The evening of Friday, May 13 reminded us of the needs in our community and the direct impact of what The Giving Circle of HOPE (GCH) does. Over 50 members of the GCH and their guests circulated in a “speed dating style” with the 2015 Grant Recipients at the Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne.
Cyndi Shananhan, 2015 Grants Chair, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. She reminded us of the grants process that brought us altogether and thanked those who played a part in its success. Donna Whitaker and Sheila Morris, Grants Co-Chairs for 2016, hinted at what’s to come this year. Jean Wyman, Membership Chair, encouraged those present to sign up with their $415 annual contribution to become a Voting Member to help select the 2016 Grant Recipients.
Cyndi outlined how the rest of the evening would go. There were 9 tables with 8 seats per table. Each 2015 Grant Recipient organization (and in some cases a client served by that grant) had been invited to attend, sit at their assigned table, and provide a short presentation about their grant, what it meant to their organization and clients, and answer any questions.
GCH members and guests stayed at a table for about 10 minutes until the bell sounded and we were off to the next table.
GCH’s 2015 Grant Recipients and the projects or capacity building efforts funded:
- All Ages Read Together – Pre-K Readiness Program
- Bethany House of NoVA – Rent and Utility Assistance
- Centreville Immigration Forum – Expand Resource Center
- Grace Ministries of the United Methodist Church – Data Collection and Analysis
- Literacy Council of NoVA – Herndon Family Learning Program
- Lorton Community Action Center – Nutrition class
- Our Daily Bread – The Naomi Project
- Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) of Arlington – Employment Assistance for Returning Citizens
- Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) Fairfax – Employability Skills Curriculum Manual
We heard successes, challenges and specifics about how the services funded by GCH grants have affected individuals directly and the organizations that serve them.
It is difficult to describe precisely the feelings and thoughts that run through one’s head at the end of such an evening. Mostly, I would have to quote Dr. Seuss To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.
And that feels great!