Updates from the Outreach and Advocacy team:
  • Thank you to everyone who contributed food for the Bailey’s hypothermia program! We provided three nights of food last week and were told it was well received with gratitude. We will provide food again during the week of January 10th – please sign up here to help out [link: Food: Hypothermia season meals (signupgenius.com)].
  • Members of Peace met with Senator Marsden to discuss paid sick leave and the death penalty in Virginia.
  • A Peace member continues to volunteer her Friday lunch hour to pick up weekend food bags from Parklawn Elementary’s food distribution and deliver them to a family nearby.
  • Weekend food bags collected and assembled by Peace members continue to be given out to students at nearby Belvedere Elementary School.
  • The Outreach and Advocacy team is working on a survey to learn more about the congregations’ social justice interests. Be on the lookout for it in the new year – we appreciate your input!

 

The hypothermia program is an annual undertaking of the shelter and its partner, New Hope Housing, to provide overnight respite for unhoused neighbors during the coldest months of the year. They depend on congregations and community groups to help with food. Peace has a number of committed volunteers who have helped with this in the past – please consider joining them in supporting this cause with food, delivery, and/or money for catered meals.

 


Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA)

Peace is a founding member of this 36-member ecumenical organization that helps with emergency cash, food, furniture, and other services to families living in our community.

Find out ways to help and donate at accacares.org.

Food pantry needs – please consider dropping off food to the ACCA food pantry on Columbia Pike on an upcoming Saturday. See food needs and dates here [link: Food Pantry (accacares.org)]

Please support the ACCA Covid Challenge Campaign

In its 53rd year, ACCA continues to provide high quality childcare and serves as a principal source of emergency assistance, including food, furniture, and financial support, for our vulnerable neighbors. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we pivoted all of our operations to meet the increasing needs of the community while following guidance from local public health agencies.

In May, Fairfax County awarded ACCA a $3.12 million grant from its CARES Act funding in order for ACCA to provide rent, utility and food assistance to low income families affected by the pandemic. Unfortunately those funds have been depleted. ACCA needs your support to continue our work in the coming year. Our goal for this year’s Challenge Campaign is to raise $150,000 in donations between now and January 31, 2021.

To donate by mail, send your check payable to ACCA to 7200 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003. Please note “COVID Challenge Campaign” in the memo line. You can donate with credit or debit card online via the Catalogue for Philanthropy or PayPal. See details on the ACCA website.


 

Searching for an alternative gift idea for a loved one? Please consider giving a Gift of Hope in their name to support nonprofits and community organizations doing good work. Visit www.giftsofhopedc.org for more information.


In September 2020, the Outreach and Advocacy Team invited Peace people to conversations where we will shared our work and learning over the past few months. 

  • Session 1: A video of the first session from September 20th is below. It focused on what direct service and faith-based advocacy are and the role of the church in advocacy efforts.
  • Session 2: The second session on Sunday September 27 will delve more specifically into organizations doing service and advocacy work, and offer ways of getting involved as an expression of our faith.
Contact nadia@sharingpeace.org with any questions.

 


Peace partners with LSS to provide Homework Clubs to youth and families who are new to the U.S. There is now an emergency relief fund set up to help clients, including Homework Club families. Click here to donate to the fund. Link: https://lssnca.org/get_involved/make_donation/donate.html


Food for Others: Peace partners with this organization by providing space for fresh produce to be grown. Donate time or money to this organization that helps families in our area by clicking here and signing up.


Donate blood:There is a need for life-saving blood donations right now. High schoolers may also donate (depending on age, parental consent may be required). Find an appointment time here.


Advocacy News

*From ELCA Advocacy Action Center, actions you can take at the federal level:

Take Action on the Next Coronavirus Supplemental Bill

Congress is considering a new supplemental package to address the economic impacts of COVID-19. Send a letter to your representative in Congress by clicking on the blue link above.

Take action to prevent an eviction crisis

Compounding circumstances are shaping a potential near-future eviction crisis in our communities that must be prevented. Send a letter to your Congressional representative by clicking on the blue link above.

*From Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, action you can take at the state level:

Economic Justice in Virginia – Paid Sick Days and Living Wages (virginiainterfaithcenter.org)

Now, VICPP is launching their paid sick days campaign for the 2020 Virginia General Assembly Session, while continuing their work to stop and deter wage theft. Sign VICPP’s petition. Urge Governor Northam to protect Virginia’s essential workers!


Dear church, it is widely reported and known that the Covid19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting black and brown communities across the United States. The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated racially-driven inequities that exist in business, healthcare, education, law enforcement, and public policy. Advocacy is a way to address these inequities: “We’re involved in advocacy because it’s part of our baptism…the God who justifies then sets us free to do justice and turns us away from ourselves and towards our neighbor.”

Watch more about ELCA advocacy and please stay tuned for more details on how you can be involved in efforts to love and support our neighbors facing especially difficult times right now.


Resource Links:

ELCA Advocacy  https://www.elca.org/advocacy

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions  https://faithforclimate.org

Alliance for Justice https://mffh.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/AFJ_what-is-advocacy.pdf

Bread for the World https://bread.org/get-involved

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy  https://www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org/get-involved/

Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE)  https://www.voice-iaf.org/

Lutheran Social Services/National Capital Area https://lssnca.org/

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)  https://www.lirs.org/take-action/