Volume 12 | February 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!

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(credit to mamaslatinas

January agenda/meeting recording

Upcoming FHF Meetings:

Recurring Zoom Link

Monday, February 20, 2023: 2-3 pm 

Friday, March 17, 2023: 2-3 pm

Friday, April 28, 2023: 2-3 pm

January and February have been very busy for our Solutions team, we've received 30 requests for help as of last week.

These include referrals to other resources such as social services and Families in Crisis but also direct assistance such as payment of an application fee to secure better housing and partial payments of utility bills to keep the electricity on.

We are working on a proposal for a grant to help us to continue to support families and would love a volunteer with grant writing experience to review what we've got.

Our deadline is February 24th. If you are interested in volunteering in this way, please reach out to us!! Thanks in advance!

*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

Camp Kesem is a national organization that provides services to children impacted by a parent’s cancer. Our primary program is a week-long summer camp which is free, and open to any 6-18 year old who has, or has had, a parent or primary caregiver with cancer. Applications for Summer 2023 have just opened and we would love to have you apply through kesem.force.com or email uva.outreach@kesem.org with any questions or to get more information!

Last summer, our campers told us how special it was to find friends who understood what they were going through through camp. We also have trained mental health professionals and nurses on staff, as well as a huge team of counselors who all care a whole lot about giving these kiddos a super fun and meaningful experience.

This is a very special organization and I hope you’ll join us if your family could use some Kesem magic or help us get the word out to any families who could benefit from this experience!

Come join the Big Brother Big Sister, family. There is a great need for Bigs of color AND males. This is a great way to make an impact on a young person's life. They need us!

More Info

Join us for a Black History Month Event: Children’s Financial Literacy Workshop happening Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 12PM-2:30PM at Jefferson School African American Heritage Center!

This educational event hosted by County of Albemarle’s Office of Equity & Inclusion (OEI) and City of Charlottesville, Va - Government celebrating Black History Month will be packed with fun, free food, prizes and more!

We seek to help promote the possibilities and opportunities for sustainable financial knowledge and growth for youth and their families. This event seeks to connect and aspire children with an understanding of financial basics. Each family will also receive a free copy of the book, “Mahogany Goes to Wall Street.”

There will be opportunities available to tour the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and opportunities to learn about helpful resources related to financial wellness from local financial banking representatives. There is no cost to attend, and we hope you can join us!

More Info

Albemarle County is planning for an equitable and resilient future. One of the main ways we plan for this future is through periodic updates to the Comprehensive Plan.

Albemarle County is excited to share a library of information related to the comprehensive plan topics we'll cover in phase 2.

Visit the project website to learn more and get involved.

Get Involved

Families Helping Families' co-president, Khalilah Jones is hosting a birthday doll and book drive to collect diverse dolls, action figures and books for local children.

The purpose of this drive is to acknowledge that:

  1. There is more than 1 standard of physical beauty.
  2. Pretty is not a look, it is a behavior.
  3. Allowing for diversity in a child's toys and books can help foster empathy and compassion.
  4. Representation matters.
  5. Every child deserves a gift for their birthday (regardless if in a shelter, foster care, low income, access, etc.)

The dolls/books will be donated to the Shelter for Help in Emergency, Community Attention Foster Families and other children, families and organizations that advocate and support them.

Please email to arrange for doll/book donations or other ways to support.

More Doll Drive Info

Black History Month

February 1 - 28th

World Cancer Day

February 4th

World Cancer Day held every 4 February is the global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalyzing personal, collective and government action, we are all working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all - no matter who you are or where you live. (World Cancer Day.org)

Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 17th

  1. Compliment at least 5 people.
  2. Let the person in line behind you go ahead of you.
  3. Leave happy notes around town.
  4. Babysit for a single mom for free.
  5. Sit next to someone who is sitting alone at lunch.
  6. Help an elderly neighbor take out the trash or mow their lawn.

(National Today)

World Social Justice Day

February 20th

  1. Research specific issues and organizations that interest you. ...
  2. Write a letter, make a phone call, and/or sign a petition. ...
  3. Help a young person get involved in social justice. ...
  4. Try an educational project like the Two-Dollar Challenge

(World Social Justice.org)

“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...