November 2022

The Holiday Season Is Fast Approaching!

November is here. It’s a time many of us hold dear as it ushers in the holiday season. It’s that joyous time full of fun, family, and festivities. Can't you just feel the excitement?

In November, RPSV will be focusing on holiday-centric activities and hosting delicious meals at each of our centers. We invite you to join us. Check our website for more information.

RPSV is keenly aware that for many, the holiday season can be potentially bittersweet for a variety of reasons. Some feel sad and lonely during this time of year. If you or someone you know experiences these feelings, RPSV is here for you! 

Our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Day virtual celebrations will be held from 2-3:30 pm. Join us to laugh, reminisce, and make new friends. It’s the perfect way to celebrate with others!

Register for the Thanksgiving Day event here

Register for the Christmas Day event here.

We look forward to seeing you!

We hope you are participating in our Gratitude Challenge that started last month. If you haven't, there's still time! If you are, please let us know how you are doing by emailing us today! We can't wait to hear from you!

“The most powerful weapon against your daily battles

is finding the courage to be grateful anyway.” – Unknown

At Our Centers In October


It's raining success at CWC! Just check out these three stories from participants, in their own words...

"I have been visiting CWC for the last three months and it has been a Godsend. The staff is warm and very concerned about my health and welfare. We chat about many topics, and everyone smiles. It is this warm atmosphere that brings me back again and again. Thanks, CWC."

- BR

"I would like to thank the people at CWC for helping me and encouraging me to keep going. Now I have my own place and a job too. Thank you so much!" - YL

"I enjoy going to the Wellness Center. Recently while I was there a nice lady treated me to pumpkin coffee and a cinnamon roll. It was so good! I also get to relax at the center and do fun art projects! Everyone is so nice." - CP


DL reached out to APHR because he needed support with food, developing life skills, and a safe environment to collect his thoughts during the

day. During one of the peer support groups, DL expressed an interest in learning more about employment services, so staff began to assist him with building his resume and conducting a job search.

Due to DL's consistency and commitment, he recently received a phone call from a local grocery store to come in for an interview. He has since been hired as a full-time employee! (Hurrah!)

DL is very proud of himself! He shared his next goal is to save his money to take a vacation back to Peru to visit his family and to play soccer.

Fantastic #lifegoals!

Congratulations, DL!


An Interview with participant JB

What do you appreciate the most about the [Merrifield] Peer Resource Center?

“[The] combination of staff and peers I interact with when I do come. I find it fulfilling instead of staying home by myself, isolated.”

How would you explain the [Merrifield] Peer Resource Center to someone who has never been here before?

"The staff will help you with anything you need. If you need help with paperwork regarding transportation or finding services… or having someone to talk to you. It’s a good place to have if you are in that situation."

What was the biggest “A-HA” moment during the process of coming here? What have you accomplished as a result of coming here?

"When we do the zoom groups, I am able to open up emotionally and let my feelings be known. It’s really beneficial getting that in the morning."

Who do you think would benefit from coming to the [Merrifield] Peer Resource Center?

"Anybody that isolates themselves. By coming, they are able to interact with other people. That helps. A lot of people I find have a lot of talent art-wise. They would enjoy the art groups or music groups on Friday. If you stay home too much, you think too much. It’s important to be active."

Is there anything else you would like to share regarding your time here?

"I find the staff very competent. If there is a situation you really needed help with, the staff is very able to help using words like "free", "personalized", "complementary", or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only seven left" when considering whether to get help at MPRC. It's worth it!"


Scenes from Merrifield's 'Design your own pumpkin' activity last month. It gave paricipants a chance to showcase their special talents, and it was a hit!

From AB in his own words...


"I would like to say thank you to the RWC and its staff. Not only are they a stable and constant positive fixture for me but I’ve come to rely on them. Recently Mike, the Program Coordinator, got a letter notarized to help me obtain my ID which, in turn, will help me move forward to the next goal I have set for myself. I am grateful for all that they do at RWC. Good job, staff!" - AB


The outpouring of love in the Mt. Vernon/Lee community is a beautiful thing to witness as area faith-based communities, businesses, and community groups

reach out to support those without a home. Recently the Mt. Vernon Lions Club dropped off a donation of warm socks that are badly needed by the homeless as the weather turns cooler.

We value and appreciate every donation, and those who receive them are often moved to tears when they realize that area residents care for their well-being! Thank you to the Lions Club, and everyone, for your kindness! It is making a direct impact!

Success is synonymous with SCRDIC!

SC has been coming to SCRDIC for more than five years and was excited to share with us that she just secured a job at Gum Springs Shopping Mall. She has experienced homelessness for several years.

SCRDIC and all of us at RPSV are proud of her and wish her much success in the future!

Reach Out Virtually!

RPSV's virtual support offers a fun and unique way to participate in peer support. We offer groups throughout the week and provide one-on-one services Monday through Friday from 6-9 pm. Register here for our groups today and make new friends! (Download our calendar to the left for more information.)

Fall Fun!

RPSV's creative Program Coordinators hosted a special Open House activity in late October to help usher in this festive time of year. Participants and guests were treated to the opportunity to paint their own pumpkins. Each center was buzzing with excitement, laughter, and joy during the activities. Check out how creative Team RPSV is below!

At CWC in Annandale, the designs look amazing, don't they? So talented!

In South County, some participants even donned their fave Halloween costumes to make the event that much more entertaining! Aren't these pumpkins impressive? So creative!

In The Community

On October 27, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board hosted a special celebration for peer recovery specialists (PRS). The event was in honor of Global Peer Support Day. More than fifty PRS' who work with the CSB in Fairfax County gathered and met others who work in the field across the community. The event featured dynamic speakers, a wonderful lunch catered by Jason's Deli, networking opportunities, and

more. At the end of the event, each PRS was handed a Challenge Coin by Michael T. Lane, Director of the Office of Individual and Family Affairs for the Fairfax-Falls Church CSB. The positive happy energy in the room was evident as PRS' circulated with other members of 'their tribe!'

Thank you to Michael T. Lane, Cynthia Evans, and everyone at the CSB for recognizing and honoring PRS' in Fairfax County!

It's time for the federal government's Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). RPSV has been a member of the CFC for a few years now. This year, for the first time, we have been invited to attend several CFC events at agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, FDIC, Fort McNair, Quantico, the Pentagon,

the Department of State, and more.

We are SO honored and excited to be able to share information about our programs directly with not only potential future supporters but also folks who can utilize our services! RPSV's CFC number is #65288.

RPSV's Director of Outreach Monika Taylor was the featured speaker at the Reston Chamber's Net Night event in late October. Monika shared information about all the wonderful work being done in the community by RPSV and challenged attendees to consider buying a second lunch the next time they are running out to grab something to eat. She then encouraged them to give the meal to someone in need along with a card with RPSV's information on it and to let the person know we can help! People were very excited by the challenge and said they would do it! #fab!

RPSV attended a volunteer and intern fair at Marymount University last month. Many students, especially those studying psychology, expressed interest in working with RPSV and have reached out for more information. #fantastic

Special thanks to all of RPSV's wonderful Birthday Brigade members. Brigade members commit to purchasing a sheet cake for the RPSV center of their choice and delivering it to help those we serve celebrate their birthdays. In Arlington, Natalie F. has faithfully donated to the center all year and often includes flowers and balloons to enhance the effort. #lovely

In Reston, Ms. Guneit faithfully donates to the center each month. Her cakes are always welcomed with enthusiasm!

See below for photos. Thank you, Natalie, Guneit, and everyone who has donated a cake to support our participants. Please know that your efforts and the delish calories are worth it! Our folks love them!

If you would like to take part in this special effort to help our participants celebrate, please email us today! 

Pictured below, left to right: a) Natalie and her children help the participants in Arlington enjoy their special day. b) A participant prepares for the celebration.

Second row: Guneit's most recent donation to Reston. #yum!

RPSV's Urgent Needs:

RPSV is in need of toiletries (hygiene products such as toothbrushes/paste, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, soap, deodorant, and more).

We are also in need of winter coats, socks, gloves, hats, and blankets for our participants. If you can help, please contact us today. Thank you!

Looking for a fun way to engage with RPSV's participants? Hot chocolate and cider are popular year-round, but particularly during this time of the year. Donations of hot chocolate, cider, and donuts are welcome at each of our centers. If you would like to help our participants warm up on cooler days, please contact the center of your choice to arrange a donation delivery. Thanks!

Get Into The Holiday Spirit!

Join our Cookie Walk for the Homeless, a holiday tradition. During the event, donors from the community donate a variety of cookies (ideally homemade but because of COVID, store-bought is probably best). The cookies are then displayed, sealed, on platters and participants are able to select up to ten to take with them.

To help make the event a success we are seeking volunteers to support each of our locations by providing cookies our participants can select from (the cookies should come to us sealed. We will be using gloves to put participant selections into containers to take with them).

Participants will be able to select up to ten cookies, so a wide variety is ideal. (We are limiting the cookie count to prevent sugar overload). This event will make a special memory for those we serve, especially for those who are homeless or who are alone for the holidays. To participate, please email Monika by December 15. Thank you.

More Ways To Engage

RPSV welcomes your financial support!

Did you know...

for $5 you can feed an adult with food insecurity issues

for $10 you can provide supplies that will help adults in recovery enjoy art for therapy projects

for $15 you can provide a backpack for homeless adults to carry their essentials in

for $20 you can provide hot meals for breakfast for three homeless adults who miss the smells of a home-cooked meal

for $25 you can provide warm socks, hats, scarves, and gloves for five homeless adults

We invite you to donate today!

Just a reminder: If you are a federal employee, please consider donating to RPSV through your employer's Combined Federal Campaign. The funds you donate will make the future brighter for a neighbor in recovery in Northern Virginia! CFC #65228

If you know someone who is a federal employee, please encourage them to support us too. We appreciate it!

Join people around the world in supporting charities this Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Giving Tuesday is an international effort to remind individuals to give to charity in the midst of their holiday shopping.

Through this special global effort, which began in 2012, more than one billion dollars has been raised for charities around the world!

We invite you to join millions of people around the globe by participating on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Your donation is tax-deductible! To join the movement and support RPSV, please donate through our website. Then please email us to let us know you are donating in honor of Giving Tuesday. Thank you!

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