Tysons, VA

Hybrid Learning — “BASIS Independent McLean, which like all Virginia schools switched to online-only classes this spring because of the public-health emergency, on Aug. 25 reopened under a hybrid plan combining in-person and online learning.” [Inside NoVa]

Food Insecurity High — “Share of McLean is seeing twice its usual demand for food assistance, and several times its usual demand for emergency financial assistance, as the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a heavy toll on the country’s most vulnerable populations.” [Connection Newspapers]

Calls to Remove Library Trustee — “A Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees member is facing criticism for comments about the diverse titles featured on the library’s online catalog. The Virginia Library Association expressed opposition to Phillip Rosenthal’s comments in a letter, while the NOVA Equity Agenda Coalition took it a step further and called for his resignation or removal.” [Patch]

Work Completed Along Route 7 — “The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Phase 1 crews have completed all work along eastbound and westbound Route 7 in Tysons.” [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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Fairfax County recently created a map pinpointing local groups looking for donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The map allows users to find nonprofits and organizations within a specific region of Fairfax County so they can help people within their own communities.

Users can search for charities by the proximity to an address or by clicking on one from the general geographic overview.

The charities listed on the website are accepting items including personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, baby products and paper items, the page said. Throughout the county, 22,620 households are at or below the poverty level, according to the website.

Charities collecting monetary donations can be found on the webpage as well.

People can learn more about a charity by reading an overview from Volunteer Fairfax.

County-wide:

Vienna:

McLean:

Falls Church:

Image via Fairfax County

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In the coming weeks, a local nonprofit assisting community members facing food insecurity or homelessness will receive assistance from the McLean Citizens Association.

SHARE of McLean was chosen by the MCA at last night’s meeting (May 6) to be the recipient of incoming monetary donations to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is one of the most efficient charities we could possibly find,” MCA President Dale Stein said, adding that requests for food from SHARE have doubled since the COVID-19 outbreak began. 

MCA members voted to donate a minimum of $1,000, which has already been crowdsourced, to the nonprofit.

“I really do think this is good for our community and MCA,” Stein said.

Several members at the meeting asked that MCA raise the match amount.

“Let’s get the $1,000 to SHARE and then set up a working committee to get more funds donated and send in a second donation later,” Sowjanya O’Neill, an MCA at-large member, said. “I know there are a lot of people out there who are in need right now.”

Ultimately, they came to a compromise to re-examine donation amounts in the future.

“We can always decide to increase that at future meetings,” Stein said, adding that the board will review the project and possibly add onto it.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck/Unsplash

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A McLean resident and her two kids recently decided to help a local non-profit while also providing neighbors with spring flowers to adorn their yards.

Lynley Ogilvie and her two teenagers, George and Jayne, who attend McLean High School raised more than $5,000 for SHARE of McLean by selling flowers and plants to neighbors who wanted to start gardens.

SHARE is based in McLean and helps people who are struggling with food insecurity and poverty, according to its website, adding that the organization can assist with paying bills, clothing and other needs.

As a professional landscape designer, Lynley said she was inspired to start the fundraiser after receiving questions and inquiries from friends and clients asking for recommendations places to find plants.

Her kids helped her mobilize by designing programs such as order forms through Google Forms and coming up with the idea to buy in bulk from a source out of Maryland and resell the greenery — ultimately making a profit which could benefit SHARE, she said.

“People were very excited to support SHARE, and they were struggling to get donations,” Lynley said.

As a member of Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Lynley said that the church frequently donates to SHARE, and the non-profit saw a lack in donations after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy.

According to Lynley, several other religious groups around the area are also bolstering efforts to support the local organization.

“One of my good friends is actually the Rabbi at Temple Rodef Shalom,” Lynley said. “She came to my sale and said they are also trying to support SHARE.”

People who bought plants from the family paid in advance through Venmo, according to Lynley, who added that people then signed up for a pickup time slot so they could practice safe social distancing.

Throughout Friday (April 10) and Saturday (April 11), roughly 90 people came by to pick up their greenery, Lynley said.

The funds have already been delivered to SHARE, she added.

Going forward, Lynley said she hopes people will continue to build and foster gardens because they help people maintain a “sense of control” in their lives and allows them to “reconnect with nature.”

Photo courtesy Lynley Ogilvie

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In Fairfax County — one of the wealthiest areas in the country — about 56,000 people experience food insecurity.

Several organizations around the Tysons area are trying to improve the county’s 4.9% “Food Insecurity Rate,” according to 2017 data compiled by Feeding America, a hunger-relief organization.

Across Northern Virginia, up to 90,000 people go hungry every day, according to Food for Others.

Food for Others obtains food through food rescue operations and food drives and provides emergency food assistance via the warehouse (2938 Prosperity Avenue) in Merrifield, food distribution at 16 sites and supplements to 16 other organizations.

The warehouse is open from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays. People who go to the neighborhood sites are asked to bring their own grocery bags and tell the volunteers how many people are in the household.

On Wednesdays and Fridays, people can go to these Falls Church sites:

  • Corner of Ellison and Irving streets off West Street at 5:45 p.m.
  • 2802 Hollywood Road — parking lot of Wexford Manor Apartments south of Savannah Street — at 6:15 p.m.

Several other organizations in the Tysons area offer emergency assistance to people experiencing food insecurity.

Share of McLean

Share, Inc. is a nonprofit run by volunteers that provides emergency assistance to people in McLean and nearby areas. Share’s food and used clothing room is located in space donated by the McLean Baptist Church at 1367 Chain Bridge Road.

In addition to the year-round food pantry, Share offers family emergency financial assistance, recycled furniture, back-to-school supplies and refurbished laptop computers.

The Committee for Helping Others (CHO)

CHO is a Vienna-based nonprofit that has an emergency food pantry in facilities provided by the Vienna Presbyterian Church at Vienna Court Condos, 133 Park Street NE.

Staffed by volunteers, CHO serves people in the Vienna, Oakton, Dunn Loring, and Merrifield areas. People interested in picking up food must make an appointment by calling 703-679-8966 or email [email protected]

Falls Church Community Service Council

The council offers several programs from clothing to financial to food assistance. The food pantry at the Knox Presbyterian Church (7416 Arlington Blvd) provides non-perishable and fresh food from donations and local food drives. The council also buys extra food when it has adequate funding.

“Church volunteers bag and deliver a week’s supply of food to clients,” according to its website. Volunteers also deliver meals three days per week to people at home who can’t make meals for themselves.

For students, Fairfax County Public Schools has several programs to keep kids fed during the summer and during the school year.

Photo via Falls Church Community Service Council/Facebook

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of the most interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Feb. 25)

  • Vienna Town Council Meeting — 8 p.m. at Town Hall Council Chambers (127 Center St. S) — At tonight’s meeting, the Town Council will review public input on the ongoing effort to revise the town’s Maple Avenue zoning guidelines. Most of the feedback so far indicates Vienna residents prefer a rustic brick look to the sleek, modern design popular in new developments.

Wednesday (Feb. 27)

  • ‘The Color Purple’ Screening7-10 p.m. at Angelika Film Center (2911 District Ave) — As part of the theater’s “Black is the New Black” film series, the Angelika Film Center will show the coming-of-age story about an African-American woman growing up in rural Georgia. Tickets are $14.50.
  • State of the Chesapeake Bay7:30-9 p.m. at the Vienna Fire House (400 Center St. S) — The Potomac River Smallmouth Club is hosting a discussion with Captain John Page Williams, a senior naturalist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Williams is scheduled to discuss the state of the Chesapeake Bay, including issues related to climate and agricultural changes underway.

Thursday (Feb. 28)

  • Transform 66 Update — 7:30 p.m. at Providence Community Room (3001 Vaden Dr.) — The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling is hosting a meeting with the Virginia Department of Transportation for an update on train alignment, access points, barrier design and construction timing on the ongoing Transform 66 program.
  • A Tribute to Dave Grohl — 8 p.m. at Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave E) — Jammin’ Java is hosting a musical tribute to Northern Virginia native Dave Grohl with a series of bands covering the music of Nirvana, Food Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Friday (March 1)

  • Vesper Trail Ribbon Cutting10 a.m. at Vesper Street — A new half-mile bike and pedestrian trail is set to officially open this Friday. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for the Vienna end of the trail, followed by refreshments and a bicycle mechanic available for free tune-ups.
  • Mardi Gras Party9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — Citing difficulties with partying all night on a Tuesday, the Tysons Biergarten is hosting its “Fat Tuesday” party on Friday. The celebration will include beads and live music, with guests encouraged to bring masks and feather boas.

Saturday (March 2)

  • SHARE Food Drive9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Safeway (1688 Anderson Road) — The SHARE Food Pantry is in need of food and supplies. The food pantry benefits around 40 local families or older adults per week. The pantry is in need of volunteers and non-perishable food.
  • McLean Project for the Arts Spring Open House10 a.m.-2 p.m. at MPA (1446 Chain Bridge Road) — At the open house, the McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) will host information sessions about the all-ages spring art classes and summer camps. Art activities will also be available for children. No registration is required.
  • 11th Annual Capital Princess Ball — 6-10 p.m. at Westwood Country Club (800 Maple Ave E) — A musical dinner and dance in Vienna will celebrate fathers and daughters. The event is a fundraiser for organizations promoting adoption, orphanages and foster care. The event is black tie optional and includes a silent auction and raffle.

Photo via Facebook

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This Saturday, the McLean Police District Station is hosting a “Stuff the Cruiser” food drive.

The cruiser will be located at the Giant Food at 1454 Chain Bridge Road. The idea is to bring enough food and other goods to fill one of the Fairfax County Police Department’s cruisers. The supplies will be donated to the Share of McLean Food Pantry.

Share of McLean is a nonprofit organization established in 1969 to meet the needs of those less fortunate in McLean and surrounding Northern Virginia localities. The organization is all-volunteer and relies on donations. In addition to the food pantry, the organization also collects clothes and furniture to give to those in need.

According to their website, the organization distributes 700 bags of groceries and 200 bags of clothing each month.

If you are unable to attend the food drive on Saturday, the organization also accepts food donations at the McLean Baptist Church on 1367 Chain Bridge Rd, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Police say the food drive currently needs:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Applesauce
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned foods
  • Canned pasts sauce
  • White sugar
  • White rice
  • Dried beans
  • Vegetable oil
  • Crackers and snacks
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Granola bars
  • Dried pasta
  • Single toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Toilet paper
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers
  • Laundry soap

Photo via Twitter

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