Pouches' Community Corner

Ron Rosner Family YMCA Bright Beginnings Event

Pouches Bright BeginningsThe Rappahannock Area YMCA is known in the region as a family-centered establishment that services our local community on many levels. The Y makes strengthening the community its cause and the Ron Rosner Family YMCA of Spotsylvania County is stepping up to make sure that all children have what they need to start the school year off right.

On Saturday, August 27, the Rappahannock YMCA will be holding its first ever Bright Beginnings event. The Y is committed to outfitting at least 40 children with new back-to-school clothing and school supplies. There is no cost to the child’s family to participate, but they are counting on the generosity of the public, organizations and corporations to make this happen!

There are several ways that you can help:

• DONATE: You can make a simple financial donation. All donations are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible.
• VOLUNTEER: Take an active role in nurturing our youth and be a shopping buddy at the Massaponax Walmart during shopping day on August 27. Individuals and small groups are welcome.
• BE A BACKPACK BUDDY: Individuals, businesses or organizations can provide a full backpack of supplies based on the approved K-5 school supplies list. Each child that shops with the Bright Beginnings program will receive a stuffed backpack!

The YMCA strongly believes that children that have the necessities they need can focus on learning rather than worrying about having shoes to wear on the playground and crayons to color their assignments. Help to make a community of confident and prepared kids on the first day of school!

For more information, visit Pouches Community Corner on fredericksburgparent.net, or contact Lisa Nicely at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Supporting your PTO!

It often feels as if everyone wants a piece of us—our time, our talents and our money. In this age of social media, the needs that exist not just locally, but globally, impact us every time we scroll through our newsfeeds. So how do we decide where to best dedicate our time?

The success of last month’s Community Give indicates that our community is filled with thousands who are generous and have the desire to support and help others. It is one of my favorite days of the year. I love watching the numbers go up and up.

Throughout the day, I reflected on the programs and organizations that I choose to dedicate time to. I remembered the last PTO meeting I attended at my youngest son’s elementary school. The dedicated parents there took time out of their busy days to sit around a small table in the library and discuss fundraising efforts, plans for showing appreciation to the teachers, and how best to allocate what little funds there were available to meet the expected needs of the school community. Note that I said a small table. I felt the guilt as I sat there next to other parents who make that monthly commitment to support our school and its children. I could not help but wonder where all the other parents were?

Research has shown over and again that involvement in your children’s school matters. It not only benefits the school, but more importantly it benefits your child. If you care, so will they.

Enjoy your summer break and next school year, consider joining your school PTO. Your child will thank you!

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5th Annual Jacey’s Walk for Williams Syndrome Awareness

The 5th Annual Jacey’s Walk for Williams Syndrome Awareness will be held at the Ron Rosner YMCA on Saturday, May 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The walk is brief and is followed by a fun-filled family day. There will be music by DJ Cathy Lynn, as well as food, a silent auction, face painting, a bake sale, children’s activities and more!

What is Williams Syndrome? That’s what Jacey’s mom asked after the diagnosis when Jacey was just a year old. Williams Syndrome is diagnosed when there is a DNA deletion on chromosome 7. Williams Syndrome occurs in about 1 in 50,000 births, is not preventable and has no cure. People with Williams Syndrome often exhibit autistic-like behaviors and some are dual diagnosed with autism. These individuals differ from the typical autistic individual because they also often have heart disease or cardiovascular abnormalities, kidney and bladder disease, high blood pressure, elevated calcium levels and are very sociable.

Jacey, now 5, has all of the above along with visual impairment, neurological disorders, epilepsy and gastrointestinal difficulties. She’s an absolute joy to all that know her and a true blessing to her entire family.

All proceeds from the event go to the Williams Syndrome Association, the most comprehensive resource for people and families living with Williams Syndrome. Through Jacey’s Walk, her family has been able to connect with at least one new local family each year that has a child diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. To them, finding others to connect and offer support to makes it all worthwhile.

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The Community Foundation

pouches community give

The Community Foundation connects donors with nonprofit organizations that serve the current and future needs of the people throughout our region. It provides broad community leadership by bringing diverse groups of individuals and organizations together to develop community-wide solutions for problems and issues.

The Community Foundation receives gifts from individuals, corporations and organizations. These gifts are named and placed in endowment funds and invested to generate earnings. The Community Foundation coordinates with fund advisors to use these earnings to distribute grants to a variety of nonprofit programs, organizations and community-oriented charitable efforts that benefit area residents and organizations, as well as to distribute scholarships to local students.

On May 3, the foundation will sponsor the third annual Community Give, a 24-hour online event when thousands of people will donate hundreds of thousands of dollars — the most raised in a single day — to support the issues and charities the foundation are passionate about. The goal for this year’s event is to raise one million dollars in the 24-hour period.

Use this day to show your children the power of giving. Give to a local cause you care about! Visit TheCommunityGive.org for more information and to support your favorite on May 3!

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The Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center

The Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center works to reduce the trauma that child victims of abuse face by coordinating and strengthening the community response to the abuse. The agency provides a child-friendly program that helps representatives from law enforcement, Child Protective Service, prosecution, victim/witness, medical and mental health to work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions on cases of child abuse. The program provides forensic interviewing services, forensic medical evaluations and exams, victim advocacy and support, specialized mental health services and case management.

The process is started at the moment of first report and followed until the victim and family no longer require services. Safe Harbor provides support in helping these children and nonoffending caregivers by providing case management, on-site specialized trauma therapy and ongoing support, all at no cost to the family.

Since opening May 1, 2009, there has been an increase in the number of children coming to Safe Harbor. As a result of the increased needs, goals for Safe Harbor include moving to a larger facility and growing the programs and services to accommodate the need. Support from the community will assure that the child’s healing process starts at Safe Harbor. For further information on how you can help, visit www.safeharborva.org

Pouches Safe Harbor

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