Make the Holidays About Giving

The holidays are a time when many of us reflect on how fortunate we are and such reflection frequently motivates us to reach out and give to those who are not as lucky.  Of course we don’t always know where to go in order to give, so we’ve compiled a list of organizations that could use your help in order to continue helping others. Select one or three,  get the family or a group of friends involved, and help make this season especially festive for those less fortunate.

Feed the Hungry

Fauquier Community Food Bank and Thrift Store / Warrenton
At the Fauquier Community Food Bank and Thrift Store there are many ways to volunteer and those older than 16 are encouraged to do so. (Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by a guardian.) Volunteers stock shelves, assist shoppers, paint, and do maintenance. One of the best ways to volunteer is to organize a food drive. At the holidays and during the cold winter months, food banks are vital to helping those who do not have access to warm meals. For information on hosting a food drive or volunteering in general, contact the organization via the information below.
249 E. Shirley Ave., Warrenton / Phone: 540-359-6053/ Facebook: @FauquierCommunityFoodBankandThriftStore / Web: FauquierFoodBank.org

Haymarket Regional Food Pantry / Haymarket
The mission of Haymarket Regional Food Pantry is to eliminate hunger by providing food to families in the Haymarket and Gainesville area. There are many ways to volunteer and those over the age of 16 are encouraged to do so.  (Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by a guardian.) Volunteers stock and distribute food, do maintenance, and sometimes assist with marketing, writing, and photography.  As with the Fauquier Community Food Bank, volunteers are urged to organize food drives particularly at the holidays and in the winter. For information on hosting a food drive or volunteering in general, contact the organization via the information below.
6611 Jefferson Street, Haymarket / Phone: 703-963-5918 / Facebook: @haymarketfoodpantry / Web: HaymarketFoodPantry.org

Spread Cheer

Families 4 Fauquier & Beyond / Warrenton
Operation Santa Adopt a Senior
Families 4 Fauquier is committed to enriching the lives of children and families by providing a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the year. One such opportunity is “Operation Santa Adopt A Senior,” a program dedicated to providing local senior citizens who, sadly, are often alone or forgotten during the holidays, a special Christmas celebration. Families 4 Fauquier will provide each sponsored senior citizen with a stocking of goodies, small gift card and small gifts from their wishlist. The organization is seeking local families to sponsor a senior and there is still time to participate. (Deadline is Monday, December 10.) To become a sponsor, contact Families 4 Fauquier via the information below.
Email: Families4Fauquier@gmail.com / Facebook: @families4fauquier / Web: Families4Fauquier.com

Comfort Cases / Gainesville
Comfort Cases helps children in foster care by giving them a special bag full of comfort items and personal belongings to keep with them. These bags help give the children a sense of security, especially as so many of them move from home to home. The organization hosts “packing parties” year-round and at the holidays, as this can be an especially hard time for children in foster care. For information on upcoming packing parties and donating items, message Comfort Cases via the information below.
Facebook: @officialcomfortcasesofvirginia  / Web: comfortcases.org

The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation / Bristow
The mission of The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation is to fill in the gaps, grant wishes, and meet the non-medical needs of children who are seriously ill, have special needs, or are in the midst of a medical crisis. Created in honor of Julia Knight, who passed at the age of 12 after battling a rare genetic disease called I-cell her entire life, the Foundation is eager for volunteers to assist with fundraising, events, and its “Love Projects,” which are created specifically for each child, and based on his or her current needs, wants, desires, and hopes. For complete information on volunteer opportunities, contact The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation via the information below.
Email: sjgfoundation@hotmail.com / Facebook: @SweetJuliaGrace / Web: SweetJuliaGraceFoundation.org

Support Our Veterans

Hero’s Bridge / Midland
Hero’s Bridge is dedicated to serving veterans, age 65 and older. Through six distinct programs — Honor Guard, Battle Buddies, Corps of Engineers, Resource Scouts, and Rapid Relief Corps — Heros’ Bridge provides practical and essential services to our country’s aging heroes. For complete details on all six programs plus other ways to volunteer at the holidays and throughout the year, contact Hero’s Bridge via the information below.
Phone: 540-341-5378 / Email: Info@herosbridge.org / Facebook: @herosbridge / Web: HerosBridge.org

Serve Our Willing Warriors / Haymarket
Serve Our Willing Warriors provides support to wounded, ill, and injured warriors, as well as their families, by offering cost-free stays and non-medical services at its Bull Run Warrior Retreat. Volunteers are always needed to bake, fundraise, beautify the grounds, and more. For complete information on volunteer activities at the holidays and throughout the year, contact Serve Our Willing Warriors via the information below.
Phone: 866-227-5853 / Email: Info@willingwarriors.org / Facebook: @willingwarriors / Web: WillingWarriors.org /

Help Animals

Fauquier SPCA / Midland
The Fauquier SPCA is always looking for kind and attentive volunteers to help the homeless animals in its care. Volunteers are needed to walk dogs, play with cats, sit with new rescues, sort through donations, organize pet food drives, and more. In addition, the Fauquier SPCA is always eager for donations to its pantry that helps needy families feed their pets. For complete information on volunteer opportunities at the holidays and throughout the year, contact Fauquier SPCA via the information below.
9350 Rogues Road, Midland / 540-788-9000 / Facebook: @fauquierspca.org / Web: FauquierSPCA.com

Prince William SPCA / PWSPCA.org/
The Prince William SPCA is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to protecting domestic animals from cruelty, neglect and abandonment, and stopping the unnecessary overpopulation of companion animals. Its goal is to reduce the number of dogs and cats being born and to help facilitate adoptions. Toward that end, the Prince William SPCA hosts its yearly “12 Days of Christmas – Home for the Holidays” program featuring animals available for adoption in early to mid-December. Check Facebook for this year’s dates. Like the Fauquier SPCA, the organization is always looking for kind and attentive volunteers. For complete information on volunteer opportunities at the holidays and throughout the year, contact Prince William SPCA  via the information below.
Phone: 703-772-2799 / Facebook: @pwspca / Web: PWSPCA.org

Still unsure how you’d like to help? Check out the PATH Volunteer Center in Warrenton. The Center offers a detailed list of nonprofits that need your help at the holidays and all through the year. To see all the opportunities available, visit PathForYou.org/become-a-volunteer.

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