UCM Dec 15
Because of You
Holiday Joy for Hundreds of Kid and Families
Holiday joy!
Santa visited Creekside Center, courtesy Beyer Subaru!
As we write this, our UCM Holiday Gift Room is well stocked and ready for our client parents to select new toys, books, and warm clothing for the more than 1,000 children registered with UCM this year! And it's all thanks to generous donations from caring community members like you and the dedication of our lead volunteer team of Santa's elves.  Take a look at our Holiday Gift Room photos at our UCM of Alexandria facebook page.

This week and next, close to 600 families registered for December holiday food are receiving special items including turkeys or chickens, so that they can prepare and enjoy a special holiday meal of their own. 

OD Boat Club
Old Dominion Boat Club
We rely on your generosity to make the season joyful for local families who are struggling this year -- and once again, we are humbled by the generous outpouring of caring and support by our community. We especially appreciate the many area schools, faith communities, retailers, and businesses that organized a UCM holiday food drive and/or Holiday Gift Room collection drive or Giving Tree. Thanks for being "Part of the Heart" to make a joyful holiday for our kids and families!
Five Below MV Plaza

We appreciate all the community and retail locations that hosted Holiday Gift Room Collection Bins for UCM, including many with convenient evening and weekend dropoff hours.

We are especially grateful to store manager Jimmy at Five Below at Mount Vernon Plaza: not only did the store host UCM collection bins, but the cashiers also proactively asked customers if they'd like to purchase a gift for our Mount Vernon Kids. The result: : close to 20 big collection bins overflowing with exciting gifts that are sure to bring holiday smiles!

In this season of giving & giving back, we are grateful for the ongoing commitment of our supporters and volunteers who help us help our neighbors in need -- today and all year round.UCMadHisSuccess
His Success Starts With You
Your support gives families and children like Jacob
a fighting chance to create a better life for themselves

His Success Starts With You

Your gift provides the next generation with essential education and enriching experiences. Your generosity means food, rental assistance, and more for people in immediate need. And because of your support, adults can increase their employability through our literacy and jobcoaching services. For example:
  • $100 can provide supplemental food for a family for one month.Donate Now
  • $250 can provide art and other supplies for enriching after-school programs. That's just $20 per month when you chose monthly giving.
  • $400 can provide rental or utility assistance to help a family avoid eviction.
And remember: A donation to UCM in a friend or family member's name is a perfect gift of caring for the people on your list who "have everything."

All gifts are appreciated, in any amount. Every year, UCM nurtures 5,000 needy children in the Huntington-Mount Vernon community -- more than any other agency in our area. Together, we are changing lives -- and every life  changed contributes to a stronger community for us all. Your financial support is greatly needed and deeply appreciated. 

You are the true Heart of our Community!
Volunteer Spotlight
Thank you, Mai T. Trinh and Mai Health Now LLC
Volunteers are at the heart of United Community Ministries! Our community's generous involvement helps UCM ensure that struggling families and children have the opportunity to achieve stability and thrive. UCM is extremely fortunate to have a dedicated group of talented volunteers.
Volunteer Mai Trinh

One such volunteer is  Mai T. Trinh, Corporate Wellness Speaker and Certified HealthCounselor, and President of Mai Health Now LLC (www.maihealthnow.com) in Old Town Alexandria, which empowers individuals to eat intuitively to optimize their energy levels. Mai was a volunteer presenter at a UCM event about healthy eating. The event was designed to bolster our community's understanding of what is healthy food and how that connects to donations to UCM's Food Pantry.

"As a local business owner, it was a deeply rewarding experience to serve as a UCM volunteer and to play an active role in community outreach," says Mai. "When I volunteered to do a cooking demo on affordable and healthy meals using common food bank items, it was wonderful to see UCM supporters, people from the community, and people in need, all sharing in the experience together. Community togetherness and support is what UCM is all about. I highly encourage people looking for more meaning this holiday season to volunteer for UCM."

We thank Mai for supporting UCM's efforts in getting more healthy food to our client families. We welcome individual and corporate supporters like her to volunteer and to donate healthy food to our Food Pantry.

Here at UCM, we provide a vital connection between people in need and people who are committed to helping them move forward. We are always in need of new energy and talents! To learn how you can make a difference, see our Volunteer webpage for short- and long-term opportunities for groups and individuals of all ages. Or email our Volunteer Coordinator at marcos.castillo@ucmagency.orgThankYouFromUCM
Heartfelt Thanks to ...
Especially at this time of year, all of us at UCM are grateful for the outpouring of support, from so many! Click here to view photos of more of our generous supporters and volunteers.

Recent Grant Awards
We are excited to announce the following competitive grant awards. We are grateful for these funders' generosity to ensure we can improve the quality of life for thousands of our community's most vulnerable members:
  • Philip L. Graham Fund for a $50,000 grant to upgrade our IT infrastructure.
  • Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation for a $20,000 grant to boost UCM's critical infrastructure and allow us to maintain our ability to help vulnerable people overcome crisis and gain self-sufficiency.
  • Harry and Zoe Poole Foundation for a $10,000 grant to help ensure quality affordable early care and learning affordable early care and learning service to children from low- Thanks TJX income families.
  • The TJX Companies, Inc. for a $5,000 grant from the foundation that will provide critical emergency food assistance. TJX is the parent of HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall stores. Pictured at right presenting the check to UCM's Christine Lucas is Tom Burns, Manager at the Home Goods store on Richmond Hwy.
St. Louis Catholic School
HTH Poster
Thank you to the students and families at St. Louis Catholic School for participating this Fall i the school's Walk to benefit UCM's families. "As our students walked and prayed the rosary, they understood that they were sharing their time and treasure with people less fortunate," Principal Kathleen McNutt told us.  A total of $1,680 was contributed to our Heart to Heart campaign, ensuring that 6  families on the brink of homelessness could stay safe in their home with rental or utility assistance. Thank you, St. Louis School!

Winter Coat Drives 
Thank you to all the groups and businesses hosting Coat Drives to keep our Basic Needs families Winter Coat Drive warm this winter! Community coat drives in progress for UCM include McEnearney Associates, Inc.Realtors at many locations across the DC metro area. We'd love to help with and publicize your coat drive or other collection drive for UCM this Winter: email susan.johnson@ucmagency.org.

We Love our Young Volunteers! 
WW Brownies Thank you to Brownie Troop 3836 from Waynewood Elementary for the collection drive for  food and toys. The second graders had lots of great questions and comments on their tour of our food pantry and Holiday Gift Room. Thanks for making our Mount Vernon Kids feel special!

Check out our 
for more 
awesome community service projects by our young volunteers!  
Save the Date! Upcoming Events
It's easy to keep up with all of our upcoming events! Check out our Events listing at our website: click here

Sunday, Jan. 17  - Ventures in Community (VIC) Choir Festival
Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 21st annual VIC Choir Festival, Sun. Jan Choir festival 17 at 4 pm at Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Several area choirs will perform. No charge to attend, but a free will donation will be collected to benefit several area charities, including UCM.

Monday, Jan. 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Trail Run & Walk
Metro Run & Walk Logo Celebrate the legacy of Dr. King! Sign up with friends and family for the 8K Trail Run and 5K Run/Walk, hosted once again by Metro Run Walk of Springfield, at a new locaiton, with proceeds donated to UCM. The event starts at 9 am at Burke Lake Park. Click here to sign up. 

Saturday, Feb. 13 - SOUPer Saturday at The Torpedo Factory - Opens at 9am
SOUPer Sat The Torpedo Factory ceramic artists host the 2016 SOUPer Saturday event on Sat. Feb. 13 at The Torpedo Factory Art Center. Details coming soon: a donation to UCM means you get to select a one-of-a-kind ceramic bowl crafted and generously donated by local artists -- plus a bowl of delicious soup! 100% of proceeds benefit UCM to help neighbors in need.

Saturday, Apr. 2 - UCM Spring Gala, hosted by The Friends of UCM
UCM Gala 16 Plan now to join us on the evening of April 2, when The Friends of UCM host their annual UCM Spring Gala, at the fabulous US Patent and Trademark (US PTO) in Old Town Alexandria. The theme will be "Viva Las Vegas." Tickets will go on sale in early 2016, as well as silent and live auction solicitations. For information about sponsorship opportunities, email christine.lucas@ucmagency.org. Click here to learn more about The Friends of UCM, our extraordinary volunteer membership group that builds community spirit through fundraising and awareness.
Join Us At the Heart of Community!