Save the Date - Winter Wonderland
Christy's Corner
Resident Life
Welcome Shawnista Hester
Progress Check!
How ‘bout Them Apples?
Standing Strong Celebration
Keep an Eye Out …
Technology Helping Seniors
Meet our New Interns
snow scene with Winter Wonderland logo December 3 2021 630 to 9 pm in the beautiful setting of The Lake House 11450 Baran Cameron Ave Reston VA 20190
Join us on Friday, December 3, 2021 from 6:30-9:00 pm at
The Lake House for a festive holiday fundraiser complete with
delectable cocktails and tantalizing desserts, a silent auction,
live entertainment and the camaraderie of your friends!

Your support will help us provide housing and services
to older adults with limited resources.

For sponsorship opportunities or to donate to our silent auction,
please contact Judy Singer, Senior Director: or 703-860-2569.

More information and ticket sales coming soon!
How Healthy Are You?
Ask Your Partner
Everyone’s experience with aging is unique. Many studies show that your perception of your own aging process, how healthy you think you are, can predict your actual health and well-being. A recent study shows that the perceptions of aging, your health and the health of those around you, also has a direct effect on your health and aging process. 

The Mather Institute found that a spouse or partner’s perception of your health can translate to a self-fulfilling prophecy. If those around you speak as if your body or your mind is breaking down, then you will start to believe it and physically show it. 

At Fellowship Square, we work hard to provide the right environment for older adults to enjoy and embrace positive aging. We encourage and support residents by creating not just the programs and services that they need, but the interactions, gatherings (virtual and in-person) and interventions that have a positive influence on their aging process. Some of the ways we remind our residents to embrace the aging process include:

  • Age with purpose.
  • Keep physically active; move your body daily. 
  • Laugh every day.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Engage with family and friends.
  • Express gratitude for something or someone.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Have unconditional love for others.

We embrace aging as an exciting time in the cycle of life, and we believe that sometimes the best experiences in life happen in the older years. We celebrate all the new experiences and friendships our residents have made at Fellowship Square. I encourage you to be a part of this dynamic and fulfilling journey. Consider getting involved as a volunteer, board member, community partner or a donor. 

In gratitude,
Christy Zeitz
Residents Prepare for a New Season
* Per CDC guidelines, everyone in our buildings is wearing masks indoors
group of people playing jenga
Largo Landing Fellowship House

Pictured is Largo Landing resident Julia R. (middle) enjoying games with her grandchildren on National Grandparents Day.  
contents of preparedness bags
Hunters Woods Fellowship House

On September 13th, Fairfax County presented information on how to prepare for an emergency and gave emergency
kits to the residents at Hunters Woods.
man in mask handing a blue bag to a woman in a hat and mask
Leo Perry (HousingtoHome) hands Hunters Woods resident Fengqin S. her emergency kit.
Meet Shawnisha Hester
Our New Service Coordinator at
Largo Landing Fellowship House!
Headshot of Shawnista Hester
Shawnisha Hester, LMSW, is a native Washingtonian with deep roots in Prince George’s County.  She is familiar with the Largo area, and over the years she has watched changes in the region – specifically with regard to decreases in access to care for older adults in the community.

As a trained Sociologist and Social Worker, Shawnisha has remained committed to volunteering both domestically and internationally with organizations that focus on those most in need. 
In addition to her scholarly work, Shawnisha is an avid reader and traveler, who loves to capture the stories of those she encounters through her camera lens. As a lifelong lover of photographs, and because of the stories they tell, Shawnisha layers her professional interest in the sociological well-being of her human subjects with their visually expressive testimonies of life and experience. 
Shawnisha is committed to the well-being of humanity across the lifespan, and is looking forward to what she can offer and learn from this new and exciting endeavor with Fellowship Square!
five people in yellow safety hats and vests stand in front of a building under construction
Progress Check!
Several key partners of the new Lake Anne House redevelopment project, including Fairfax County Housing and Redevelopment Authority that provided a portion of the funds, were invited to check out progress on the new building! Pictured (L to R) during a recent site visit:

  • Judy Singer: Senior Director, Fellowship Square
  • Tony Esse: Associate Director, Design, Development and Construction, Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Eddie Byrne: Fellowship Square Board Member
  • Melissa Matthews: AIA, LEED AP, Senior Project Manager, Orr Partners
  • Jenny Wang: Assistant Community Manager, Lake Anne Fellowship House
How ’bout Them Apples?
Thanks to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Sterling, residents of both Hunters Woods Fellowship House and Lake Anne Fellowship House were treated to fresh-picked apples on Monday, September 13. 

Church members had picked the 65 pecks of apples at Stribling Orchards in Markham, VA – their donation was more than enough to offer apples to residents of both Fellowship Houses in Reston. Thank you for sharing a taste of fall!
many bags of apples on ground in front of a grove of apple trees
Woman in a mask standing amongst many bags of apples
five people standing behind a table with bags of apples with a mountain scene in the background
Lose Yourself in Service!
As Mahatma Gandi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” 

Each month, dozens of volunteers do just that as they share their time with Fellowship Square. Volunteers help deliver food donations to resident apartments, organize and pack resident belongings and other roles!

Consider signing up for our monthly Volunteer Opportunities email so you can be “in the know” about all the ways you can assist our residents.
masked woman holding a grocery basket filled with food
bottle of Bull Run wine and glass of red wine
Standing Strong!

Earlier this month, staff, board members and a few special guests gathered together for an event held at The Winery at Bull Run to celebrate ‘Standing Strong’ throughout the pandemic and keeping our 800+ residents as safe as possible. 

After having been separated for such a long time, guests welcomed the opportunity to gather together (safely) in person and enjoy the beautiful scenery, great weather and share a glass of Virginia wine with friends and colleagues.
How Seniors are Staying Connected During the Pandemic
older hands holding a smart phone
When COVID-19 swept across the nation, seniors were hit especially hard. Due to the high risk of contracting the disease, Fellowship Square, like many other senior residences, quickly limited in-person programming and access to its facilities. During this time, seniors were encouraged to join Fellowship Square staff and other community partners on Zoom video sessions for programs and activities to stay busy, but this change in format was difficult for many residents to get used to, especially in the beginning.

Isolation weighed heavily on FS residents, but they were finally able to adopt new ways of communicating. Unable to connect physically, more and more seniors slowly turned to technology to bridge the gap. The AARP notes that “more older adults (44%) view tech more positively as a way to stay connected than they did before COVID-19”. The AARP study further found that many seniors “are using video chats (45%), texting (37%), emailing (26%), and phone (29%) more now than before the pandemic. As of 2019, about half had never used video chat, but by 2020, 70% have, with 1 in 3 using video chat weekly.”

Video call or chat services such as Facetime continue to be used by seniors to virtually connect with relatives and friends. This has proved beneficial in providing more possibilities to connect with those outside the local area. Other seniors rely on email, texting, or a traditional phone call. When individuals cannot meet in person, these communication platforms allow seniors to maintain relationships with their friends and family. 

Seniors have become more comfortable using technology to participate in virtual programs and events and to maintain social connections. All Fellowship Square houses fully re-opened July 1, 2021. As things open back up in the community at large, these new methods of communication will continue to be relevant.

How have you been staying in touch with your loved ones? Here are some other ways to stay connected!

By Ethan Smithgall, Marketing Intern
Headshot of Alexis Hipp
Alexis Hipp – Programs Intern

Alexis joins us as a student from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She will serve as a Programs Intern for Hunters Woods Fellowship House, working with their Service Coordinator, Jane Kung, during the school’s fall semester. 

Alexis is currently pursuing her Master’s in Social Work and participating in an aging studies certification program at VCU. She wants to stay involved with the military due to her family’s history of veterans. Her future career will hopefully be working with veterans and military families. Alexis currently lives in Fairfax with her four-year-old dog, Aoife (ee-fa), adopted during her senior year of undergraduate studies. Together, they enjoy going on hikes, being outside, and traveling during breaks and holidays.

In addition to assisting residents, Alexis will be helping with interactive programs and creating new experiences to benefit the health and well-being of our Hunters Woods residents. 
Headshot of Emily Leitch
Emily Leitch - Community Engagement Intern

Emily Leitch is a junior at Muhlenberg College, studying Political Science and Dance. Emily has previously done volunteer work with non-profit groups such as ProjectHOME in Philadelphia, as well as with the Brandywine Valley SPCA. Through working with these organizations, Emily has a passion for supporting communities in need through volunteer and awareness programs.

In addition to staying active within her communities, Emily is a skilled dancer and has an affinity for the arts. She is excited to be interning with Fellowship Square and to be learning more about non-profit organizations and community engagement.
headshot of Ethan
Ethan Smithgall – Marketing Intern

Ethan is currently a senior at McLean High School, and he grew up in Northern Virginia. In his spare time, Ethan enjoys cycling with friends along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. 

Ethan recognizes the importance of everyone having the necessities of food and shelter. He works as a volunteer food distributor for Food for Others to help those in need. Ethan learned about Fellowship Square through a new board member, Mark Fleming.  Ethan was drawn to the internship at Fellowship Square because he believes in helping seniors have a high quality of life. 

During his internship, Ethan is looking forward to supporting Fellowship Square’s mission by broadening the reach of their audience and getting more people interested in the organization. In the future, Ethan hopes to study business in college.
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