Many Falls Church Non-Profits Win Exposure Over Holidays

(Photo: News-Press)

It’s “The Season.” All the accoutrements of the holidays kicked into full gear with Thanksgiving last week. Radio stations and piped-in audible sources are fully converted over to the non-stop barrage of all the most familiar tunes and it has not gone without notice that they seem to have launched earlier and more fiercely this year than usual. We will leave it to the reader to speculate why.

All of this seasonal merriment brings with it an intensified focus on supporting do-gooding. We all want to cast our lots with the “after” version of Scrooge, not the “before,” plus for tax purposes making financial contributions before the end of the year can make good sense to your accountant.

There has always been a good deal of altruistic spirit in Falls Church, and all the holiday music overload is not likely to deter that. So, this week has seen the introduction of new levels of appeals for support of the many non-profits here, not the least being the local Falls Church Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon at the Italian Cafe that was held on “Giving Tuesday” this week.

Commercial interests, and their red-suited spokesmen, have made sure that the giving part of the holidays followed after there were sufficient opportunities to empty wallets with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but there was apparently still plenty of generosity to go around Tuesday, when the Chamber welcomed representatives of 17 different non-profit groups to offer brief verbal descriptions of their work and to pitch for volunteers and contributions.

Despite the daunting thought of so many “pitches,” the event was friendly and flawless, and highly educational, as well. The “who knew?” expression was in great supply as groups presented often breathtaking accounts of their work and its importance to so many people in need who rely on them.
Tonight (Thursday, Nov. 30) another major opportunity for the Falls Church community to support worthy non-profits will be open with a initial reception at the new Art Space of Falls Church, 700 W. Broad, when local resident Melissa Morse’s Tree Fest initiative begins its weekend of activity.

There, Christmas trees that have been decorated by volunteers from no less than 14 different non-profits will be available for acquisition in a silent auction process. Persons can bid on the tree or trees of their choice, and the bidding will continue Saturday and Sunday. People with the winning bids can take their tree home, and all the money from the final bids on the trees will go to the non-profits, every single dime.

This is the fourth year that Morse has run this fundraiser, which has grown more popular, and the trees more extravagant, each year.

On Thursday, the opening reception will run from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., and the trees will be open for bids on Saturday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The groups who made brief presentations at the Chamber luncheon Tuesday included the following (this is not an attempt to provide adequate descriptions so much as to point readers to where they can look up websites):

The Shepherd Center. Lines up volunteers to ferry homebound seniors to doctor and other appointments, serves about 100 citizens of Falls Church and another 250 around the City.

The Grace Christian Academy. Since 1973 offering affordable education aimed at breaking down differences, with parents having the personal cell numbers of all their children’s teachers.

Chesterbrook Residences. Senior housing, the work of a coalition of area religious organizations.

Tinner Hill Foundation. Host of the annual Blues Festival in Falls Church and so much more.

Falls Church Education Foundation. Raises funds for special programs and advanced teacher training.

Falls Church Arts. Offering “the spark that makes life worth living,” an all-volunteer organization.

Creative Cauldron. For 15 years, the theater-based educational entity that’s now producing many award-winning plays.

Homestretch. The City’s amazing non-profit empowering homeless families.

Nova Scripts Central. It provides pharmaceutical services to the poor.

The Arc of Northern Virginia. Serving 34,000 in Northern Virginia will be the subject of the Merrifield Business Association’s annual benefit luncheon on Dec. 13.

Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department. It operates the Santa Mobile fire truck that tours the City during the season.

Northern Virginia Mental Health Foundation, dealing with growing service needs every year.

Falls Church Cable Access Corporation. It’s working to help people “express themselves” on TV.

Congressional Schools. Serving the region for 80 years.

Offender Aid and Relocation, helping offenders reintegrate back into society.

Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center. Focus is on early childhood education.

St. James School Parent-Teacher Organization. Serving the school’s 100 year legacy with an annual bazaar.

Opening remarks at the luncheon were provided by City resident Richard Crespin, CEO of Collaborate Up.