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Assistance League of Northern Virginia Raises Funds to Support Programs for Low-Income Children.

Assistance League® of Northern Virginia, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, held its annual Spring Fundraiser on April 26 at the Country Club of Fairfax to raise funds for its programs that serve the needs of low-income children in 11 Title I elementary schools in Fairfax and Prince William Counties and the City of Alexandria. During the pre-luncheon reception, the 145 guests in attendance had an opportunity to bid on an incredible array of silent auction items donated by local businesses.

Kathryn Jackson, president of the Northern Virginia chapter of Assistance League, emceed the event and described the positive impact the organization’s ongoing programs, including Weekend Food for Kids, New Clothing for Kids, Literacy for Kids and Hugs Pillows, have in the community. Attendees were treated to a slide show that provided a wonderful visual portrayal of the nonprofit’s programs and activities.

During the current school year, Weekend Food for Kids will deliver 18,000 bags of nonperishable food items to students at risk of hunger to take home on weekends when school meals are not available. The New Clothing for Kids initiative provides essential clothing items, and personal grooming products to improve the well-being of students, and layettes to help new mothers in need. Literacy for Kids delivers individualized tutoring to first graders and supplies books to support summer school reading programs, in addition to providing books to allow individual students to build their home libraries. Hugs Pillows distributes hand-made pillows to comfort children undergoing treatment at a local clinic.

Key sponsors of the charity luncheon were recognized for their generous support:  Quadrant, Inc., Panda Stonewall, Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation, Marines Plumbing, and Spine Care of Manassas Chiropractic Center. Several partners that have provided important support for the organization’s food program, including Dominion Energy, Allstate, Intelsat and Sandy Spring Bank, also received high praise. A special thank-you was extended to principals and other representative from the schools served as their input is critical in facilitating program operations.

For the ninth year, Auctioneer Daniel Sanders, with Four Sales Ltd., donated his services to help raise funds during the live auction and special appeal segment of the program. Two luxury South African Photo Safari packages were just some of the unique items available for bid this year.

School Counselor Eliza Gallagher provided insight on the daily struggles of children who live in poverty. Gallagher expressed her passion for her work at Loch Lomond Elementary School, where 80% of the students receive free or reduced-price meals. She noted the commitment of the staff who hold high standards for the students and work diligently to help them meet those standards. Gallagher noted the importance of support from Assistance League programs and volunteers in helping meet the needs of students.

Christopher Baity, a veteran Marine Corps dog trainer and Founder and Executive Director of Semper K9 Assistance Dogs, delivered the keynote address. Baity spoke about the difficulties veterans often have in transitioning to civilian life after their military service has ended. Through his work, Baity applies his love of dogs and personal understanding of the challenges that veterans face to training shelter dogs to assist those experiencing mental health and mobility issues. He noted the common goals shared by organizations including Assistance League and Semper K9 in addressing the needs of vulnerable people.

The monies raised through this fundraising effort will support and enhance Assistance League’s ability to meet the essential needs in our low-income communities. For further information, visit: www.alnv.org.

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