An organization focusing on empowering and uplifting the community
Through partnerships with the Capital Area Food Bank, our Food Distribution provides meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and canned goods to families in need. In addition, our annual Free Turkey Giveaway provides free turkeys and holiday baskets during the Thanksgiving season.
Our Back-to-School Program and REACH One, TEACH One, our mentor and tutor program, encourages young people to reach their full academic potential, and supplies the tools and resources to help them achieve excellence.
Partnering with Toys for Tots, we provide presents for children and teens during our Christmas Giveaway. Additionally, we are excited to announce continued work on our Mason-Thomas Memorial Park, a community safe-zone for kids, and the launch of our Fatherhood Initiative with the Prince William County’s Department of Social Services.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the average grocery bill for family of 4 in the United States is about nine hundred forty dollars ($940.00) per month.
Reference – http://www.loweryourspending.com/average-grocery-bill-for-family-of-4.html
In 2012, 49.0 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.1 million adults and 15.9 million children.
Reference – Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., & Singh, A. (2013).Household Food Security in the United States in 2012. USDA ERS.
Through our long-standing partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank, our local Giant, Emergency Food Assistance Programs and USDA, our Food Distribution provides healthy and nutritious meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods and other non-perishable food items to all who come to our doors – at no cost to families in need. Local government agencies often refer clients to our bi-monthly food distribution program which began in 2009. Our food distribution has served as a vital lifeline to many unemployed and underemployed individuals unable to purchase basic food items for their families.
Since 2009, we have purchased and distributed free turkeys to needy families in the Prince William County community as part of our Free Turkey Giveaway. Taking place the weekend before Thanksgiving, the program is designed to help lighten the financial burden many face during this season, providing a turkey and other foods needed to celebrate a holiday meal.
With these programs, REACH is working hard to help make sure no family has to go without the food they need to survive.
We continue to partner with the Capital Area Food Bank to distribute meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods and non-perishable food items to communities in Prince William County twice a month.
Distributed over 500,000 lbs. of meat, fresh vegetables, and canned goods since 2009 and we are now averaging over 10,000 lbs. monthly
Served over 250,000 individuals (excluding emergency assistance)
Distributed nearly 2,500 free turkeys to needy families living in Prince William County through the Free Turkey Giveaway
Served free turkeys and holiday baskets to our Wounded Warriors, Prince William County School families, local businesses and families residing in Prince William County
Recognized by the Capital Area Food Bank as a leading food distributor to needy individuals and families in Prince William County
44 percent of 2013 U.S. high school graduates are ready for college-level math. 36 percent of 2013 U.S. high school students are ready for college-level science.
Reference – http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/cccr13/readiness1.html
Mentored youth have better school attendance, a better chance of going on to higher education, and better attitudes toward school. Additionally, mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them.
Reference – http://www.mentoring.org/about_mentor/value_of_mentoring/
Distributed more than $12,000 in financial scholarships to support college-bound students.
Distributed more than $5,000 in gift cards to students with high academic achievement on a quarterly basis.
Provided more than $3,000 worth of school materials to support students and families at the start of the academic school year.
Supported more than 50 students in the areas of math, science, writing, history and foreign language through REACH One, TEACH One.
Provided field trips to show students that learning is fun!
Served all levels of student education – elementary, middle, high school and college – through the Back-to-School Program.
Back to School Program – The first day of class can be daunting for any student – particularly if they don’t have pen, paper and other basic school supplies. The REACH Back-to-School Program is designed to help alleviate that burden by providing school supplies students need to start on equal footing with their peers. Not only are materials distributed to students the week before school starts, but students may continue to receive resources throughout the school year.
REACH One, TEACH One – Through REACH One, TEACH One, our mentor and tutor program, middle and high school students receive tutoring from adults in math, science, foreign language and a variety of other subjects. The friendships and mentoring bonds created not only support academic excellence, but build youth character.
Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.
Reference – U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”
Reference – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Center for Health Statistics. Survey on Child Health. Washington, DC, 1993.
Community parks engage children in experiential learning, can build self-esteem through shared learning with peers, and promote healthy living through physical activity.
Playing with toys have been shown to decrease stress and improve self-esteem
Strong families are the foundation of any thriving society and we believe in providing positive avenues for family growth. One way REACH accomplishes this is through our Christmas Giveaway, a continued partnership with Toys for Tots which began in 2000. We provide presents to children and teens whose families may not otherwise be able to afford them during the holiday season, so that they don’t have to miss out on the fun and laughter brought with this joyous celebration.
We are also excited to announce completion of Phase 1 of the Mason-Thomas Community Park which will serve as a community safe-zone for children to play. Named in honor of Bishop Charles H. Mason and Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr., two men who dedicated their lives to community service and youth development, the Mason-Thomas Community Park will provide a safe haven for children and families so that they might develop into healthier, well-rounded selves. Phase 2 will include putting in playground equipment and fencing off the area, and we hope to begin construction by the summer of 2015.
Finally, we have joined with the Prince William County’s Department of Social Services to conduct fatherhood development classes under the arm of the Prince William County Fatherhood Initiative. The Fatherhood Initiative is designed to teach new, absent, or struggling fathers how to connect with their families and in particular their children. We were the first group in Prince William County to offer this program to the community. We have two trained group facilitators on our staff.
Through these and other REACH efforts, we are building healthy family relationships and breaking generational cycles of destruction. Here is a summary of our REACH in the community:
Provided toys to more than 300 children and teens through partnership with the Toys for Tots Christmas Giveaway.
Completed Phase 1 of the Mason-Thomas Memorial Park with plans to start Phase 2 in summer 2015.
Completed facilitator training for 3 men in the Prince William County Fatherhood Initiative
Our primary focus is to serve communities within Prince William County that are struggling to provide for their families. Prince William County is known as an affluent county due to many of its residents earning very high incomes, but many of our residents are struggling to make ends meet. This is evident by the thousands of people that visit our food giveaways each month.
REACH is planning to build a community park at the corner of Occoquan and Old Bridge Road. There are several impoverished communities within a two mile radius of this location that do not have access to a park area. One of these communities is the Holly Acres community which was ravished by a flood in 2011. Although the flood happened four years ago, this community is still struggling to put the pieces back together again. We at REACH have donated money and food to Holly Acres, but we believe having a community park within walking distance will give the children of this and other communities a place to have fun and increase moral and self-esteem.