December 2021

A Look Back At 2021

We keep saying it, but did this year fly by or what? It's December -- already! Incredible.


So much has happened at RPSV since this year began -

  • our final two centers reopened successfully following COVID-19 protocols so we are operating at full capacity
  • our virtual groups and Warm Line continued to fill a needed gap brought on by social isolation
  • and, most importantly, our participants THRIVED! So many secured housing, employment, Benefits, enrolled in school, abated food insecurity, abstained from substances, and successfully navigated life while pursuing their recovery.

The RPSV team is just so humbled that our efforts each day have such a life-altering impact on those we serve. It's hard to describe, but one visit to our Centers, one call to our Warm Line, and/or attending just one of our virtual support groups and you'll be hooked too!

We can't wait to see what 2022 has in store, but we know one thing for certainRPSV will continue to rise to the occasion to help those we serve. It's our great joy to do so!

Happy Holidays to all, and thank you, sincerely, for being with us as we pursue our mission of turning pain into power! We are glad you are here.

happy holidays.jpg


We are sad to report that RPSV's CWC recently lost one of its wonderful participants. At RPSV, we are truly one big family. When one of us hurts, we all hurt! Please join us in honoring the memory of Sean Ryan, a dear friend.

We thought we'd share Sean's thoughts in his own words about his life at RPSV.

"CWC has been a positive influence on me in learning computer skills,

online applications, and PDF resumes. The Center has helped me with art projects,

to learn to be creative, and patient. The Zoom group sessions have helped me

with coping and living skills. Also, the Center has helped me with food assistance

as I often receive some of the surplus food donated by area stores.

I am thankful for the Consumer Wellness Center. It has benefitted me immensely!"

~ Sean Ryan, September 22, 2021

We are honored to have known you, Sean!


November In Review At RPSV

How Kindness

Transforms At CWC

Mary resides at Agape House, a home for people living with HIV. She started attending CWC in 2020 during the pandemic. Tonya, CWC's Program Coordinator, reached out to her via a phone call. That's how she initially learned about the Center. Mary now attends CWC each week.

Mary enjoys going to CWC "because they always have food available to feed their visitors, including me" she explains. "The staff at CWC always make me

feel welcome and at home. I am able to use their computer when I need to check my email." Mary further explains, "the visitors and staff at CWC are always very friendly. That means so much to me. Thank you, CWC" says Mary. #beautiful!

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Arlington Peer

Recovery Center Helping Participants Have Fun

APRC's Thanksgiving Luncheon was so much fun. The meal, the company, and the door prizes were great for morale and helped get everyone in the holiday spirit. Not to mention the delish pies for dessert. #perfection


Staff is busy focusing on helping participants secure Benefits, and they are flourishing. The Center's Drama workshop continues to be very popular. The team is also offering Bingo and other games for recreational therapy and stress reduction.

Smiling diverse female colleagues wearing protective face masks greeting...

Merrifield Peer

Resource Center Staff Lead With Gratitude

In November, MPRC participants and staff focused on gratitude. They carried the theme of being thankful and finding positivity throughout the month. They used art to express what they are thankful for and focused on ways being positive can brighten the darkest days. MPRC staff are extremely thankful for each and every person that comes into the Center. They are also inspired by the fortitude and resilience of each participant!

Everyone enjoyed the delicious Thanksgiving lunch RPSV staffer Garnett cooked for MPRC on November 16. #fab!

Back by popular demand: MPRC recently restarted its Music Group on Friday afternoons. Yeah!

Demand For RPSV's Services Increasing!

RPSV's Reston Wellness Center and its South County Recovery and Drop-In Center (in Alexandria) are currently our busiest sites. Many of those we serve at these locations are homeless and they are sharing news about the Centers with their peers in the community. There's nothing like word-of-mouth advertising!

At RWC in November, participant numbers increased tremendously and the daily support groups are being attended in large numbers.

Participants are all respectful of each other and share their thoughts and experiences to help others grow.

The computer lab has been so full that staff have to limit the time that clients use terminals to ensure everyone gets a chance to access them. The employment group is also picking up momentum.

In November:

  • RWC served more than 435 meals
  • Two RWC participants secured beds at a shelter!
  • One RWC participant moved into their own apartment!


Reston Wellness Center

Making Great Strides

During RWC’s coat give-away, more than 50 articles of warm clothing were handed out. Thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church for the donations! The Closet of Herndon also sent vouchers for our participants who needed additional items. #grateful! 

RWC’s Thanksgiving Luncheon on November 18 was a big hit. The food was incredible and the love and gratitude at the Center was overflowing.

Thank you, RPSV staffer Garnett, for sharing your wonderful cooking skills with us, and thanks to everyone who attended! RWC wishes everyone a happy winter season!

(Pictured: RWC's Coat Drive in progress.)


South County Recovery and Drop-In Center

Elevating Participants

Van Tate, a participant at SCRDIC since 2015, was recently hired as a Program Assistant at the Center. Hurrah! Van shared he is “so grateful for the support from the Peer Recovery Specialist and all the resources provided by SCRDIC”. As a participant Van has always been eager to help out at the center and encourages participants to strive to be their best. We are pleased he is part of the RPSV team!

SCRDIC continues to welcome new participants. Staff are busy connecting individuals to needed services and addressing food insecurity. Our participants are incredibly grateful for all the help, especially the nourishment, and access to showers and laundry facilities. 

(Pictured: Pulling door prizes at the Thanksgiving Party.)


RPSV's Virtual Groups Are Helping Participants Heal

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RPSV's virtual groups offer a unique experience for participants, many of whom live by themselves. During the groups, individuals share and bond because they see each other frequently, albeit virtually, throughout the week.

At a recent evening group session, a participant shared a personal story of struggle, of overcoming, and of struggling once again. Remarkably, despite the adversity they were still able to smile, laugh, and appreciate the irony of their personal situation (the individual acknowledged their past choices


lead to their current situation). But, instead of letting that stop them, it serves as a catalyst for them to keep fighting!

If you have never attended RPSV's virtual and one-on-one peer support groups, you really ought to! Learn more today! Hope to see you soon!

You can download December's program calendar here.

(Pictured above: #choices)

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Partnering To Literally Change Lives!

MPRC Program Coordinator Amy Hobbs shared that a RPSV participant who was recently referred to LMECC, a nonprofit partner who specializes in employment assistance, just secured a full-time job at an international nonprofit! How #fantastic!

You're Invited! Join RPSV's December Holiday Parties During The Week of December 13! A Good Time Will Be Had By All!

(Download the flyer below.)

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There's nothing like a game of Jenga

to keep spirits high at MPRC


A Very Special Virtual Thanksgiving Day Celebration

On Thanksgiving Day, RPSV Outreach staffers Monika and Brittany hosted "An Afternoon of Gratitude". More than a dozen individuals joined us to laugh, share, remember, and celebrate this special holiday that encourages us to be thankful.

Top view of ten diverse business people having video conference from the...

During the event, participants listened to cheerful music, shared personal stories, played Thanksgiving Bingo and participated in a virtual Scavenger Hunt.

It was great to see so many happy, smiling faces on a day when many often feel sad. RPSV was so energized by this annual event that we are already planning our next celebration scheduled for December 25! We hope to see you there! More information to follow.

A Special Video Created by RPSV Staffer Brittany G.,

just in time for the holidays!


In The Community

RPSV was excited to participate in the Arlington Chamber's 97th Gala in early November. Members of our Outreach team served on the Gala committee to demonstrate our support of the Arlington community, and RPSV submitted a Wellness Basket for the Silent Auction. We heard it did really well! Hurrah!


Volunteer Opportunities - Your Help Is Welcome!


Help out at our Centers

RPSV is seeking volunteers to help out at each of our five Centers during the week and on the weekends. Volunteers will assist at the front desk greeting participants, answering the phone, and supporting participants and team members where needed. Hours vary by location. For more information, please email Tonya.

Happy birthday cake with rainbow lettering

Join our Birthday Brigade!

RPSV is seeking individuals and businesses/groups interested in 'adopting' one (or more) of our Recovery Centers. As part of the Birthday Brigade, you commit to providing sheet cakes to help our participants and staff celebrate their birthday's once a month. You select the location and the frequency you'd like to participate. Due to COVID-19, store bought cakes are best. For more information, please email Monika.

Donations Needed

RPSV's Centers are always seeking in-kind donations such as:

  • Hygiene products (shampoo/conditioner, soap, toothpaste and brushes, combs and hairbrushes, hand sanitizers) and masks
  • Fresh produce
  • Nonperishable food items (rice, spaghetti sauce, canned vegetables, tuna, pasta, granola)
  • Plasticware (forks, spoons, knives), napkins, paper plates and bowls
  • Clorox Wipes

and items to prepare our participants for Winter:

  • Warm coats, gloves, hats, heavy socks, backpacks, hand and foot warmers, heavy blankets, heavy sleeping bags

To learn more, please email RPSV today! Thanks for considering helping those in need in your community.

Donate to RPSV today!

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