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March 2011                                                                               Donate Click here to support Reston Interfaith



Staff Goes Above and Beyond to Hold a Hand


Jane*, homeless and expecting a child, came to Embry Rucker Community Shelter (ERCS) in November 2010.  Reston Interfaith's Melanie Shumate was the case manager assigned to her.  The two worked together and formed a close and caring bond.  Jane had no support system in place.  The father of her child was incarcerated, and as her delivery date drew near, it became obvious that she would have no one by her side when she delivered her baby. 

Melanie, herself a mother of three, could not let Jane go through this experience without someone there to cheer her on, and offer her comfort and encouragement.  At first, Jane declined Melanie's offer to be her "birth coach," but as the date drew near, Melanie persisted, and the young woman changed her mind.

Melanie was at the hospital to hold Jane's hand as the baby was born.  "My main goal was to keep Jane calm if something were to go wrong," Shumate said.  There were complications with the birth, and Melanie's presence helped keep the new mom from panicking. Jane said she was so grateful to have Melanie by her side, both during the delivery and the days following.  She had never heard of a "neonatal intensive care unit," the place where her baby spent his first week of life. 

Melanie went above and beyond her duties as a case manager to help Jane and her baby.  She even saw to it that Jane received a brand new car seat and stroller, courtesy of a wonderful donor "angel." Jane can now hold the hand of her healthy baby boy.

Mother and son spent their first days together at Embry Rucker Community Shelter, where the proud mom and her beautiful baby were the center of attention. Mother and child recently moved to a temporary group house to begin their life together. Melanie continues to share a special bond with Jane and takes an active role in helping her prepare housing applications for permanent housing and work through her new life role. 

*Name changed to protect privacy. 

Update on the Ten Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

Reston Interfaith is a supporting organization of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community 10-Year Plan
to Prevent and End Homelessness.  For the first time in Fairfax County, there are 18 nonprofits/providers representing 121 homeless-related programs who are using the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to report data. This allows for the most comprehensive look at the journey of those who are homeless in Fairfax County, what services and programs they accessed, and how quickly they moved into housing, and if so, what type.  Recently, a report was released marking two years of data that reflects the outcomes on the 10-year goals, collective successes and challenges, and the tremendous need that exists in our community.  Click here to access the report.

Volunteers Make a Lasting Impression 

Embry Rucker was a highly regarded Reston community activist for the homeless who had a large impact on the greater Reston area and a 70-bed community shelter was renamed in his honor. He made a lasting impression on many people including Yvonne Driggers. Yvonne, who has lived in Reston for over thirty-five years, believed in Embry's mission to provide shelter for those who face the hardships of being homeless. For over ten years, Yvonne has volunteered at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter (ERCS). This month, Yvonne retired from her service at the front desk. She has made a positive impact on staff and clients of Reston Interfaith, the organization that manages the Shelter, and she will be missed.


Her sparkling eyes and warm welcoming smile always shone upon the guests and staff of ERCS. 
Yvonne was always willing to help those who needed a little extra attention. When the phone rang, Yvonne eagerly answered it and enjoyed helping people get connected to resources they needed. She was known for her love of crossword puzzles and spread her enthusiasm for them by printing copies for shelter guests to work on.


Yvonne has always shared her joy for life and adventure with those she met. Her life is an inspiration to all. Guests of the shelter enjoyed hearing about her thirty-year career as an opera singer with the Washington Opera, her travels around the world, and her love for the arts.  Perhaps most astounding is her achievement of climbing eleven of the highest peaks in the mountains of Colorado, as well as Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.  Reston Interfaith is grateful to Yvonne for the many years she volunteered.

CURRENT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES - click here to learn more





Year round

Bagged Meal Caterers



Year round

Meal Caterers



Year round 

Maintenance Assistants 

weekday mornings 


Year round 

Fresh Food Transporters



School year 

Financial Literacy Mentor

monday evenings 


School year   

Study Buddies 

Wednesdays 3:30-5:30pm 


Year round

Family Mentors 

six hours each month minimum; timing flexible 



Window Treatment Providers 

as volunteer is available 


School year

Childcare Assistants

Tuesdays 6-7:30pm


Sat., Mar. 19 

Childcare Assistants 



Applause Applause

To Unos Restaurant in Reston Town Center for hosting FriendRaisers on the first Wednesday of each month. 10% of total sales in the bar from 4-9pm is donated to Reston Interfaith.

To the Ryland family for organizing a food drive outside a local grocery store.

To FastTran for coordinating the second round of the "Stuff the Bus" Food Drive and donating over 1,800 pounds of food to Reston Interfaith.

To Booz Allen Hamilton for cooking a wonderful lunch meal, hosting a Valentine's party, organizing the food pantry, and installing shelving in the donation closet at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter.kidshandsmakinghearts

To Restore NOVA /Generosity Can for providing a glorious breakfast at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter.

To Dan Young for coordinating and delivering a nightly donation of bakery items from Whole Foods at Fair Lakes.

To our volunteers who regularly cater and serve meals at the shelter each month: Ahmadiyya Men, Ahmadiyya Women, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Martin Luther King, Jr. Church, Floris United Methodist Church, Heritage Fellowship Church, and Sant Nirankari Mission.

Fusion Dental Makes LLC Kids Smile 

Several Laurel Learning Center (LLC) school age children took advantage of a generous offer from Reston Dental Arts for free dental work. Staff was most excited for the oldest school age child who cracked his front left tooth at a laser tag birthday party this past fall. The mother of the child could not afford to have a dentist repair her son's tooth and she has no insurance. 

The student appeared the next day at LLC with a beaming smile and two complete front teeth.  Most of all, he is happy and is smiling again. He said the dentist also fixed a tooth that always hurts when it gets cold. A special thanks to Fusion Dental, formally known as Reston Dental Arts.

Embry Rucker Memorial Golf Tournament - Save the Date

Reston Interfaith invites you to enjoy an invigorating round of golf at the River Creek Club, a premier private championship 18-hole golf course that borders the Potomac River in Leesburg, Virginia, for the 17th Annual Rucker Memorial Golf Tournament.  Mark your calendar, tell friends and associates, and join your fellow golfers on Monday, July 18, 2011 for a day of golf, dinner and refreshments, a skills building golf clinic, and live and silent auctions.


Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information please email Kitta Crawley  or call 571-323-9570.

In the News

Click below to read about Reston Interfaith in the news.

1. Parents and Kids Enjoy Dual Gala Fundraiser in Springfield

2. Husband-Wife Tandem Leaves Lasting Impression on Reston's Identity

3. Supporting Reston Interfaith Capitol Steps Benefit Event Raises $91,768

2011 Best of Reston Honorees

Applause was heard on Thursday, February 24th when the 2011 Best of Reston honorees were announced. The 20th Annual Best of Reston Awards honors businesses, organizations, and individuals who have put forth tremendous effort in their commitment to community service and improving the lives of others.  The Awards Gala is produced in partnership by Reston Interfaith and the Greater Reston Chamber  of Commerce. Community members submitted nominations for the awards during the fall.  An anonymous panel reviewed all nominations and selected the seven winners of this year's awards.

Winners of the 2011 Best of Reston Awards will be formally honored at the 20th Annual Best of Reston Gala on Thursday, April 28, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Reston. Table reservations and sponsorship opportunities for the gala are available and details can be found at www.restoninterfaith.org.  Proceeds from Best of Reston support the programs and services of Reston Interfaith. Click here to see 2011 and previous honorees.

Capitol Steps Was a $90,000 Success


Kerrie Wilson, CEO of Reston Interfaith and Boofie O'Gorman, Chair of Capitol Steps

The 28th Annual Capitol Steps Benefit Performance was amazing. A sold out crowd enjoyed an evening filled with an outrageously funny show by Capitol Steps performers, delicious Valentine-themed desserts and wine, wonderful supporters, and dedicated volunteers.


A special thanks to Delegate Ken Plum for running the live auction. The event raised $91,768. Reston Interfaith will use the funds to help more clients become self-sufficient and ultimately move from homelessness to homeownership.


We hope you can join us for the 29th Annual Capitol Steps Benefit Performance which will be held during the winter of 2012.

A Call for Donations

The Embry Rucker Community Shelter is in need of mens' and ladies' sweat pants, underwear for men and women, mens' belts, "C" and "AA" batteries, bus tokens and Metro Smart Cards, and gas cards (Sunoco and Exxon are closest to the shelter).

Click here to view the Reston Interfaith Wish Lists.

Reston Interfaith - 11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 210, Reston, VA 20190
Click here to donate to Reston Interfaith