LINK, Inc. is a non-profit, 501C3 charity that exists to provide emergency food to people in need in the Herndon, Sterling, and Ashburn, Virginia communities. The all-volunteer staff members at LINK believe in the power of selfless service and the importance of providing people in crisis with unconditional love. Click here to watch a video that explains LINK's mission.
LINK is looking for schools, individuals, businesses to volunteer or coordinate Food Drives and Toy Drives for the LINK Holiday Program. Contact us for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org.
LINK Serves 804 Families at Thanksgiving Holiday Program
“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” John Ruskin
As we enter the week of Thanksgiving and we take the opportunity to thank God for all he does for us and for LINK, I want to personally thank each of you for the way you share your time and talents for those in our community! On Saturday, November 16th, the rainfall had stopped and hundreds of volunteers came to Christ the Redeemer, Trinity Presbyterian and Sterling United Methodist churches to serve our neighbors.
Each year, it seems that we start wondering if all the food will get sorted, if the weather will be kind, if the volunteers will show up, and if all those plans will work out. And guess what, it does! Sometimes we get challenges such as when we had 4 pallets of delicious frozen meat from Capital Area Food Bank that didn’t quite fit (ok, most of it didn’t fit) into our freezers. So, we sent out emails and posted emergency messages on Facebook and volunteers came rushing to help. It was the most wonderful thing to have volunteers calling asking if they could help. With a combination of home freezers, church freezers and a Loudoun softball league donating 5 enormous coolers, we made it work!
In the days leading up to Saturday, we were thrilled to see our area Boy Scouts drop off thousands and thousands of pounds of food collected through the Scouting for Food program. LINK depends heavily on the food supplied by the scouts for the majority of the food we receive during the holidays. Schools in Loudoun and Fairfax County (private and public) donated food and gently used winter coats and clothing. Area businesses helped out with food and clothing drives and brought in more items. And individuals and groups supplied the remainder of our bounty. I’ve heard individuals or small companies say that they aren’t sure that what they are donating can help because of its size and I want to assure everyone that LINK succeeds in its mission to feed people because of each and every one of the items donated.
On Saturday morning at 8 am, LINK was ready to receive the first of our 890+ families. When the day ended shortly after 4 pm, LINK and our volunteers served 804 families (4300+ individuals) food to last 3 - 5 days, fresh produce and meat from Capital Area Food Bank, $21,860 was given out in grocery card gift cards, and thousands of gently used winter coats, mittens, scarves, hats and winter clothing were distributed. Hundreds of volunteers helped in the week leading up to the event and the day of the program. Volunteers sorted food, picked up food from schools and businesses, escorted clients, loaded vehicles, assisted with registration, and delivered to 11 homebound families or individuals.
LINK will repeat the process on December 14th, but will replace the coats and clothing with new toys. As of today, we need about 4000 new toys for children newborn through 16 year olds. It is a huge goal, but one I know we can meet and possibly exceed with help from our community. We also need more food to replace the empty holes left after Saturday.
If you would like to help by coordinating a food or toy drive within your community, church, neighborhood or business, please contact us at email@example.com. As Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
On behalf of LINK, I wish each of you a glorious Thanksgiving with your friends and families!
Other LINK News -
Classical Ballet Theatre will be collecting canned goods for LINK over the Thanksgiving weekend in conjunction with our Nutcracker performances. The performances will take place on Saturday, November 30th and Sunday, December 1st at Ernst Theater, NOVA, Annandale Campus (8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA). To purchase tickets, click here.
Monkey Joe’s Party & Play in Dulles is partnering with LINK in November. Bring in a non-perishable food item during the month of November and receive $2.00 off your admission for that day. Limit one discount per paid guest per visit. Not valid with any other offers.
Christmas LINK Program will be December 14th - If you would like to coordinate a food or toy drive - Contact us today to find out how you can help!! You can sign up to volunteer through these links – November 16 or December 14.
LINK’s Top Needs - Jelly, soup, canned tuna, bagged rice, bagged beans, pudding and jello mix, canned fruit, chili, hamburger helper, canned pasta, and mac & cheese. Please pass on this list to anyone asking to donate food.
Mobile Food Pantry – We continue to hand out food donated by the Capital Area Food Bank and LINK to families on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 2:00 pm – 5 pm in the rear parking lot of Christ the Redeemer Church. Since we started, we have handed out more than 102,000 pounds of food to more than 2650 families. The next Mobile Food Pantry date is Tuesday, Dec. 10th.
LINK Volunteer Lists Online – if you would like to see all of the lists where we have ongoing needs, click here.
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. (Proverbs 22:9 NIV)