Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA)
During Volunteer Appreciation Week, ACCA thanks our hundreds of volunteers for the thousands of hours of service to our community!
In its 54th year, ACCA continues to provide high quality child care and serves as a principal source of emergency assistance, including food, furniture and financial support, for our vulnerable neighbors.
Lifetime Achievement Award

The 30th Annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards were announced on April 20 at the annual awards presentation by Volunteer Fairfax. ACCA is proud to announce that Mary Lee DiSpirito was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mary Lee is a mainstay of Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA), a church-related volunteer organization providing rental assistance, day care, food, furniture, and other services to low-income families in the Annandale/Bailey’s Crossroads area. She has devoted countless hours to ACCA over the past 35 years (including 1,500 this year alone). She knows the ins and outs of every ACCA outreach program and is highly knowledgeable and resourceful. Congratulations to Mary Lee for her years of service to ACCA and our community! (photo caption: Mary Lee Dispirito and Jean Rackowski)
How ACCA Helps Our Neighbors

Family Emergency Assistance

The Family Emergency Assistance ministry provided financial assistance of 26 households consisting of 61 individuals (family members) in March for a total of $27,000. Most of the assistance was used for rent or security deposits, utilities, prescription drugs, and medical or dental needs.

Food and Hygiene Ministry

ACCA’s Nutrition/Hygiene ministry provides nutritious food and other essentials to families and individuals in need in our community. Food is taken into the pantry where it is assembled and delivered to needy families. DONATIONS OF BAGS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!

In March we provided food for 87 families and 251 individuals. We also received 2,968 lbs. in donations last month, which included over 1,200 lbs. from the County’s Stuff-the-Bus campaign. Many thanks to the Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club for their gift of a $1,000.

ACCA is able to provide this level of assistance thanks to donations from our 27 member churches as well as from the generous Annandale community.


In March, the joint ACCA-Shepherd's Center transportation program had 67 ride requests filled but 9 requests were unable to be filled. This program needs more volunteer drivers. This is a very flexible commitment and more drivers are needed! 

To learn more or to become a volunteer driver, contact the Shepherd’s Center of Annandale Springfield office at (703) 941-1419 or email

Furniture Ministry

Several of the furniture deliveries scheduled for an early March snow day were to persons transitioning into permanent housing so this furniture delivery was essential. Many thanks to Doug Mairena, Jorge Lopez and Brad Rothrmel for rescheduling these deliveries for 3 individuals to make sure they had a bed and other basic items. March 26 brought better weather and the volunteers made deliveries and served 7 persons. The volunteers made the empty apartments come alive with some much-needed furnishings for the new residents.

CROP Walk Report

The 2021 Annandale CROP Hunger Walk raised a total of $17,665 in check, donations for Church World Service. The 2022 walk is tentatively planned for October 15. 

Rebuilding Together

ACCA is planning to work on two houses on April 30, 2022. Experienced house captains Ken Mittelholtz and Brian Meli will lead the work. Most of the tasks will be outdoors. Work will proceed under the COVID 19 protocols. Once we receive our assignments we’ll know more about the financial needs and any special skill requirements. To volunteer or learn more about this year’s house assignments, contact Marie Monsen at

Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N)

On a cold, rainy Saturday in late March, members of the Neighbor to Neighbor (formerly called Homework Club) community gathered at Peace Lutheran Church to celebrate Nowruz, the new year. Volunteers and families enjoyed learning about Nowrus traditions celebrated in Afghanistan including a delicious potluck meal.

This celebration built on our bi-monthly programming and included English practice, academic help for school-aged kids, games, crafts, and help for adults seeking employment.

If you have experience as a tutor for adult ESOL students and are interested in working one on one with someone, please contact A background check will be required.  

Many volunteers and people in local communities still wonder what else can be done to support our Afghan neighbors who are resettling here. One avenue of action is to create a certified support circle with a small group of committed individuals who will help a new family with everything they need to build their lives here. This includes help in finding housing, employment, connection to services and resources, etc. Of course, the substance and power of human connections that result are part of the equation as well! NPR did a recent segment on this new approach to everyday people banding together to help new families resettle, which you can read about or listen to here

The N2N planning team thanks ACCA for its wonderful and generous support of our programming and for the many lives touched and friendships formed out of it. 
Food Pantry Needs Bags

Because of the increased need for emergency food supplies, we will continue to collect donations on Tuesday - Friday from 1 - 5 p.m. Drop off donations at the food pantry located at 7200 Columbia Pike (trailer separate from the day care center) in Annandale.

We really need bags, especially paper bags and reusable shopping bags because they are good for the heavier items like cans and frozen meats. The pantry goes through 300-400 bags a week. 

These are the most-needed items right now. Please share with your friends and neighbors. For more information or to help at the pantry, contact
Your Grocery Purchases Benefit the Child Development Center 
Harris Teeter shoppers, you can make a donation to the ACCA Child Development Center (CDC) every time you shop by linking your VIC card to the CDC. Harris Teeter makes a donation to participating schools when you purchase participating Harris Teeter brand products.

To link your card (or update your selections), visit the site at Together in Education, or ask the cashier next time you are in the store. Use the enrollment code 8684 for the CDC.

ACCA remains committed to the challenge of Jesus, as described in Matthew 25:40: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”