Fairfax County and the Annandale Christian Community for Action coordinate a program in which people "adopt" families for Christmas by providing gifts for the children and the makings for a meal that the family will prepare. Volunteers are also sought to make deliveries Dec. 21 of food from the pantry to families not adopted by others. Contact Allison McMullin at amcmullin@cox.net.

Americans Helping Americans



The nonprofit provides services to residents living on site in CRS Residential properties (a national nonprofit housing provider). Five to 10 volunteers are needed 8 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays to assist children in grades K-8 with homework at centers in Alexandria and Triangle. Volunteers will teach computer skills, assist with the planning of community service holiday projects and gift wrapping. Contact Lynn Thomas.

Alzheimer's Family Day Center


The center seeks volunteers to assist with periodic large mailings and to participate in the annual Luminaria Celebration 4:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at McLean Central Park, Old Dominion Drive and Route 123, McLean. Other needs include monetary donations, in-kind donations and services. Contact Janet Schmidt.

Ecumenical Community

Helping Others




Volunteers are needed for receiving and sorting donations, maintaining the building and grounds, laundering soiled clothing, delivering meals, interviewing and counseling clients and performing office duties. Nonperishable food, clothing, working small appliances, baby furniture and other household items in good condition are also accepted. 7205 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield.

Fairfax-Falls Church

Community Services Board,

Mental Health Services


To assist adults with severe mental illness, children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances and families in crisis, the agency requests volunteers and donations of new items, including winter clothing and outerwear, retail gift certificates, recreation activity supplies, event tickets, backpacks, duffel bags and sleeping bags. Drop off donations 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays or 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays until Dec. 18. 14150 Parkeast Cir., Suite 200, Chantilly. Contact Sue Boucher.

Food for Others


Food for Others, Northern Virginia's largest provider of emergency foodservices, requests donations of nonperishable food. Items most needed include peanut butter, canned tuna, canned fruit, rice, macaroni and cheese, pasta, cereal, soups, canned vegetables, spaghetti sauce, meat chili with beans, dried beans and beef stew. For holiday assistance in December, frozen turkeys, stuffing and cranberry sauce are especially welcome. Volunteer opportunities include sponsoring a food drive, helping in the warehouse, distributing food on weekday evenings and picking up food from retailers during weekdays. Food can be taken to the warehouse, 2938 Prosperity Ave., Fairfax, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Contact Ed Demoney.

Herndon-Reston FISH


Donations of nonperishable food items (especially traditional Hispanic foods such as beans and rice), toys and gifts for the needy will be collected Dec. 16-18 at United Christian Parish, 2222 Colts Neck Rd., Reston,. Volunteers also are needed Dec. 19 and 20 to deliver boxes of collected items in Reston. Contact Barbara Guinee, 703-471-9024, or Robin Kampf, 703-860-8804.

Hispanic Committee

of Virginia

703-671-5666 (Falls Church/Alexandria)

703-243-3033 (Arlington)

The committee seeks monetary donations, gift certificates from grocery stores and clothing stores, and Pentium computers for the social workers. Volunteers are sought year-round to take patients to appointments and serve as translator. Bring or mail donations to the main office, 5827 Columbia Pike, Suite 200, Falls Church, Va. 2201.

Lamb Center


This daytime drop-in center for the homeless needs blankets, sleeping bags, diapers, laundry detergent, coffee, creamer, powdered drink mixes, paper towels, paper plates, disposable utensils, travel-size soaps and shampoos and money. Volunteers are needed Monday-Friday on an ongoing basis to answer phones, handle food, work with laundry service and share faith with guests. Donations may be dropped off 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays at 3220 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax. Contact Steve Schlossberg or Barbara D'Annibale.

Lorton Community Action





Volunteers are needed to assist with the center's holiday outreach Dec. 15-18. Items needed include unwrapped gifts for children, gift certificates for teenagers and seniors, new clothing and winter coats for children and teenagers, snack food, juices, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, large boxes of Jell-O mix, boxes of stuffing, turkey gravy packets, five-pound bags of white potatoes, peanut butter, pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, canned green beans, canned peas, cake mix, frosting, canned soup (no broth), canned tuna and cereal. A detailed list of the holiday menu is available online. Donations accepted 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Moose Lodge, 9612 Fernedge Dr., Lorton.

Lutheran Social Services of

the National Capital Area


New, unwrapped children's gifts (infant to teenager) are needed for distribution at a Christmas party for foster children Dec. 8; contact Wendy at 202-723-3000, Ext. 223. Items requested for Novaco Homeless Victims of Domestic Abuse include towel sets, fancy soaps, baskets, lotions, toiletries, shampoos for kids and toothbrushes. Take donations to 9506A Lee Hwy. in Fairfax by Dec. 12. Volunteers are needed Dec. 13 to wrap gifts.

Main Street Child

Development Center



Volunteers are needed to read to children. The organization also needs donations of children's clothing, winter jackets, hats, mittens, socks and underwear. All clothing should be for boys and girls sizes 4 to 8. The center is at 4404 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax. Contact Elizabeth Egan.

New Hope Housing



The organization, which provides shelter and opportunities to 800 individuals each year, is looking for people to buy presents from someone's wish list in the Adopt-a-Family program, conduct a food or toy drive or volunteer to wrap and deliver presents Dec. 20-24. Gift certificates are also needed in denominations of $25 from Wal-Mart and $10 or $25 from supermarkets. New Hope Housing Administrative Offices, 8407 E. Richmond Hwy., Alexandria, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. Evening delivery is possible if notice is given. Contact Grace Pazdan at gpazdan@newhopehousing.org.

Opportunities, Alternatives

and Resources of

Fairfax County Inc.


The group requests donations of coats, hats, gloves, socks and clothing in extra-large sizes. Take donations to 10640 Page Ave., Suite 250, Fairfax.

Reston Interfaith


Volunteers are needed 5-11 p.m. through Jan. 4 to help run the Miracle of Lights, a drive-through light show at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville. Contact Courtney Moreland at 703-787-3126 or ridev3@erols.com. Volunteers are also needed the first two weeks of December to organize and deliver packages to nearly 300 families in the Adopt-a-Family program. Day and evening shifts available. Contact Ashley Garecht at 703-437-1975 or embryruckershelter@comcast.net.

United Community Ministries


Families are in need of children's toys, winter clothes, books and games. Volunteers are needed to help set up the gift room, sort and distribute gifts Dec. 9-21. 7511 Fordson Rd., Alexandria. Contact Sue Kelley, Ext. 326.


Alternative House




New to You Consignment Boutique is collecting donations for Alternative House, a nonprofit shelter for runaway teenagers, through Dec. 14. Requested items include nonviolent PlayStation and Nintendo 64 games, hair accessories, toothbrushes, new socks and underwear, T-shirts, pajamas, journals, belts and gift certificates to Target and music stores. Take donations to New to You, 125 N. Washington St., Falls Church, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays. Contact Christina Novak at 703-533-1251.

Clock Tower Thrift Shops


Donations of new or like-new toys, household items, books, cosmetics and sporting goods and winter clothing -- including coats, gloves, sweaters, boots and hats -- are needed. Volunteers are needed to tag donated items. Clock Tower operates shops at 5503 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church; 2860 Annandale Rd., Falls Church; 6031 Centreville Crest Lane, Centreville; and 46950 Community Plaza, Route 7, Sterling. Contact Babe Balsavage in Falls Church.





Homestretch, which provides transitional housing for homeless Fairfax and Falls Church families with children younger than 18, seeks donations of cars in working condition, mattresses, box springs, lamps, carpets (bound), tables, chairs, dressers, Pentium computers with modems, laser printers, classroom supplies and money. Volunteers are needed to help children pick and wrap presents for their families in the Holiday Shopping Spree 8-11 a.m. Dec. 7 and to adopt a family for the holidays. Volunteers also are needed on an ongoing basis as English classroom assistants, life skills presenters, teen club presenters and family mentors. 370 S. Washington St., Suite 400, Falls Church.

Northern Virginia

Family Service


The group administers two programs during the holiday season. Adopt-a-Family: For approximately $90 per family member, individuals can sponsor one family; average family size is five. Sponsors are provided with a profile, including first names, ages, clothing sizes and gift preferences of each family member. Toys for Kids: Participants are asked to collect new toys or solicit donations so toys can be purchased. New gifts or gift certificates should be taken to 100 N. Washington St., Suite 400, Falls Church. Holiday "elves" are sought to organize toys for a day or half-day Dec. 9-20. Contact Vonte Hayes.

Rotary Club


The Rotary Club of Baileys Crossroads will be wrapping gifts purchased at Borders Books & Music, 5871 Crossroads Center Way, Falls Church, Dec. 18-20. Donations collected will benefit the Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter. Contact Kwame Acquaah.

Shelter House



The wish list includes alarm clocks, children's allergy medicine, dishes, heating pads, humidifiers, linens, microwaves, pots, pans, sunscreen and umbrellas. Take items to 3080 Patrick Henry Dr., Falls Church, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. For financial contributions, call Jewell Mikula at 703-536-2155; credit card donations, Ingrid Peplow at 703-538-7105; clothing and food donations, Mark Smith at 703-538-6457.

Springdale House

703-642-3830, Ext. 211

The community resource center requests grocery store coupons and coupons for turkeys. 3628 Munson Rd., Falls Church. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. Contact Konovia Kikeal.

Wesley Agape House


Volunteers are needed to take residents to appointments and to community activities. Donations of furniture, including mattresses and beds, can be taken to 11313 Lee Hwy., Falls Church, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays. Contact Susan Parrott.

Wexford Manor Community

Resource Center


The center requests coupons for turkeys and groceries, baskets, food to place in gift baskets, children's winter clothing, gift certificates for teenagers, arts and crafts supplies, books, DVDs, games and Windows 2000 compatible children's software. 2802-A Hollywood Rd., Falls Church. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. Contact Starlette Rogers.


Carpenter's Shelter


Northern Virginia's largest homeless shelter, serving 1,000 people annually, needs volunteers to sponsor homeless children and adults for holiday gifts; contribute to the shelter's holiday party by sponsoring or serving refreshments; cook and serve dinner a week before and after Christmas; work at the hospitality desk (day and evening hours); and work evenings at the winter shelter. Needed donations include cereal, coffee, powdered drink mixes, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, diapers and other toiletries. The shelter is at 930 N. Henry St., Alexandria.

Card Santa




The program delivers holiday greetings to homeless shelters, hospices, women and children's shelters and shut-ins who might not otherwise receive cards. Write a greeting in your card, sign and seal it, and send it to the Card Santa office by Dec. 20, noting on the outside whether your card is intended for a man, woman, adult or child. Individual cards need not be stamped if you are sending a group of cards together in one package; they will be delivered in bulk. There is also a need to complete note cards already donated, to be delivered throughout the year. 2029 Glebe Rd., Arlington, Va. 22207.

Catholic Charities of the

Diocese of Arlington



Money and volunteers are sought for all the programs covered by Catholic Charities. In-kind donations also are sought. Christ House, 131 S. West St., Alexandria, needs winter coats and seasonal clothing for its thrift shop, kitchen supplies, a laptop computer with disk capability, bed pads, pillows, linens and a microwave oven; call 703-549-8644. St. Martin de Porres Senior Center, 4650 Taney Ave., Alexandria, needs canned and baked goods, paper products (paper towels), personal care items and small gifts (e.g. figurines or jewelry) for bingo prizes, a six-shelf bookcase and a working copier; call 703-751-2766. Hogar Hispano, 6201 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, needs a printer, a small hand cart, two tall storage cabinets, an overhead projector, a Xerox Memory Writer typewriter, wall clocks and office dividers; call 703-534-9805. Disabled Persons Services, 3838 Cathedral Lane, Arlington, needs cars, wheelchairs and communication boards for nonverbal people; call 703-841-2531.

Encircling Families



Part of Project WORD (an organization assisting people with disabilities), Encircling Families matches volunteer mentors with special needs families in Fairfax and Arlington counties. Mentors are placed with families in which either a parent or child has a cognitive, physical or emotional disability. Expect to spend about two or three hours a week or eight hours a month with the family. Bilingual volunteers especially needed. Contact Aileen Early.

Whitman-Walker Clinic

of Northern Virginia



The clinic accepts donations in many forms, including cash, stocks, real estate, United Way contributions, planned giving and in-kind donations. The Northern Virginia office requests a vacuum cleaner, diapers (sizes 3 and 4), a fax machine, two computers, computer supplies, a conference table with chairs, relaxing cassettes and CDs, Ensure, Boost or other supplements, gift certificates for clothing, grocery store vouchers, bus tokens/Metro fare cards, two water filters, two televisions, digital thermometers, answering machines and greeting cards. Volunteer opportunities and donation information is available online. Donations accepted 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at 5232 Lee Hwy., Arlington.

-- Compiled by

Carrie Donovan

Daniel Markwalter, 11, sorts food at Food for Others, where donations are down but requests for food are up.