The Falls Church Chamber of Commerce held its annual Nonprofit Forum and Networking Luncheon this Tuesday. The event invited both nonprofits and Chamber-member businesses from the community to come together and showcase their work.
Before the luncheon began, representatives from the nonprofit organizations set up tables to discuss their mission. Nonprofits in attendance ranged from those who have been in the Falls Church area for decades to some that are very new.
The event took place just in time for Giving Tuesday, a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity.” Founded in 2012, Giving Tuesday encourages people to do something good for their community, including donating to local charities and nonprofits.
The Northern Virginia Mental Health Foundation was one of the nonprofits in attendance. The Foundation partners with local mental health organizations and providers to help those with mental health concerns receive the help that they need. Established in 1993, NVMHF has since helped over 6,000 clients. Some of the services they provide include registering clients for educational and technical courses to help them get a job, providing an outing for residents in a group home, cleaning out the house of a hoarder and many more. More information about the Foundation and ways to volunteer and donate can be found at novamentalhealth.org/.
The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation was also at the event. Founded in 2011, owners Pam McAlwee and Ross Underwood purchased 63 acres of land in Sumerduck VA and began building The Lost Dog Ranch, a kennel facility for homeless pets with plenty of outdoor space for dogs to run and a cage-free building for cats. They have since helped to save over 40,000 animals, many of which were facing euthanasia at overcrowded shelters. Every weekend LDCRF holds off-site adoption events at local pet stores to help animals find their forever homes. More information about the rescue, as well as ways to donate and volunteer, can be found on their website at.lostdogrescue.org/.
NOVA ScriptsCentral works to provide quality integrated pharmaceutical care and medication access to the low-income uninsured children and adults of Northern Virginia. Founded in 2004, the organization works to ensure everyone in the Northern Virginia community has access to receive often lifesaving medications, immunizations and medical care. They believe that everyone should have access to quality healthcare. NOVA ScriptsCentral is focused on working with clinic partners to achieve the ‘triple aim’ from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The triple aim focuses on optimizing health, cost, and care for the underserved community. More information on the services they provide and ways to donate can be found online at novascripts.org/.
The Arc of Northern Virginia promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. They work to come up with local solutions to the national crisis of families struggling to support their loved ones with disabilities. Some of the many services they offer include advocating on state and local levels to ensure quality community based services and resources, helping youth transition from school to adult life in the community, empowering advocates with self-advocacy skills through their People First and Toastmasters programs and much more. For more information on how to support their efforts, visit thearcofnova.org/.
The Falls Church Education Foundation was created in 2004 to raise, manage and distribute supplemental funds to enhance the educational experience of Falls Church City Public School students. The Foundation hosts multiple fundraisers every year in the community including the annual Home and Garden Tour and the Little City Scramble golf tournament. This past week, the FCEF presented over $51,000 in Super Grants to FCCPS Staff. To find out more about the Foundation and learn more ways to support them, check out their website at.fcedf.org/.
Columbia Baptist Church seeks to create a safe and diverse community for people to explore their faith. They offer services in multiple languages and in different settings, from a more traditional church space to coffeehouses and other locations. On November 21, they will be holding a 5K/3K race, this annual fundraiser helps raise funds for their hunger projects, including the food pantry located in Bailey’s Crossroads. More information about the race and the church can be found at columbiabaptist.org/.
Better Together Falls Church was created to help out small businesses during the struggles of the pandemic and its impact on the community. This apparel fundraiser uses 100 percent of the money raised to purchase gift cards to small businesses in the Little City. The gift cards then go to local charities that support the community. Tees, sweatshirts and beanies can be purchased at bettertogetherfc.org. Any items purchased now through November 29 will ship on December 7.
Creative Cauldron was founded in 2002 and is dedicated to providing affordable, enriching, and diverse experiences in the performing and visual arts to Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, DC community. The theater puts on multiple performances every year as well as hosting workshops and lessons for all ages. Currently, the Learning Theater is putting on “Aesop’s Fables,” which closes this weekend. Their next production will be “The Christmas Angel,” beginning on December 9. To purchase tickets to their performances or find out more about volunteer opportunities and workshops, visit creativecauldron.org/.
The luncheon ended with a speech from Brian Creswick of Chartis Federal who spoke about the importance of supporting nonprofits through your business, especially in a small community such as Falls Church.
Additionally, the city of Falls Church is celebrating Live Local Month with a giveaway. Everyone who uses the hashtag #LiveLocalFC on social media when visiting local businesses will be eligible to win a $100 gift card to the local Falls Church business of their choice.
More information on the #LiveLocalFC giveaway can be found on the Chamber of Commerce website at fallschurchchamber.org as well as a full list of nonprofit organizations in the city.