Ways to support Afghan refugees

As Afghan refugees arrive in Virginia, Lutheran Social Services (LSSNCA) is the agency providing resettlement support in the National Capitol Area. Information about monetary donations and the list of necessary items being accepted is available on the Lutheran Social Services website. Collection sites and dates in our area are listed below. The Lutheran Social Services website includes information about purchasing items through the LSSNCA Wish List on Amazon.


LDS Church
4911 Ox Rd
Fairfax, VA

TIMES: 11:00am-6:00pm

DATES:  Monday August 30- Saturday, September 11
(Sorry, no donations accepted on Sundays)


Peace Lutheran Church
6362 Lincolnia Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22312

TIMES: 12:00pm-7:00pm

DATES:
Tuesday, August 31
Wednesday, September 1
Thursday, September 2

Food Ministry at Poe Middle School

As we head into our 8th year of helping Poe Middle School students, we recognize that the last 18 months have changed us all in various ways – and have most likely also changed our schedules and routines.  One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the number of students in our community who still go to bed at night on an empty stomach.

We have put together a brief survey which can be found here.  Please take a few minutes to share your feedback with us by September 1 on your willingness to participate in this important St. Alban’s Ministry.

Often times we need a quick reminder on “why we are doing what are doing”.  Here are some updated statistics on Poe Middle School, which will help familiarize you with the students that are right here in our backyard:

  1. School enrollment in the 2020-21 year was 973, down from 1,011 from 2019-2020.
  2. The percentage of students on the free or reduced fee meal program has declined – from 76% in 2019-20 to 68% in 2020-21.

We are not sure what this decline signifies – although the drop might reflect the chaos caused by the pandemic.  We’d like to think it is good news when you see the % drop that much, but we know there are still plenty of kids in need.

Poe Middle School’s After-School Program is amazing!  More than 80 different activities and events are offered to the students, including: academic support & enrichment, youth development, sports & recreation, fine & performing arts, and community service.  A small reminder of why we chose this ministry and why we continue to be a driving force in these young lives:

  • 85% of students agree that coming to the after-school program helped them to do better in school
  • 86% said it helped them get along better with classmates
  • 84% said it helped them get along better with teachers
  • 84% said it helped them learn about new things

On average, the number of students we fed on an every-other week basis was 300.

Volunteers are needed for four tasks:  shopping for ingredients, cooking them into a main course, transporting meals and supplies to Poe, and serving cafeteria style followed by a cleaning up.

Once again, we are so grateful for those who have participated in the past, but more importantly, we welcome all those  who would like to help out with this important ministry.  We hope you will join us as we begin the 2021-2022 school year next month!

Camille and Remy

One Day, 15,000 Volunteers, Making Over 7500 Bunk Beds

Be part of an historic event called Bunks Across America (BAA 2021) on June 12, 2021.

BAA 2021 is gathering 15,000 volunteers in 46 states across the country to build beds for children who don’t have beds to sleep in.  This day should stand as a revelation to those who don’t know there is a problem and a beacon of hope to those who don’t know there is a solution. We want as many people as possible to get involved to be a part of the solution.  The Northern Virginia/Washington DC Chapter of BAA 2021 will build 100 beds for kids to be distributed in the coming weeks.

Each recipient child receives a handmade bed, and brand-new bedding – including mattress, comforter, blanket, sheets, and pillow! There are many ways to get involved, from volunteering to donating, but what we need most is for you to spread the word about BAA 2021 and help us make history!

BAA 2021 is an outreach project of Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP).  To learn more about SHP go to SHPbeds.org or contact the local president at [email protected].

SHP/BAA 2021 is not an Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) program, but its work will benefit children in Annandale and Northern Virginia.  This information is provided to you on behalf of ACCA and SHP.

Samaritan Ministry’s Next Step Breakfast – March 20, 10:00 am

You are invited to learn more about how Samaritan Ministry, a faith-based community partnership, has continued its work during the pandemic to improve lives throughout the DMV, one next step at a time.

Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, will serve as emcee.  As part of the program we’ll hear from a Next Step participant who will share how Samaritan Ministry has changed his life.

St. Alban’s own, Ivy Kilby, an active participant and volunteer at Samaritan Ministry, will be sharing her story as a Samaritan Ministry volunteer.

If you are interested in “attending” this online event, please click here to register.  Registration is free, and make sure you enter “St. Alban’s, Annandale” as your parish, and specify Deacon Theresa Lewallen or Ivy Kilby as Table Captain.

Help your neighbor – Stuff the Bus on January 30th!

ACCA will be participating in the upcoming ‘Stuff the Bus’ events in partnership with Fairfax County to help restock the food pantry. The ACCA food pantry has been overwhelmed with requests during the COVID pandemic and the volunteers constantly adjust to accommodate the demand. Suggestions for most needed items are available on our website at https://accacares.org/foodpantry/
Please drop off your donations on January 30 ‘between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at these locations:
George Mason Regional Library
7001 Little River Turnpike
Annandale, VA 22003
Belvedere Elementary School
6540 Columbia Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
Providence District Supervisor’s Office
3001 Vaden Drive
Fairfax, VA 22031
James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

An Update from Honduras: Giving Thanks

The Canales-Romero family offers their thanks for St. Alban’s contributions to their home towns in Honduras that were devastated by flooding from hurricanes and tropical storms. Parishioners brought clothing, medical supplies, and toiletries which were shipped to two locations where Edgardo and Tirza Canales-Romero have family members. Tirza shared these photos from her family’s town as they received the supplies from St. Alban’s.

Hurricane Eta Relief in Honduras

Here are ways you can help with hurricane relief in Honduras.

Steven, Edgardo, Tirza and Allison

  • Parishioner Gail Allison, Tirza’s godmother, is collecting gently-used clothing that she plans to ship to Edgardo’s home town — you can drop your donations of clothing for children and adults in the Narthex. Contact Gail for more information.
  • “Stuff the Trunk” collection next Saturday, November 21, 9-11 am in St. Alban’s parking lot. We are working with the Romero-Canales family to ship these items to their extended family in Santiago. We need:
    • NSAID pain relievers: (Ibuprofen/Motrin/Advil; Acetaminophen/Tylenol) – Childrens, Adults
    • Cold/Allergy Medicines: (Benadryl, Sudafed, Tylenol Cold/Cough, Dayquil)
    • First Aid Kits
    • Bandages, Bandaids, gauze
    • Antibiotic ointment (Neosporin, etc.)
    • Masks
    • Thermometers, nebulizers, humidifiers
    • Infant formula (Similac, Nido, etc.)
    • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, small shampoos/soaps
  • Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is our national church’s agency working around the world and here in the US responding to and rebuilding after disasters.  Your donation to ERD will go to wherever it is needed most.

It is a Christian obligation to vote…

Our Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, reminds us that, as Christians, we have an obligation to vote.  Bishop Curry goes on to say that we must cast our vote, not on a partisan basis, not based on our biases, but based on our values – the values of human dignity and equality.

Vote the values of the rock on which this country was built. Vote.

With the ever-looming threat of COVID-19 hanging over everything we do, please begin thinking now about how you will vote this year.  If you are concerned about being in a crowd, or don’t want to stand in line, I encourage you to vote absentee, either in person or by mail.  You no longer need a reason to vote absentee in Virginia.  Please note these important dates for absentee voting for the 2020 General Election:

  • September 18: First absentee ballot mailout
  • September 18: Early voting/absentee in-person voting begins at the Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Pkwy., Fairfax, VA
  • October 13: Voter Registration Deadline (In Person/By Mail) 5:00 p.m.; online: 11:59 p.m.
  • October 23: Deadline to apply to receive an Absentee Ballot by mail, fax and online: 5:00 p.m.
  • October 31: Final day to vote absentee early/in-person, 5:00 pm
  • November 6: Deadline to return your absentee ballot to the Office of Elections: 12:00 noon. Ballot must be postmarked by November 3

Other times and locations in Fairfax County for in-person absentee voting have yet to be announced.

Helpful links:

Loving God, we give thanks for the right to vote. Help us to hold this privilege and responsibility with the care and awareness it merits, realizing that our vote matters and that it is an act of faith.  Amen.

An update from Second Story

St. Alban’s is a long-time supporter of Second Story, a youth services organization based in Northern Virginia that offers children, youth, and families hope for brighter futures by providing counseling, shelter and neighborhood-based support. Check out some of the work they are doing in the midst of COVID-19 through the eyes of one of their volunteers and donors here: