Upcoming Community Outreach Opportunities
For more information about any of these projects or to volunteer, please email Chong-Ae at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas baskets for Sangster and Burke families
As hard as it is to believe in Fairfax County, there are families that have trouble affording Christmas gifts and even food during the holidays. We come alongside the parents and teachers of Burke School as well as Sangster, where we worship, to help them bring Christmas to their homes. The families’ needs are assessed and then we are given the opportunity to register online to help. There are needs for gifts for the children as well as the parents and food for their tables. We also supply wrapping paper and tape so that the parents are able to present the gifts as coming from them as opposed to from the church. This is the third year for which we have been privileged to help with this program and the needs will be greater than ever. If you would like to help with this, gift cards for groceries are always appreciated.
How can I help now?
- Pray – on your own or you are welcome to join the Burke teachers during their weekly prayer meeting. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
- Collect box tops for education – please see the weekly email ad for a list of products which have box tops and how to turn them in.
- Buy gift cards year-round! Gifts cards are needed from grocery stores, gas stations, Walmart, Target and Starbucks (Starbucks in $5 increments). Grabbing a gift card every time you hit one of these stores can really add up to help families in need throughout the year.
Introducing Burke School
What am I helping with? …Burke School/Alternative Learning Center
Burke School is a public day school for elementary and middle school students receiving special education services primarily due to emotional and/or behavioral needs. Burke School students may be identified as having disabilities in one or more of the following areas: emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, multiple disabilities, autism, and other health impairments. In addition to the special education needs, variables such as attachment issues, language barriers, challenging family and economic situations, and community issues, may also have a significant impact on any given student’s general disposition, availability to learn, and belief in a successful future for themselves. Burke School is about 6 minutes from Sangster Elementary School and has about 74 staff members and 60-90 kids.
The teachers, kids and families at Burke School have needs that are not being met and we want to help. With parents’ challenging situations, very few of them participate in the school’s PTO. This leaves the teachers on their own when it comes to activities normally run by the parents on the PTO. So not only is their job more demanding due to the population that they’re serving, but they are doing their job with less support and resources than other schools. This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate Jesus’ love through our zeal for good works.
Here’s the projects which we are currently involved in:
- Beginning of the year Teacher Appreciation Breakfast (both Burke and Sangster). When the teachers return to school in the fall, we take the opportunity to treat them to breakfast. For Sangster Elementary School, we want them to know that we appreciate the shared space. For both schools, we want them to know that we appreciate the work that they do and that we are their neighbors and are there for them.
- Assistance to the Burke teachers who put on a Thanksgiving celebration for the students and their families. Every year, the teachers at Burke purchase and cook a giant Thanksgiving meal for the students and their families. The kids are excited to share this meal with their family members and the staff works hard to have family there for every child. Some parents don’t have transportation. We help with transportation, sit with students that are sitting alone or help with serving.
- Christmas project: we “adopt” families and shop for gifts for the family members. We provide the gifts, food baskets, wrapping paper and gift cards to the parents who might otherwise be unable to have their own holiday celebrations.
- Gift cards: as part of the Christmas project, we provide grocery gift cards, gas gift cards and gift cards for Walmart or Target. The schools’ social worker uses these throughout the year to help individuals and their families as situations arise. Last year, she was able to help two families with house fires, a little girl that needed shoes and two different teachers caring for hospitalized loved ones.
- Teacher Appreciation Week for Burke School: Because of Burke’s unique make-up, parents are mostly unable to participate in Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) events. This has resulted in Burke’s teachers receiving little appreciation during teachers’ appreciation week, while surrounding Fairfax County school teachers are overwhelmed with gratitude. We take this opportunity to encourage the teachers with a few surprises throughout the week, including a $5 Starbucks card for each of them.
- Burke’s End-of-Year BBQ: We help fund this fun celebration and also are present on-site to help serve the food.
- On an ongoing basis, we collect Box Tops for Education and turn them in for Burke’s benefit.
If you have any questions about these projects or Community Outreach, please email Chong-Ae at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!