Issue 9
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

April is a busy month and with so much happening connected to COVID-19, this week's issue is full of information!

In support of National Volunteer Week, The Wheeler Report spoke with several volunteers in our community. I think you will be as inspired as I am by all they are doing for Prince William County. You will also learn about a critical new initiative and find details on a variety of timely topics to include, the formation of the Prince William Area Disaster Fund. (Donate online below!)

While most of our attention is on COVID-19, we can't lose sight of other aspects of living in Prince William County. Below, are links to the agenda and remote public comment time sign-up for Tuesday's Board meeting . Last week, you adjusted and adapted to the new process. Sharing your public comments remotely is certainly different, but you stayed engaged and I am grateful for your participation. As the Board continues its work on the county budget this month, I encourage you to remain involved.

I'm excited to announce tomorrow evening I'm hosting my first Conversations with the Chair. School Board Chairman At-Large, Dr. Babur Lateef will be my guest. Continue reading to learn more and stay informed.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
A Vital Initiative
Disaster Relief
The Human Services Alliance of Greater Prince William, Prince William County, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park are partnering to collect donations for the Prince William Area Disaster Fund. The Alliance will use the funding for emergency networks, community groups, and agencies working to meet critical unmet needs. Funding priorities include food security, housing, human services, employment assistance and other critical needs.
Mobile Donations
 Text 'IMPACT' to 36413
Board of County Supervisors
Tuesday, April 21 7:30 pm
Remote live Public Comment Time only, available via online or telephone
Advance sign up required through SpeakUp! Prince William by 5:00 pm Monday, April 20
The School Budget
  • The county allocates 57% of every general fund dollar of revenue to the school budget
  • The BOCS approves the budget amount, but it's the elected School Board members who determine how the budget is spent
  • On average, the county transfer provides 42% of the our school budget with the state and federal providing the rest of the funding
In previous issues, you heard about the great work by Prince William Food Rescue, an extension of non-profit ACTION in Community Through Service’s (ACTS) Hunger Prevention Center and the Community Feeding Task Force. The Wheeler Report  recently spoke to the Development Director Aaron Tolsen to see how things are going.
Aaron Tolsen, Development Director for ACTS, Food Rescue and
Community Feeding Task Force

The Food Rescue App was launched in August 2019 as a way of leveraging technology to better connect people in need with food. At the time, no one had any idea how needed and valuable it would in 2020. In response to the pandemic the people of Prince William have really stepped up! Some gee-whiz numbers:
  • The significant increase in app downloads since March has grown their Food Rescue Hero numbers to around 1,000 volunteers
  • The previous monthly average of 50,000 pounds of food delivered has increased to 78,000 pounds of food delivered in March and 86,000 pounds of food delivered the first two weeks of April.
The Community Feeding Task Force was born out of COVID-19 to create a more efficient hub-and-spoke food distribution system. Due to the pressing needs, there was an urgency to move with lightening speed. Through community support, they have already made great strides by:
  • Securing a temporary central warehouse while they finalize a more permanent location
  • Having Sysco, a national restaurant supplier with a Front Royal location, donate a refrigerated trailer filled with food - not only once but three times in the last three weeks
  • Partnering with pop-up kitchens who can turn donated bulk food into meals
Even with these successes, there still remains great need.
The two best ways you can help are:
Donate to the Disaster Relief fund in the previous article
Download the Food Rescue App and be a Food Rescue Hero
Speaking of Local Non-Profit Partners, there is a Google Map to help you locate food pantries! Please check days and hours at each because they vary.
What is #princewilliamstrong

It's us. It's how, as a community, we are better when we are connecting, supporting and caring for one another. It's how we are stronger when we are united.

WE are #princewilliamstrong
National Week of the Volunteer
This week as we celebrate those who are the fabric of our community, I am reminded how integral you are to our survival. Truly, thank you has never felt so inadequate. Yet, I know you don't do it for recognition. You see a need and are driven to help. You're motivation comes from the heart. You take action because you can. Please know we would not be the same without you.
Please Join Me
Chair Wheeler will hold the first in a series of Conversations with the Chair on Monday with Dr. Babur Lateef, Chairman At-Large of the Prince William County School Board on Facebook Live. Click on this link to stream the conversation live at 5:00 PM. There will be time for questions at the end.
Awareness Month
Month of the Military Child

In April, military kids are recognized for their sacrifice and bravery on the home front. They deal with separations, frequent moves and parents' injuries. Their strength and resiliency is truly inspirational! Dandelions are the official flower because they are resilient, bloom where the winds carry them, and survive in a broad range of climates.
Spotlight on Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)
Conceived at a kitchen table in Texas in 1998, MCEC is located everywhere there are military families. They work to create a positive environment addressing the unique challenges of military children. The inaugural Student2Student program brings together military and civilian students. Following 9/11, a parent to parent program was added. T he PtoP program empowers parents to be their child’s strongest advocate on educational and social issues.  
Dalena Kanouse, Prince William Resident and
MCEC National Capital Region Senior Director

In a recent conversation with The Wheeler Report, Dalena shared her belief the Month of the Military Child gives them a voice. A dedicated time to share how they feel about their parent’s service. We learn from their unique experiences. We can listen to them and share their stories. 

She also talked about the value of MCEC's online learning series while we shelter in place. One program, Navigating Change, is a free research based virtual learning series with content that supports parents, educators, and students on topics addressing military-connected children. A top focus now is expanding their existing virtual environment.
Micron Technology, Inc. is a generous supporter of MCEC's Student 2 Student program in our county. Their donations have been vital to this important program being available for our military children.
How You Can Help MCEC
Get the word out so parents, teachers, and everyone who supports military children to have the tools to help them. Funding is always vital since they rely on giving by corporations, grants and individuals.
COVID-19 Updates
Virginia Individual Taxes
While the filing deadline for 2019 individual income taxes remains May 1, 2020, the state has an automatic 6 month extension to file.

Two important notes on the extension:
  • You still must pay any taxes owed by June 1, 2020 to avoid penalties.
  • However, If your 2019 withholding covered at least 90% of your taxes due no penalties are imposed if you file and pay the remaining amount by November 1, 2020
College Board Adjustments
  • SAT's - June 6, 2020 cancelled
  • AP Exams - Offering free resources to support remote learning and working on a plan for students to take these exams from home
Don't Fall Prey
The IRS is urging extra vigilance for possible scams. In addition to emails, watch out for text messages, websites and social media attempts requesting money or personal information.
When to Call 9-1-1
Due to higher call volume, unless emergency services are needed, avoid calling 9-1-1 if you are wondering if you have contracted the virus or only because you have some of the symptoms. Whenever possible, in these situations, contact your physician and follow their direction.

If you are have a life threatening emergency and in need of emergency services call 9-1-1. Please volunteer the following: Is the patient suffering from 1) fever, 2) cough, 3) shortness of breath and /or 4) any foreign country travel.
2020 Census Update
We Can Do It

There's still time for our county to win the $500 pledge for a local charity from NVRC !

Let's get our Census response rates higher than Fairfax's and Loudoun's!
Even More Important
Higher response rates mean more federal funding for the next 10 years!
You can help
Completing the Census
Encouraging others
What's Happening At the Library
Do you miss visiting your neighborhood Prince William County Library? Well you don't have to anymore! They've gone digital!

Your Prince William County Library card gives you free access to a host of online content. There are thousands of resources including eBooks, audiobooks, newspapers, and Premium Websites.
Visit their Events page to see the daily virtual happenings like STEAM Challenges (kids), Once Upon A Crime (adult book club) and Scavenger Hunts (all ages)

Check out the Library's Facebook daily to see what new videos they have uploaded on an array of topics from LEGOs to Art at Home.
Sounds great but you don't have a library card?
No problem! It only takes a few clicks, lasts for two years and gives access to all their digital services!
Don't Forget on this Wednesday, April 22
Earth Day
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans - 10% of our population - participated in the first Earth Day. The theme for Earth Day 2020, the 50th anniversary, is the enormous challenge as well as the vast opportunities of climate action.
Administrative Professionals Day
Dedicated to recognizing the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other administrative support professionals. Their valuable contributions, often unnoticed, help
make all we do possible.
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 470,000 residents.