For a Better Commute. For Better Connected Communities in Prince William & Stafford, Va.

Occoquan Local

The Young Center is looking for adult volunteers to be child advocates for immigrant children

Good Morning Prince William – Macy’s Clothing Closet needs your help to organize donated clothing for the residents of both the SERVE Shelter in Manassas and the Hilda Barg Shelter in Woodbridge. It’s a great way for you to give a little piece of mind to shelter residents who arrive with literally the shirt on their back. Call Julie at (571) 748-2674 or visit their website at:nvfs.org to learn more.
· The Lutheran Church of the Covenant in Dale City wants to pack 30,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger on March 10th. Super fun, family friendly event to help those less fortunate. You can choose either morning or afternoon shift. Please visit: www.whatsupwoodbridge.com for the link to register.

· K9 Serving Vets is looking for a volunteer photographer at their events. Please email cclark@k9sservingvets.org to learn more.

· Project Mend-A-House is now registering participants for their Live Well Workshops. This chronic disease self-management program meets at the Manassas Senior Center on Thursday mornings. Please call Martha at (571) 264-8559 to learn more.

· Prince William Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta invite you to the celebration of the contributions Africa-Americans make to the arts on Saturday February 3rd, 6-8pm at the Candy Factory in Manassas. Come see the wonderful exhibition of photography, painting and mixed media.

· The Young Center is looking for adult volunteers to be child advocates for unaccompanied immigrant children. The next training is March 3rd to give you all the tools needed for the child’s immigration process and their life in general. Please email: tkitchen@theyoungcenter.org to learn more.

· First Tee of Prince William County promises spring is right around the corner so volunteers are needed to teach kids the fundamentals of a good golf swing. Come join the fun of sharing the game of golf with kids while also sharing dealing with life’s issues. Please call Alan at (703) 792-8064 to learn more.

· People Incorporated is looking for volunteer tax preparers willing to be certified as an IRS VITA Income Tax Preparer for the 2018 tax season. This special tax preparer assists low-income individuals and families with tax preparation at Saint James Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper Street in Warrenton. Training is required, but you will be helping this vulnerable population navigate through their tax forms and IRS regulations. Volunteer Greeters are also needed to welcome those who visit the site, distribute forms, and create a pleasant atmosphere for the clients. For more information, please call Jeanne at (571) 445-3020 or email jhaley@peopleinc.net.

· Serve Our Willing Warriors will be hosting “A Night in Monte Carlo” February 3, 6:30pm-10:30pm at the Piedmont Club. Volunteers are needed to spread the word about the event, collect auction items, help with sponsorships and assist with various tasks the day of the event. Kimberly at kimberly.gaytan@willingwarriors.org is happy to provide more information on this great fundraiser. The agency also has numerous other volunteer opportunities available. It’s a great way to say Thank You to our veterans for their sacrifices, and also help this wonderful organization spread the word on how they support veterans. Please email volunteer@willingwarriors.org or visit willingwarriors.org for more information.

· The good folks at ACTS are in need of volunteer groups (large and small) who can help with various facilities projects such as grounds work, painting and helping their shelter create more space. Volunteers must be at least 16, and this is family friendly! Please contact Tamika at tmartin2@actspwc.us to learn how you can support this agency’s programs.

· The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is in urgent need of volunteers age 55+ to teach 4th grade children the life skills to keep them safe alone and safe at home. Volunteers must be available during school hours. This fun curriculum is very interactive and of course the kids are very fun. Training is provided; please call Jan to learn more at (571) 292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· SERVE Shelter is in need of small volunteer groups (6-8) who can prepare and serve a meal to their shelter residents in February. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Meals needed are February 11 Dinner and February 19 (President’s Day) Brunch and Dinner. Groups have the option to prepare food offsite and deliver, or bring ingredients and prepare and serve onsite in the shelter kitchen. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to provide the homeless with a delicious, home-cooked meal.

If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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 projects 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.

Prince William Supervisors explore pay raises, equalizing their office budgets

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A ribbon was cut at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center unveiling new rooms, upgrades at its emergency department

WOODBRIDGE — Today, Wednesday, January 17th, 2018, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center officially unveiled a $2.6 million renovation of its Emergency Department.

Surrounded by doctors, nurses, members of the team and representatives from Prince William County’s EMS, hospital President Kathie Johnson helped cut the ribbon and usher in this new generation of emergency care at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. The redesign and renovation of the 21,000-square-foot space features a revamp of patient rooms and storage areas, creating a clean, sleek, inviting space supporting streamlined services and exemplary patient care.

Lobby renovations will expedite the registration and triage process and allow our clinical staff to assess the severity of a patient’s ailments. Inside the Emergency Department doors, the open floor plan allows our nurses, doctors and staff to more easily see, monitor and respond to our patients.  

The renovation and remodel of the Emergency Department not only signals a fresh look, but also the launch and redesign of Emergency Care Services at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center: Focused Care and Acute Care. Focused Care for patients needing minor care with minimal, additional testing. Acute Care for patients requiring more advanced medical attention and diagnostic testing. We have four fully equipped critical care specialty rooms ready to handle the most acute emergencies. Designating the most appropriate care track for our patients, enhances the patient experience and supports patient care.  

In addition to the added value of this redesign inside the Emergency Department, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is proud to offer Emergency Department valet services. This service is designed to meet the needs of our patients and their families at no charge from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.. These services are just one more way we’re working to improve health every day and to become the provider of choice for our Prince William County Community.


‘Acting with an air of arrogance is not the FreshySites way’

“Be Ego Free” – the second part of the FreshySites Ethos.

This mantra flows seamlessly from the first component of our Ethos Serve the Customer.

As we said in our previous post, without the members of our client family, we wouldn’t be here. We always strive to impress upon our clients that they’re our top priority through making customer service and support best practices an integral part of the FS process.

Being ego-free is another way we effectively serve each and every one of our customers.

Whenever we’re collaborating with one another, and with clients, each one of us makes a concerted effort to treat whoever we’re working with the utmost respect and kindness, always making them feel comfortable and valued.

Acting with an air of arrogance is not the FreshySites way.

Everyone on our team, as well as each one of our clients, has something to offer. We value the differences in our team members’ skills and abilities because it makes us stronger as a unit and better able to serve our various clients’ different needs.

We’re confident in our individual team member’s talents and abilities, as well as our team’s collective skills and capabilities.

However, we recognize that we’re not perfect. Though we may be experts in certain fields, there is always more to learn – from each other and from our clients.

Being ego-free is an essential part of that, as well as ensuring the business-to-client relationship is both respected and trusted.

You couldn’t trust us to take your business or organization’s message and effectively communicate it to the public through a beautiful website if you felt like we didn’t listen to your input because we thought ours was better.

At FresySites, you’ll never feel like that. Once you’re a member of the FS client family, you and your input will always be valued first and foremost.

FreshySites – a regionally focused company with national reach and operations, dedicated to serving our clients through being ego-free.

FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast. Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!”

Winter weather delays and closings information for Jan. 17, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Fredericksburg City Public Schools, Spotsylvania County Public Schools, King George County Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, King George County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Fredericksburg City, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 


IT threats to look out for in 2018

With every new year come new inventions and discoveries, new risks and areas of opportunities. As even the most private and sensitive areas of our business and personal lives become digitized, new cybersecurity and IT threats arise. IT expert Chris Albright of CMIT Solutions of Centreville considers ransomware, IoT hacking, machine learning, and insufficient IT and cybersecurity to be the largest IT threats of 2018.

Ransomware

Globally, ransomware attacks grew by 56 percent in 2017, with the WannaCry attack being the largest of all time. Ransomware includes any kind of cyberattack in which a business or individual is required to pay a monetary fee in order to regain full access of their computer, breached data or Cloud. There is currently no way around regaining access without paying the ransom — and no guarantee that if you pay, the breached data won’t be compromised once paid. Most ransomware attacks are automated, so it is rare that you currently or will ever be able to determine who is behind your data or computer breach. Payments are often a few hundred dollars paid via cryptocurrency which is extremely difficult to track.

IoT Hacking

There are many personal and professional benefits to creating an in-house Internet of Things (IoT). As convenient as your smart devices or custom network may be, each come with unique IT risks. This goes beyond standard mobile devices to IoT hacks for pacemakers, defibrillators, heart monitors, video cameras and any internet-connected electronic device. This also includes the increased risk for hacking into home or office automation features.

Machine Learning

Intelligent chatbots and machine learning algorithms that get smarter with each interaction create a whole new set of IT threats. This includes the in-depth personal and business data gathered by the artificial intelligence (AI) we implement to boost productivity. For example, Amazon Echo, Siri or Google Assistant can now help us complete a long and growing list of virtual tasks. While AI can be used for a variety of legitimate and productive purposes, it can also be used to help hackers learn how to improve their hacking techniques. On the flipside, AI will be simultaneously used to detect bad bots, malicious AI and machine learning.

Insufficient IT and Cybersecurity

Training, education and a proactive IT and cybersecurity plan is the best way to minimize internal and external risk factors. Unfortunately, few families have an IT plan in place, and businesses with an IT security plan often fail to update the plan with the frequency required to remain secure. With the number of bring your own (BYO) devices, shared devices, internet-connected gadgets and IT threats evolving at a rapid place, it is essential that everyone have an IT plan in place. This includes everything from secure hosting, network security, mobile device management, data and Cloud security, in-house IT policies and procedures, and managed IT services.

The threats above are far from the only IT security concerns you should have your eye on but are some of the greatest IT threats of 2018.

CMIT Solutions of Centreville provides a strategic approach to IT consulting that improves the performance of your business technology in the most cost-effective way possible. Assisting businesses across Northern Virginia, CMIT Centreville can help you achieve the fastest return on your technology investment. Call 703-881-7738 today to see how CMIT Centreville can help your business stay in business.

Content provided by All Things Writing, LLC

The annual Souper Bowl Bingo event. You’ll want to be there.

Good Morning Prince William – The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry is having their Annual Souper Bowl Bingo event on Saturday January 20th from 3-5pm at Alvey Elementary School. Come join all the fun by either purchasing your bingo card for $1 or bring a can of soup, vegetables, beans and the like. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase. Please email Kim with any questions at: mail@networkforgood.com.

· Northern Virginia Family Services needs An American Sign Language volunteer to help with their Healthy Families program. Please call Navara at (571) 748-2536 to learn more.

· ACTS in Dumfries needs volunteers to help in the main office to answer phones and man the front desk. This is a fun, busy office. Please fill out a volunteer application on their website: actspwc.org

· First Tee of Prince William County promises spring is right around the corner so volunteers are needed to teach kids the fundamentals of a good golf swing. Come join the fun of sharing the game of golf with kids while also sharing dealing with life’s issues. Please call Alan at (703) 792-8064 to learn more.

· Please mark your calendars for Saturday, January 20 when the Annual Joe 15 Blood Drive will be held, 9am to 2pm, at Manassas Church of the Brethren. Not only does this provide life-giving blood for the community, this event also honors the memory of Joseph “Joe” Page, who would have turned 30 this year. Please contact Debbie at debd509@aol.com to schedule an appointment. You can also visit redcrossblood.org/make-donation and enter The Joe 15 Team in the Sponsor Code box.

· People Incorporated is looking for volunteer tax preparers willing to be certified as an IRS VITA Income Tax Preparer for the 2018 tax season. This special tax preparer assists low-income individuals and families with tax preparation at Saint James Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper Street in Warrenton. Training is required, but you will be helping this vulnerable population navigate through their tax forms and IRS regulations. Volunteer Greeters are also needed to welcome those who visit the site, distribute forms, and create a pleasant atmosphere for the clients. For more information, please call Jeanne at (571) 445-3020 or email jhaley@peopleinc.net.

· The busy team at the SERVE Shelter are looking for volunteers age 18 and up to help with the annual Point in Time Count on January 25, 6:30am-12Noon. This survey provides an annual count of the nation’s unsheltered homeless population, and will focus on Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The survey will be held, rain, snow or shine. Training prior to the survey will be provided. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to get involved with this important project.

· Serve Our Willing Warriors will be hosting “A Night in Monte Carlo” February 3, 6:30pm-10:30pm at the Piedmont Club. Volunteers are needed to spread the word about the event, collect auction items, help with sponsorships and assist with various tasks the day of the event. Kimberly at kimberly.gaytan@willingwarriors.org is happy to provide more information on this great fundraiser. The agency also has numerous other volunteer opportunities available. It’s a great way to say Thank You to our veterans for their sacrifices, and also help this wonderful organization spread the word on how they support veterans. Please email volunteer@willingwarriors.org or visit willingwarriors.org for more information.

· The good folks at ACTS are in need of volunteer groups (large and small) who can help with various facilities projects such as grounds work, painting and helping their shelter create more space. Volunteers must be at least 16, and this is family friendly! Please contact Tamika at tmartin2@actspwc.us to learn how you can support this agency’s programs.

· The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is in urgent need of volunteers age 55+ to teach 4th grade children the life skills to keep them safe alone and safe at home. Volunteers must be available during school hours. This fun curriculum is very interactive and of course the kids are very fun. Training is provided; please call Jan to learn more at (571) 292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· SERVE Shelter is in need of small volunteer groups (6-8) who can prepare and serve a meal to their shelter residents in February. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Meals needed are February 3 Dinner, February 4 Brunch, February 11 Dinner and February 19 (President’s Day) Brunch and Dinner. Groups have the option to prepare food offsite and deliver, or bring ingredients and prepare and serve onsite in the shelter kitchen. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to provide the homeless with a delicious, home-cooked meal.

If you are looking for other opportunities, please don’t forget to call my wonderful team at Volunteer Prince William. Jan 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 projects 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.

Virginia’s governor wants money ‘off the top’ for Metro. But our ‘non-Metro’ jurisdictions like Prince William and Manassas say not so fast.

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Our premium membership content tier launches Jan. 10, 2018

Starting Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, we will introduce our premium content tier. I hope you will choose to become a member!

Here, our best and most informative work to cover our community — from local government to new and fun things to do with your friends and family — will be featured in our premium content tier.

Gaining access to our premium content tier is easy, and it’s priced at a great value: $6 a month, or save 10% and pay up front at just $65 a year.

Only selected content will appear on our premium membership tier. Many of the features you have come to expect from Potomac Local, including the police blotter, reader questions, and emails, our popular Breakfast Links email will continue to be sent at 5 a.m. each weekday, will remain free.

So, if you already get it you’ll keep getting it. If you don’t, sign up free.

We first told you about membership and our upcoming premium content in early December.

In addition to access to great local news coverage, members will also be eligible for special offers and discounts from area businesses and will be invited to special events.

Your membership — valued at less than two cups of coffee month — is vital for Potomac Local to not only to continue to cover our community with trusted, unbiased, objective local news but also to expand our coverage in traffic and transportation news, something that affects all Northern Virginians.

I had the pleasure of speaking with many readers about the change shortly after I announced it in December. I’m always available to answer any questions you might have regarding this first-of-its-kind change on Potomac Local, so please email me at ukiser[at]potomaclocal.com.

Thank you for your continued support of Potomac Local over the years, and for becoming a sustaining member of our local news organization.

Watch your language: How communication influences the care relationship

“No one likes to be given bad news, and a diagnosis of dementia is devastating. How wonderful it would be though if the bad news and negative language stopped at that point.”

So begins a short article by Wendy Mitchell, who is living with dementia.  Wendy says the manner in which care providers communicate can have a profound effect on a patient’s ability to cope with a chronic medical condition.

School delays and closures for Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

Afternoon ice possible, school delays and closures for Monday, Jan. 8, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 

The flu is making people in our region sicker than it did last year

The waiting room at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center was full on Friday.

The hospital in Woodbridge and its satellite location in Lake Ridge have been swamped in recent days by patients who have fallen ill with the flu.

In Virginia, it’s widespread, and this year’s flu strain is different than what we saw last year. The predominant strain that is seen this year is making people sicker than in year’s past.

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Emergency Department Chief Dr. Adam Brown: 

“However this year is dissimilar from last year we are seeing patients get much sicker and have more respiratory type of complaints or respiratory issues associated with it, meaning severe shortness of breath, wheezing, having high fevers listlessness etc. When those type of things are happening, that’s definitely the reason to be coming to the emergency department… Last year with the flu…we didn’t see it at the levels that we are already seeing influenza this year and as early as we are seeing it. We typically gets peaks of influenza in January and February and we’re already starting to see high levels but we’re also starting to see patients get sicker this year than we’ve seen in the past.”

Those who have not already been vaccinated this season for flu should plan to wear a mask if they need to visit the hospital, says Brown:

“… we require them to wear masks not only for their own safety from getting infected by influenza but also to prevent trans transmitting the virus to other patients and to other colleagues. What we’ve done is we have multiple flu kits that are stationed around the entrances in the lobbies that have masks as well as a gel hand sanitizers scattered around the hospital in the hallways et cetera. We just want to make sure that patients know that that’s available to them. We want them to use it liberally because people can spread the virus the influenza virus even before they start having symptoms up to 12 to 24 hours. So whatever you’re coming here to visit a family member or a loved one here at the hospital we want people to feel very comfortable of course and wearing the mask as they’d like. And also we always want people to wash their hands on a very frequent basis with any type of patient interaction or family interaction.”

The flu shot is having less of a preventative effect on patients with this year’s flu strain, Brown tells us. But llu season runs until May, so it’s still a good idea to get your flu shot, says Brown: 

“So it takes a few weeks for the shot to start working within the system and within the body. So if you don’t have your flu shot you need to get it now so that protects you for the end of January February March and beyond. Still recommended one thing that is a little different this year is that the predominant strain of flu that is floating out there around the community is not as sensitive to the flu shot. Now does that mean that you should not get the flu shot. Absolutely not. You still need to get the flu shot because there are still a good chance that that flu vaccine will prevent you from getting the flu. And it’s much better than having nothing.”

And there are over-the-counter ways to treat the flu, says Brown:

‘Those symptoms are fevers chills really severe body aches sometimes headaches and then in addition to that people will get coughing dry cough type symptoms. For the most part most people with run of the mill influenza. It’s a self-limited disease process meaning that taking things like acetaminophen or Tylenol or Motrin to help treat fevers some cough medications over the over-the-counter staying in bed drinking lots of fluids takes care of that illness without a lot of problems.”

The Annual Joe 15 Blood Drive for Joe Page who would have turned 30 this year

Good Morning Prince William – Happy New Year! Please mark your calendars for Saturday, January 20 when the Annual Joe 15 Blood Drive will be held, 9am to 2pm, at Manassas Church of the Brethren. Not only does this provide life-giving blood for the community, this event also honors the memory of Joseph “Joe” Page, who would have turned 30 this year. Please contact Debbie at debd509@aol.com to schedule an appointment. You can also visit redcrossblood.org/make-donation and enter The Joe 15 Team in the Sponsor Code box.

· Prince William Health District is holding their Community Health Worker (CHW) information & recruitment session on Wednesday, January 10, 10:30am– 1:00pm at 8470 Kao Circle, Manassas 20110. The CHW volunteer program aims at improving health in the community by facilitating access to resources and providing health education. This session will be an opportunity to learn more about the program and go through an onboarding process for anyone interested in joining. Please RSVP to bisrat.tesfagiorgis@vdh.virginia.gov to learn more.

· The wonderful team at Astar Education Institute is searching for families interested in hosting a Chinese high school student January 22 thru February 1. This is a great way to introduce yourself or your family to a different culture and get a taste of hosting without making a long term commitment. All host families will get the opportunity to send their son, daughter or other family member to China for free as part of a culture exchange this summer as a thank you for hosting! Please call (703) 368-6838 for more information on how you can support this opportunity.

· People Incorporated is looking for volunteer tax preparers willing to be certified as an IRS VITA Income Tax Preparer for the 2018 tax season. This special tax preparer assists low-income individuals and families with tax preparation at Saint James Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper Street in Warrenton. Training is required, but you will be helping this vulnerable population navigate through their tax forms and IRS regulations. Volunteer Greeters are also needed to welcome those who visit the site, distribute forms, and create a pleasant atmosphere for the clients. For more information, please call Jeanne at (571) 445-3020 or email jhaley@peopleinc.net.

· The busy team at the SERVE Shelter are looking for volunteers age 18 and up to help with the annual Point in Time Count on January 25, 6:30am-12Noon. This survey provides an annual count of the nation’s unsheltered homeless population, and will focus on Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The survey will be held, rain, snow or shine. Training prior to the survey will be provided. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to get involved with this important project.

· Serve Our Willing Warriors will be hosting “A Night in Monte Carlo” February 3, 6:30pm-10:30pm at the Piedmont Club. Volunteers are needed to spread the word about the event, collect auction items, help with sponsorships and assist with various tasks the day of the event. Kimberly at kimberly.gaytan@willingwarriors.org is happy to provide more information on this great fundraiser. The agency also has numerous other volunteer opportunities available. It’s a great way to say Thank You to our veterans for their sacrifices, and also help this wonderful organization spread the word on how they support veterans. Please email volunteer@willingwarriors.org or visit willingwarriors.org for more information.

· The good folks at ACTS are in need of volunteer groups (large and small) who can help with various facilities projects such as grounds work, painting and helping their shelter create more space. Volunteers must be at least 16, and this is family friendly! Please contact Tamika at tmartin2@actspwc.us to learn how you can support this agency’s programs.

· The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is in urgent need of volunteers age 55+ to teach 4th grade children the life skills to keep them safe alone and safe at home. Volunteers must be available during school hours. This fun curriculum is very interactive and of course the kids are very fun. Training is provided; please call Jan to learn more at (571) 292-5307 to be part of the RSVP team.

· SERVE Shelter is in need of small volunteer groups (6-8) who can prepare and serve a meal to their shelter residents in February. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Meals needed are February 3 Dinner, February 4 Brunch, February 11 Dinner and February 19 (President’s Day) Brunch and Dinner. Groups have the option to prepare food offsite and deliver, or bring ingredients and prepare and serve onsite in the shelter kitchen. Please contact Julie at jrmartinez@nvfs.org for more information on how to provide the homeless with a delicious, home-cooked meal.

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

The friendly faces of website design, SEO, online advertising

At FreshySites, we’re dedicated to taking our clients’ online presence to the next level through the creation of beautiful, clean and user-friendly websites.

In all we do, we strive to follow an Ethos, made up of seven clear and honest components that define who we are as a company. Our posts over the next few months will serve as an explanation of our Ethos and how we carry this creed out on a daily basis.

Serve the Customer is the first part of our Ethos. Every other part of the FS Ethos, as well as our daily process, flows from this mantra. We recognize that without the members of our client family, we wouldn’t be in business. We want them to know they are our top priority and truly appreciated, through our best-in-industry customer service/support.

This is why our team comes to work each day ready to serve our clients in any way possible, constantly looking for ways to help them and show them how valued they are. Each employee is essential in generating this culture and mindset throughout FS.

We understand that website design, SEO, online advertising, etc. is uncharted territory for many of the businesses, organizations, and nonprofits that we serve. We are the link to this world for our clients who don’t know the ins and outs of the industry as we do.

If you call us or come to our office, you will always be greeted with a friendly, understanding tone or a warm, welcoming smile courtesy of someone who is eager and ready to help you to the best of his/her ability.

FreshySites’ success can be attributed to a lot of things, but predominantly to our team’s attention to the members of our client family – whether that’s staying on the phone and going to a client’s website page by page, responding to countless support emails in a matter of minutes or turning around proposals on the same day.

The fundamentals of good business start with serving the customer. At FreshySites, our Ethos does too. It’s our (not-so-secret) recipe for success 🙂

FreshySites – a regionally focused company with national reach and operations, dedicated to serving our clients.

FreshySites is a fast-growing website design firm dedicated to creating beautiful websites, while consistently delivering best-in-industry customer service and support. Founded in 2011, FreshySites has quickly expanded into the largest in-house WordPress web design shop on the East Coast. 

Our Washington D.C. office was founded in 2012 by Vincent Consumano. With additional offices, we have the team, resources and tools to serve our local – and national – clients through website mockups, creative briefs, revision rounds, and Search Engine Optimization audits. FreshySites is determined to take our regional clients’ online presence to the next level, ultimately helping them to grow and thrive. Explore our website to learn more about us, see our portfolio of work and become a part of our client family today!”


Children can forge communication skills, writing with Youth Center Stage

Youth Center Stage classes starting Saturday, January 6

Exploring Acting (Ages 5 – 7)

Would you love for your child to improve their cognitive functions, forge communication skills, and enhance confidence? Well, they can, in a safe, fun and excellence-orientated environment with our Exploring Acting class! They’ll sing, dance, and enjoy their way through early development.

Kids Again the Musical

With our Kids Again the Musical class, your child will play fun games, work in harmony with other children, and improve their interpersonal skills. Now, when it comes to the performance, they’ll have superb confidence levels, new-found abilities, and a passion of learning, all of which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their education!

Improv Comedy (Ages 13 and Up)

Improvisation is a wonderful way to build interpersonal skills, express personality and harness some real self-belief. So, why not provide your child with a brilliant opportunity to do just that, with our amazing Improv Comedy class? They’ll play improv games and perform on stage, both of which will make them smile and develop skills!

Young Author’s – Online (Ages 8 and Up)

The art of writing is a fantastic way to improve and showcase creativity, as well as push your child further in their academic studies. With our Young Author’s online class, your child will have a fabulous chance to compose their own book, publish it and then attend the book release. What a great way to develop communication and interpersonal skills, eh?!


Job post: HVAC/ R

HVAC/ R Commercial Technician – Commercial HVAC Service Technician 2 Plus yrs of Commercial HVAC Service exp. required. CFC certificate & a clean record required. Installation & Preventative Maintenance knowledge a plus. Please contact us at info@airtechsolutionsinc.com.

Location/Region: Stafford, VA (US – 22554)

We cover Maryland, DC, Fredericksburg, and Stafford.

Winter weather delays and closings information for Jan. 4, 2018

Here’s today’s OPM status. 

The Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates from Prince William County Public Schools, Stafford County Public Schools, Manassas City Public Schools, Manassas Park City Public Schools, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, George Mason University, Mary Washington University. 

This Twitter list below will show closings, delays, and updates posted by local governments in Prince William County, Stafford County, Manassas City, Manassas Park, Dumfries Town, Haymarket Town, Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir. 


New Years living healthier: Get pap smears beginning at 21, yearly mammograms starting at 40, colonoscopies at 45 or 50

As we kick off a new year, many women will be vowing to hit the gym, but this year, healthcare providers are challenging women to expand that resolution to include their overall health.

”If we want to have a good quality of life, as well as quantity, we have to be proactive about our health,” explains Sentara Family and Internal Medicine Physicians, Dr. Raenell Williams.

Many women are traditionally caregivers, putting everyone’s health and well-being before their own. This is where problems can arise. Dr. Williams says simple changes now can pay off in the future, “It means living a healthy lifestyle.  This means eating healthier and getting regular exercise towards maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking.  Then, we have to take advantage of the preventive measures that are available to us such as regular pap smears beginning at age 21, yearly mammograms starting at age 40, and colonoscopies at 45 or 50 years old.

As for physicals, Dr. Williams says that really depends on your family history and risk factors. If you don’t feel well and have a strong family history of health issues, you should see your primary care physician every year. If you’re in generally good health, you may be able to spread those visits to every two to three years.

Bottom line she says, the investment in ourselves is worth it, “We have a lot to live for and knowledge is power.  So, as women, we should empower ourselves by being proactive about our health.  We don’t want to be blindsided by a diagnosis.  Prevention, early detection, and proper maintenance are the best ways to fight any condition.  Get guidance by partnering with your primary care physician.  The internet and social media should not be your main source of information.”

There are some changes to OmniRide’s Snow Emergency Plan

From OmniRide: 

PRTC’s new Emergency Service Plan brochure is available on buses and online. Please make sure to familiarize yourself with the plan as we enter the winter weather season.

This year’s changes to the plan include:

  • In the morning, OmniRide routes will only operate between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., with buses departing every 20 minutes.

  • Dale City – Washington/Pentagon/ Rosslyn/ Ballston/ Navy Yard. All AM buses start at the Lindendale Commuter Lot. Bus stops along Minnieville and Caton Hill ARE NOT SERVED. However, if PRTC runs regular service in the AM, and the ESP is implemented for PM service, passengers who need to travel to bus stops on Minnieville and Caton Hill roads should remain on the bus past the Lindendale Commuter Lot.

  • Gainesville – Washington/ Pentagon. All AM buses start at the Limestone Commuter Lot before serving the Cushing Road Commuter Lot. In the AM and PM, buses will follow Linton Hall Metro Direct routing.

  • South Route 1. AM passengers should board a shuttle bus at any PRTC bus stop along Route 1 between Fox Lair and Wayside Drive, and then transfer to a waiting Montclair OmniRide bus at the Route 234 Commuter Lot. In the PM, riders will share a bus with Montclair OmniRide passengers and transfer to a shuttle at the Route 234 Commuter Lot.

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