her parents at the time.  The parents were not very supportive, however she found the support she needed from our group and co-facilitators.  Every week she would ask the facilitators for various help that she was unable to do in jail.  One day the group members laughed when again she asked for help and apologized if she was asking too much.  She turned to them and said “I am serious, this is my life”!  It was then that we knew she had a burning determination to make it and we would do whatever we could to help her.  When she was released from jail, she stayed for awhile at a shelter, found a job,...
Continue reading
2
  894 Hits
  0 Comments
894 Hits
0 Comments

Hendrick Honda of Woodbridge Partners with ACTS during Team Honda Week of Service

Honda
This week, Hendrick Honda of Woodbridge will be hosting a food drive as part of their  Team Honda Week of Service . For the second year, Honda dealers and partners across North America are collectively performing acts of service during the week of June 8-19. This year, 206 dealers, 92 suppliers, and 20 Honda companies will perform acts of service, ranging from food and blood drives to beach clean-ups and pet adoptions, to benefit the food pantry at ACTS. You can get involved too. Bring any non-perishable food items to Hendrick Honda, and drop them in the shopping carts located inside both the new car showroom and the service center lounge. Kristin Alsup of Hendrick Honda commented, "More than one organization exists in Prince William County to help the community. Once the decision is made to do a service project, where to aim the service is not an easy decision to make."...
Continue reading
2
  920 Hits
  0 Comments
920 Hits
0 Comments

A Walk for Suicide Awareness

Suicide-Awareness-Walk
On May 20 th , ACTS participated in Forest Park High School’s Suicide Awareness Walk. The event has been held for 3 years now, and has been spearheaded by the seniors of Mrs. Shannon Geraghty’s AP Government Class. The walk itself, in which participants travel the estimated 6 miles from Forest Park to Hylton High School , is designed to raise awareness of mental health and issues of suicide. This year, a huge group of AP Government students kept the walk going, and their goal was to increase awareness and encourage open conversations about mental health issues. Among the guests that spoke were Congressman Gerry Connolly, Senator Jeremy McPike, and Lt. Governor Ralph Northam. Vicki Graham , Chief Program Officer of ACTS' Crisis and Trauma Division , attended the event and commented: "I have attended the Suicide Awareness Walk every year and each year they are more well attended. The...
Continue reading
1
  902 Hits
  0 Comments
902 Hits
0 Comments

Shimmy Mob Shakes for Domestic Violence Awareness

Grafiti
Belly Dancers across North America and beyond have geared up during the past few weeks to make Belly Dance History once again, and all of it was for a great cause. On Saturday, May 13th, “Shimmy Mobs” appeared randomly at various locations from coast to coast to promote World Belly Dance Day and help raise funds for women's shelters . “Flash Mobs” (a group of people organized to meet to perform a specified action and then disperse quickly) are nothing new. What makes Shimmy Mob different from regular flash mobs is the three main goals. The primary goal is to promote belly dance and raise awareness of World Belly Dance Day; the secondary goal is to raise funds for local women’s and children’s shelters in participating communities; the third goal is to acknowledge and promote participating sponsors. Of course, they also aim to entertain! Shimmy Mob represents all styles of Belly Dance...
Continue reading
1
  958 Hits
  0 Comments
958 Hits
0 Comments

Our Annual Membership Drive

Spring-Member-Redux
Our Annual Membership Drive is your chance to extend a hand to someone who may be living next door, down the street, or across town.  By joining ACTS , you provide food for your neighbors, ensure they have a roof over their heads, provide healing for those who have been abused, and offer hope to those who are in despair. You can learn even more about our work by browsing through our website under the Services tab, or even check out our latest annual report .  Become A Member Ways You Can Help $30 : ACTS of Hope Your monthly donation helps us reach our neighbors in so many ways! One way is by providing support to five callers to our 24-hour crisis Helpline. $60 : ACTS of Service Join our mission as we assist with promoting self-sufficiency. Your monthly gift will enable us to be able to provide one...
Continue reading
2
  1454 Hits
  0 Comments
1454 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

ACTS Helpline: The People We Talk To

ACTS Helpline: The People We Talk To
ACTS Helpline responds to a variety of people in crisis throughout the state, country, and the world.  Not only do we receive calls from our neighbors in Prince William County, but also from other parts of the US. We’ve even handled calls from Mexico, Canada and London! Other than a person’s accent, it goes to show that some problems are universal.   The range of subjects we address is staggering. This could include relationship issues with husbands or wives, transitioning to a new chapter in life, or difficulties with employment.  We frequently get calls from people locked in the cycle of domestic violence , looking for a single ray of hope. Depending on how far they want to take it, we can de-escalate, form safety plans, and refer them to direct services in their area. Although we are primarily crisis-oriented, some call because they feel they're alone in the world and...
Continue reading
3
  1020 Hits
  0 Comments
1020 Hits
0 Comments

How You Could Help Us Start The Children's Wellness Program

How You Could Help Us Start The Children's Wellness Program
Have you ever wanted to make a difference in the lives of our Prince William County neighbors, but didn't have the resources to make this happen? We are very excited to announce that now you do! Thanks to the USA Today Network's A Community Thrives (ACT) Campaign , you can now vote for a program that all of us here are excited about. Everyday, our programs help to feed, clothe, shelter, protect, and comfort children throughout Prince William County. We'd like to make a bigger i mpact, and this is where you can come in. ACTS would like to start up a "Children's Wellness Program" that would benefit both of our Divisions here. The Beverly Warren Shelter and Safe House are in need of new jungle gyms, we need healthier food options for the food pantry , and counseling services for our housing clients. A $100,000 grant, made possible by A...
Continue reading
3
  981 Hits
  0 Comments
981 Hits
0 Comments

Spring Flings and Easter Things

Spring Flings and Easter Things
It's spring and look what’s blooming; the  ACTS Thrift Store , of course! I hope everyone is ready for this season because we are! As we prepare our store with new spring looks and outdoor furniture coming in, we would like to pop some questions: What will be your first spring purchase? What are a few things ACTS Thrift store will have in store this spring? The ACTS Thrift Store has all the brand names and vigorous clothing you can find, and affordable prices you can’t find anywhere else! Whether if it’s an authentic handbag or a designer suit, our store has it all! (I would know; 9 out of 10 of all my outfits are from the ACTS Thrift Store. You’ll be impressed with what you can find in our store.) Master the trend with our spring dresses collection as well as our footwear coming up; definitely don’t want...
Continue reading
4
  965 Hits
  0 Comments
965 Hits
0 Comments

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Boosts Year Round Efforts

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Boosts Year Round Efforts
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the United States and the attention generated during this time helps energize and expand ACTS efforts throughout the year. Working alongside volunteers , survivors, advocates, and other allied professionals, ACTS Sexual Assault Services is engaging the Greater Prince William community through special education and outreach activities. Learning about sexual violence is important because more than likely, someone you know has been victimized. In fact, every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted and every eight minutes, child protective services substantiates, or finds evidence for, a claim of child sexual abuse. And, most of the time, the victim knows the perpetrator.  Sexual violence does not discriminate based on race, physical appearance, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, disability or a victim’s background. Adding to the problem, sexual violence doesn’t just affect the victim. Family members, friends, co-workers and anyone close...
Continue reading
3
  1062 Hits
  0 Comments
1062 Hits
0 Comments

A Critical Hit For the Homeless

A Critical Hit For the Homeless
As part of our mission here, our organization supports those who are homeless through case management, a sustainable housing program, an emergency shelter , and a safe house for domestic violence victims in order so that they may all find permanent housing within our area. What is astounding to us, as well as many of ACTS’ donors and volunteers, is the fact that so many are without homes in this area when we are located a mere 30 miles from our nation’s capital. In this fiscal year alone, our housing programs have managed to: Shelter 27 adults and 37 children, and place 2 families into permanent housing through our Family Shelter Place 24 adults and 54 children into our safe house , and helped 4 families find permanent housing Serve 50 individuals through our affordable housing program Place 6 families who were in our transitional housing program into permanent housing...
Continue reading
2
  991 Hits
  0 Comments
991 Hits
0 Comments

Non-Profit Makeover: ACTS Edition

Non-Profit Makeover: ACTS Edition
We are very happy to announce that Comcast, which sponsors a national day of service each April called “ Comcast Cares Day ” has chosen ACTS as its recipient! On April 22nd, 300 volunteers will descend upon ACTS for four hours to give us a much-needed makeover.  There will be painting, planting, minor construction, a party for our residents, and a children’s book drive, clothing drive, and food drive for our clients. Their efforts will be concentrated on the thrift store , administration building , family shelter , Family Services Center , Hunger Prevention Center , and Women’s Empowerment Center .  The theme for the event is “Enhancing Dignity,” and the idea is to create a clean, fresh, warm, and welcoming physical space for our clients and staff. Volunteer Here This was all made possible by a program called Leadership Prince William ,(LPW) and one of its goals is to nominate...
Continue reading
2
  1200 Hits
  0 Comments
1200 Hits
0 Comments

Love, Violence, and Our Children

Love, Violence, and Our Children
Teen dating can be both exciting and scary. There are many new feelings that teens will experience during their first few relationships and it can be difficult to determine if what they're feeling is love.  What is love?  Love is an amazing feeling, it puts a smile on your face and is an antidote that can provide ultimate healing. So why do some people hurt when they are in love?  Why do relationships sometimes make people feel like they aren't good enough?   ACTS Domestic Violence Services is here to say that love is NOT pain, and being in a relationship should NOT make an individual feel like a prisoner.   Love is kindness, love is trust, love makes you feel significant and special.  Love is gentle, tender touches, not shoves, slaps, or punches, or words that are cutting and hurtful. Love is a breath of fresh air, not a feeling of...
Continue reading
4
  974 Hits
  0 Comments
974 Hits
0 Comments

A Method to The Madness

A Method to The Madness
Welcome to 2017! I hope you have had a wonderful new year so far. I decided to boycott the whole “New Year's Resolution” because, like many, they have never worked for me in the past. Instead I have "New Day Resolutions!" I approach each day with a specific goal and give it everything I have. Some goals take more than a day and that is okay, but when I fail, there are only a few hours to reset and give it a go again. I started doing this in 2015 and it has worked wonders for me. I would love to hear your ideas. What works for you. Are you a New Year's "Resolutioner?" What are your motivators? I am sure that if we can glean this information together, we will become even more awesome than we already are!  Which reminds me, in our post from last month, we left...
Continue reading
2
  1202 Hits
  0 Comments
1202 Hits
0 Comments

Call to Action: Support Violence Against Women Grant Funding

Call to Action: Support Violence Against Women Grant Funding
Over the last year, ACTS Sexual Assault Services has provided services to more than 500 individuals who are survivors of sexual assault and/or sexual abuse in Prince William County. Our team of empathetic specialists works with survivors to heal from their trauma through individual and group support, as well as by providing a 24 hour hotline, accompaniment to court appearances, law enforcement interviews and forensic exams. We are able to provide these services, free of charge, to our neighbors in need thanks in part to funding supported by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  ACTS Sexual Assault Services receives grant funding from two VAWA grants, V-STOP and SASP. These grants are intended to develop and strengthen the provision of direct services to women who are victims of sexual assault, and other violent crimes. The 2 grants total approximately $50,000, and we use the funds to help support 3 sexual assault specialists, a...
Continue reading
2
  1321 Hits
  0 Comments
1321 Hits
0 Comments

The Continuous Gift of Giving

The Continuous Gift of Giving
For years, Shoppers grocery store in Dumfries has been one of our many advocates who want to end hunger for our neighbors in Prince William County. They have continued to help us in our mission by promoting their $5 Bag Campaign, and it has tremendously helped the clients that visit our food pantry throughout the year. The campaign itself is very simple; when customers visit Shoppers and donate $5 at checkout, Shoppers fills a bag with food worth the same price, and donates it right back to ACTS' Food Pantry, where our clients can receive them. Each bag is comprised of rice, macaroni, tomatoes, tuna, and 2 cans of vegetables, and it's a very quick and inexpensive way to make a difference for those that are hungry in our area. This morning, our food pantry manager Melissa Napora met with Shopper’s bookkeeper Sandy Oudeh to talk about how the store...
Continue reading
1
  1005 Hits
  0 Comments
1005 Hits
0 Comments

The Importance of Thrifting This Christmas

The Importance of Thrifting This Christmas
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the ACTS Thrift Store, and I for one am stoked! This is hands down my favorite time of year and I just love giving everyone on my nice list that perfect "thing" that has them written all over it. In the back of my mind though I say to myself " Self? is it just a bit naughty to gift from a thrift?" For this month of sharing I will be giving my top ten reasons thrifting is a go this season. 1. A gift to the community Shop for good! Your purchases help fund charitable causes. Melissa Napora runs our food pantry and deserves a big round of applause for just wrapping up ACTS' largest annual food drive. Operation Turkey ran from November 1st through the 18th this year, and during that time, the Food Pantry served over 700 families....
Continue reading
3
  1120 Hits
  0 Comments
1120 Hits
0 Comments

ACTS Introduces the Hunger Prevention Center

HPC-Grand-Opening-Post-Card-Design
The winter holiday season allows us to enjoy time with loved ones, give gifts that will be cherished by those closest to us, and offers us the chance to reflect on the many blessings we have received throughout the year. But for some in our area, this season will mean hardship when it comes to paying for utilities, being able to afford food, and not having the resources necessary to provide shelter or clothing for their family members.  This is why ACTS is here during the holidays and throughout the year, and we sincerely hope that you and your family have considered making a contribution to us this holiday season.  We only send out appeals twice each year, and the holiday appeal is our largest.  With over 50% of our budget coming from donations, it is also our most important. One way your donations will be used in the coming...
Continue reading
0
  1115 Hits
  0 Comments
1115 Hits
0 Comments

Operation Turkey A Huge Success

Operation Turkey A Huge Success
ACTS' largest annual food drive, Operation Turkey, ran from November 1st through the 18th this year, and during that time, the Food Pantry served over 700 families, giving out 1,049 Operation Turkey bags, each weighing about 12 lbs.  The pantry distributed a total of 59,427 pounds of food, of which 11,388 pounds consisted of Thanksgiving staples such as stuffing mixes, vegetables, and pie ingredients.  In addition, each family received a $10 gift card from a local grocer to put towards the purchase of a turkey. Starting in October, nearly 200 volunteers assisted with this year’s drive by sorting, bagging and distributing Thanksgiving meals.  These volunteers included groups of families and friends, military groups, high school athletes, area businesses and Girl Scouts. There were also two large food drives that supported Operation Turkey this year, and these came from Prince William County area schools and Boy Scouts of America’s “Scouting for Food"...
Continue reading
1
  1231 Hits
  0 Comments
1231 Hits
0 Comments

Remembering Sara Anderson

Remembering Sara Anderson
It is with a heavy heart when we say that Sara Anderson passed away on October 31st, 2016. Sara B. Anderson was one of the original founders of ACTS who served on its Board of Directors and was the agency's Emergency Assistance program director for more than thirty years. Her daily approach to serving the clients of ACTS was notable in that it combined all of the following traits: extraordinarily effective combination of professionalism and compassion; absolute adherence to non-discrimination with regard to the characteristics of the client; acceptance of the need to concentrate on being a contributor to solutions as opposed to being a definer of problems; an agent of kindness genuinely concerned about all of the myriad struggles that defined the lives of her clients and who, likewise, admired their instincts and skills of adaptability and survival. She, herself, was a person of surpassing grace and good humor...
Continue reading
1
  1638 Hits
  0 Comments
1638 Hits
0 Comments