Volume 14 | April 2023

Thank you for taking the time to subscribe and actually read our monthly newsletter. Like us -- you clearly have a passion for doing what you can to make Albemarle County the best and ideal place for students and families.

If you are new to Families Helping Families, check out our explainer video below for deets on the organization.

Share this newsletter freely. It takes a village to raise a child and we hope that together, we can make it a bit easier!

Visit our Website

February Notes/Recording

Video details - YouTube Studio

Upcoming FHF Meetings:

Recurring Zoom Link

Friday, April 28, 2023: 2-3 pm

Gratitude All Around

HUGE thanks to Kimberly Schneider for donating a stove to a young family in need- we thought this would be an unmeetable ask and so thrilled to be able to meet this need!! THANK YOU Kimberly!!!

To those who contributed to our go fund me towards burial/childcare expenses- the family sent this thank you:

“Thank you so much for what you did for us, we appreciate it. And we are hanging in there especially for these children. Blessings to you and to all that was involved in helping us. “

A Community Lab Educator’s Family needs help after a tornado that injured their dad

From Forward Albemarle newsletter: 

“Support the Live Arts at Journey! 

Actors and crew members from the Journey Middle School Drama Department have been hard at work preparing for their performance and they need YOUR help!

Please select an item from their Spring Production Wish List to purchase and have sent directly to their school (select Mary McIntyre Gift Registry Address at checkout).

The drama teacher has asked that folks do not donate anonymously! Please include your name so the class can write thank you notes to the gift-givers.”

ENGAGE Virginia -- Academic Recovery 

The Virginia Department of Education and Graduation Alliance launched “ENGAGE Virginia” last month. ENGAGE Virginia will help students with learning and attendance issues after the effects of the pandemic and there are still spots remaining!

Learn more here and register here.

FHF was thrilled to support this amazing community night at Agnor Hurt on 3/23/23 by funding purchase of materials for take home activities/calming kits. They had a total of 115 participants,13 volunteers, 2 interpreters, plus 7 ACPS folks. 

Kimberly Rambow and team did an amazing job prepping these materials that included the following stations:

-Identifying feelings—students will have laminated mats to use dry erase markers to identify where feelings live in their bodies on one side with a blank face to create feeling expression with playdough.

-Zones of Regulation—there will be a zones sorting activity and families will create feeling thermometers to take home.

-Mindfulness/Breathing—families will practice breathing with the aid of breathing boards and decorate a couple to take home. They will also practice breathing with a pinwheel they build and with bubbles they can keep.

-Sensory—families will have the opportunity to make stress balls, explore sensory bins, practice using playdough and theraputty with a laminated mat they can keep, and take home bubble wrap and crayons to use for coloring mandalas.

-Mindful movement—families will receive a mindful movement board with dice for creating brain breaks along with a set of yoga pose cards.

-Nature-based play==families will have the opportunity to explore creating a zen garden and take home materials to create their own.

We hope to see this type of event replicated across the county as we all know, social emotional health is such an important component to learning!


#BlackGirlsGather is a space for black girls to show up as themselves with no expectations other than to just be. Gathering Topics such as respect, loyalty, sisterhood and the criminalization of black girls in schools was discussed over a delicious snack bar!

This session was led by Ms. Charmaine Williams and Ms. Laketa Kelley along with Mrs. Alexis Mason, Mrs. Pamela Brown, Mrs. Yumeca Webb-Jordan and Ms. Shameka Terrell at Charlottesville High School.

Each girl left with a tangible gift/door prizes provided by various members of the community.

If you’d like to support a future #BlackGirlsGather via donation (snacks, gifts, prizes etc) please contact Charmaine Williams 804-495-0914 or Email


*Reminder if you know of any projects taking place to support ACPS families, let us know, and we are happy to list them on our “Give Help” page.

Give Help Page

Gnome emergency funds can be accessed by ACPS counselors/family support workers to fill gaps in community resources by submitting a help request on behalf of their families thru our website.

FHF Help Page

5 Things You Can Do for Self Care

  • Binge watch Netflix or silly YouTube videos (without also checking emails and social media on your phone, or working on your laptop)
  • Take a quick nap or a hot bath. For extra luxury, make it a bubble bath scented with essential oils or add epsom salt for a little razzle dazzle!
  • Give yourself a spa night with one of those face masks (I recently used a lavender face mask from the dollar store!)
  • Sit in a coffee shop and do some people watching
  • Or whatever makes you happy...just be INTENTIONAL about it!

Interested in 4-H camp but need a scholarship?  Here’s the link.  We have an FHF volunteer who is offering help with transportation for the Albemarle County week- so PM us if you want to be connected;) Albemarle/Cville Camp Scholarship Application 2023 Deadline for applications is April 30th. 


“Join us on May 6th, 2023, for the ultimate celebration of girls who STEM!

GEMSposium is not your average STEM event. We'll be exploring science, technology, engineering, and math through hip-hop, dance, poetry, and fashion!

This event is designed especially for middle and high school girls (ages 12-17), with a special emphasis on underserved girls. You'll get to participate in hands-on STEM activities, hear from nationally recognized STEM experts, and enjoy a boxed meal lunch.

Plus, a powerful performance by local artists will be sure to inspire you!

Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to discover the STEM in YOU. Register now HERE

And hey, sponsorships are available too! Reach out to us to find out more.

 April is national Occupational Therapy month!

Pediatric occupational therapy aims to help children to participate in their daily occupations and focuses on helping children to develop the skills they need to grow into functional, independent adults. 

Pediatric OTs can focus on fine motor skills and motor planning, sensory integration, self-care, cognition & processing, emotional regulation, social skills, and feeding. 

Pediatric therapists often incorporate play into therapy, as play is considered one of the largest daily occupations for children.

Thank you for all you do!

Visit Small Talk Website

April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

If you have reason to suspect child abuse or neglect, contact Albemarle County Department of Social Services by calling 434-972-4010, Monday - Friday between 8 am - 5 pm. After 5 pm or on weekends and holidays, call the statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline toll-free at 800-552-7096 (in Virginia) or 804-786-8536 (out-of-state). Language interpretation services are available. Mandated Reporters can also use the online Mandated Reporter Portal at https://vacps.dss.virginia.gov/ and will receive follow up after the report is submitted. 

“In the coming year, we’re hoping to raise even more funds to be able to meet an increasing number of requests for emergency needs,” said FHF co-organizer Amanda Alger. “Mental health and transportation are two key needs that come up again and again.”

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible.

Full release...