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Columns & Blogs

A panda helped us find parking at Bobs Burgers

When it comes to parking in the city, a Seinfeld episode comes to mind.

You know the one where George Costanza gets into an argument with another driver over a parking space on the street.

I’ve always remembered this particular exchange between the characters:

Elaine: Oh, you’re never gonna find a space on Jerry’s block, just put it in a garage.

George: Look, I have my system. First I look for the dream spot right in front of the door, then I slowly expand out in concentric circles.

Elaine: Oh come on, George, please put it in a garage. I don’t want to spend an hour looking for a space.

George: I can’t park in a garage.

Elaine: Why?

George: I don’t know, I just can’t. Nobody in my family can pay for parking, it’s a sickness. My father never paid for parking; my mother, my brother, nobody. We can’t do it.

Last week, however, I did want to pay for parking. My wife and I had tickets to see “Bobs Burgers Live” at the Warner theater in Washington, D.C. It was a Wednesday night, I drove us both into the city after work, and we wanted the easiest, most uneventful evening leading up to our show.

Earlier, I went to Google and typed in “Warner theaterParking” and saw a host of results appear on the page. I clicked on one of them, and I saw the “Bobs Burgers Live” logo.

“Hey, that’s the show we’re going to tonight,” I said.

It was like the website knew exactly what I was looking for — parking for the Bobs Burgers show. I was intrigued, and I clicked on.

The site’s name was Parking Panda. It showed me several garages within a three to four block radius of the Warner Theater, and it also showed how much it would cost to park there – between $11 and $23. Some garages offered valet though my wife and I are not fans of valet. Keep Reading…

Call to Action: Cannon Ridge needs cleaning

Good morning – this is sure to verify spring is right around the corner- Transitional Housing BARN cordially invites you to their Annual Sen. Chuck Colgan’s Charity Golf Tournament on Monday May 11th at the Evergreen Country Club. Lots of great golf, goody bags, breakfast, awards banquet and fun contests. Entry fee is just $150 and supports all their good work. Please call or email tammy for all the specifics at (703) 369-1325 or tperkins@barninc.org

· To all agencies who utilize wonderful volunteers in their work please don’t forget to submit their names for recognition at the community wide Volunteer Recognition event which is scheduled for Sunday May 17th. Please email Shelley at: stibbs@volunteerprincewilliam.org for more info.

· The City of Manassas has a community clean-up at Cannon Ridge on Saturday April 18th at 10am. Come out and help clean-up the neighborhood and have a chance to win a free pass to the Stonewall Pool as well as recognition from Mayor Parrish. Register at the Manassas Police Dept by April 10th.

· Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve in Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall. Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for volunteers to be matched in one to one friendships with survivors of brain injury. Experience is not necessary only your interest. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· SERVE is super busy at their food pantry. Volunteers are needed to assemble food packages during the day and two evenings a week. Great job for teens age 16+. Make this a Spring break activity and continue to help on an ongoing basis. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on Saturday April 18th from 9am-12 noon for their Annual Clean Sweep in Woodbridge. The day begins with litter and safety education and training followed by the community clean-up along the route 1 corridor. Please wear your old clothes and rubber boots as this will be a get your hands dirty project that promises to cleanse the soul. This is not appropriate for children under 10yrs old. Please call (571) 285-3772 for more info or check out their calendar at:kpwb.org Keep Reading…

Call to Action: Virginia Bluebell Festival needs volunteers

041514-bluebells-3

Good morning – our Division of Historic Preservation is gearing up for spring projects at the Julie Metz Wetlands Preserve in Woodbridge. Volunteers are needed to help with trail and stream clean-up, development of interpretive materials and education programs. These volunteer opportunities continue through the fall. Please call Rebecca at (703) 499-9812 to learn more about this county treasure.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for volunteers to be matched in one to one friendships with survivors of brain injury. Experience is not necessary only your interest. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· SERVE is super busy at their food pantry. Volunteers are needed to assemble food packages during the day and two evenings a week. Great job for teens age 16+. Make this a Spring break activity and continue to help on an ongoing basis. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on Saturday April 18th from 9am-12 noon for their Annual Clean Sweep in Woodbridge. The day begins with litter and safety education and training followed by the community clean-up along the route 1 corridor. Please wear your old clothes and rubber boots as this will be a get your hands dirty project that promises to cleanse the soul. This is not appropriate for children under 10yrs old. Please call (571) 285-3772 for more info or check out their calendar at:kpwb.org

· The PW Conservation Alliance needs volunteers for their Bluebell Festival at Merrimac farm on Sunday April 12th from 10am-4pm. Come join in this wonderful activity in Nokesville. Please call Myndi at (703) 499-4954 for more info.

· The Neabsco Creek Clean-up is Saturday March 28th from 9am-12noon. This is the perfect way for teens to start your spring break! Please wear long sleeves and tall rubber boots. Trash bags, gloves and drinking water are provided. Park at the Neabsco Eagles Park and under the power lines. Sign-in at the cul-de-sac on Neabsco Creek Drive behind Wawa on Rt. 1. Email: siverstrand@prodigy,net with any questions.

· Volunteers are needed at the Coles District Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday March 28th. You don’t want to miss this fun- tasks include hiding eggs, organizing activities, corralling kids and making sure every family gets a picture with the Easter Bunny. Please call Katie at (703) 792-7059 to learn more.

· PW Soil and Water Conservation District needs volunteers with canoe and boats on Saturday April 11th for the 6th Annual Upper Occoquan River Clean-up. There are several access points so please call (703) 791-6158 for all the specifics. Also the Alice Ferguson Foundation has many volunteer opportunities as well. Please check out their website for specifics and to register at: potomaccleanup.org.

· Beacon Adult Literacy needs volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more and join the next volunteer training.

· Literacy Volunteers of America- Prince William need volunteer tutors to work with adults in the Woodbridge area. No experience necessary as you will get all the skills needed at their tutor training beginning on May 23rd. You can be a life-changer. Please call (703) 670-5702 or visit their website at: lvapw.org to learn more.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Call to Action: Interested in the health field?

Good morning –Prince William Health District has a wonderful volunteer opportunity for all interested in the health field. Volunteers are needed on Tuesday mornings from 8am-12 noon at their Manassas Park Rec. Center clinic. Duties include assisting patients with medical forms, answering questions, navigating resources and helping with presentations. Orientation and training is provided as you must complete a background check. This is a super resume builder. Please call Valda at (703) 792-6755 to learn more.

· SERVE is super busy at their food pantry. Volunteers are needed to assemble food packages during the day and two evenings a week. Great job for teens age 16+. Make this a Spring break activity and continue to help on an ongoing basis. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org to learn more.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on Saturday March 21st from 9am-12 noon for their annual clean-up at Veterans Park in Woodbridge. Please wear your old clothes and rubber boots as this will be a get your hands dirty project that promises to cleanse the soul. This is not appropriate for children under 10yrs old. Please call (571) 285-3772 for more info. Also mark your calendars for more fun activities with them on April 11th for Earth Day and April 18th for the Route 1 Clean Sweep.

· The PW Conservation Alliance needs volunteers also on March 21 st for native planting at Merrimac farm. Come join in this wonderful activity in Nokesville. Please call (703) 499-4954 for more info. They are also looking for volunteers on March 28th at the K9 Gunner Dog Park. These are both super fun get your hands dirty projects.

· The Neabsco Creek Clean-up is Saturday March 28th from 9am-12noon. This is the perfect way for teens to start your spring break! Please wear long sleeves and tall rubber boots. Trash bags, gloves and drinking water are provided. Park at the Neabsco Eagles Park and under the power lines. Sign-in at the cul-de-sac on Neabsco Creek Drive behind Wawa on Rt. 1. Email: siverstrand@prodigy,net with any questions. Keep Reading…

Proven performance of Continental Tires now at Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire

Steves, auto, tire

As a Premier Auto Repair Shop in Northern Virginia, we at Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire partner with suppliers that share our vision of quality. We have partnered with Continental Tires to become a local dealer.

Continental tires have a proven history of performance and quality that vehicle manufactures like Mercedes Benz and BMW demand. As an original equipment tire for Honda, Mercedes Benz, BMW Continental has proven they are up to the challenge and provide an outstanding product on several vehicle platforms.

Backed by a the Total Confidence Plan, Continental tires provide three years of flat tire changes or towing, up to 150 miles on a purchase of four new tires. Continental is so confident, they back each tire with up to a 60-day trial.

The Continental tire lineup includes tires to meet every need from a ContiSportContact 5P an Ultra high performance tire, to a Contitrac all-season light all terrain tire.

Here at Steve’s, we now have a partner to provide you the ride comfort and performance you want. As specialist in the European repair market, we know what your vehicle needs to run its best. Continental tires will provide the grip to get you there weather you drive a ultra luxury sports car, SUV, or Minivan.

Continental Tires have been in business since 1871 in Hanover Germany.  Now in 42 countries and with 73 locations, Continental tires are a global leader.

Continental tires have created some of the industry’s firsts such as the first pneumatic bicycle tires created in 1892. In 1904, Continental produced the first pneumatic tire with a patterned tread design. Also, Continental tire invented the first detachable rim in 1908 to help save time when changing a flat tire.

Call to Action: Ever been to Merrimac Farm?

Good morning – spring is right around the corner- and Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers on Saturday March 21st from 9am-12 noon for their annual clean-up at Veterans Park in Woodbridge. Please wear your old clothes and rubber boots as this will be a get your hands dirty project that promises to cleanse the soul. This is not appropriate for children under 10yrs old. Please call (571) 285-3772 for more info. Also mark your calendars for more fun activities with them on April 11th for Earth Day and April 18th for the Route 1 Clean Sweep.

· The PW Conservation Alliance needs volunteers also on March 21 st for native planting at Merrimac Farm. Come join in this wonderful activity in Nokesville. Please call (703) 499-4954 for more info. They are also looking for volunteers on March 28th at the K9 Gunner Dog Park. These are both super fun get your hands dirty projects.

· PW Soil and Water Conservation District needs volunteers with canoe and boats on Saturday April 11th for the 6th Annual Upper Occoquan River Clean-up. There are several access points so please call (703) 791-6158 for all the specifics.

· BARN Transitional Housing is kicking off spring with their 1st. Yard Sale of the season on Saturday March 14th as well. It runs from 8am-12noon or you can access the early bird shopping at 7:30am for a $5 entrance fee. Great stuff, great bargains and all for a great cause. The BARN is located at 9541 Linton Hall Road in Bristow.

· Beacon Adult Literacy needs volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more and join the next volunteer training.

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to help their client self-publish a book. Experience is not necessary only your interest. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

· Literacy Volunteers of America- Prince William need volunteer tutors to work with adults in the Woodbridge area. No experience necessary as you will get all the skills needed at their tutor training beginning in May. You can be a life-changer. Please call (703) 670-5702 or visit their website at: lvapw.org to learn more.

· The Alzheimer’s Association needs volunteers to join their planning committee for the next walk on October 17th in Manassas. Please call Sonya at (703) 766-9025 to learn more.

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

There are lots of free, family-friendly attractions and events in the Prince William area

Prince William & Manassas offers exceptional activities and unique attractions for people of all ages to enjoy! Everyone has hectic schedules and lives filled with work, driving and stress. However, it’s important to pause, take a breath and appreciate what your area has to offer. Here are some family friendly attractions and events that are easy on the wallet and sure to please.

Attractions:

  • National Museum of the Marine Corps – Enjoy an interactive and education tour of the museum at no charge. Admission is totally free and the exhibits have plenty of kid friendly features that make for a wonderful family day out.
  • Manassas National Battlefield – Pack a picnic lunch and take the family for a hike through the historic battlefields where the Civil War began. A scenic getaway from the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine.

Events:

  • Greater Manassas St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Bringing the spirit of St. Patrick to the Greater Manassas Area, this parade is back for the 16th The parade will run through Historic Downtown Manassas on Saturday March 14th from 11:00a.m. to 12:15 p.m. So put on your green and join the fun!
  • Live Well Festival – Head on over to the Harris Pavilion on April 18th for free health screenings, fitness classes, kid activities, entertainment, and more. The historic downtown merchants will also be hosting their biannual sidewalk sale! Recycle those gently used household items or clothes to a worthy cause, visit with the recycling and environmental exhibitors, and help the kids make earth friendly art projects.
  • Arts Alive! – Enjoy live performances and exhibits by local artists and ensembles at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on May 2nd from 12pm – 4pm. Participate in hands-on activities, live demonstrations, and workshops for all ages! Food and craft vendors will be onsite too.
  • Picnic With Painters – Enjoy live music, games and your picnic lunch on the lawn of the Liberia Planation May 17th from 12pm – 4pm. Painters will be set up at the event painting the picnic scenes throughout the afternoon.

To learn more about our attractions and things to do in Prince William & Manassas please visit discoverpwm.com Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/pwcmanassas or tweet with us at @Discoverpwm and show us how you make a memory in Prince William & Manassas.

Call to Action: Birmingham Green Senior Living looking for volunteer guitar players

Good morning  – its official – spring and warm weather are right around the corner and you can kick it off in style with the Shindig Jig 5K to benefit the Rainbow Therapeutic Riding program on Saturday March 14 at Silver Lake Regional Park. Check in at 8:30am and race time is 10am. Come with your 3 person team for just $25 each or by yourself for $40. All proceeds benefit this wonderful program. Please visit: rainbowriding.org to register.

· BARN Transitional Housing is kicking off spring with their 1st. Yard Sale of the season on Saturday March 14th as well. It runs from 8am-12noon or you can access the early bird shopping at 7:30am for a $5 entrance fee. Great stuff, great bargains and all for a great cause. The BARN is located at 9541 Linton Hall Road in Bristow.

· Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers to judge science projects at the PW – Manassas Regional Science Fair from 9am-10am. Please call (571) 285-3772 to learn more.

· The 2nd fun need is volunteers are needed at the 24th Annual SERVE Bowl a Thon in Manassas from 1pm-4pm. Tasks include set up, greeting participants, handing out t-shirts and other general tasks. It’s a great opportunity for teens age 16+ or younger with their parent. This super fun day is very important to the SERVE families. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org for all the specifics. And then don’t forget about the BEACON Event: Keep Reading…

Call to Action: When is the last time you judged a science fair project?

Good morning – I hope I can help you warm up by sharing two new super fun volunteer jobs on Saturday March 14th- First up is Keep Prince William Beautiful needs volunteers to judge science projects at the PW – Manassas Regional Science Fair from 9am-10am. Please call (571) 285-3772 to learn more. The 2nd fun need is volunteers are needed at the 24th Annual

SERVE Bowl a Thon in Manassas from 1pm-4pm. Tasks include set up, greeting participants, handing out t-shirts and other general tasks. It’s a great opportunity for teens age 16+ or younger with their parent. This super fun day is very important to the SERVE families. Please email Jan at: jhawkins@nvfs.org for all the specifics. And then don’t forget about the BEACON Event:

· Beacon Adult Literacy invites you to their Scrabble Scramble – an evening of thinking fun with cash bar, food and prizes. It’s just $100 for a table of 4 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Manassas on Saturday march 14th, 6-9pm. Please call Lauren at (571) 428—2504 to register. And please don’t forget that they need volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Historic Manassas is gearing up for the wonderful Old Town Manassas Farmer’s Market starting on April 11th. Volunteers are needed to help administer the SNAP exchange. Hours are 9am-1pm and you don’t want to miss all the activity at the market. Please call Erin at (703) 361-6599 to learn more.

· Manassas Park DSS is looking for volunteers in their front office. Tasks include answering phones, greeting visitors and basic office tasks. This is a great resume builder and fun for a senior who has done it before. You must pass a background check so give them a call at (703) 335-8888 to learn more.

· Volunteer Prince William Disaster Services program is looking for volunteers to present cooking classes to community partners. These special recipes are ones you can make without electricity, limited water supplies or available natural gas. These are things we all need to know to keep our families fed and safe during a disaster. Don’t worry we have the recipes plus info on nutrition, budgeting, stockpiling of supplies to keep all safe. Please email Bonnie at: bnahas@volunteerprincewilliam.org to learn more

· Brain Injury Services is looking for a volunteer to visit a lady in Herndon who loves drawing and sketching. Your time a couple of times a month with this lovely lady will go a long way in her recovery from brain injury. Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext. 232 to learn more.

· Prince William Health District is starting a Community health program at the Manassas Park Rec Center on Tuesday mornings from 8am-12 noon. Volunteers are needed to assist with the program. You need a HS diploma, driver’s license and successful background check for this position with wonderful rewards. Bi-lingual Spanish is a super plus. Please call Valda at (703) 792-6755 to learn more. Keep Reading…

Call to Action: Volunteers needed to teach Microsoft programs to adults in Woodbridge

Good morning  – Prince William Health District is starting a Community health program at the Manassas Park Rec Center on Tuesday mornings from 8am-12 noon. Volunteers are needed to assist with the program. You need a HS diploma, driver’s license and successful background check for this position with wonderful rewards. Bi-lingual Spanish is a super plus. Please call Valda at (703) 792-6755 to learn more.

· Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center is having their Winter Dance on Saturday February 21st at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Manassas. Please come join the fun for a great cause. Tickets are $40 including dinner, cash bar, live band and silent auction. Please call (703) 754-6159 to secure your spot.

· The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is having their Annual IHOP Pancake Day on March 3rd. Patrons receive a free short stack of pancakes for a donation to LLS. Volunteers are needed throughout the day to collect donations and chat with IHOP customers. Here’s a huge Cheers to IHOP for this fun day. Please call Stephanie at (703) 399-2900 to learn more.

· SERVE will have new volunteer opportunities in the Food Distribution Center as a result of expanded hours. Volunteers will be needed on Thursday evenings, 5pm to 7:30pm, and on Saturday mornings, 9:30am to 11:30am, to assemble client food packages, sort donated food, stock shelves, portion large food donations into Ziploc bags and any other tasks as determined by the warehouse staff. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old; volunteers age 12 thru 15 can help, but must volunteer with a parent. You’ll feel so good knowing you’re doing your part to fight hunger in our local community! For more information, please contact Jan Hawkins at jhawkins@nvfs.org.

· SERVE also has a special request for one of their clients- this gentlemen has just gotten a new job as a sheet metal worker but needs is own tools for the job. Please donate if you can a sheet mental hammer, Midwest snips for left, right and straight, tool pouch, drill, sheet mental tongs and vise grip pliers. Please call Kimberly at (571) 748-2627 to learn more. Let’s get this single dad of 3 little kids the tools he needs to be successful.

· ACTS Helpline provides 24 hour crisis hot line to the community. Volunteers a needed to join the next training class to be trained in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. No experience needed as you will receive the training needed to help another in their time of need. The training starts with an orientation on March 7th at noon and follows with the training curriculum March 14, 21 and 28th from 12-8pm. Please email Sabrina to learn more: sgoines-watkins@actspwc.us. Keep Reading…

Call to Action: SERVE expands food distribution, new volunteers needed

Good morning – Happy Valentine’s Day or how about Heart to Heart month helping families secure needed food. The wonderful folks at SERVE need your help in their food pantry. Jan says she needs muscles! As they reorganize the food warehouse to better use the space and improve efficiency. Volunteers are needed every Saturday in February (7, 14, 21 and 28), 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Duties include taking items off shelves, moving shelves to new locations and restocking shelves once placed in their new spots. For this project, volunteers should be able to lift up to 25 pounds. Volunteers ages 12 and up are welcome (12-15 year olds must volunteer with a parent). Groups are welcome! For more information or to sign up, please contact Jan Hawkins at jhawkins@nvfs.org. Just think how many calories you can burn with this event.

· Also beginning March 1, SERVE will have new volunteer opportunities in the Food Distribution Center as a result of expanded hours. Volunteers will be needed on Thursday evenings, 5pm to 7:30pm, and on Saturday mornings, 9:30am to 11:30am, to assemble client food packages, sort donated food, stock shelves, portion large food donations into Ziploc bags and any other tasks as determined by the warehouse staff. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old; volunteers age 12 thru 15 can help, but must volunteer with a parent. You’ll feel so good knowing you’re doing your part to fight hunger in our local community! For more information, please contact Jan Hawkins at jhawkins@nvfs.org.

· Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers most days in their ReStore. Volunteers in this hopping place receive donations or help merchandize the sales floor. They also will need volunteers to make both minor and critical repairs for families so they can continue to live with dignity in safe and decent homes. Please visit their website for all the info and to sign up for a specific project: www.habitatpwc.org

· AARP Virginia needs volunteers to lead workshops for individual to fully enjoy life after 50. You can learn more at: lifereimagined.org. They also need volunteers for their fraud watch program. Please email Stephanie at: sgossett@aarp.org to learn more about these possibilities.

· Would you by chance speak Dari? We know of a lovely lady who would enjoy a friendly visitor to speak her native language with. She is from Afghanistan and now resides in a local senior living facility to make it easy for you to stop by and cheer her up. Please call Daphne at (703) 792-7662 to learn more about her and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.

· Volunteer Prince William is presenting the new Volunteer Management Training Series this spring. The 5 session course will give you all the skills to build your volunteer program. Starting with understanding the volunteer, recruiting and placing them, orient and training your volunteers, supervision and of course evaluation make this robust course a must do for all volunteer managers. The course starts April 14th from 9am-noon and continues for the next 4 Tuesday mornings. Please register for this free course at: volunteerprincewilliam.org Keep Reading…

6 tips for good health from Mary Washington Healthcare

Dr. Vranian’s Quick Tips for Good Health

1. Minimize meat consumption

2. Avoid “white” foods — Foods that have had the shell of the grain removed

3. Eat plenty of colored vegetables

4. Stay away from saturated fats, like heavy dressings and sweets

5. Exercise 30 minutes/day at least 3 – 5 days per week

6. Find some thing or somebody to love

- by Dr. Robert Vranian, Cardiologist, Mary Washington Healthcare

Call to Action: Can you pick up food?

· Good morning – SERVE needs volunteers to help in the Food Pantry. As you know folks who work seasonal jobs have a particular hard time in the winter and add to the number of families seeking assistance from SERVE.

This is a wonderful opportunity to offer help and your smile to these families. Be prepared for lifting of boxes. Specific positions include picking up food at local grocery stores utilizing the SERVE van. You must be 21 yrs. old, have good driving record and sign a driver’s agreement. They also need volunteers to receive donations. This position can be filled by teens age 16 yrs. +. Please call Jan at (571) 748-2621 to learn more or you can email her at: jhawkins@nvfs.org

· Saved Hands Foundation teaches entry level business skills to the disadvantaged. They are looking for volunteers to teach Microsoft office programs to adults in Woodbridge. They also would like a grant writer and marketing director to create a portfolio for them. Please call Pamela at (571) 572-9013 for more info.

· The Alzheimer’s Association needs volunteers to join their planning committee for the next walk on October 17th in Manassas. Please call Sonya at (703) 766-9025 to learn more.

· Catholic Charities needs volunteers to teach an English class at their Dale City office. Classes are held Wednesdays 7-9pm. Please email them at: volunteer.hogar@ccda.net to learn more.

· Beacon Adult Literacy needs volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

· Literacy Volunteers is gearing up for their next volunteer training On March 7th. Come learn all the skills you need to help another adult reach their life goals. You do not need any prior experience. This is one person helping another. Please call (703) 670-5702 or visit www.lvapw.org to learn more.

· Habitat for Humanity is looking for teen volunteers to distribute flyers about all the wonderful services they provide to the Georgetown Village community in Woodbridge. You can do this anytime between now and February 2nd. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org and sign up on the volunteer calendar. It’s a great way for your club or group to do something fun together.

· Also for teens! You don’t want to miss the teen volunteer and summer job fair on Tuesday February 3rd at the Bull Run Library from 7pm-8:30pm. Come learn about jobs from employers looking for teen for this summer.

· Emeritus Senior Living in Lake Ridge is looking for volunteers to help with fun activities such as sewing circle, line dancing and others or simply give one on one companionship. Please call Brigette at (703) 680-0600 to learn more.

· Project Mend a House needs volunteers to help with minor home repair projects for elderly, disabled and low income families. Come share your handy hands and spirit. Please call (703) 792-7663 to learn more

· Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center needs volunteers to help with the silent auction and decoration committees for the big 15th Annual Winter dance on February 21st. Please email Robin at: rainbow@rainbowriding.org to learn more

· If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Call to Action is a column written by Volunteer Prince William Director Mary Foley.

Call to Action: Prince William’s homeless need propane cans

z• Good morning – The 25th Project provides services to homeless individuals living in camps in several locations across our community. The have an urgent need for 20# propane cans so folks can keep warm this winter. Please drop off your donation on this Monday January 19th in the Kmart parking lot on Dale Blvd between 11am-2pm. Your donation will keep someone warm by Monday night. If you need other days/times please email Jay at: jay@the25thproject.org.

• The fabulous kids from the Joe 15 Team would love your help by donating blood to the American Red Cross on Saturday January 24th from 9am-2:30pm. To schedule your appointment please email Debbie at: debd509@aol.com or call her at (703) 895-1606. As you recall, these kids do service projects throughout the year in memory of their friend Joe.

• SERVE is calling volunteers who love to cook for a cause. They need groups to prepare the evening meal for the 92 residents of the family shelter on January 26, 27 and 29th. This is the best project for your family or friends and colleagues to come together! You will need to purchase the ingredients, prepare the meal and serve dinner to the residents at 5pm on your designated day. You can use their state of the art kitchen or bring the meal in. This is your special moment in time to offer a warm, home cooked meal living in the shelter. Please call Jan at (571) 748-2621 to learn more.

• The Alzheimer’s Association needs volunteers to join their planning committee for the next walk on October 17th in Manassas. Please call Sonya at (703) 766-9025 to learn more.
• Catholic Charities needs volunteers to teach an English class at their Dale City office. Classes are held Wednesdays 7-9pm. Please email them at: volunteer.hogar@ccda.net to learn more.• Beacon Adult Literacy needs volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area. Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

• Literacy Volunteers is gearing up for their next volunteer training On March 7th. Come learn all the skills you need to help another adult reach their life goals. You do not need any prior experience. This is one person helping another. Please call (703) 670-5702 or visit www.lvapw.org to learn more.

• Habitat for Humanity is looking for teen volunteers to distribute flyers about all the wonderful services they provide to the Georgetown Village community in Woodbridge. You can do this anytime between now and February 2nd. Please visit their website at: habitatpwc.org and sign up on the volunteer calendar. It’s a great way for your club or group to do something fun together.

• Also for teens! You don’t want to miss the teen volunteer and summer job fair on Tuesday February 3rd at the Bull Run Library from 7pm-8:30pm. Come learn about jobs from employers looking for teen for this summer.

• Emeritus Senior Living in Lake Ridge is looking for volunteers to help with fun activities such as sewing circle, line dancing and others or simply give one on one companionship. Please call Brigette at (703) 680-0600 to learn more.

• Project Mend a House needs volunteers to help with minor home repair projects for elderly, disabled and low income families. Come share your handy hands and spirit. Please call (703) 792-7663 to learn more

• Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center needs volunteers to help with the silent auction and decoration committees for the big 15th Annual Winter dance on February 21st. Please email Robin at: rainbow@rainbowriding.org to learn more

• If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 1, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like. Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 0, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 3. Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org. Thanks so much for all you do in our community.

Used tires are mysterious. New Cooper Starfire Tires cost about the same

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Cooper Starfire Tires offer superior life and performance for just a few dollars more than the cost of a used tire

Instead of buying a used tire that you might have to replace sooner than later, consider a new Cooper Starfire Tire.

It’s a great option for someone looking for an inexpensive tire that will help keep their vehicle on the road longer and their occupants of the car safe.

Cooper Starfire Tires are available for multiple makes and models of vehicles. They’re manufactured in Asia and designed in the U.S. to compete with premium brands without the higher price tag of comparable tires.

The tire offers high-performance ability, improved grip and road handling, with an improved overall tire life.

Cooper Starfire Tires are great for drivers who may have purchased a vehicle that is more costly to maintain than first thought, but are still looking for a quality tire that delivers great handling and a quiet performance on the road. With the Starfire option available, drivers should think before purchasing a used tire.

Typically, drivers have no idea what type of life the used tire had before they obtain it. Used tires could be six to eight years old, perhaps older, and have spent the majority of their life as a used tire strapped to a vehicle. While used tires may look good, the rubber can be worn down or degraded after years of sitting idle. Some used tires may also be missing tread and show signs of wear.

Purchasing a Starfire Tire costs about $30 more than what a used tire might cost, but a new tire, on average, will provide three times the life of a single used tire. The price of a Starfire Tire is up to 30% less than other newer tires.  There are many Starfire Tires produced for SUVs, trucks, and the popular Honda Civic and Toyota Camry models.

Hometowne Auto Repair and Tire in Woodbridge, Virginia is now an authorized Cooper Tire dealer and offers a full line of Starfire Tires.

Teen wins NYC trip with “Say I Won’t” video with Manassas City Police Department

#SayIWont, manassas city police department

Captain Trey Lawler and Chief Doug Keen stand behind Mark Johnson.

In December, City of Manassas resident Mark Johnson had an idea for the #SayIWont video contest put on by Grammy Award winner Lecrae Moore and Reach Records. The video contest asked participants to make a 15 second video showing how “you’re not scared to be different.” Mark’s video featured members of the Manassas City Police Department.

Mark Johnson had the idea, in light of current happenings in other areas of the country, to show a positive relationship between the Manassas City Police Department and a City resident. His video shows him coming into MCPD Roll Call and encouraging the officers about to go out in the field.

Mark went to Osbourn High School in the City of Manassas. After a rocky start, including being expelled from school, Mark went back to Osbourn to finish high school with an advanced diploma. When asked why he chose the Manassas City Police Department to feature in his video, Mark said he remembered the great conversations he had in high school with Officer Cahill and he used that contact to make the video happen. 

On Dec. 12, while attending the Manassas City Police Department holiday luncheon, Mark received a phone call from Reach Records saying he had won the national video contest and had won a trip to New York City to accompany Lecrae Moore to a Brooklyn Nets game.

“We are honored that Mark chose the MCPD to feature in his video,” said Chief Doug Keen from the Manassas City Police Department. “Mark Johnson’s video sheds a positive light on relationships with police officers and those relationships are something we want to promote in the City of Manassas. We congratulate Mark on his award winning video.”

Johnson traveled to New York City in December.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Picture your art here to win

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Winning artwork to be featured on light poles in Manassas

Have you seen the banners that hang on the light poles in the Historic Downtown area of the City of Manassas and in other cities? If you are an artist or aspiring to be one, the art you create could be hanging on one of those light poles.

Historic Manassas, Inc. and the City of Manassas have launched an art contest to fill the banners in Historic Downtown with original pieces of art. The contest will be juried so that one artist will be awarded a grand prize of $1,000 and there will also be “people’s choice award” of $500. The contest deadline has been extended to Feb. 1, 2015.

This contest is part of an effort to promote art and tourism in the City of Manassas. The winning 50 pieces will be featured on the light pole banners and in a walking tour brochure that includes information on the piece and the artist. Information about the contest can be found at visitmanassas.org/banner-art-project.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

City of Manassas Citizen Satisfaction Survey results are in

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Manassas ranks above average in 8 Citizen Satisfaction categories surveyed

In a survey conducted by one of the nation’s leading community-based market research firms, results showed that citizen satisfaction in the City of Manassas is significantly above national and regional benchmarks in a number of service areas. Overall, three categories stood out: the overall quality of citizen services provided; the overall quality of water and sewer utilities; and the effectiveness of communication with the public.

Categories where the City of Manassas scored significantly higher than the national and regional benchmarks include:

  • Maintenance of streets
  • Sidewalks and infrastructure
  • How safe residents feel in their neighborhood at night, in commercial/business areas of the City and in City parks
  • Maintenance of neighborhood streets
  • Cleanliness of City streets
  • Access to information about City services
  • Opportunities to participate in local government 
  • Satisfaction with residential garbage collection and residential curbside recycling

The percentage of residents satisfied with customer service is 15 percent higher than the national average. Survey participants responded more than 20 percent above the national average when asked how satisfied they were with customer service in regards to response time and customer service experience.

“Having worked with City staff for the last year, I know how our dedicated staff goes above and beyond to provide services to the community,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. “I am extremely proud that resident opinions show that City of Manassas staff are significantly above the nation in customer service.”

City Council and staff are pleased with the results, not only because they highlight what the City is doing right, but because the survey shows what priorities the community has in coming years. Major services that were recommended as top priorities for investment over the next few years include: overall flow of traffic and ease of getting around; overall quality of public education; and overall quality of economic development.

ETC Institute used a random sample of households within the City of Manassas for this survey. They had a goal of 400 completed surveys being returned to provide this data and received 405 surveys from all areas of the City of Manassas. To read the survey results presented by ETC Institute, visit manassascity.org/CSS.

The preceding promoted post was written by the City of Manassas.

Christmas pickle an emerging tradition?

Christmas, pickle. holiday

We have a pickle hanging on our Christmas Tree at home.

My wife hangs the green glass ornament on our tree each year. It’s made of the same material a traditional ball ornament is made of. 

It’s an ornament we didn’t have on our tree when I was a child. My family opted for glass ornaments, apples, or tiny mailboxes for letters to Santa with the current year printed on the side of them.

Our pickle is always hung on the inside of the tree or on its back side. It’s never the first ornament you see on our tree, at that appears to be for good reason.

It appears pickles on trees are becoming more commonplace at the holidays. A myth states the person who finds the Christmas pickle will have good luck the following year. In Germany, many hid the pickle and gave the first child who found it an extra present on Christmas morning.

I wanted to find out just how popular hanging a pickled cucumber on a Christmas Tree really is, even if it is made of glass. Is the tradition as as popular in the U.S. as it is in Germany?

A search on Quora turned up some interesting results. Some have heard of the tradition while others, like Josh Stein who said he had a pickle on his family’s Christmas Tree when he was a child.

Read Quote of Josh Stein’s answer to Is the “Christmas Pickle” habit really common in America? on Quora

Others like Marc Bodnick had never heard of such a thing.

Read Quote of Marc Bodnick’s answer to Is the “Christmas Pickle” habit really common in America? on Quora

A Christmas Pickle sells for $4.99 on Amazon. I’ve seen them listed for as much as $10 each elsewhere online.

Until now, I always thought it was slightly odd to see a glass pickle on our tree. Now that I have thoroughly researched the topic, or devoted as much time as one should to a pickle on a Christmas Tree, I see my wife was onto something.

Call to Action: Volunteer Prince William collecting new coats, jackets for children

  Good morning – SERVE continues to have an urgent need for volunteer groups to prepare dinner on weeknights to the residents of the 92 bed family shelter.  Volunteer must provide the ingredients and prepare it for a 5pm meal.  You can use their lovely kitchen or bring dinner in.  This is the perfect way to share with a family in need.  Please call Jan at (571) 748-2621 to learn more

·         Un Trim A Tree Holiday Gift Program continues to need your help by adopting a child and buying a couple of gifts from their wish list.  So many need warm clothes!  I can provide you their name, age and two toy wishes so you can be a special Santa to a kid.  Please visit my website at: volunteerprincewilliam.org and fill out a donor form for me.  You will have a blast.  Come help us provide a little joy to a child.

·         Volunteer Prince William is collecting new coats and jackets for children age birth to 12 yrs. old.  Please consider buying an extra coat for a child while you are out shopping.  You can drop these off at our office in Manassas at 9248 center Street, or the United Bank at 10830 Balls Ford Road or at the Columbus Grill at 8349 Centreville Road.  Thanks for keeping a child warm this winter

·         Virginia Cooperative Extension invites you to their next training of How to be a Terrific Tenant – know your rights and responsibilities on Tuesday December 2nd at 7pm in Woodbridge.  Please register for this via email at: smartmoney@pwcgov.org or by calling (703) 792-8082

·         Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers on Saturday December 6th from 10am-3pm in Woodbridge.  Come get your hands a little dirty by clearing kudzu, chinaberry and Japanese honeysuckle.  You can sign up for this activity at: habitatpwc.org

·         Brain Injury Services needs volunteers to be friendly visitors and Pals to survivors of brain injury.  Please call Michelle at (703) 451-8881 ext.232 to learn more.

·         Catholic Charities has an urgent need for 20 volunteers to teach English and computer skills at their Manassas office.  Classes are held Monday-Thursday at 9am, 6pm, and 7:30pm or Saturdays at 10am.  Please email them at: volunteer.hogar@ccda.net to learn more.

·         Beacon Adult Literacy needs volunteer tutors to teach conversation or computer literacy to ESL students in the Manassas area.  Please call Caroline at (703) 368-7491 to learn more.

·         Literacy Volunteers is gearing up for their next volunteer training On January 17th.  Come learn all the skills you need to help another adult reach their life goals.  You do not need any prior experience.  This is one person helping another.  Please call (703) 670-5702 or visit www.lvapw.org to learn more.

·         Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center needs volunteers to help with the silent auction and decoration committees for the big 15th Annual Winter dance on February 21st.  Please email Robin at: rainbow@rainbowriding.org to learn more

·         If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William.  Coleen can help you with the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) opportunities at (703) 369-5292 ext. 207, Shelley can help with any individual or group project and send you weekly updates if you’d like.  Shelley is at (703) 369-5292 ext. 201, and Bonnie can help you with opportunities available in Disaster Preparedness at (703) 369-5292 ext. 202.  Please visit our newly re-vamped website at www.volunteerprincewilliam.org.  Thanks so much for all you do in our community. 

5 Winter Driving Tips to Keep You Safe on the Road

Winter has arrived early this season across the U.S.

Here’s what you can do now to prepare yourself and your vehicle for harsh winter driving.

1. Get enough rest?

It’s important when you’re driving in hot or cold weather that you get enough sleep the night before. It’s estimated that 100,000 crashes each year are attributed to drowsy driving. Drowsy driving also results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in damage each year. Unlike a breathalyzer test that could detect the presence of alcohol on someone’s breath, no test exists to determine someones alertness on the road.

2. To warm up, open your garage door

We all like a nice warm car to climb into on those cold winter mornings, but make sure you open the garage door before starting up the car. The carbon monoxide emitted by your vehicle’s tailpipe is odorless, tasteless, and has no color.

Dubbed a “silent killer” the gas can build up inside your garage when the car is running. If exposed to large amounts, it can lead to brain damage or death. Last month, a Connecticut couple was found dead inside a parking garage “most likely…by carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Pump up those tires

Properly inflated tires not only improve your gas milage that can also mean you car will have proper breaking distances and wear more evenly. In wintertime, cold temperatures make the air in your tires contract and your tires to lose air pressure.

With properly inflated tires, you’re tires are less likely to overheat and have a blowout on the road. You’ll also enjoy better control of your vehicle and improved braking distance.

4. Keep off cruise control

Insnow or on wet pavement, there’s always the possibility of spinouts or losing control of the car. The only way to regain control of the vehicle is to reduce the amount of power being output by the engine.

If you’re using cruise control and your car runs over a wet or icy patch of road, and you hydroplane or spin out, the cruise control setting will continue to apply the same amount of power to the car to maintain speed. That’s exactly what you don’t want.

5. Look and steer where you want to go

It might sound simple, but look and steer the car where you want it go. This comes in handy in the event you get caught in a slide.

If you get caught in one, release your brakes (they don’t work well on ice or snow, anyway) and then turn you steering wheel in the direction of the way the car is sliding. Then, keep looking in the direction you want to go and turn the wheel that way. If you turn too far you’ve “overcorrected” and that could cause the car to slide in the other direction.

The post is brought to you by Steve’s Auto Repair and Tire of Woodbridge.

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