Merry Christmas to All
May all of us share in the joy and peace of Christ's birth in this holy season.
|New Year Brings New Leadership
At the December 6 board meeting, new officers were elected for the coming year. Ken Mittelholtz (St. Barnabas Episcopal) will serve as ACCA President in 2012. His wife Camille served as President a few years ago, and currently publishes the print newsletter, organize CROP Walks each year, serves as the OR for St. Barnabas, and volunteers with Ken for Rebuilding Together and the Furniture ministry (along with their daughter and her husband). An involved ACCA family!
Gail Coleman (St. Alban's Episcopal), a Pantry volunteer, will be the new Vice President while Homer Christensen (Ravensworth Baptist) will continue as Treasurer along with Sue Meekins (Annandale United Methodist) as Corresponding Secretary and Joy Savage (Culmore United Methodist) as Recording Secretary.
These new and returning officers will continue the good works that have kept ACCA in the vanguard of Christian action for more than 45 years.
|Remembering Old Times
Six old ACCA hands got together recently for a reunion and to mark the departure from this area of Margaret Lowery, who served as Family Emergency Chair in the '90s and coordinated the application for and expenditure of federal EFSP funding for more than a decade. Attending the event at Goodwin House Bailey's Crossroads were former and current chairs Jean Stephens, Avis Jarrett, Julia Treagy, and Marie Markey along with E-Newsletter editor Joan Nagle and President Mary Anne Lecos.
Mary Anne presented certificates of appreciation from ACCA to the retired chairs: Margaret, Jean and Avis. Joan stepped up to take a picture of the honorees, and found her camera battery dead! So you'll have to imagine the good cheer that flowed.
Julia, who led the program during Marie's sabbatical last year, said, "ACCA a just a wonderful organization. There is no 'territorial' feeling among the volunteers; everyone just pitches in as needed."
Our Sympathies Extended
Word was recently received of the death of ACCA pioneer Emily Ruffing's son Peter during a family trip to New Jersey. For those who want to send condolences, Emily's address is 5013 Lincoln Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22312.
Annual Challenge Grant Campaign
Many thanks to those who have responded already to our Challenge Grant Campaign. Because of your generosity, we are about half way to achieving our goal of raising $4 for each $1 of the $30,000 in challenge grants from the Washington Forrest Foundation and several anonymous donors. We must raise this amount to respond to the increasing number of our neighbors who need help in paying for rent, utilities, and medicine, as well as delivery of furniture, food and other necessities.
For a tax deduction in 2011, contributions to the Challenge Grant Campaign must be made by December 31, although the campaign continues through January. You can contribute by check payable to ACCA (marked "Challenge Grant") and sent to 7200 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003. Donations also can be made online through the Catalogue for Philanthropy by designating ACCA.
To learn more about ACCA's work and how you can help financially or in other ways, go to www.accacares.org.
Rebuilding Together - April 28, 2012
At a time of increased economic stress, many homeowners are faced with difficult choices between making necessary home repairs or paying for health care, food or utilities. They need our help.
ACCA has participated in Rebuilding Together, the largest volunteer housing repair program in the United States, since 1990. In those 21 years, we have repaired and rehabilitated 109 homes and nonprofit facilities and provided more than 30,000 volunteer hours to ensure that low-income seniors, persons with disabilities, and families with children have safe and decent places to live.
In 2012, we hope to continue this ministry with ACCA churches providing the volunteer workers and sponsorship of two or three houses. Several churches have made this an annual mission project; they sign up volunteers and/or donate partial funding toward the sponsorship of a house. Many volunteers find the work so re-warding that they return year after year.
Although the workday on April 28 is five months away, the Rebuilding Together staff is hard at work identifying houses needing repairs and lining up funding and materials. The cost of sponsoring a house is $3,500, which covers supplies and materials, insurance coverage for the volunteers, a T-shirt, publicity, and administrative expenses.
Please keep your eyes open for homeowners who would benefit from our help. We also need volunteers who want to make a difference and individual contributions. (Checks should be made out to ACCA with Rebuilding Together written on the notation line.) For more information or to recommend a house, please contact Marie Monsen at email@example.com or 703-354-9408 as soon as possible.
Bringing in the Sheaves
Food pantry director Jean Rackowski reports that there were 66 deliveries assisting 209 individuals last month.
The Boy Scouts donated almost 16,000 pounds of food to the pantry. Donations were also received from the Fairfax County Police, Briarwood North Apartments, the Parliament Apartments, Inova Fairfax, and there were large donations from member churches. The pantry is well stocked at this time! To volunteer, call Jean Rackowski: 703-914-8066.
|Volunteers Keep Furniture Moving
Teams from Providence and John Calvin Presbyterian, St. Barnabas Episcopal, Cornerstone Evangelical, Latter Day Saints, and Peace Lutheran completed 29 pick-ups of donated furniture last month and made deliveries to 24 households.
At this time, the greatest needs are for chests of drawers, double beds, and and queen-sized mattresses to match with a donation of 35 box springs from Comfort Inn-Dulles Gateway. Call 703-256-9513 if you can help.
|Help in Critical Times
In November, assistance amounting to $38,000 was provided to 66 households including 169 individuals for rent, utilities, medical and miscellaneous needs. Most of this was spent to prevent evictions or to allow families to move from shelters to affordable housing. However, ACCA also helped a client who had lost his home to move his possessions into storage, a client who needed emergency dental care to halt infection that prevented her working, as well as a mother and daughter, both of whom are disabled, with their gas utility bill.
|Need for Substitute Drivers|
Last month, ACCA's Transportation ministry provided 40 rides to and from medical appointments and therapy sessions for 25 mostly elderly clients. Substitute drivers are needed in cases when a church team is not available. If you can help, call Madeline Crytzer at 703-256-2342.
|Child Development Center Updates|
Last week, children from the CDC participated in a Christmas Market at Lincolnia United Methodist Church, where they had opportunities to choose gifts for family members and have them wrapped.
For the third year, the CDC has received grant funding for continuation of the Al's Pals program, which trains teachers in methods for encouraging positive behaviors among young children.
Remember to use your Harris Teeter VIC cards to direct funding to the CDC (#8684).
|Thanks for our Thanksgiving Services|
Hundreds of ACCA supporters gathered on two evenings in November for traditional services thanking God through joyous prayer, music, preaching and almsgiving, followed by time for fellowship and feasting. Special thanks to our host churches: Peace Lutheran and First Presbyterian and to all of the pastors, clergy, choir leaders, singers and musicians for these uplifting ecumenical celebrations. At both services, the thought-provoking sermons focused on the only leper who returned to thank Jesus for being cured. The collections amounted to almost $4,000 for ACCA (supplemented by a Thrivent for Lutherans grant of $900) and $444 for the Child Development Center.
Faith Community Summit
|Click this image to download and print the conference flyer.|
This event, to be held at George Mason University's Johnson Center on January 12, 2012, will include work-shops on the subject "Healthy Eating & Active Living."
The following workshops are to be featured:
- The Stigma of Obesity: Mental and Physical Health Problems Related to Obesity
- Engaging Youth in Active Living
- Preaching and Teaching Healthy Eating & Active Living
- The Role of Faith Communities in Social Change for Healthy Eating & Active Living
- Healthy Eating & Active Living - Theological Perspectives
For more information, e-mail Tenia Simmons or phone 703- 324-3453. You can register online here.