Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Contact County Board concerning tax increase

AMEN needs your help to bring a message to the Arlington County Board as it considers the budget for FY2011. Please tell the Board that you support the recommended tax rate increase for FY2011.

This small increase will ensure that the County will be able to support safety net programs of AMEN and other Arlington non-profits that help our neighbors in need.

Email your support to the Board members at countyboard@arlingtonva.us

Or call the Board's offices at 703-228-3130

For more information on the proposed FY2011 County budget, see http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/ManagementAndFinance/ManagementANDFinanceCurrentAdopted.aspx

Monday, October 12, 2009

Help the Homeless Mini Walk - Sunday October 25

For the last few years, AMEN has held a Help the Homeless Mini walk which is sponsored by Fannie Mae. This walk is a very important fundraiser for AMEN programs. The Help the Homeless (HTH) Program gives AMEN all of the registration fees PLUS additional financial incentives based on the numbers of AMEN registered walkers.

This year's walk will be held on Sunday, October 25, starting registration at 2:00 PM, we will meet in the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church, 601 N. Vermont Street (corner of Carlin Springs Road, one block of Glebe Road in Ballston). After the registation, there will be a short walk around the neighborhood. The fee is $15 per child and $25 per adult over 25. Each registered walker will receive a Free T-shirt. We plan to be finished by 3 PM.

This min-walk is managable for tots to grandparents. So if you are not running the Marine Marathon on Sunday October 25, but would like to get some exercise for a very good cause, put on your sneakers, gather up family, friends, a Scout troop or youth group, a sport team or any other group, and join AMEN in getting a good start on helping our Arlington neighbors in need.

Rain or shine, we will be here hoping to see you!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hope to see you at the fair!

The 33rd Annual Arlington County Fair starts next Wednesday and AMEN, along with other Arlington non-profits, will be sharing a space located inside starting Thursday, August 20th.

My two youngest sons were quite small the last time I visited the fair and those boys are now men! So I checked out some pictures online from the 2008 County Fair and I must say, I'm very excited to be apart of this fine event.

Here are some of the photos:

All kinds of rides
For big kids and small

Fun foods that stick to your fingers and face.

And all too often, your waist!

Racing pigs :-)

And munching lamas

Look what I've been missing all these years!

And there is so much more to see and do: competitive exhibits, live entertainment, evening movies, fire engines and police motorcycles, etc.

What a great way to round out the summer with family and friends. It's almost as close as your backyard. You don't have far to drive (flash back to that last drive down I-95 to Kings Dominion :-0)
Plus you will be making wonderful memories right in the county here you live.

So y'all come on out to this year's Arlington County Fair, ride a ride, eat some cotton candy, visit the displays, and stop by and say 'hi' to the AMEN staff.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Keeping cool this summer!

Summer 2009 is gently unfolding and the weather for the DC area has been quite pleasant. May and early June were cool and wet. The low humidity is very unusual; as is being able to have doors and windows up for cool breezy evening. But those days are ending as July kicks in. Temps are going up and living without air conditioning would not be so pleasant, especially in if you happen to live in an apartment!

AMEN's Energy Share program is now available year round. Until this year, monies (through Dominion VA Power which comes from funds donated by their customers when they check that little box on their bill and send in extra dollars to help with utility assistance for those in need) were only allotted for winter heating. Now the funding has been extended to help with summer air conditioning.

Some may argue that air condition is not really all that necessary. In fact people have lived centuries without that "luxury" many will comment. Or something along the lines of 'Why when I was a kid, we made fans out of paper, walk down to the stream, and cooled our feet." Or "We didn't have any a/c and we survived just fine"! These statements are true but times have changed and for many people, the elderly, infants, people with heart conditions, asthma, auto immune disease, etc., doing without a/c could be life threatening or fatal. When the air quality index (which wasn't around when I was a kid) hits the high orange or red range, it is advised that for people with conditions like those above, stay in and stay cool.

AMEN is excited to be able to help our Arlington neighbors through the summer months. But the Energy Share Fund last only as long as there are funds being donated. When the funds run out, no checks will be written to cover utilities for the rest of the summer.
If you would like to donate to AMEN, you can do so on line at http://www.emergencyneeds.org/ or mail a donation to P.O. Box 7429, Arlington, VA 22207.

Monday, June 1, 2009

In Thanks and Recognition of Local Schools.

As this school year is quickly coming to a close, AMEN will present a certificate of recognition and thanks at end of year ceremonies to seven elementary and junior high schools that participated in mini-walks to Help the Homeless on be-half AMEN. These events are sponsored by Fannie Mae.
Over 3500 students participated and more than $50,000 was raised. Out-standing job, students!
Listed below are the schools that were part of the fall 2008 program:

GUNSTON MIDDLE SCHOOL: This was the second year that Gunston has sponsored a mini-walk for both AMEN and A-SPAN. Over 400 students participated in the November 6 mini-walk and assembly that followed in the Gunston gymnasium.
The Gunston cheerleaders cheered the walkers on and the Gunston Jazz Band played as the students filed through the gymnasium to walk out-of-doors.

SWANSON MIDDLE SCHOOL: The Swanson Middle School Pep Band in their 2008 HTH tee-shirts marched and played in two of the elementary school, Glebe and McKinley, mini-walks.
WILLIAMSBURG MIDDLE SCHOOL: Approximately 900 students walked in this school HTH mini-walk on November 6, 2008. The PE teachers talked about homelessness each day, and collected registration forms from students.
A banner was made by students, for each grade level, which students carried. Other students carried an AMEN banner. The principal, along with the assistant principals, all wearing their T-shirts, cheered the students on.

GLEBE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Held their second annual Help the Homeless mini-walk on October 31 along with their school wide Halloween parade.
The student body of some 450 walked; as did numerous faculty and parents.
The Swanson Middle School Pep Band arrived by bus to play several musical selections just before the walk began.

F.S.KEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: The school organized the day for all students to be attending PE so that they could participate in the walk.
The music teacher, Ms. Jenkins, taught the kids a cheer that they repeated on the walk. The cheer was “Walking for the homeless, yeah, yeah, YEAH!” The kids loved it!
Key walks for three organizations: AMEN, Doorways, and the VOA Residential Program Center.
MCKINELY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: November 3, 386 students, staff, and parents started their morning walk off with the help of Swanson Pep Band playing music that would get the group into high gear for their mini-walk to Help the Homeless.
TAYLOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: On October 31, Taylor Elementary School held its annual Help the Homeless mini-walk.

The walk coincided with the school-wide Halloween parade, so the entire student body of 600+ walked, as did numerous faculty and parents.

AMEN shared Taylor “proceeds” with the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless/AACH.

What a wonderful experience for the children to be involved in and for them to understand that their time and efforts could help keep a family in their community from being homeless. Youth homelessness is disturbingly common. Researchers estimate 5 to 7.7% of youth, nationally, experience homelessness each year. (these facts came from the National Alliance to End Homelessness)

So here's a BIG 'Thank you' to students, facility, and parents for helping make AMEN’s Fall 2008 Help the Homeless mini-walks such a successful campaign!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Neighbors helping Neighbors

After nine years with a small national non-profit, I had hit the advocacy wall.

Still I was left with the desire to continue working in the non-profit arena but more on a local level. Saw an ad for a position with AMEN, applied and lucky for me, I was hired! Although here only a little over two months, I absolutely LOVE the mission and heart of this organization.

With only 3 part-time employees, a huge part of the daily work is done by tireless volunteers. Donations are generated through grants and generous folks who mostly live in Arlington; neighbors helping neighbors!

Knowing AMEN funds are helping Arlingtonians with such essentials as housing expenses, medical needs, transportation, etc., makes coming to work a feel good experience because I know that each day someone in my county is being helped during their time of need. Now that is what I call instant gratification!

Thanks, neighbors, for helping to keep families together, lights on, and prescriptions filled!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Filling Prescriptions

For the month of March, AMEN working through Safeway Pharmacies, contributed over $5,500 to help 43 individuals and/or families in Arlington fill their prescription needs.

There are many critical needs out there but being able to help with obtaining necessary medications is vital. Rather the medications are needed to recover from a short term illness or ongoing health problems, providing this service is an extremely important one.

We would like thank Safeway Pharmacies for working with AMEN to help our neighbors in their time of need and also give a sincere thank you to our donors that make these provisions possible.

Dealing with illness is stressful enough; not being able to afford necessary medications for one's self or child must be overwhelming. If you would like to donate on line, please go to http://www.emergencyneeds.org/.