Thursday, February 25, 2010

CVN Monthly Update, Feb. 2010: Community Garden and Committee of 100

Below is our most recent email--please let us know any feedback. Also, if you aren't getting these in your inbox, sign up on the County site (be sure to check the box that you're interested in CVN and in receiving emails):
Dear CVN volunteer, 

So we're rolling along here with CVN and excited to involve you all in some new initiatives (in addition to the big 'ol line-up of events for March--check out the list farther down). We now have a crew of around 18 of us on four committees (!!), all of whom are involved in some way in planning volunteering and social events, and communicating with you all about it--many thanks to everyone who has gotten involved.

BUT, will such a big crew get much done? We think so.
We're experimenting, so we'll slip up some, but we think dedicated people aiming for some worthwhile goals can do some real good.   So, we've got some things in store here and hope you'll continue to engage. For example:

  • The first event for our new Recurring Volunteering Committee, set up by Committee Lead Brynn Slate, will center around working on working with a local school on a community garden--see sign-up details below;
  • The upcoming launch of a CVN blog-- which we think will allow CVN volunteers to have a forum to help improve on our ideas and suggest their own; we'll also be using it to do things like highlight volunteers and start discussions on issues like civic engagement, volunteerism, and how we might do both more effectively. But we'll aim to avoid writing just to see ourselves write, so to speak, so weigh in and keep us in line!
  • Also, we're excited that three of you answered our call for more committee leads in our last email; now we just have ONE last spot to fill (for now!)--basically, you'd be on the Monthly Volunteering Committee and in charge of planning two one-time volunteer events over the next six months. Interested? Contact Kellen MacBeth at;
  • On our Social Committee, Sara Abramson has stepped up as our Committee of 100 Lead, and each month she's able to she'll be rallying a group of CVN folks to attend. The Comm. of 100 is a crucial example of civic engagement in Arlington--see more and RSVP below;
  • As a last note for now, many thanks to everyone who came out to our Time Slips event and to our AFAC chicken bagging in February!


Upcoming CVN events:
  • Arlington Community Conversations Info Session - Sat, Feb. 27, 1:30pm - 3:30pm | This small-scale conversation project was designed as a follow-up to Arlington County's Diversity Dialogue initiative, with the goal of bringing our community together through the power of story. The project developed via a collaborative partnership between community members, Arlington County, CVN, and George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. For more information, view the invitation here. Anyone interested in learning more, and who can commit to 3-4 gatherings, are asked to RSVP to and to join us this Saturday at the Arlington Central Library.
  • Kick-off Info Session for Recurring Volunteering at Local School Garden - Wed, March 3, 7pm – 8pm | Interested in working outside, supporting local kids, and learning about produce and plants? Become part of a new team of CVN volunteers who will regularly help out in the garden at Arlington Traditional School. The volunteer team will assist with garden maintenance, new projects and expansion, educational activities, and community events, all related to the school garden. A social/educational component will allow volunteers to get to know each other and learn about issues surrounding school gardening, healthy food in schools, outdoor classrooms, and more! We'll have our first work day in the garden on March 6th and this info session will the week before. If you'd like to participate in the March 6th activity but can't attend the info meeting, contact Brynn Slate at Find out more, RSVP:
  • A-SPAN Emergency Winter Shelter - Sat, March 6, 6:30pm – 8:30pm | Thanks to everyone who signed up for this, we're all full! Find out more about what CVN will be doing to help out at the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network (A-SPAN):
  • March Monthly Meetup - Tue, March 9, 7pm – 9pm | We know our last meetup wasn't that long ago, but we blame old man winter for that. While we're still nailing down when each Meetup will be based on social survey results, we'll keep you posted on that (just note this is on the second Tues. in March, not the first).  So come on out, we'll be hanging at Carpool (right near the VA Square Metro stop)! Find out more, RSVP:
  • Skate Night for Individuals with Disabilities - Fri, March 19, 7:45pm – 10:15pm | CVN will be volunteering at Family Ice Skate Night at Ballston Ice Rink. The night is sponsored by the Arlington County Office of Therapeutic Recreation/Prevention-Intervention and is an opportunity for individuals with disabilities and their families to have some fun with the whole rink to themselves. CVN volunteers will help the event planners set-up, run, and take-down the event. This should be a great time to assist individuals with disabilities and their loved ones (and you don't have to know how to skate!). Find out more, RSVP:
  • Community Residences Painting/Yard Work - Sat, March 20, 10am – 2pm | CVN will be working with Community Residences to perform exterior work at their 16th Street house. Volunteers will have an opportunity to stain a fence, work with mulch, and do yard clean-up and some light painting. Community Residences provides services and housing for individuals with disabilities in Northern Virginia. Their mission is to provide an array of services to individuals with disabilities to ensure that they can live high quality and independent lives. Find out more, RSVP:
Other local opps:
  • Join CVN at a Dinner and Discussion on Arlington's Youth - Wed, March 10, 6-7 tour, 6:30-7:30 dinner, 7:30 program | This month, we invite you to join CVN's Committee of 100 Lead, Sara Abramson, along with myself and others at the Committee of 100's monthly dinner and discussion. This month will focus on how Arlington youth are exceeding national averages on some potentially harmful behavior. The Committee will take a little field trip from their normal location and hold the event at Washington-Lee High School (with a student-led tour of the new facility and dinner catered by Moby Dick House of Kabob!). If interested in the dinner portion, you must RSVP by March 7th to, CVN volunteers are also encouraged to RSVP on Facebook here so we can make plans to meet up at the event!  
  • Phoenix Bike Annual Bike Show and Fundraiser - Thurs, April 8, 7pm - 9pm | I checked this out last year and it was a blast. This year, the bike show marks Phoenix Bike's third year of existence, and take place about a block from Ballston Metro. Along with bringing the local cycling community together for an evening of chatting over good food and drink, they'll be: celebrating "extraordinary rides" as submitted by the public with artists' depictions of the rides; raffling three bikes or more; and having silent auctions to benefit their youth programming. They'll also have six time 24-hour solo mountain bike world champion Chris Eatough on hand to speak. Find out more, pick up your tickets now: 
  • Bike and Walk Arlington Event - March 11 & 13, Times Vary | Bike Arlington and Walk Arlington need your help to get an accurate count of how many Arlingtonians are biking and walking.  The data collection is a crucial step in getting more support for alternative forms of transportation.  Find out more, RSVP: 
  • Other Volunteering Opps - Find some other volunteering opportunities you might be interested in here.

Have a great March, we'll look forward to seeing you around!

Brendan O'Connor
Community Volunteer Network (CVN)

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