For 12 years, the American Indian Heritage Foundation, a small, nonprofit organization in Falls Church, has been raising money and sponsoring events to help more than 200 Indian tribes scattered around the country, rounding up food, blankets, shoes and toys.
The group, founded by Princess Pale Moon, a Cherokee-Ojibwa Indian, is not exactly the kind of organization that most Northern Virginians would expect to find here. But each year the group needs to raise millions in donations and contributions for a race that leads most others in the nation in unemployment, alcoholism and suicide.
This year groups such as the foundation will get some outside help in their fund-raising efforts with the debut of "Guide to Giving," a small publication that lists 155 nonprofit organizations and health facilities throughout the area that need money, equipment and volunteer time.
The book was the brainstorm of several members of the Corporate Volunteer Council of Northern Virginia, a recently formed organization made up of employes from 11 area corporations.
In early August, the group surveyed more than 500 agencies in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax that needed contributions and volunteer help. At the end of August, the council began to compile the book using information provided by 155 organizations.
Donald Stack, division manager of public relations for AT&T here and head of the council, is proud of the publication:
"It's the first effort we've done as a body for the public," he said. "All volunteer organizations need money and they need volunteers with all kinds of unusual skills. An awful lot of stuff that businesses junk, these organizations would die to have."
Stack said publication of 1,500 copies of the book was done as a contribution from employes of corporations belonging to the volunteer council, with Chesapeake & Potomac doing the typing, Mobil Oil Corp. designing layout and AT&T providing the printing.
A Guide to Giving lists in alphabetical order the names of organizations, directors and phone numbers, purposes of the agencies and area served, and most importantly, needs of the groups.
For example, Princess Pale Moon is looking for the following kind of help from area volunteers:
"Clerical -- addressing, good handwriting, could be done at home or in the office. Typing -- reasonable speed and accuracy. Donations -- clothing for adults and children, blankets, cold weather gear, Thanksgiving turkeys and fixings. Christmas -- toys, need help in wrapping and addressing packages. Funding is needed to send emergency supplies to the tribes that are spread throughout the country."
Marlyn Whitley, assistant director of the Voluntary Action Center of Fairfax County, which served as a consultant to the volunteer council on the book, said the guide is aimed particularly at corporate donors. Interested corporations, she said, should contact the center to receive free booklets.
The books will also be available at local libraries for individuals seeking to give money or volunteer time, Whitley said.
Directors of agencies are excited about the book, particularly since it delivers their message of need to large corporations.
"I think it's absolutely fantastic," said Sharon Kelso, director of United Community Ministries in Alexandria. "Getting to that corporate sector is the hardest job we have."