April 23, 2020 would have seen hundreds of neighbors turn out for the annual Volunteer Fairfax Service Awards. And we would have been sitting right there with them with our fingers crossed for our nominees: Keller Williams MetroCenter for Best Corporate Volunteer Program; and Washington Community Church for Best Adult Volunteer Group. This ceremony did not take place and we don’t know if it will virtually yet – however, we want to share their awesomeness with you! Below are the stories we shared about them for the awards committee in February, but you need to know that both of these groups continue to find amazing ways to serve during this crisis.
Keller Williams MetroCenter
We were contacted by Christine Sennott, chair of the Culture Committee for Keller Williams MetroCenter in early 2018. They asked if we could partner for their RED Day which is their annual day of service across the country. Christine and everyone from KW-MC jumped right in to coordinate an incredible project that May, helping to furnish and redecorate 4 apartments for formerly homeless adults. Since then, they have organized two fundraisers to take children in our programs back-to-school shopping and then arranged the shopping trips, donated hundreds of meals at the holidays, and furnished 6 apartments for formerly homeless adults. More than 100 people have been engaged in volunteering the past two years and they have raised more than $22,000 for special projects and needs. They are creative, inspire others, and always ask how they may best fulfill needs of our clients. They are joyful volunteers.
The team from Keller Williams MetroCenter did and gave so much in 2018 and then entered 2019 with the desire to do even more! They held several big projects in 2019 that helped different populations within our programs. More than 60 volunteers served at two adult shelters on their RED Day of service on May 9th. They cleaned, painted, did yard work, and worked with shelter guests as we did a huge Spring cleaning after long winter for the shelter. They then organized a bowling fundraiser that raised over $6,000 to take our children back-to-school shopping – and then actually volunteered as the children’s personal shoppers once the funds were collected! They helped each child feel really special both with their gifts and personal attention. Finally they raised money and/or collected new household items to furnish 6 apartments at our newest housing site in Bailey’s Crossroads for homeless adults with disabilities in October.
“After every project, they always thank us for being great to work with and then ask – what can we do next? What’s amazing about Christine, Kate, and everyone at Keller Williams MetroCenter and their volunteering, they are always eager to do more for the community. They are a joy to work with and we wish we had more of them!”
Washington Community Church
Washington Community Church (WCC) deserves to be recognized for their service because of their passion to make their community a better place. When WCC was interested in finding a place to best utilize their dedication, they reached out to New Hope Housing and asked what our needs were and realized that their interests were aligned with our needs. The first year they served with us, they served an outstanding Thanksgiving meal to residents at our Mondloch Place site, completed with table decorations, place settings, and real dishes and silverware. WCC has been engaged ever since.
WCC is unique in many ways, but the one that we are most proud of is that they are so welcoming. Not only do the serve with New Hope Housing, they have made real, lasting connections with our guests and residents. Many of our residents are now active members of WCC and participate in their SERVE days. One of our guests at the Kennedy Shelter, who has since moved into stable housing and employment, credits a WCC volunteer for turning him around and getting him ready to move out of shelter. To this day, he still is an active member of the church and volunteers to serve Thanksgiving dinner at Mondloch.
Washington Community Church (WCC) is dedicated to serving their local community along the Richmond Highway corridor. Each year, WCC hosts a SERVE day, encouraging church members to get out in the local community and give back. In 2019, WCC volunteers created 50 Welcome Home Baskets for homeless individuals that are moving into a new home, providing them with basics that they need for success. They also had a group at the Kennedy Shelter, cleaning up the grounds and organizing the pantry so that we are better able to serve shelter guests.
In addition to their SERVE Day, WCC has provided Thanksgiving food baskets for our residents in the community so that they may have a special Thanksgiving meal and have served Thanksgiving lunch at Mondloch Place for the residents. They have done this for the past three years.
Lastly, a small group of WCC members come to the Kennedy Shelter each month to serve lunch and spend time with guests. This can look like serving a warm and filling meal, to assisting guests with employment help, to simply listening and providing support to shelter guests during a difficult time in their lives.
“Washington Community Church is one of my favorite volunteer groups to work with, because not only do they provide great services, they truly understand how to treat our homeless neighbors with dignity and respect. Their work has helped our guests move from homelessness to a home, provided community, and has made New Hope Housing a better organization. I’m so grateful that they continue to serve and look forward to many more years of service with Washington Community Church!”