e-Pathfinder | November 2022

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Meridian Knowledge Solutions Food4Thought packing Nov. 10, 2022

We are so grateful to our new partner Meridian Knowledge Solutions! Last Thursday, Meridian employees celebrated their 25th anniversary by supporting our Food4Thought program. The program assists students who may experience hunger over the weekend. They purchased all the needed food items, gathered in our conference room and assembled 252 food packs to give to students at six of our Fairfax County Public Schools partner schools: Mount Vernon High School, Westlawn Elementary, Fort Hunt Elementary, Chantilly High School, Langston Hughes Middle School and Hunters Woods Elementary. They also made a generous donation to Britepaths to help more neighbors. We are so grateful for their donation, and that they chose to celebrate by helping our kids and families! Click Here to learn how you can help our Food4Thought partner schools.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Britepaths and the Financial Empowerment Center at South County will be Closed for Thanksgiving week, November 21-25, 2022. We will not be accepting donations or distributing food at the Fairfax office, and we will not be monitoring phone or email at our offices. FECSoCo will not offer coaching sessions, but will offer classes as scheduled.

We will be at the Fairfax Turkey Trot in Mantua on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 24! This fun, family-friendly 4-miler kicks off at 9 a.m. Proceeds help our families. Register online through Monday 11/21, or in person. Click Here for details and registration.

Help Our Families for the Holidays

Britepaths' Holiday Program is seeking donations of funds and gift cards to help us provide gift cards to families with identified need so they can purchase holiday meals and gifts for their children in December.

Thank You to Our Sponsors! American Legion Post 177 in Fairfax, the Peterson Family Foundation, Walmart Fairfax, Walmart Fair Lakes and our Wine & Wonderment Supporters!

In the News! Thank you to our local media for helping us get out the word. Read stories in the Fairfax Connection, Fairfax County Times, Sun-Gazette and Fairfax City Patch.

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Providence Elementary School's Piedad Dwyer and Claudia de Paz picked up gift cards to distribute to their families on November 3.

A Delightful Evening at Wine & Wonderment

Thank You to everyone who joined us and supported our Wine & Wonderment event on November 9 at 2941 Restaurant! We raised $20,000 to help families in our Holiday Program enjoy holiday meals and gifts for their children.

During the evening, we presented long-time supporters Kim and Pete Scudera with the Beacon Award. Financial Empowerment volunteer Robbie Mosley, who has volunteered more than 300 hours since 2019, was presented with the Brite Star Award for his exemplary service.

Attendees also participated in a silent auction and donated during our live appeal. Thank you to our guests and our silent auction donors: Alya Salon & Spa, Diamonds Direct Tysons and Viktoria Art Photography. And thank you to our photographer, Hernan Vargas, for the wonderful photos from the evening!

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Fairfax County Award

On November 1, Britepaths was honored to be recognized along with 20 of our fellow local nonprofits by the Fairfax County Government Board of Supervisors for our work to assist County residents during the pandemic. When everything shut down in March of 2020, we were really worried about what would happen to our neighbors who were already facing challenges. It's incredible how we were all able to pull together so quickly to help so many. We are so grateful to our staff and community partners, who worked so hard in challenging times, and to Fairfax County leaders and staff for their mighty efforts and support. So many organizations and individual supporters contributed generously as well. We feel fortunate to live and work in such a caring community.

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Programs Director Christina Garris, Executive Director Lisa Whetzel and Financial Programs Manager Diana Ortega represented Britepaths at the award ceremony.

Farmers Market Initiatives

As the Fairfax County Farmers Market season comes to a close, we'd like to thank everyone who has been supporting our efforts to help our families enjoy fresh, healthy food from the markets this year.

The Annandale Farmers Market celebrated its last day for 2022 on November 3. We thank our wonderful volunteers, the Fairfax County Park Authority and our partners FRESHFARM and LEAP for supporting our work to help SNAP recipients double their benefits to shop at the Market this year. We had many new customers!

We're also grateful to our Our Daily Veggies partners for accepting our vouchers at the local markets so our families could supplement their food budgets with fresh fruits, veggies and protein.

Click Here to learn more about our Farmers Market Initiatives

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Our last day at the Annandale Farmers Market on November 3. At top: our Our Daily Veggies partners 78 Acres. Bottom right: our wonderful SNAP volunteers and staff and Fairfax County Farmers Market staff. Bottom left: A raffle winner.

Job Opportunities

Britepaths has 2 current Job Opportunities. Details on our Jobs Page. Please Share!

Britepaths is seeking a Development Director in our Fairfax office to develop and implement our fundraising plan. Full-time, 35 hours/week, salaried. Apply to Lisa Whetzel at LWhetzel@britepaths.org by December 16.

The Financial Empowerment Center at South County is seeking a Coordinator to assist our clients and staff. Full-time, 30 hours per week, hourly. Bilingual (English-Spanish) preferred. Open until filled. Start immediately. Apply to Dawn Sykes at DSykes@britepaths.org.


Britepaths has many Volunteer needs! Visit our Volunteer Page to view the full listing. Contact Sidney Arrington at volunteer@britepaths.org to learn more.

Our greatest current needs: Bilingual Office Volunteers and Bilingual Financial Empowerment Instructors

Great group projects: Food4Thought Packs and Food Bridge Supporters

Virtual Resources

Britepaths and the Financial Empowerment Center at South County offer a variety of free virtual services and workshops. Services include free and confidential Financial Coaching, Workforce/Job Readiness Coaching, Small Business Consulting and Tax Preparation Consulting. Financial and Workforce Coaching are also available in Spanish.

View the full listing of offerings on our Virtual Resources page. Please share with anyone you know who might benefit. Join our LinkedIn Group to receive updates on offerings and services. Click Here to read/subscribe to the FECSoCo Monthly Enews.

Special Thanks!

Financial Planning Day

We're grateful to the Financial Planning Association-National Capital Area (FPA-NCA) for inviting us to be part of their 2022 Financial Planning Day, held at the University of the District of Columbia on October 29. We had an information table at the event, and some of our volunteers provided free in-person financial planning sessions. We were excited to partner with FPA-NCA our grantor Foundation for Financial Planning and many great organizations to provide this service to community members.

Donations and Grants

Thank you to the following organizations for their generous donations in October and November:

Food Support

Donate to Our Pantry

Pantry Donations:

Food4Thought Packs

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Financial Empowerment volunteer Marcio Silveira and Financial Empowerment Center Director Maria Jose Cantoni at Financial Planning Day.

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Iota Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority members created and donated 175 Food4Thought packs to Fort Hunt ES in October

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Marie from JC Penney (right) with Britepaths' Mila Cobos

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Our Mission is to provide our neighbors in need with short-term safety-net services and empower them to work toward long-term self-sufficiency.