Around F.C.

Community News & Notes: July 27 – August 2

Swim-For-a-Cause Raises Money for Local Group

The High Point Pool HiPPos Swim Team recently held a Swim-for-a-Cause event that raised more than $6,600 for Our Minds Matter, an organization that runs mental wellness clubs in schools (including Meridian, McLean, Longfellow, Marshall, and Yorktown). They had nearly 100 swim team members, coaches, and parents swim 66 laps/ one mile (a few even swam two miles) and surpassed the donation goal of $2,500 before the first swimmer even jumped in the pool.

Falls Church Art’s recent exhibit “Street Life” chose a winner for their People’s Choice Award sponsored by Dubro Architects. Kiefer Johnson’s piece “I Want to Ride My” (pictured above) reflects on how biking took over as a way of travel during the pandemic. (Photo: Falls Church Arts)

Local Nonprofits Program Seeks Donations for Students

Fairfax-based nonprofit Britepaths is seeking community support to assist 2,500 students who attend schools in the Fairfax County area and may otherwise go without supplies.

Financial donations to Britepaths’ Back to School Program through August 31 will allow the organization to purchase new school supply kits and backpacks that school staff will distribute to 2,500 students with identified need at partner schools that are mostly in Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) Fairfax High School and Justice High School pyramids.

Through a partnership with Herndon-based Campus Survival Kits, Britepaths can maximize cash donations to purchase all the necessary supplies and high quality backpacks at a steep discount. A donation of $25 will provide supplies and a backpack for one student. Organizations may also choose to sponsor or cosponsor all students at a specific partner school.

Community members may donate funds or register to sponsor a school via Britepaths’ secure on-line donation page at: Checks should be made out to Britepaths and mailed to 3959 Pender Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax. Write “BTS23” in the memo line. For more information, phone 703.273.8829 or email

Islamic Relief USA Distribute Free Halal Meat 

In a massive effort to provide essential food to an underserved or at-needs population during a time marked by rising food costs and excessive demand, Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), a nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization, and Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center provided food in the form of fresh meat, as part of an Islamic tradition known as Qurbani. 

Qurbani is a special program that enables donors around the world to buy freshly-prepared cuts of meat for vulnerable populations around the world. The meat was recently prepared according to guidelines to ensure that it’s halal. Muslims recently marked one of their major holidays, Eid al-Adha, during which meat is commonly served.

F.C. Non-Profit Wins Fellowship for Social Change Leaders

Mohammed Al Samawi, Founder and Director of Abrahamic House — the first-ever national, multi-faith incubator based in Falls Church, VA, that seeks to build sustainable interfaith understanding and action by fostering an environment of learning, respect, and social change — has been selected to join the second class of an innovative new fellowship that supports America’s up-and-coming social change leaders.

Relocating to Northern Virginia after fleeing Yemen, Al Samawi established the Abrahamic House to invest in faith leaders working to challenge religious assumptions, prejudices, and inequities. Since then, he has committed himself to the facilitating exchange of core values that define religious traditions in order to combat extremism and stereotypes.

Mohammed is part of the Fund for New Leadership (FNL)’s second fellowship cohort, a multi-year program that provides early-stage organizations with $75,000 in unrestricted funds per year for three years (for a total of $225,000) as well as development trainings to help expand their work on crucial issues such as racial equity, economic opportunity, workers’ rights, and environmental sustainability.

2023 D.C. Congenital Heart Walk Event in September

Congenital heart defects are the most commonly occurring (and deadliest) birth defect, ranging from small holes in the heart to major structural defects that affect heart and organ function. They affect 1 in every 110 children born, or a child born every 15 minutes in the U.S. The Children’s Heart Foundation is the leading organization solely dedicated to congenital heart defect (CHD) research funding, having funded 130 research projects for nearly $15 million since 1996. Their mission is to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects by funding the promising research, and they are requesting your help in spreading awareness about this cause.

The Annual Walk has become a cherished tradition in the community, bringing together individuals, families, and local businesses to support CHD research. As volunteers, they have witnessed the profound positive impact this event has had on the community year after year. By generating awareness and rallying support, in their 2022 walk series across the United States, they raised over 2 million dollars to support CHD research, and look forward to raising more this year.

The walk will take place on September 24 from 8:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. at Wolf Trap National Park at 1551 Trap Road, Vienna.