Linking Hope with Brighter Futures
Since 2004, the dedicated volunteers of Kids' Club have visited the Embry-Rucker Shelter in Reston twice a month and engaged children--and their parents--in creative activities. It is difficult to show quantifiable results for a program like this. We have given quality, fun experiences to over 1,600 children, we have lightened the load for over 1,600 parents who are going through a very stressful period in their lives and we have given a parent and child a lighthearted moment to share.
From our point of view, this is measure enough, especially since our members' own lives are changed in the process. Won't you join us?
Some families are there for a few days; others stay for months. The children who recognize us greet us with jubilation (truly!) and tell the other children what to expect. I'm always struck by how nice the children are to each other, with older ones assuming responsibility for younger ones, even when they aren't members of the same family.
Mary Beth DiVincenzo, Kids' Club Lead Volunteer
This is something lighthearted to look forward to, it lightens the load especially when tensions are high between families.
Kids’ Club volunteers meet twice a month from 7 - 8 PM on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, January through June; and the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from September through December.
Volunteers work in the family section of the Embry-Rucker Shelter, 11975 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston, Virginia, in their large multi-purpose room. Volunteers must sign in at the front desk, then pass straight through into the family section.
Types of Enrichment Projects: Play-Doh arts and crafts; decorating wooden boxes or frames with glitter glue, paint and foam stickers; working on scrolls of activity paper; creating canoes (out of foam sheets) and teepees around Thanksgiving; pots of impatiens plants in the Spring with information about plants; stained-glass project (silver foil, colored pencils, and colored cellophane rolls); watercolors (always a huge, if messy, hit); making paper planes, boxes and snowflakes; sewing pillows; stamps and ink pads to make note cards. And we always welcome new ideas!
Shelter Etiquette: Everyone (children, parents and volunteers) address each other by first name only. Volunteers are cautioned not to invade the residents' privacy by discussing their affairs outside of the Shelter. Photos of artwork are allowed, but not of the children.
Parking: There is a Shelter parking lot. If full, there is additional parking in the Reston Regional Library parking lot next door.
What to Wear: Dress very casually, anything you wouldn’t mind getting paint on.
Please note that when Fairfax County Public Schools close early or are closed altogether due to inclement weather, Kids’ Club is cancelled.