e-Pathfinder | April 2022
Happy National Volunteer Week! All of us at Britepaths and the Financial Empowerment Center at South County extend our heartfelt thanks to our volunteers. Our programs can only succeed with your help. Not only do you positively impact the lives of our clients, but you are an extension of our team, and we could not be more grateful. 

In 2021, we had the pleasure of collaborating with 366 unique individuals who dedicated 4,676 hours of their time to our programs. We would not be able to touch as many lives in Northern Virginia without this vital assistance. 

We have been celebrating this month by sharing photos and messages of appreciation from staff on our website and in social media.

  • Financial Mentoring Manager Carole Rogers (left) said, "Our Financial Empowerment volunteers help others learn to help themselves."
  • Financial Programs Manager Diana Ortega (center) said, “Thank You for going above and beyond. We see you!”
  • Office Administrator Cecilia LeGrand (right) said, "Thank you for sharing your time and inspiring us every day!"

Artful Living: May 19, 2022
Join Us! We are looking forward to connecting with our community once again at Artful Living: Connected!

Thursday, May 19, 2022
7 p.m.-10 p.m.
Country Club of Fairfax

LAST CALL FOR ART! Submissions Due Sunday, April 24.

Juried Art Show & Sale · Live Music by Batida Diferente · Live Auction & Raffles · Exquisite Food, Wine & Beer · Hear from Our Clients · Benefits NVA Families in Need
Read the Connection Article

Get Involved! Seeking:

Thank You to Our Sponsors! Anthem, Apple Federal Credit Union, Ken & Linda Kozloff (in honor of Marcelle Miles), MBH Settlement Group, MainStreet Bank, Miller Consulting Group and Printing Ideas.

Questions? Contact Sidney Arrington at events@britepaths.org or 703.273.8829.

Click Here to learn more
Early Bird: Register by May 5 & Save!
Fresh Choices for Our Families
We are excited to be preparing to start up our two Farmers Markets initiatives for the season to help more local families enjoy fresh, healthy food from the markets.

SNAP-EBT at the Annandale Market: We are partnering with Fairfax County Farmers Markets, FRESHFARM and Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP) to help SNAP Federal food assistance recipients double their benefits to spend at the Thursday morning Annandale Markets from May through November. We need help spreading the word to potential customers and Volunteers to assist customers.
Click Here for details

Our Daily Veggies: We are in the process of registering Farmers Market vendors to partner with us to accept Our Daily Veggies vouchers from our clients so they can shop at the markets for fresh fruits, veggies and proteins in addition to the food support they receive from us. We love this opportunity to offer more healthy foods to our clients while also supporting local farmers! Click Here to learn more
FJ Medina & Sons' farm stand at one of the Fairfax County farmers markets last summer. They have partnered with us for many years to accept Our Daily Veggies vouchers from our clients.
Supporting Our IT Learners
Our Avenues to Career Training IT learners have been enjoying a virtual professional development series in addition to their regular instruction. In the photo at right, Dana McCarren from Slalom joined us last Wednesday to highlight best practices to make their resumes stand out in a crowd.

Our learners are training for their AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification through our AWS re/Start training program, or their Google IT and CompTIA++ professional certification. This advice will be another great tool for them as they seek employment once they receive their certifications. We are seeking partners to help connect our graduates with paid apprenticeships or entry-level jobs at Northern Virginia/greater Washington DC area Tech companies. If you or someone you know can help, contact Sally Meyer at 703.273.8829.
Thank You to Our Grantors and Collaborators: We are grateful to Truist Foundation and the Weller Family Foundation for providing grants to support our ACT-IT Training offerings.

We are also grateful to AWS re/Start for collaborating with us to offer underemployed and unemployed Northern Virginia residents the opportunity to train for careers in cloud computing.
Local Nonprofit Leaders Meet with Congressman Connelly
Our Executive Director Lisa Whetzel met with Congressman Gerry Connolly and other local nonprofit leaders last week to discuss the successes and challenges of the last two years. Federal, state and local relief funds, along with private sector grants, have been vital to our ability to lift up our neighbors who have struggled during the pandemic. We're grateful for the work of Congressman Connolly and his colleagues, along with the support of leaders in Fairfax County, City of Fairfax and the Virginia legislature, to provide us with the means to help so many more families at a time when the need has been so great. We're so fortunate to live in a caring community that was able to quickly partner and mobilize to meet the needs of our neighbors in crisis.
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 Consulting, Small Business Consulting and Tax Preparation Consulting. 

Please share our Virtual Resources page 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.
  • Small Business Workshop Series, starting Apr. 28, in partnership with ECDC Enterprise Development Institute
  • Monthly Credit Report Review Clinic, May 2, with our volunteer Financial Coaches
  • Get That Job! New Workshop Series! May 10, 17 & 24, in partnership with Suited for Change
  • Free Legal Assistance Wednesdays, May 18, in partnership with Fairfax Law Foundation
Special Thanks!
Vienna Baptist Church: Thank you to Vienna Baptist Church for providing grocery store gift cards to our Food Bridge families for our April 17 food delivery. They have helped our families for many years and we're grateful for their ongoing support. We are in great need of Food Bridge Supporting Organizations to fill our delivery calendar this year! Click Here to learn more.

Quarterly Pantry Inventory
We're so grateful to our 14 wonderful volunteers who came out on April 6 to help us weigh and restock the food and supplies in our emergency pantry. We need to conduct a pantry inventory each quarter, and it's a big job! This group did an amazing job and set a record for the fastest group to weigh the pantry. A special thanks to Board Member Gabriel Derosier of MainStreet Bank for coming out and volunteering with us in addition to his Board service.

Fairfax Funky Flea
A big thank you to the organizers of the Fairfax Funky Flea in Fairfax City for inviting us to be part of their fun community gathering and flea market once again! We had a great time on Saturday, meeting with our neighbors and selling donuts and coffee to raise funds to support our work. A special thank you to Duck Donuts Fairfax and Foundation Coffee Roaster for donating refreshments.

We also enjoyed seeing our friend Mary Gauthier on Saturday! She's a local children's author -- among many other pursuits -- and donates proceeds from her book sales to Britepaths. Click Here to learn more.

The next Fairfax Funky Flea is on May 28, 9a-2p, at the City of Fairfax City Hall. We'll return in the fall.
Our wonderful Pantry Inventory volunteers on April 6
Development Director Shannon Bryant with Mary Gauthier at the Fairfax Funky Flea
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.