Friday, February 27, 2009

CVN Monthly Update, March 2009: Bikes for the World and Better Together

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,

We're experimenting with the best ways to communicate with Community Volunteer Network (CVN) volunteers, and this monthly Chair update is no exception--so if next month's looks a little different, that's us trying to find what works best!

This month I've organized the below into bite-sized notes on the events that we're organizing for March, along with the events from outside organizations that we think you may appreciate.  We think that the act of connecting with various groups in Arlington and being exposed to lots of issues is critical--not just so we can volunteer for various areas, but so we can also understand the wider set of issues that affect our neighbors and our County. We hope to be a bridge in that way as much as possible.

  • Monthly Meet-up - Tues, March 3 (7-9 pm): As with every first Tuesday, we'll be gathering together for our monthly happy hour. We try to hit a different neighborhood in Arlington each month, so we'll be checking out Ireland's Four Courts in Courthouse this time around. Look for CVN folks in the James Joyce Room in back, donning our green shirts. RSVP via Facebook. A representative from the Reading Connection will be there to tell us a bit about their group.
  • Send Bikes to Africa and Central America - Sat, March 14th (10 am – 1pm):  This month we are looking to team up with Bikes for the World to load ("cram") hundreds of donated bikes and bike parts into 40' shipping containers; those containers will then ship out to health, education, and job programs in Africa and Central America. These used bikes empower individuals overseas to access school, health services, and employment.  Click here for more details or to RSVP.
  • Visit With Older Arlingtonians at Cherrydale - Sat, March 14th (1:30 - 3:30 pm): Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center has become a regular partner with CVN as we seek to offer some companionship and memorable experiences to their residents. Cherrydale has been around for 22 years and provides a wide range of services to its community (which ranges in age from 19 to 106!). This month we'll be making cornbread with them, chatting, and doing a small art project with the residents relating to food. Click here for more details or to RSVP.
  • Book Discussion on Whether We are "Better Together" - Sun, March 22 (4-6 pm): We'll be meeting up for an informal chat about the act of improving our community as a community, using Better Together by Robert Putnam as a jumping off point.  Be marking up a few areas in your books that you might like to bring up at our discussion, as we'll look to have each of us share a few items of interest and then go from there.  Click here for more details or to RSVP.
  • All Hands Food and Clothing Drive with ASPAN and AFAC (with a side of kickball) - Sat, March 28 (1:30-4 pm): A group of dedicated folks, when combining their efforts, can do a lot of good. If each person that reads this looks around their place, gathers together some food, clothes, and other items, we think that could add up to quite a bit for Arlington residents in need.  We hope everyone who can will join us in South Arlington with our donations to benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) and the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network (A-SPAN).  Both need are help more than ever. So come join us and, if the weather's right, we'll be having some fun with a pick-up kickball game afterwards. Click here for more details or to RSVP.
  • Committee of 100 Meeting on Smart Growth in Arlington - Wed, March 11 (7-9:30 pm or 7:45 for program only): The Committee of 100 is such a neat organization, focused on bringing together Arlington citizens to consider issues of import to the County. Their meetings include drinks, dinner, and then an educational program. This one involves a documentary that looks at issues like how Metro was able to expand into Arlington. Find out more here and contact Tim Riley, our Events Lead, if you're interested in attending.
  • Reading Connection Wine Tasting and Silent Auction - Thurs, March 12 (6:30-9:30 pm): The Reading Connection, in their own words, is "dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and families by helping them create and sustain literacy-rich environments and motivation for reading." Their annual fundraiser will provide an opportunity to learn more and socialize with other community minded Arlingtonians. CVNers get 50% off. RSVP via email.
  • Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Professionals Needed for Shadowing – RSVP by Tues, March 10: The Youth Council for the Arlington Employment Center are interested in helping low-income, high-risk teenagers in Arlington gain interest in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They are running a pilot program to connect STEM professionals with these teenagers on April 7th and 8th, for two to three hours each day.  Please email Rachel Livingston or call her at 703-875-8608 if you are interested.
All the best, and here's hoping we see you out during the month!


Brendan O'Connor
Community Volunteer Network

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