Friday, July 2, 2010

CVN Monthly Update

CVN Chair’s Report

Last month, the Honorable Walter Tejada invited members of the Community Volunteer Network to speak at the Arlington County Board Meeting.  With 6 years of volunteering behind us and many more to look forward to, we had a lot to share!  In preparing for the presentation, we focused on our accomplishments over the last year, which was full of change in our structure and leadership.  Since so many of you played a part in this, I wanted to pass along some of our greatest accomplishments:
  • In 2009, we had 22 volunteer events; this year, we've already surpassed that number!
  • In 2009, 177 unique CVN volunteers contributed 784 hours of service to the community.
  • Our blog, The CVN Forum, was launched in May 2010; we've already had more than 300 visits to the site and over 30 posts.
  • Under our previous structure, the leadership team consisted of four individuals; we now have over 15, including our four Committee Chairs and the members of each committee.
  • Finally, in 2009, over 60 hours of training was provided to volunteer leaders.
In celebration of our awesome volunteers, we are holding our annual Summer Celebration on Tuesday, July 13th, from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon.  At this "All Star" event, we will present awards to our MVPs, hear from a local community leader, and enjoy free food and sodas.  Whether you volunteer every weekend, once in a while, or are just starting out with us, all volunteers are encouraged to attend!  

Thank you for volunteering with CVN!  Hope to see you soon!


Find us on the web

Community Calendar

  • Monday, July 5th - Join Young Government Leaders & AmeriCorps for a beautification project at Bon Air Park
  • Saturday, July 17th – Free Open House at Signature Theater in Shirlington
  • Saturday, July 31st - Our Task’s Summer Conference, “Inter-Generational Dialogues: Our Earth, Our Future.”  Register by July 16th.
Check out our calendar here.

Find other volunteering opportunities you might be interested in here.

Upcoming CVN Events

Photo from last year's Summer Celebration at the Arlington Arts Center.

  • Summer Celebration at Hard Times Café - Tuesday, July 13, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. | We hope that our “All Star” volunteers will come out for CVN’s annual Summer Celebration at Hard Times Café (back bar - upper floor). Wear your favorite sports team apparel, school colors, or CVN shirt and enjoy a night celebrating all that we have accomplished over the last year. To show our appreciation for all the hours of volunteering you have put in, we will have complimentary food and soda. We will also be presenting MVP awards to our top volunteers. This is not an event to miss! Whether you have been an all star or taken a back seat this year, we would love to have you and show the strength of CVN. Find out more, RSVP: Summer Celebration or email
  • APAH Family Picnic & Backpack Giveaway - Saturday, July 24, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. | CVN has been invited back to volunteer at the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing's (APAH) Family Picnic and Backpack Giveaway for the residents of their Buchanan Gardens Apartments. Volunteers will be help set up, distribute food, help with children's activities (craft table and games), and clean up. If you love kids, this is a great opportunity to positively interact with children in a fun and safe environment! Find out more, RSVP: APAH Family Fun Day
  • Recurring Volunteering @ Cherrydale - July 24, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. | TimeSlips is a creative storytelling method that helps people with dementia reaffirm their humanity and connect with staff, family, and friends. CVN volunteers, along with Creative Community Connections, will lead the TimeSlips sessions at Cherrydale Rehabilitation Center. Find out more, RSVP: Timeslips at Cherrydale
  • Recurring Volunteering @ ATS Community Garden - July 25, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Come check out this CVN recurring event—helping maintain and improve the schoolyard garden at Arlington Traditional School. You’ll enjoy an active afternoon and a fun, dynamic group interested in small-space gardening, local food, and environmental ed. If you haven’t attended before, contact Brynn Slate to get details on this and other related activities—field trips, discussions, shared meals, and more! Find out more, RSVP: Community Garden
  • Recurring Volunteering @ AFAC - July 31, 12:30-2:30 | Help Arlington Food Assistance Center (in Shirlington) by bagging rice, beans, produce, and other bulk items. It's a two-hour shift and a part of CVN's recurring volunteering initiative with AFAC. We have six slots available, and since this is one of our recurring events, please only sign up if you're interested in volunteering on a regular basis. Find out more, RSVP: AFAC Food Bagging

Last Month’s Recap

CVN Kickball Team

CVN Kicks Grass ended the regular season with a 2-5 record, not bad for our very first season.  We might not have won our division, but we definitely had the most fun, showing up for the last game of regular season play in costume (check out Facebook for a picture).  We will have spots available for a team next spring (or possibly again this fall) and would love to have more CVNers join our roster.  If you're interested in joining future kickball efforts, send an email to Social Chair Kelly Corbally at

Gulf BranchNatureCenter Invasive Plant Pull

A team of five CVNers pulled invasive weeds on a beautiful Saturday morning in June.  The clean-up took place in an area that has been adopted by CVN.  When the weather cools off, we'll head back to Gulf Branch to do more work in our area.

Arlington Youth Soccer Tournament 

During a break from the World Cup action, CVN helped out at the Arlington County Gang Task Force's Annual Youth Soccer Tournament.  Two volunteers helped serve the athletes lunch, while the rest of the group facilitated small group discussions about gang activity and resources needed to help teens stay on the right track. 

AFAC Food Bagging  

CVN continued it's recurring volunteering event at the Arlington Food Assistance in June.  We helped bag rice, beans, oatmeal, and produce to be distributed to Arlingtonians in need of groceries for their families.   

Gardening at ArlingtonTraditionalSchool  

Since March, CVN volunteers have been working with students, parents, and staff members to maintain the garden at ArlingtonTraditionSchool.  The school keeps a detailed blog of everyone's progress and, as shared recently on the CVN Forum, the gardeners have a ton of fun.  

From the CVN Forum

What makes volunteering with the school garden crew at Arlington Traditional School so much fun? Besides the draws of working outdoors and giving back to the community, there are many more reasons to come check it out. Read on for five of the best reasons you may not have known about.
1. See your new friends more than once. We’ve all been to CVN events where we meet cool people, but then don’t get a chance to hang out with them again. Since the ATS garden crew meets twice a month for work days, you’ll be more than Facebook friends!
2. Get your hands on a pick axe. Want to wield more than a mouse? We’ve got you covered. The garden crew gets the chance to use lots of fun tools—from pick axes for piercing those layers of clay and gravel, to 6-foot pry bars for levering out plant roots. You’ll be glad you got out of that desk chair.

3. Learn soccer skills from a 10 year old. Garden work days aren’t all about plants and soil. Regular volunteer Dan took a break from digging and weeding to challenge ATS 4th grader Maya to a soccer shootout and found out that scoring 100 points against a 10 year old isn’t as easy as it sounds.
4. Watch your work bloom. The Japanese quince bush that we dug up and replanted on our first work day in March is thriving in its new home near the school’s entrance. The bush’s bright salmon-colored flowers regularly remind us of the positive impact we’re having at ATS.
5. Eat (and drink) local. Monthly social gatherings keep garden volunteers connected and offer opportunities to gab and grub it up. This month we’re meeting at Willow on June 25 to sip Virginia wine  and sample small plates created with local food. Perfect for a summer evening!
To learn more, contact event lead Brynn Slate at View photos from our latest work day. Or just come on out to our next work days: June 19 from 9-11 a.m. and June 27 from 2-4 p.m.
Read more about the ATS garden.
See you soon! 
Brynn Slate
Recurring Volunteer Committee
Community Volunteer Network (CVN)

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