Featured Organization Friday- Colby's Ride

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Published: 12/11/2015
Colby's Ride was created by Colby Thomas Smith's parents to honor their generous, loving 11 year old son following his sudden death in a tragic dirt bike accident October 11, 2015. 

Colby's Ride is committed to carrying out Colby's generous spirit by providing bikes to underprivileged children who might not have the opportunity to ride. Riding was Colby's passion. Colby is remembered by many for his generosity and kindness. He was known to actually give away his own bikes to children who didn't have one. On one occasion Colby actually used his own money to buy a bike for a young neighbor because he didn't have one. Colby's Ride is a beautiful extension of Colby's life. Its mission is to pass on the joy of riding to as many children as possible.

There will be two bike give-aways each year. The first will be at Christmas and the second in May for his birthday. Colby,'s birthdate, favorite number, and riding number was 25, so his parents, Keri and Zach hope to donate at least 25 bikes each December and May to children in need.

Two fundraisers have been planned: Santa Pictures December 12, 2015 at Smoothie King in Woodbridge and a 5K Birthday Run the Saturday before Colby's birthday, May 21, 2016.

Featured Organization Friday: Keep Mothers Alive

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Published: 09/04/2015
A new non-profit based in Prince William County is aimed at saving expectant mothers in Africa.

Dr. Diagaunet Dodie's Keep Mothers Alive pilot project aims to save at least one more expectant mother in Africa.  The program will officially begin in the fall of 2015. 

Dr. Dodie's project will begin in Duekoue, Cote D'Ivoire.  

Per their press release, Duekoue is a small town of about 72,000 people in the Western part of the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In 2011 during the Civil War, the city experienced the largest massacre in the history of the country. Over 1,000 people were killed in a single day and many of the country’s infrastructures were destroyed. Women and children paid the heaviest price in this war. Four years later, the consequences of the civil war still persist. Maternal mortality crisis is now one of the highest in the country. The community has endured hardship, the women have become even more vulnerable and something needs to be done immediately. 

“The economic challenge in some west and east African countries is so severe that pregnant women hardly get the right drugs, infrastructures or medical help needed. Delivery is like having one leg in the grave. I lost a dear cousin and her twins to preventable maternal death. KeepMothers Alive is to give families the chance to happiness and the joy of having one more life full of potentials added to them.” Stated, Dr. Diagaunet Dodie, the KMA Founder and CEO.

Keep Mothers Alive will kick off their DESPAIR TO HOPE campaign with the primary aim of saving an African mother’s life through a PIIPE approach:
·      Provide medical supplies and equipment.
·       Improve the quality of data.
·       Increase antenatal care, skilled birth attendance and postpartum visits.
·      Provide additional training for health workers.
·       Empower women.

Founded in 2015, Keep Mothers Alive was born from the pain of losing a close cousin to eclampsia and driven by the passion of ending every birthing experience in joy. 

“Keep Mothers Alive is an international partner of public health specialists who is committed to preventing maternal mortality in the most economically challenged areas of Africa by improving women’s accessibility to health care; engaging communities to prevent mother and child mortality; strengthening the health care system to provide quality of care for women; advocating for a call for action on maternal death; partnering with community leaders, government officials, and other NGOs to raise awareness of maternal mortality and its economic and social impact; empowering women about maternal health issues and the risks of home births; applying mobile technology to increase prenatal care utilization and healthy behaviors.” 

To learn more about Keep Mothers Alive, visit www.Keepmothersalive.org

FOF: America Recycles Day!

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Published: 11/14/2014

On Friday, November 14, volunteers and staff of the Prince William County Solid Waste Division Recycling Program will be at the Chinn Park Library and the Bull Run Library from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be recycling education activities and prizes. Additionally, library patrons can “Take the Pledge” and enter a drawing to win a local, regional and national prizes. Prizes include: Local- T-shirt; Washington DC region prizes – $300 REI gift card and $500 grant to a local school’s K-12 environmental program; National prize – park bench made of recycled material. Learn more at americarecyclesday.org.

“Every year in October we host a large recycling education event at the Prince William County landfill in honor of America Recycles Day, so we also like to host these smaller events closer to November 15 to continue to keep theimportance of recycling and buying recycled products message on everybody’s mind, “said Deborah Campbell, Communications Specialist for the Solid Waste Division.  Prince William area residents can sign the recycling pledge at the library, or visit pwcgov.org/trashandrecycling and take the pledge on line.

“Last year, a Prince William area entrant won one of the park benches from the National contest and a Prince William entrant won the regional prize too,” Campbell stated. “Keep America Beautiful’s America Recycles Day is one day to educate and motivate individuals to recycle more. Recyclable items we use every day, like that cereal box and milk jug in the morning- are recoverable resources that can be manufactured into new and valuable products,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president of recycling at Keep America Beautiful. “Together, we can reduce the billions of dollars’ worthof material thrown away each year and work to give that “garbage” another life through recycling.”

For more information about recycling in Prince William County, visit www.pwcgov.org/recycling.

America’s leading companies are proud to make America Recycles Day possible. National sponsors of America Recycles Day are: Amcor, America Chemistry Council, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Pilot Pen, and Waste Management. About America Recycles Day America Recycles DaySM is a national program of Keep America Beautiful, and is the only nationally recognized day and community-driven awareness event dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S.

Since its inception in 1997,communities across the country have participated in America Recycles Day on November 15 to educate, promote environmental citizenship, and encourage action. Learn more at AmericaRecyclesDay.org.

About Keep America Beautiful Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action intheir communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit kab.org, follow @kabtweet on Twitter and like us on facebook.com/keepamericabeautiful.

Featured Organization Friday: Artisphere

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Published: 10/31/2014

Artisphere in Arlington connects artists and patrons to an eclectic mix of fresh, thought-provoking arts programming. We’re your spot for insight into the creative process and to engage in artistic
adventures—from contemporary visual art, live music and theatre to new media, film and dance. 
Come explore, experience and engage—collide with art.

You can check out Artisphere are their free family fun day this weekend! 
Calling all families…spend an artful day at Artisphere’s free family day on November 2nd from noon until 3 p.m. This fun-filled event is centered around a dance party for kids, designed by the team from Baby Loves Disco. Have a frighteningly fun time with your favorite Looney Toons characters as we screen some of their spookiest episodes including A Haunting We Will Go, Bewitched Bunny and more! Rounding out the event will be a mix of art activities, including an art “make and take” project. 

Halloween costumes welcome, but not required! For the kid in everyone!


Featured Organization Friday: Street Light Winter Clothing and Tent Drive

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Published: 10/17/2014

Featured Organization Friday: Fundraiser for Isla the Brave

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Published: 10/10/2014
Isla the Fierce
Though she may be little, she is Fierce
Isla’s Story
Give Back 2 Others has chosen to honor a newly diagnosed child named Isla Kate Lucks.  Isla lives in the community and is in the fight of her life.  On July 31, 2014, just shy of 15 months old, Isla Kate was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. This is a rare pediatric cancer affecting the nerve cells. For Isla, her diagnosis came through the discovery of a large tumor on her left adrenal gland in her abdomen. This beautiful little girl now has a long and difficult treatment plan ahead of her. Her strong willed personality has given her the nickname, “Isla the Fierce”.  She fights with grace and dignity and has been lauded by the medical team as one of the best babies they have ever served. Her tenacious spirit and love of laughter has kept the staff on their toes. Isla is a ‘Mama’s girl’, a chatterbox, and she loves to sing and dance.  Her favorite foods are marshmallows and olives. She loves Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and her family; especially her best friend and older brother Elliott.  Throughout the next year and a half, she will be in and out of hospitals, enduring painful treatments and traveling far to receive the best care available.  Give Back 2 Others desires to rally around this amazing little girl and her family to show them how much they are loved and supported.  Our fundraising event on November 21stwill be the opportunity we have to support this family in tangible ways.  We hope to see you there!
About GB2O
Give Back 2 Others started as a simple holiday party at the home of Holly & Jason Andrzejewski in 2009.  The focus each year was  to “give back” to someone in need. Holly and Jason asked guests to bring donations or  gifts to be given to a designated family.  Each family chosen had a member struggling with a life-threatening illness.  Through the incredible generosity of friends, Holly and Jason were able to make a difference in ways they had never dreamed possible. Holly and Jason began to wonder if it would be possible to do more.  In 2011 they decided it was time to take it to the next level. With the help of a local 501c3 charity, Trevor’s Treasurers, they organized a party that received more than 300 guests and raised a large sum of money for Trevor’s Treasurers. This incredible experience solidified their desire to continue the event and ”Giving Back 2 Others” was born.  On August 20, 2014, Give Back 2 Others was created as a legitimate Non-Profit organization.  They are currently waiting on their 501c3 approval from the IRS, which is expected any day. With the help of the Board of Directors and many active volunteers, they have big plans for the future of GB2O and look forward to helping many families in the future.

Donating to GB2O and tickets for the Holiday Gala
Donations can be made through the GB2O’s website or by check made payable to: “Give Back 2 Others”.
Tickets for the Gala are $75 and include: Open Bar, Food, DJ, and Silent Auction
Tickets can be purchased on GB2O’s website or by check made payable to “Give Back 2 Others”

7524 Rio Grande Way, Gainesville, VA 20155        Give Back 2 Other EIN: 47-1660704

Featured Organization Friday: Virginia Service Conservation Corps

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Published: 09/26/2014
Date: Sept. 15, 2014
Applicants needed for new service program in Virginia State Parks
(RICHMOND) — Applications are being accepted for the inaugural season of the Virginia Service and Conservation Corps. Created by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, and inspired by the conservation ethic of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, VSCC participants will help to preserve and protect public lands in Virginia.
VSCC projects include trail construction and maintenance, invasive species control and prescribed burn projects that re-establish historic, fire-adapted ecosystems on parklands. Crewmembers may also have short-term deployments for disaster relief in affected communities.
Crew members will complete 1,700 hours of service during a 10-month term from November 2014 through August 2015.
Participants receive a taxable, monthly living allowance of $1,210, student loan forbearance and health care if needed. VSCC membership provides hands-on training and formal education opportunities, as well as eligibility for the Segal Education Award of $5,645 upon successful completion of the term of service. The education award may be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary institutions, including many technical schools and GI-Bill approved educational programs, as well as to repay qualified student loans.
Applicants must be US citizens and 17 or older, possess a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass a comprehensive background check. The deadline is Nov. 17, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. This is a non-residential program; housing is not provided. Members must be capable of reporting daily to their base park at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge or Hungry Mother State Park in Marion.
Mandatory training for selected members will be held at Twin Lakes State Park Nov. 19-23, 2014.
Based upon the award-winning success of Virginia State Parks’ Youth Conservation Corps, which received the Department of Interior’s “Take Pride In America” Best Youth Volunteer Program award in 2010, the VSCC will address veteran and young-adult unemployment rates, environmental decline, the public’s growing disconnect with nature and the catastrophic effect of natural disasters in communities across Virginia.
VSCC crews will develop leadership qualities while the VSCC will develop a new generation of skilled workers, educated citizens, and active stewards of America’s natural and cultural resources.
To apply, visit apply online here. For more information, email vspamericorps@dcr.virginia.gov or call 804-625-3984.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation manages Virginia State Parks, which offer dozens of festivals and concerts and thousands of educational programs across the state.
For more information about state park activities and amenities, or to make reservations in one of the 25 parks with camping facilities or 18 parks with cabins or family lodges, call the Virginia State Parks Customer Care Center at 800-933-7275 or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.
# # #
Jim Meisner, Jr.
Public Relations Specialist
Va. Dept. of Conservation and Recreation
600 E. Main St., 16th Floor
Richmond, VA  23219

(804) 786-8442                        Fax (804) 371-2072
jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov      www.dcr.virginia.gov/

Featured Organization Friday: The Lego Movie/FMSC Fundraiser

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Published: 07/25/2014
 Feed My Starving Children is one of my favorite charities.  I love that their model is to provide help immediately as well as training.  Their goal is to put themselves out of business by helping people become self-sufficient, not charity dependent.  Our church does a HUGE mobile pack every year (so much fun!) and to raise money to pack EVEN MORE meals, they've been doing a number of family-friendly events.  One coming up- watch the Lego Movie and raise money for FMSC! Hope to see you there! 

Please join us on August 2nd for a family movie night to help raise funds for New Hope's 2014 FMSC MobilePack event. We will be watching The Lego Movie following the Saturday evening service from 7-9 pm.

We have many different options for you to make the FMSC Movie Night a great event. We will start the Lego Movie at 7pm. We are offering a Movie Night Package for $25!!!! Think about it…..a fun night of entertainment for 4 for only $25! This package includes 1 large pizza, 4 drink cups, and 4 tickets to the movie. We have individual food options to make it easy for everyone to come and enjoy the movie. Additionally, we will have popcorn and candy available for purchase the night of.


Featured Organization: Youth Outreach Services

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Published: 01/07/2014
A new non-profit organization is beginning in Prince William County that will focus on non-traditional job training.  Youth Outreach Services is run by Elizabeth Charity, who wants to help at-risk youth in Prince William County with before and after school programs, job training, and positive activities.  Through a partnership with George Mason University students, who will act as volunteer mentors, Youth Outreach Services will offer training in photography, auto detailing, and other non-traditional jobs, as well as offering a 12 week Job Readiness Program.

Currently, the organization is seeking volunteers to help with the renovation of a property that will house their program, located off the Prince William Parkway near County Center.

The organization is also seeking to reach out to adults and teens in Prince William County who might be interested in becoming involved, or, who work with at-risk youth and would like more information about their programs.  To that end, they will be hosting a "Creating Community Connections Conference" in conjunction with the Saved Hands Foundation THIS WEEKEND, January 11, 2014.  There is a $10 fee, which will cover dinner.  Attendees will include local sports figures, and entertainers.  All are welcome.  To learn more, or to get involved, please visit the event's Facebook page to RSVP.

Featured Organization Friday: Wreaths Across America

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Published: 12/20/2013

We were so fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday with my daughter's American Heritage Girls troop.  I have to be honest and admit that I've been going to Arlington my entire life because my grandparents are buried there, but I never knew that the wreaths and flags that appear during Christmas and 4th of July/Veterans Day are put up by volunteers.

Wreaths Across America raises the funds to place wreaths on the graves of American veterans at veterans' cemeteries across the country, at sea, and 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil.  Quantico is also a participating site.  Wreaths are $15, and our AHG troop actually raised money as a fundraiser, which helped our organization and helped fund the wreaths we would be going to lay.  Arlington actually has to rotate the sections that receive wreaths each year because there are not enough to go around.  This year, there was a bit of a crisis at Arlington because while wreath sponsorships were up overall, they were down at Arlington until a huge last-minute donation from Google.  (Holla at Google!)

Each year, Wreaths Across America selects a date (a Saturday) and all of the cemeteries are provided with wreaths on that day.  Truckers from across the country ship the wreaths to the sites, and volunteers come out to help lay the wreaths.  You don't have to sign up to volunteer, you can just show up the day of.  Even the tiniest kiddos can help out- as long as they're big enough to put a wreath down, or hang out in a backpack/wrap/stroller while you do.  Note that strollers looked to be a little difficult to negotiate on the wet ground today, so you might want to plan for an option that's mud-friendly depending on the weather.

We drove to Pentagon City Mall and parked, and then we took the metro to Arlington.  I actually have a parking pass that lets me into the cemetery grounds, but we were told the line to get into Arlington can be massive with people trying to park in the limited visitors center spots, so we opted to do a short metro ride instead.

So did a lot of people.  Metro was, unfortunately, doing system maintenance on the blue line, so trains were only running every 20 minutes.  They also only have a few entry/exit points at Arlington, so the bottleneck and wait to get OUT of the station was pretty intense.  It took us about 20 minutes, and the trains were standing room only coming in.  I mention this, again, as a caution to those of you with strollers :) It was actually neat that there were so many people coming to volunteer.
This was just to get off the platform, not even to exit the station.
Our group met up at 8:30 so they could get good spots for the opening ceremony at 9:30 (Note that times vary by location).  I know I'm going to frustrate someone by saying this, but I didn't find the opening ceremony all that worthwhile.  It was standing room only, so my daughter couldn't see and just wanted to get to the business at hand.  There were a few speeches, a non-sectarian prayer, the national anthem, mention of dignitaries, and then God Bless America, oh, and the Presidential Helicopter did a fly-by.  It just didn't really do anything for me.

By the time we were done with the opening ceremony, people who skipped it (I venture to say the majority) had already been putting wreaths down for a few minutes, so my daughter and I opted out of a group photo and hi-tailed it to the section my grandparents are in so that we could place their wreath.  If you have a loved one in any section, you can lay a wreath for them, and you are able to skip the line at the trucks, walk to the front and ask for a wreath for a loved one. No one will give you any trouble, and in fact, the Army volunteer who gave us our wreath thanked me for my grandfather's service to our country and thanked my daughter for coming out.  (I found that moving- I teared up a little).
That's my grandfather's stone- my grandmother is listed on the back.  Not related to this story- but she was Anna and my daughter is Savannah in her honor.

We were actually able to lay numerous wreaths because we walked back to their section.  The lines can be incredibly long at the sections closest to the entrance, and in the newest sections.  Section 60 had a line a block long.  I know a few of our friends only made it through their lines once or twice, but we actually were able to go through our line six times, getting two or three wreaths each time, depending on whether Savannah felt like carrying her own wreath or not.  They got heavy for her after awhile!

Several of our friends sponsored wreaths, and she was very thoughtful in placing wreaths for them, finding someone who had a name that started with the same first initial as one friend who donated, and finding "USMC" on stones for Marine friends who sponsored others.  Because we're an interfaith family, it was a little hard for her to understand why we weren't giving wreaths to everyone (because Daddy is Jewish and he does Christmas with us), and it's a little hard to explain that we ARE being fair to everyone by honoring their traditions, even if it seems unfair that "everyone isn't getting one".  However, after a talking for awhile, she finally got it, and we did make a point of stopping at graves marked with a Star of David and reading the names and inscriptions as a way of honoring those veterans, too.  One of my favorite things about Arlington is the beauty of all the white stones, all the different ranks, branches, and faiths, all together peacefully at rest.  I hope that she understood a little of that, although I know it's a big concept for a Kindergartner!

There is a closing ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at noon, which I hear was very beautiful, but Savannah was exhausted, so we opted to head back home at around 11.

If you would like to get involved with Wreaths Across America, you can visit their website to sponsor wreaths or find volunteer information for next year's wreath placement.  You can also get involved this year by helping to remove wreaths, clean up at Arlington takes place in January, and you can email the site leader for details or to get involved.  I hear that clean-up is not nearly as well attended, and it would still be a very easy job for even little hands.

Did you attend, or have you attended in the past? Leave your tips or advice in the comments.

Featured Organization Friday: Project Hope Basket Bridgade

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Published: 11/22/2013
Our fabulous sponsors at the Marketplace at Madison Crescent have a drop-off site for Project Hope Basket Brigade this season.  Check out the details below!

Disclaimer: While the Marketplace at Madison Crescent is a paying sponsor of PwcMoms.com, we always happily share charity events for our community free of charge.

Featured Organization Friday AND a Giveaway! Keep Prince William Beautiful

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Published: 11/15/2013
It's America Recycles Day!

We were super impressed when we went to visit the Prince William County Landfill at the steps they've taken to insure that the smallest amount of refuse possible goes into the ground.  They recycle and reuse and ship off as much as they possibly can, and it was truly inspirational!! Not having to open another landfill will truly help keep our county beautiful!!

To celebrate America Recycles Day, Keep Prince William Beautiful wants you to go sign the pledge to recycle HERE.

They've also sent over a basket of goodies for a lucky reader!! Here's the goods:
It's wrapped up so pretty- so I'm just sharing what I can see from peeking inside :) clearly, everything is coming to you in a Woodsy Owl basket! There are I recycle stickers, foldable reusable water bottle, pens, pencils, t-shirts, crayons, coloring books and more!! What a fun treat for your kiddos!!

To enter, head over and take the "I Recycle Pledge" and leave a comment (here or on Facebook) that you did!! For an extra entry, like KPWB on Facebook and leave a separate comment (here or on Facebook).  I'll pick a winner at random on Sunday!!

Giveaway rules here.  Not affiliated with itunes/googleplay/facebook.  Prize provided by KPWB, PwcMoms was not compensated for this post, all opinions are our own.   By entering you agree to be bound by our rules and assume any liability for your prize.

Also, please recycle ;)

Featured Organization Friday: Help the PWSPCA Food Pantry!

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Published: 11/08/2013

In June 2009, the Prince William SPCA opened its community pet food pantry. Since then local families have relied on the service to help feed their pets. The pantry receives no subsidy from state, city, federal or county agencies and relies entirely on the public to stock its shelves. The program is not meant to be a long-term solution for feeding any family’s pet, but rather a helping hand when times are tough. We hope that everyone who uses this program will give back to it when their circumstances change. Needy families in Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County may visit the pantry anytime during regular hours.  Food, treats, litter and other supplies are available while supplies last.  This expanded policy will run through two weeks after the shutdown has ended.  The Pet Food Pantry is located in the front lobby of the Manassas City Animal Adoption Center.  More information on the Prince William SPCA: www.pwspca.org.

How to Start a Pet Food Collection

Neighborhoods, churches, schools and workplaces are great resources for pet food collection drives. They can be held any time of year and coordinated by anyone. Parents, teachers or scout leaders should note that collecting donations for the pantry is a fantastic way to get children and teens involved with helping animals, especially during the summer months or on school vacations.

What to Donate

The pantry is currently only accepting unopened food items. We cannot accept opened bags or food not in its original, sealed container. Items needed: any wet or dry pet food for puppies, dogs, kittens and cats; bird, rabbit, and other small animal food. We prefer cans, pouches and smaller bags of food so more families can benefit from the donations. However, we will accept large bags. Also accepted based on space and as long as they are new and unused: toys, beds, litter and other pet supplies. Donations of gift cards from Wal-Mart, Target, Wegmans, and other stores where pet food is sold may be mailed directly to the Prince William SPCA at PO Box 6631, Woodbridge, VA 22195.

Hours of Operation:

Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 10:00am – 1:00pm AND 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 1:00pm
Sunday, Thursday and Holidays: Closed

Directions For When You Collect Your Pet Food

Located in the front Lobby of the Manassas City Animal Adoption Center, 10039 Dean Dr. in Manassas, Va. 20110. From Route 28 (Nokesville Road) turn eastbound onto Wellington Road. Make the first right onto Dean Drive. They are the second business on the right.

Featured Organization Friday: Keep Prince William Beautiful/ Prince William Recycles Day

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Published: 11/01/2013

We attended this year's Prince William Recycles Day and Paper Shred, and had a truly fantastic time.  There were lots of activities set up, and the kids could earn tons of "swag" by participating in games like litter clean up, recycle/compost/trash sort (it was a beanbag toss- not real trash!) and more.  There was also tons of information from various local groups, as well as bus tours of the dump, which were very interesting!! Below, find a press release about the event.  I'd definitely put this on your radar for next year!! 

Recycles Day and Paper Shred Achieve Record Participation
Prince William, VA, October 28, 2013 – 
This year’s Prince William Recycles Day, a local celebration of American Recycles Day, brought a record 850 guests to the annual landfill event. The accompanying paper shred also broke a record with more 500 citizens that took advantage of the paper shred service at the Landfill and the Balls Ford Road facility.
Prince William residents were entertained by regionally known environmental “edutainer” Billy B. In addition visitors learned about the importance of recycling valuable resources from numerous displays, games and activities, had hands on experience with trash trucks, took landfill tours, voted for the best recycled art project and enjoyed door prizes, food and face painting.

Many residents look forward to this annual event and return year after year. The event was so well attended that even Billy B was impressed with amount of community participation—guests and display sponsors. He noted, “Even though I have been in this business for many years, I picked up several new ideas for organizing a successful event.” He along with several other participants and sponsors especially liked the recycling trading cards that were distributed at each table display. The trading card collection encouraged guests to visit all the tables and learn about the organization or business and its role in recycling or “greening” the environment.
Prince William Recycles Day was sponsored by Fortistar, Broad Run Recycling, Solid Waste Services Charlie and Sons Trash Service, SCS Engineers, Davis Industries and supported by donations from American Disposal Services, AshBritt, Atkins North America, Bates Trucking & Trash Removal, Call2Recycle, Daniel H. Barrett Trucking, Davis Industries, Eastern Clearing, EnivroSolutions, GBB, Golder & Associates, Keep Prince William Beautiful, R. E. Daffan, Madera Farms LLC, SP Recycling Southeast, Trash Away, Veolia ES Technical Solutions, and Waste Management.

Prince William Recycles Day is the local celebration of America Recycles Day, which is officially November 15 each year. For photos of Prince William Recycles Day activities visit www.pwcgov.org/trashandrecycling. 

Featured Organization Friday: Keep Prince William Beautiful

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Published: 10/18/2013

Helping Our Kids to Love The Environment
By Keep Prince William Beautiful, www.kpwb.org

It is essential to the future of our planet and to the future of our young people that they learn to value our natural resources. Therefore, providing opportunities for our youth to learn about and care for our environment becomes a vital step towards maintaining and protecting our planet. With America Recycles Day around the corner (November 15), below are some free and fun ideas to turn loving the environment into family fun!

Things to do inside
1.    Make a game of conserving resources
a.    Flip that Switch! Have you kids practice turning the light switch on and off.  Put glow in the dark stickers on the light switch so that kids look forward to turning the light off when they leave the room.  Placing a portable stool near the light switch will help children that can’t reach the switch on their own.
b.    Beat the Ding! Use a timer in the bathroom and challenge your kids to beat the ding by cutting their shower and tooth brushing time to be complete before the timer sounds off.  Make it a whole house competition by tracking who is the fastest each week.
2.    Read environmental books at story-time.  
The following books, and MANY MORE,  are available through the Prince William County Library System:
a.    Crinkleroot's guide to giving back to nature By: Arnosky, Jim. 
b.    Katie saves the Earth By: Manushkin, Fran. 
c.    Recycle! : a handbook for kids  By: Gibbons, Gail.
3.    Checkout some of these safe online resources for games and activities.
4.    Take THE PLEDGE to recycle: http://www.americarecyclesday.org/take-the-pledge

Things to do outside
1.    Organize a community cleanuphttp://www.kpwb.org/Community-Cleanups.html
3.     Carry a plastic bag on walks, pick up litter along the way.  Keep track of the types of items collected and discuss better ways to dispose of these items and/or how to decrease these types of waste. http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/images/data_form_volunteer_icc.pdf

Things to do on the go!
1.    Carry reusable containers when traveling to cut back on disposables that will increase landfill waste. 
2.    Create a car recycling bag to ensure recyclables make it home and into the curbside bin.
3.    Spot That LITTER! Write down the intersection or address where you see litter in Prince William County and email KPWB at info@kpwb.org.  Snap a few photos and send those along to help KPWB evaluate the level of litter for cleanup needs.
4.    Join KPWB on a Litter Survey by riding along with other volunteers in a van to grade the litter situation in Prince William County.  Youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. http://www.kpwb.org/Litter-Surveys.html
5.    Remember your reusable shopping bags.  

*BONUS – sign up to volunteer with KPWB at PWC Recycles Day (or any event where we are present with a booth) and receive a free KPWB tote.

Keep Prince William Beautiful (KPWB) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit environmental organization that serves Prince William County. With a focus on partnering with residents, businesses and government, KPWB aims to educate and inspire residents to be environmental stewards in order to keep Prince William beautiful.
Currently KPWB has seven programs with volunteer opportunities. Many programs have ongoing volunteer opportunities for groups and families of various sizes and ages. No matter what program a volunteer chooses to pursue, ALL of  these great programs have a lasting effect on keeping Prince William Beautiful.
Along with the ongoing programs and volunteer opportunities through KPWB, fun events and opportunities to assist KPWB present themselves throughout the different months of the year.
Specifically, in the month of October, KPWB is having a fundraiser through the restaurant, Not Your Average Joe’s, in Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge, Prince William County.  Every TUESDAY throughout October KPWB will receive 15% of your purchase when you mention you are there for the cause and KPWB.

As already mentioned by an earlier PWC Moms’ blog post, Prince William County Recycles Day and Paper Shred is taking place on Saturday, October 19th, 10 am – 2 pm at the Landfill (14811 Dumfries Road, Manassas). KPWB, along with its current staff, volunteers, and Celebrity “Buster Bear” will be present and taking part in all of the fun expected for this event. If you’re planning on attending Recycles Day, definitely stop by and meet your friendly Prince William County environmental non-profit, KPWB!
Keep Prince William Beautiful 4391 Ridgewood Center Drive, Suite F,  Prince William, VA 22192

Featured Organization Friday: Mainly Music Fundraiser to Support SIDS Education

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Published: 10/11/2013
In honor of a lost child, a local mom is hosting a special fundraiser to help fund SIDS educational services.  Join the Mainly Music Fundraiser on November 8, 2013 for a fun family show, dinner, and desert, $20 per family.

Featured Organization Friday: FARE Walk for Food Allergies

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Published: 09/13/2013
For more information, or to register, click Here.

Featured Organization Friday: Chelsea's Epilepsy Walk for SUDEP Awareness

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Published: 09/06/2013

Join other walkers at Old Bridge United Methodist Church on Sunday, September 22nd for a walk in memory of local hockey dad Jeff Beaupre.  Register online now at www.ChelseasWalk.org, or you can mark your calendar and register day-of.  I'm giving you plenty of time to find a friend to walk with! 

Guest Post: One Risk to Know About, One Risk to Talk About

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Published: 07/12/2013

Do you know someone with epilepsy?  Do you know someone with a seizure disorder?  Know a person who has had just one seizure?  If so, learn about this condition and you can save a life.

It is called Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy or SUDEP and it is a fatal complication of seizures that I was never made aware of.

My husband, Jeff, died on February 26th, 2012 at the age of 42 from SUDEP.  The short story is this: Jeff had his first tonic-clonic seizure (or grand mal seizure) in his sleep in January.  We followed up with doctor visits, CAT scans, MRI’s, EEG’s, you name it.  Nothing showed a reason for the sudden seizure and we were advised that it could be a “one time event”.  However, in February, Jeff had a second seizure.  In the hours afterwards he appeared to recover then voiced that he was tired and laid down for a nap.  He died in his sleep.

I had never heard of SUDEP.  Most families I have met that have lost a loved one to SUDEP had never heard of the risk.  I was warned to not let Jeff drive, he couldn’t go swimming, or climb a ladder.  But I was never told to monitor him in his sleep.  I was not told that people with seizures can die from a condition eerily similar to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

If seizures effects you or someone you know I want you to know about this risk.  I want you to educate yourself about SUDEP and preventive measures.  Just as new parents are told of SIDS, people with seizures should be told of SUDEP.

There is no known cure-all way to prevent SUDEP. Currently, the best course of treatment is to encourage and engage in these preventative strategies:

§  advocate for increased awareness by the public and the medical community;
§  maximum seizure control via strict treatment adherence;
§  regular physical activity and lifestyle modifications that reduce stress and seizure activity;
§  patients should regularly visit with their doctor especially if their convulsive seizures are not completely controlled;
§  consider the use of alternative resources such as monitoring devices that detect certain seizures and can alert caretakers and enable early intervention;
§  consider supervision or monitoring during sleep hours to identify seizure activity;
§  ensure that family members and caretakers have knowledge of seizure first aid and of emergency resuscitation measures including CPR and defibrillator use;
  • inquire about and advocate for research that enables a better understanding of the mechanisms of SUDEP. (The Danny Did Foundation, http://www.dannydid.org/sudep/)

Please join us in Prince William County on September 22, 2012 for a 5K in honor of Jeff Beaupre.  I have partnered with the Chelsea Hutchinson Foundation (http://www.chelseahutchisonfoundation.org/) and the Danny Did Foundation (, http://www.dannydid.org/) to raise awareness of SUDEP.  Funds from the September 22, 2013 5K will go to the Chelsea Hutchinson Foundation to be used to provide sleep monitors and seizure response dogs.  Race information can be found at: http://www.runningguru.com/EventInformation.asp?eID=6074
About the Author:  “Jeff’s Wife” has a blog detailing her family’s struggle with SUDEP and grief at http://survivingaftersudep.blogspot.com

Featured Organization Friday: Preemies Today Collections

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Published: 06/28/2013

Preemies Today is a 501c3 non-profit based out of our DC Metro Area that "advocates for the needs of families experiencing the traumatic event of a premature birth."  The group does advocacy, outreach, teaching, and more!  One way you can get involved is by helping out with their NICU baby shower item collection! If you've ever had a preemie, and still have some of their clothing lying around, this might be just the place for it to go!

Preemies Today is collecting donations for local NICU baby showers
Used and New preemie and newborn clothing and items in good condition accepted (examples include toys, books, baby monitors) Mother's items (i.e. nursing covers) and toys for older siblings of preemies 
No recalled items or used carseats please
Contact MorgenMacDonald@preemiestoday.org for pick-up or drop-off arrangements

You can learn more about the services and support offered by Preemies Today by visiting their website, or connecting with them via Facebook or Twitter.

PwcMoms.com is committed to sharing information with our readers, and we are happy to feature your informational cause, charity, non-profit, etc.  We do not feature individual family, school, or sports team fundraising efforts, unless they are in conjunction with an official charity or non-profit.  We're happy to help you raise awareness, though, so please email us if you'd like to get details or let us know about your cause! 

Featured Organization Friday: Goodwill of Greater Washington

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Published: 05/10/2013

You may have noticed last week, that we started up the "Featured Organization Friday" again, in an effort to share more about the ways you can become involved with local nonprofits and organizations and make a positive impact on the community. So when Goodwill reached out to PWC Moms to paticipate in their #Blog4Good campaign this week, I said yes! May 5th through May 11th marks Goodwill Industries Week, an annual celebration of Goodwill’s mission to provide free job training and employment services to people with disabilities and disadvantages.
You know Goodwill. They’re the folks you donate all your old stuff to. Bargain shoppers & budget fashionistas know their retail stores as a great place to go thrift shopping. But, do you know why goodwill accepts your donations? Do you know where the proceeds from those retail sales go? Simply put – they help people find jobs here in our community. Goodwill of Greater Washington’s primary mission is to provide job training and employment services to people with disadvantages and disabilities. They help real people get real jobs; fostering positive, contributing members to our community. All made possible by donations from people like you and me.

In 2012, Goodwill directly affected the lives of more than 3,200 people in our community. These are people who have re-found the dignity that comes with being a contributing member of our society.  Goodwill also diverted over 20 millions of trash from local landfills through their donation program. In addition to training people for jobs, placing them into jobs, providing consumers with access to quality, low cost goods, and acting as one our region’s largest recyclers, Goodwill is also a job developer. With each new store and donation center that Goodwill opens, 25-30 new jobs are created. Goodwill of Greater Washington’s mission is summed up by its tagline - “Transforming lives and communities”.

If you’d like to learn more about Goodwill of Greater Washington, find their nearest store or donation center, or get involved, visit dcgoodwill.org or download their free mobile app. Here in Prince William County there is a Goodwill Donation & Retail Center in Manassas, plus a Prince William County Landfill Attended Donation Center. There are also Goodwill locations nearby in Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Stafford, plus an Outlet Store in Fredericksburg.

Disclosure: This blog post is a part of the #Blog4Good campaign to help spread the word about Goodwill of Greater Washington.

Featured Organization Friday: Partners In Preservation program for the National Trust for Historic Preservation

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Published: 05/03/2013

Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country. Since 2006, American Express has made grants worth $9 million through Partners in Preservation, helping historic places in seven cities to date, including San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle, Saint Paul/Minneapolis and New York, and has engaged more than a million people. The program will award an additional $1 million in grants to historic places in Washington, DC in May 2013.  Through this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America’s historic and cultural places. The program also hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.

Washington D.C. Metro Area 2013
The Washington, D.C. Metro area has been selected as the eighth area to be selected to participate in Partners in Preservation and receive funding from American Express. The area benefits from a wealth of historic landmarks and districts. Since the creation of the Georgetown Historic District in 1950, the city’s inventory of historic places has grown steadily to encompass thousands of properties representing all aspects of the city’s history and culture. The District of Columbia alone has 55 historic districts and 657 historic landmarks dating from the 1700s to iconic modern architectural marvels, and has more National Historic Landmarks than all but seven states.

Plus this weekend, Saturday May 4th - Sunday May 5th is Open House Weekend.
This means there will be fun, special events at each of the sites. A full list of participating sites is here. I suggest calling ahead to find out what special event each site has. Some will have free admission, behind the scenes tours, food, performances, etc - to encourage people to come out, learn more about the site and its history - and encourage people to vote for their site. For example, Congressional Cemetery will be doing an all-day Scavenger Hunt with performances, tours pointing out some of the famous “residents” and even a spaghetti sauce judging contest.

Your vote will help give away $1 million to preserve historic places in the Washington, DC Metro area. Although there aren't any Prince William County sites in the running, there are the following Northern Virginia sites: Arlington House, Colvin Run Mill, Marine Corps War Memorial, Mount Vernon, and The Athenaeum.

From April 24 through May 10, 2013, the public is being asked to help choose which historic places they feel most deserve preservation funding. Click here to learn about the participating historic places.  Visit the Partners in Preservation website to earn points for the participating historic places by voting online and via mobile, sharing with friends on Twitter, checking in on Foursquare and posting photos on Instagram. Click here to get started.  The site that receives the highest number of points at the conclusion of the program is guaranteed to receive their full grant request. A Partners in Preservation advisory committee comprised of Washington-area civic and preservation leaders will recommend how the remainder of the preservation grants will be awarded to the other participating sites.  On May 13, American Express and the National Trust will announce the popular vote winner along with the additional grant winners.

Featured Organization Friday: St. Jude Walk

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Published: 10/15/2012
November 17th on the National Mall, people will converge to give hope to children with cancer through the annual St. Jude Give Thanks Walk.  There's no registration fee, you can fundraise as a walking team for any amount you want, and even earn prizes for various increments of money raised.

Not really a walker so much (or, not really a "get up and get into DC early on a Saturday" type so much)? Vendors are also needed to make in-kind donations of everything from prizes to water and snacks for the walkers. Many of you may have participated in the Give Thanks Walk last year at Potomac Mills Mall, and this is the same great event with a new venue.  However, even though it's now in DC, it's got a local focus as one of the beneficiaries of the money raised is local family the Duggans, whose child is fighting pediatric cancer.  

This event is also a locally rooted event because this year's event chair is a PwcMom! Melissa Robey met a two and a half year old cancer patient last year and realized that she needed to get involved with St. Jude's, which has done such amazing work.  Not only do they accept every patient, regardless of the family's ability to pay, they have changed the survival rate for pediatric cancer from 20% survival to 80% survival, and as the only cancer institute devoted to children, they get to take most of the credit for that.

This year, 10,400 kids will be diagnosed with cancer that stops them, and their parents, in their tracks.  Cancer is the leading cause of death for kids ages 1-14 behind accidents.  If you can support this event as a vendor, walker, or donor, Melissa would love to work with you.  You can find her team page here where you can join up as a walker if you don't have your own team, or even found your own group of walkers, if you prefer!

Walk Coordinator Melissa Robey is a local Prince William County Mom and owner of Games2u (offering free laser tag with a party in October/November to readers of this article!) as well as being a ThirtyOne consultant. She lives here in the 703 with her husband and twin boys, in addition to being a rockstar and running a charity event.

Featured Organization Friday: Owen's Walk to Remember

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Published: 10/05/2012

Owen’s Walk to Remember
Angels & Warriors

WestRash Charities is holding its 1stannual walk for pediatric cancer
Bristow, VA– WestRash Charities is proud to announce its 1st annual walk for pediatric cancer research and support.  The theme of this year’s event will be a Halloween family friendly walk, giving kids (and parents) one more time to wear those fabulous Halloween costumes.  The walk will be held at Brentsville District High School in Nokesville, VA.  Onsite festivities will include a moon bounce, carnival games, food, and drinks.  All proceeds will benefit Children’s National Medical Center and provide research and family support to pediatric cancer patients.

What:                        Owen’s Walk to Remember, Angels & Warriors
Benefits:                 Children’s National Medical Center
When:                      Saturday, November 3rd
                                    10:00AM- 12:00PM

Where:                    Brentsville District High School
                                    12109 Aden Road Nokesville, VA 20181

Costs:                        Donations only (no entry fee)

Sponsorship:         $100 -  Name on the event shirt
                                    $300 -  Name and logo on event shirt
                                    Sponsorship deadline is Oct 8, 2012

Children’s National Medical Center
Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870.  Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. With 303 beds, more than 1,330 nurses, 550 physicians, and seven regional outpatient centers, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of pediatric care in the Washington metropolitan area. Children’s National has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet® designated hospital, the highest level of recognition for nursing excellence that a medical center can achieve.

WestRash Charities
WestRash Charities began in May 2002 with a casual golf gathering of family and friends to raise money in support of a family friend in need of financial support for their child’s fight with leukemia. Over the next two years it evolved from merely a casual golf outing into a golf event to raise funds in support of our families’ shared goal of helping others within our community. Most recently our charity events have focused on raising funding and awareness for children and cancer related causes.  For more information, about this event or sponsorship opportunities please visit www.westrashcharities.org or follow us on Facebook.

Featured Organization Friday: Hope For Julianna

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Published: 09/21/2012
Meet Julianna:
How freaking adorable is she??

Unfortuantely, though, Julianna, in addition to having that adorable face, also has childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  If you've ever had a child who's needed any type of medical treatment, you know how quickly costs add up.  For a child with a serious illness, these costs are obviously astronomical.  

Her family is holding a car wash this Saturday Sept. 22, to raise funds for Julianna’s treatment. 

They write on their website:
If you do not have any plans and are in the area, please consider helping us out. We could really use some extra manpower and support. Or if you would like to stop by to get your car washed, that would be great, too! Please contact me if you are able to grab a sponge and spend a few hours with us.

Milla's Playland A Play Gym Designed for Parents and Children Aged 10 Months to 4 1/2 Years...