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Pouches' Community Corner

Rappahannock Goodwill Industries

Many of us may be familiar with our local Goodwill as a great location to shop or to donate, but have you ever given thought to how your donation or shopping dollars help our local community? Did you know that every square inch of every Goodwill facility supports the mission to link people with barriers to employment, especially those with disabilities, to work? Did you know that Goodwill provides free computer access and job search training to those in our area seeking employment?

Pouches Goodwill

Rappahannock Goodwill Industries wants you to Rethink Goodwill. Be informed about what your donation is doing and find out other ways that you can help beyond a bag of clothing.

• Rappahannock Goodwill Job Help Centers are always in need of individuals with great communication skills and experience using computers to help others navigate today’s job market.
• Goodwill accepts donations of cars, vans and even boats!
• Support Goodwill through a financial contribution or through AmazonSmile.

Each month, Goodwill offers tours so visitors can get a first-hand look at the mission of Rappahannock Goodwill Industries and catch the excitement of all that Goodwill accomplishes. As stated by RGI’s President and CEO, Donnie Tolson “You haven’t seen Goodwill, unless you really see Goodwill.”

For more information on RGI and what you can do to help, read on for more information, or go to www.fredgoodwill.org.

What items does Goodwill accept for donations?
Goodwill can accept just about anything! Goodwill will gladly accept gently used clothing, household items, computers, and even automobiles, boats, RVs, and more! Since we do not have the resources to repair broken objects, please do not donate items which are in need of repair (except for vehicles which are accepted in any condition). There are some items we cannot accept including flammables, weapons, box style TVs, mattresses and box springs, furniture that is torn, broken, or stained, or any item that has been recalled. See the complete list at www.FredGoodwill.org.

What happens to the stuff I donate?
We process most items we receive at our donation centers. The items are sorted, price tagged, and then distributed to our stores for people to buy. If any items are not in good shape, we will attempt to sell them for recycling or they might have to be taken to the landfill.

How do my donations of household items and clothes actually help the community?
What you donate helps in a lot of different ways! We hire people to process all the items donated. We also hire associates to work in our stores. When stuff is sold, we use those revenues for hiring as well as to provide job assistance to people looking for jobs. We operate 4 Goodwill Job Help Centers in our region which provide free service to people looking for employment. These are funded in part through sales of donated items in our stores.

What is your mission?
We create jobs locally, prepare people to succeed at work, and help them overcome barriers to employment.

When you say, “barriers to employment” what do you mean?
A barrier to employment is anything that might be holding someone back from being able to enter the workforce or maintain a job. Someone with a barrier to employment might have a physical or cognitive disability, have a criminal record and be re-entering the world of work, or need assistance with literacy skills so they can complete a job application.

How can I help Goodwill besides donations of stuff?
We appreciate people donating their time to help in our literacy programs and/or our Job Help Centers. We also accept financial contributions which can be targeted to providing services to more people in our region.

How does RGI set pricing in its stores?
Even though items are donated to Goodwill, there are costs involved in the processing and sale of each item. And, as a not-for-profit organization, our mission is to help people with employment services. Therefore, we set our prices to cover our costs and allow us to provide job assistance to people in our region.

Are all Goodwill agencies the same throughout the country?
Each Goodwill agency is operated independently in the community they serve. Rappahannock Goodwill is a member agency of Goodwill Industries International which provides guidance and support and gives us the opportunity to use the Goodwill name.

How do you help someone find a job?
It really depends on the individual and their needs. We operate with a “person-centered” approach which means we assess the individual needing assistance and help them develop a plan for action. In some cases that means we give them advice on their resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills. Others need more intensive support, and in those cases we can provide an employment specialist who helps them find a job and continues to work with them to make sure they are successful in their employment.

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Fredericksburg Regional SPCA

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What is the Fredericksburg SPCA?

The Fredericksburg SPCA is a non-profit, no-kill humane organization dedicated to the principle that every life is unique and worthy of protection. As a local leader in humane care and education, the Fredericksburg SPCA’s mission is to tackle the problem of pet overpopulation through education, adoption, rehabilitation and spay/neuter. The organization saves the lives of many homeless animals each year and cares for approximately 400 cats and dogs daily. The Fredericksburg SPCA is not affiliated with any other animal welfare organization.

What is the difference between a public animal control agency and a private humane organization?

Public animal control agencies are legally charged with enforcing animal control laws and the laws protecting animals from abuse or neglect. They respond to citizens’ complaints about animals and impound stray animals (thus the name “pound”). They are responsible for investigating instances of animal abuse or cruelty and are supported entirely by government funds.

Private humane organizations receive no government funds and carry no legal authority. The role of a private humane organization, such as the Fredericksburg SPCA, is to provide resources to save healthy, treatable animals from death, to treat animals with compassion and understanding, and to help people have happier, more fulfilling relationships with their animal.

What has the Fredericksburg SPCA accomplished in its most recent year (2016)?

In 2016, we had over 1,500 intakes, and just as many outcomes (so far!). Our numbers this past year doubled our 2014 numbers. Additionally, our length of stay for felines was reduced by over 60 percent, and the dog length of stay was cut by 33 percent. That means: less stress and illness, which creates a happier pet population at the shelter!

How can I get involved?

The Fredericksburg SPCA accepts volunteers, and we would love to have you! Volunteers are an important part of every department at our shelter, and opportunities to serve are numerous and varied - from socializing dogs and cats, laundry, donation sorting, development assistance, outreach at events and more.

What are the requirements to volunteer?

The only requirement is a desire to join our team. Volunteers are required to be 16 years of age or older to come in independently, however, there is no age requirement to complete service work alongside a parent or guardian.

We ask that all of our volunteers complete 4 service hours with us each month in order to stay active in our system. You can complete these hours at your convenience. Please note we are in need of volunteers seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Our scheduling is flexible!

What if I have a child, under the age of 16, that would like to volunteer?

If you have a middle-school aged youth that would like to volunteer, consider inquiring about our upcoming youth volunteer program, scheduled to launch in late January. Students in this program will be learning more about animal welfare and will complete various activities and crafts. They'll also get hands on experience working with the animals in our care.

Who do I contact to learn more about the Fredericksburg SPCA's volunteer program?

To learn more, please contact Alison Carlin, the Volunteer Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What are other ways to get involved with the Fredericksburg SPCA, outside of volunteering?

You can also support our mission by adopting, donating and/or fostering! To find out more information about these options, please visit us online at http://www.fburgspca.org or call us at (540) 898-1500.

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Share the Love

Pouches Dec

With the holiday season upon us, it the time of year we reflect back and we look forward. we have spent 2016 sharing with you various local organizations that are in need of your help and support. what better time to give than during the season of giving. There is an organization out there that speaks to you. Now go and find it! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Micah Ecumenical Ministries supports those experiencing chronic homelessness and helps them to identify pathways to sustainable housing. Micah’s mission is to end homelessness in Fredericksburg. Find out how you can help by visiting their website www.micahfredericksburg.org

Fredericksburg regional SPCA believes that every life is unique and worthy of protection. If your heart is with the abandoned and homeless animals of our community visit their website and see what you can do to make their burden lighter. www.fburgspca.org

Loisann’s Hope House -Your commitment and contributions provide a future for children and families right in our backyard that are experiencing homelessness. every dollar ensures that a child is off the street and able to have shelter. In addition to financial contributions, you can find out about their wish list and how to volunteer by visiting www.loisannshopehouse.org

Or you can visit Pouches’ Community Corner on our website for a list of all of our previously featured non-profits. Pouches wishes you a happy holiday and a healthy new year!

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Embrace Treatment Foster Care

Each year, thousands of abused and neglected children experience joy, growth and healing in the homes of special parents who share their time, energy and love. With proper training, support and collaboration, Embrace Treatment Foster Care and its network of treatment foster families can achieve great success and ensure that Embrace’s families are the happiest and most laughter-filled families in the world.

Healing an emotionally disturbed child within a home and family environment is the at the heart of Embrace’s services. Many foster children need specially-trained families who can help them address the trauma of their past experiences. Embrace ensures that foster children have the best chance of success in their path to permanency by pairing dedicated parents and caring professionals with the treatment tools.

If fostering children interests you, or to get more information on becoming a foster parent, please read on, or visit www.embracetfc.com 

At Embrace Treatment Foster Care we realize how daunting it can be to know where or how to start the process of becoming a foster parent and many questions are raised. That is why Embrace Treatment Foster Care holds regular information sessions at the Salem Church Library to answer questions and help people get started with paperwork and the process of becoming certified. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions. Have more questions you need answered, contact us at 540-613-5120 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Are foster children in care because of something bad they have done?
Foster children are in care for any number of reasons. Most children are in care because their parent does not have the ability to care for them right now, whether due to drug abuse, domestic violence, neglect, medical issues or another circumstance that is not suitable for a child. These are not bad children, they are just in bad situation!

Do you have to be a "traditional" family to become a foster family?
Successful foster homes come in all shapes and sizes. We encourage single moms and dads, empty nesters, cohabiting couples, same-sex couples, families with and without biological children, and anything in between to become foster parents! The most important requirement is for you to be a loving, supportive family where foster children can thrive.

How long does the certification process to become a foster family take?
Embrace can complete training as quickly as 6 months! Training consists of material that will help you be the best foster parent you can be. Most will consist of PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education) training, home visits and parenting classes and other activities that will help you be the best foster parent you can be!

Can I adopt a foster child after they are placed in my home?
The goal for every foster child is to provide them with a stable, loving home. If it ends up that the child becomes eligible for adopted foster parents are first given the option to adopt in order to maintain stability in that child's life. This is a much less expensive option than adopting from a private agency.

Am I able to work a full time job and also foster?
Many foster parents have a full or part time job. Most foster care agencies can even help you with finding after-school or full time child care if needed. You are still able to work full time once you have a biological child, and having a foster child is no different!

Is there a minimum income to become a foster parent?
Foster parents must be financially stable, but they do not have to be wealthy! Foster parents can reside in homes they own or rent, including apartments, condos and duplexes! There are requirements for how many foster children you can care for depending on the amount of bedrooms you have available. A foster care agency can help you with those guidelines!

Do I have the ability to foster a child based on age and gender I feel most comfortable with?
Permanency is something that every foster care agency strives for. We want to make sure that whatever foster child is placed in your home will be a good fit. Therefore, we have an open and honest conversation with you about what age and gender of foster child will make a great addition to your family. We have children of all ages who come into foster care from little babies to funny and adventurous teenagers!

I am concerned I will get to attached to a foster child living in my home.
It’s true — you will get attached, and it will be painful when children you love leave. But, you have the peace of knowing that no matter how long a foster child lived with you they were able to experience a loving, happy family for that time. The lessons that they learn while being your foster child will stick with them for the rest of their lives!

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The Doctor Yum Project

In response to the growing rates of childhood obesity, pediatrician Nimali Fernando MD, MPH started the website doctoryum.com in 2011 to teach her patients and her families about the benefits of healthy eating. What started out as a recipe and parenting site grew to a bigger project of teaching a healthy lifestyle to the greater community. In 2012 The Doctor Yum Project, a 501(c)(3) organization was born.

The mission of The Doctor Yum Project is to transform the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life.

PROGRAMS THEY OFFER:

1. They are working with the youngest family members through The Doctor Yum Preschool Adventure Program, making healthy food fun for families and giving them information and ideas to create a foundation for healthy eating at school and home.

2. They are creating innovative hands-on cooking instruction programs through their teaching kitchen and garden to inspire family members of all ages take control of their health by getting back in the kitchen, preparing meals together, strengthening family connections and building healthier communities.

3. They are bringing together physicians from varying fields to create a state-of-the-art website (supported by multiple social media platforms) with recipes and information that help families connect the dots between diet and overall health.

For more information please visit: www.doctoryum.org

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