December 2021
Winter Wonderland Family Fun Day -
Volunteers Needed!
What: Winter Wonderland Family Fun Day
When: December 11th, 2:30 to 5:30 PM
Where: Virginia Beach Friends School, 1537 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Cost: FREE!

FACT, Autism Society Tidewater Virginia, the Virginia Autism Foundation, and The Noblemen and our sponsor Sentara Therapy Centers are partnering for an amazing Winter Wonderland Family Fun Day with Sensory Friendly Santa photos, great music from DJ Jessie, a Christmas "Train" and snow machine from Barrels of Fun Amusements, a hot chocolate bar, free cupcakes from Twisted Sisters while supplies last, and more!

Photos will be taken with Santa via Superb Snaps digital photo booth and props. Please let us know how many children are in the family so that Santa and his elves can make it the most enjoyable experience possible for your family. We will have 3 sessions for Santa photos with a limit of 40 families per hour:

2:30 – 3:30 PM (Click HERE to Register)
3:30 – 4:30 PM (Click HERE to Register)
4:30 – 5:30 PM (Click HERE to Register)

Family fun day events are free for all families. In order to provide these events at no cost, we often rely on our amazing volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering to help us spread holiday cheer on December 11th, sign up HERE.
Donors and Grantors -
The Sandler Family Foundation
We at FACT are so grateful to The Sandler Family Foundation for their generous donation of $55,000! Each year the Sandlers host their charity golf tournament which provides much needed funds to local nonprofits. FACT is eternally appreciative of the Sandler Family and the leaders at L.M. Sandler & Sons and it’s affiliates who work so hard to make the tournament such a huge success every year! With the Sandlers, charity truly is a family affair as Art and Steve’s children are very involved with the Foundation and we are so humbled by their belief in and support of our families. FACT would not be able to provide such high quality programs for such low cost to families without the tremendous generosity of the kind people at The Sandler Family Foundation!

Movers & Shakers - The Guerira Family
Gary, Karina, Katie, and Logan Guerira have been volunteering with FACT for the last five years. Despite having no connection to autism prior to volunteering, Karina loves the opportunities FACT provides for her son and daughter to get fun hands-on experience where they can expand their horizons and sensitivity. Through these experiences, Katie and Logan get to grow up learning about the place we all have in this world and how we all matter. 
The Guerira family is a staple of FACT’s Family Fun Days, especially Halloween Trunk or Treat with their famous Star Wars trunk. They love showing up as a family and bringing smiles and joy to other families! Family Fun Days are some of FACT’s biggest events every year and are completely free. As a result, we are always in need of reliable volunteers to help make sure everything runs smoothly. The Guerira’s are seasoned veterans in this department and we are so glad they are a part of our community! 

If you are interested in signing up to volunteer at our upcoming Winter Wonderland Family Fun Day and making a difference in the lives of local families with autism like the Guerira family, CLICK HERE.

Gotta Love this Kid - Dominique Wright
Dominique is a bright young middle schooler who has been providing us at FACT with nonstop smiles and laughs over the past couple of years! Whether it is busting out his Michael Jackson moves or dropping a great beat at our drumming program, Dominique is always having fun and smiling!

Like many individuals with autism, Dominique is shy at first. However, since he started regularly participating in FACT activities two years ago, he has really come out of his shell. His mom has been so happy with how Dominique’s social and communication skills have greatly improved through his new friendships and peer interactions at FACT.  These opportunities for social interactions have been even more important for Dominique since the pandemic started. He has been attending school virtually and his opportunities for socialization have been extremely limited. Continuing to provide safe, in-person programs has been a top priority for us as isolation and potential regression in social and communication skills is particularly difficult for kids with autism.

Outside of FACT, Dominique gives back through community service with his church and last year he was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. We could not be more proud of our brilliant and benevolent buddy!

Upcoming Programs and Events
December's Social Programs and Winter Programs starting in January are LIVE!

In addition to our Winter Wonderland Family Fun Day (more details above), FACT is so excited for a full slate of social programs this month and our upcoming sports and leisure programs starting January 2022. Check out all our programs at Active Registration! Call us at 757-422-2040 or email us at [email protected] if you are interested in more details on our programs.

Social Programs December 2021:
Out & About - On Saturday, Dec. 4th from 4:30 to 8:30 PM, Out & About will watch the parade down Atlantic Avenue in a joyous celebration of the holiday season from the balcony of Oceans 24. We will be meeting for the event at VB Friends School (1537 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) at 4:30 PM. 
Teen Time/Social Club - On Sunday, Dec. 12th from 12:30 to 9:30 PM, Teen Time and Social Club are going to explore Busch Gardens Christmas Town. We will be meeting for the event at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) at 12:30 PM. 
Open Sports Clinic - Come drop off your child or young adult with autism for three hours of fun and exercise with friends while you enjoy a date night or just some relaxation time. Friday, Dec. 10th, at VB Friends School (1537 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) from 6:00-9:00 PM.

Leisure Programs:
Recycled Art [NEW PROGRAM] - Join FACT and Tidewater Arts Outreach for our first ever program outside Virginia Beach! In 2022, FACT is introducing after-school programs in other local cities and our first one will be in the Western Branch area of Chesapeake! This art class will focus on creating different masterpieces out of recycled materials you can find around your home. Wednesday, Jan. 12th to Mar. 2nd, eight weeks at Plan Bee Academy (4500 Peek Trail, Chesapeake, VA 23321) from 6:00-7:30 PM.
Coding [NEW PROGRAM] - FACT is introducing our first ever Intro to Computer Coding Class designed to introduce the basics of computer coding and programming! Monday, Jan. 10th to Feb. 28th EITHER On-Site at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) or Virtually via Zoom from 6:00-7:30 PM.
Book Club - How to Eat Fried Worms [NEW PROGRAM] - Check out our new book club! We will read / listen to sections of the story weekly as a group (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE ABLE TO READ TO JOIN THIS CLUB) and meet each week to engage in different book activities. The last day of class will be spent watching the movie and enjoying time with friends. Thursday, Jan. 13th to Mar. 3rd at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462) from 6:00-7:30 PM.
Karaoke - Tuesday, Jan. 11th to Mar. 1st, eight weeks at Heritage United Methodist Church (815 Baker Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462). Sessions offered from 5:00-6:15 PM (ages 6-18) and 6:15 -7:30 PM (ages 19 and older).

Sports Programs:
Basketball - Saturday, Jan. 8th to Mar. 5th (there will not be practice on Feb. 12th), eight weeks at Virginia Wesleyan College (5817 Wesleyan Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23455). Sessions offered from 9:15-10:30 AM (ages 6-14) and 10:45 AM-12:00 PM (ages 15-40).
Bowling - Sunday, Jan. 9th to Mar. 20th (there will not be practice on Feb. 13th), ten weeks at Pinboy's Bowling (1577 Laskin Rd, Suite 100, Virginia Beach, VA 23451) from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.