We understand philanthropy as caring for, nourishing, developing, and enhancing “what it is to be human” on both the benefactors and the beneficiaries. This is why a big part of our mission is to work for and with our neighbors in need. Over the years we have participated in many projects and programs that serve, teach, and feed others, but also allow us to learn and enjoy times together with our neighbors.
Flashes of Hope
Led by 4 dedicated volunteers from the Giving Circle of HOPE, the Flashes of Hope (FOH) team utilizes 11 professional photographers and 6 professional make-up artists to take photographs of children with cancer. Together they photograph 10 -12 patients a month. The photographers take over 1,000 pictures while the make-up artists work with the patients and their mothers and fathers at each photo shoot.
The smiles and hugs that the children and their families share during a difficult period in their lives are priceless gifts captured in time.
Since 2004, the dedicated volunteers of Kids’ Club visit the Embry Rucker Shelter in Reston twice a month and engage children (and their parents) in creative activities. It is difficult to show quantifiable results for a program like this. We have given quality, fun experiences to over 1,600 children, we have lightened the load of over 1,600 parents who were going through a very stressful period in their lives, and we have given a parent and a child a lighthearted moment to share. From our point of view, this is measure enough, especially since our members’ own lives are changed in the process.
A Simple Gesture of Reston
A Simple Gesture of Reston is a door-to-door food collection program which began in June 2015. Based on models in Paradise, California and Greensboro, North Carolina, it provides non-perishable food to support our neighbors in Northern Virginia. It neither stores nor distributes any food, but takes it directly to the pantries on the days that the food is collected.
Though not one of our own programs, many members of the Giving Circle of HOPE participate with A Simple Gesture of Reston as volunteer donors and/or drivers. Sign up to volunteer to support those who are hungry in our community.
Empty Bowls—Special Event
The Giving Circle of HOPE has hosted and organized Empty Bowls dinners every year since 2008. As of 2015, the total revenue of $182,000 and close to 10,000 pounds of food have been donated directly to Food for Others to feed our neighbors in need.
Over the years, approximately 1,200 Giving Circle of HOPE volunteers contributed thousands of hours of their time and talent to the success of this yearly feast.
In addition to the Giving Circle of HOPE’s own service efforts, see the list of our nonprofit partners to learn about their volunteer opportunities, applications, and contact information.