By Lisa Lombardozzi, LINK President
What an incredible day we had. God’s amazing power was all around and LINK was able to share its abundance with a record number of families from Ashburn, Sterling and Herndon.
The 2011 economy was still dealing a tough blow to many of our neighbors. Each month groceries were delivered to more and more families who weren’t able to make ends meet. Donations poured in each month from so many caring and giving individuals, churches, schools, businesses and civic organizations. As the Thanksgiving Holiday Basket date neared, LINK decided to continue the level of assistance it offered in 2010. Over 750 families registered in person for the Holiday Basket Programs. Even more poured in as we reached our number and were added to the waiting list. The LINK Board decided to add the wait list guests to the registration list and it increased to over 820 total families.
In order to feed so many people, we reached out again to those who give so freely. Food poured in from the Boy Scouts Scouting for Food event, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated over 2.5 tons of food and money, Walmart Charitable Foundation gave $1,000, and Girl Scout troops donated food and time to sort food. Businesses like AMJ Financial (Ashburn), Airbus, Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation, Polycom, COSTCO, Windward IT Solutions, STG Inc, VISTA Technology Services, Griffin Owens Insurance, and others donated food and winter clothing. Many area schools in Fairfax and Loudoun County held food and clothing drives. Churches all over eastern Loudoun and western Fairfax collected food and winter clothes.
Volunteers signed up to help sort food, escort clients, act as interpreters, load food into vehicles, deliver to homebound families, and assist with registration. Groups like Sigma Mu Mu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Girl Scout troops from six year olds to high school seniors, church groups, and hundreds of individuals and families took time out of their busy schedules to help. Thousands of hours were logged in by the volunteers to help make the event a success.
On Saturday, November 19 LINK volunteers assisted 881 (including walk-ins) families (4,500 individuals) with non perishable groceries (50,000 lbs.), based on family size for five – seven days and almost $25,000 in grocery gift cards. These events took place at both Trinity Presbyterian and Christ the Redeemer. This was an increase of almost 24 percent over 2010 record breaking numbers.
Scott and Amy Thomas reported from the Coat Distribution at Sterling United Methodist. LINK counted 1,311 donated coats on Friday night and received some additional donations throughout the day Saturday. LINK had 376 families flow through from the grocery churches. More than 1,200 gently used winter coats, 1,100 mittens, and hundreds of hats, scarves, and winter clothing items were provided to LINK guests. All left over clothing will be donated to Good Shepherd Alliance thrift store in Sterling.
As the Mother Hubbard quote goes, “Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone; but when she got there, the cupboard was bare! And so the poor dog had none.” LINK now needs to replenish the shelves. We will need schools, businesses, civic groups and individuals to help hold food drives and new toy drives for our December 17th Holiday Basket events. We currently have over 2,300 children ages newborn – 16 years of age registered and we would love to be able to give each one of them two small gifts. This means we will need over 4,500 new toys.
If your group would be willing to coordinate a food or toy drive, please contact Lisa Lombardozzi at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-973-4444.
If you would like to volunteer to help with the sorting and distribution from December 12 – 17, you can use our online signup. To sign up for December dates, go to:
For our LINK Board – Thank you to each and every one of you! The work you all put in so quietly and unassuming is truly amazing. LINK is a blessed organization!
God bless each and every one of you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Rest up because we’ll do it all over again in just a few weeks.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12 NIV).
Christmas Event is December 17, 2011
Food Distribution, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Locations: Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church (46833 Harry Byrd Highway, Sterling, VA 20164) and Trinity Presbyterian (651 Dranesville Road, Herndon, VA 20170)
Toy Distribution, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Herndon United Methodist Church (701 Bennett St., Herndon VA 20170) Families will receive a ticket from the food pick-up location to be used to pick up toys.
Food – Donations of non-perishable food can be dropped off during the sorting hours listed below at either Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church or Trinity Presbyterian Church.
Toys – Donations of new toys can be dropped off at Herndon United Methodist Church from December 12 – 17, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Monetary Donations – Donations can be sent to: LINK, PO Box 443, Sterling, VA 20167-0443. If you want the donation dedicated to a certain purpose, please include that in the memo line.
Translators Needed – We need volunteers who are bilingual and speak Spanish (teenagers are also welcomed) to volunteer the day of the Basket Programs (December 17).
Boxes Needed – we typically need 500 empty boxes for both the November and December basket programs. Boxes should be approximately 18x12x15 in size. They will be loaded with heavy canned goods, so a smaller size box is better.
Volunteers Needed – To volunteer you can register online or send an email to Becky Field-Ross (email@example.com) our Volunteer Coordinator. To sign up, go to:
Volunteer Dates and Hours
Monday, December 12 – Sorting from 9:00 a.m. – noon; 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
• Tuesday, December 13 – closed
• Wednesday, December 14 – closed
• Thursday, December 15 – Sorting from 9:00 a.m. – noon; 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
• Friday, December 16 – Sorting from 9:00 a.m. until finished at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church
• Saturday, Dec. 17 – Volunteers to help re-stock food, assist families, act as translators, and clean-up, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Christ the Redeemer Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church. Drivers to help deliver food to people who are home-bound, 9:00 a.m. – noon at Trinity Presbyterian Church
NOTE: Volunteers are also needed to pick up food donations from schools located in Herndon and Sterling area and drop it off at either Christ the Redeemer or Trinity Presbyterian between Monday, Dec. 12 and Friday, Dec. 17.