January 2016
Community Connections
Your monthly update on what we do and how you can help
HAPPY NEW YEAR and THANK YOU!
Thank you to our Holiday Appeal donors - Woot! Woot! We exceeded our holiday appeal goal, thanks to YOU! Now, we can offer even more support and service to our low-income and transitional housing families. You are the best!

And speaking of holidays, can we just say we rocked it? From our Holiday Party to our Holiday Store to our toy giveaway, our staff and volunteers were the most incredible, giving elves! And thanks to our always-generous donors, we could share our Holiday Store excess with our kids' parents and other community members.

Learning Centers
January 18 - Bet you can't top our MLK day plans - families from all three of our Learning Center sites and Transitional Housing attending Excella Consulting's carnival at McLean Presbyterian Church to play games, ride small rides, get their faces painted and enjoy great food. 
 
January 20 - And then...our Learning Centers kids and staff will participate in the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth's VA Healthy Youth Day. The kids will review healthy eating practices and they will learn once again why smoking is very, very bad.

January 25 - By the way, did you know January is National Mentoring Month? To celebrate, and to invite our mentored kids' parents to become more engaged in our mentoring program, we are hosting a mentor/parent/mentee night at our New Brookside site. We hear the parents are excited, and so are we!


And finally...since we are ALWAYS in the market for more volunteer after school tutors (and btw our current volunteers are awesome), February 4 is our first Volunteer After School Tutor Open House! Always wanted to check out our tutor program? Stop by our Fifer Learning Center or Brent Place sites between 2:45 and 6 p.m., watch our tutors in action and find out more about this rewarding way to give back.

SAVE THE DATE! Yes, Spring is Coming (or at Least our SPRING FORWARD Annual Fundraising Event Is...
You don't want to miss this! The Community Lodgings annual Spring Forward fundraiser will be held on Sunday, April 10, from 5-8 p.m. at the Union Street Public House (121 South Union Street in Alexandria).  We promise a l ive Motown-style band, live auction, loads of food and fun! Ticket information forthcoming.

Want to help make this event even mor e fabulous? Join our event committee, specially created just for Spring Forward!  We are looking for motivated people to help with ticket sales, promotion, live auction events and all of the day-of craziness. Email Jane Collins at  jcollins@community-lodgings.org  if interested.
Transitional Housing
"Precious" and her two children entered our transitional housing program last summer and it didn't take us long to discover her writing talent! She helped us put this newsletter together and she is excited about helping with our Spring Forward marketing. Precious has also participated in various life skills classes, including a first time home buyers class, and receives on-going counseling. Precious would like to express her gratitude to all who came together to make this holiday season an unforgettable holiday for her family. Her dream is to do for her family what Community Lodgings has done for her: GIVE HER FAMILY A PLACE TO CALL HOME.
One final note...
We know Santa is recovering back at the North Pole right now but we just had to sneak in this adorable photo from when our Brent Place students visited the Hermitage Nursing Home on December 23. Our kids got presents from Santa two days before the big day, made ornaments and decorated cupcakes with live music in the background.