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5 Arlington Organizations To Support On #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities (and often stylized as #GivingTuesday), is a chance to help local charities right here in Arlington.

This year Giving Tuesday is on December 3. It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: A day that encourages people to do good. 

You can demonstrate generosity in many ways on Giving Tuesday. Whether it’s by giving some of your time, a donation, or the power of your voice in your local community.  

There are some 150 organizations in Arlington, VA, that could use your help and are part of #GivingTuesday. You can find them on Giving Tuesday’s What’s Happening Near Me page.

5 Arlington Organizations To Support On Giving Tuesday

Here are my 5 favorite local Arlington non-profits that I regularly support:

  • A-SPAN
    A-SPAN provides life-sustaining services for Arlington’s homeless providing street outreach; bagged meals; an emergency winter shelter; permanent supportive housing and homelessness prevention programs. 
  • Animal Welfare League of Arlington
    This local organization provides animal adoption and community programs to the Northern Virginia and D.C. metropolitan area, as well as animal rescue and control services within Arlington County.
  • Arlington Food Assistance Center
    This food pantry provides low-income families and individuals access to nutritious, supplemental groceries. More than 36 percent of AFAC’s clients are children and nearly 18 percent are elderly. 
  • Doorways for Women and Families
    This organization creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault leading to safe, stable and empowered lives.
  • Phoenix Bikes
    This full-service, nonprofit youth, and community bike shop teaches hands-on mechanics skills and customer service to kids ages 12 to 18 (with an emphasis on at-risk youth) and works almost exclusively with recycled bike parts. 

Consider donating to one of these or any of the 150 participating organizations today!

Here are 5 ways you can give:

  1. Give Time.
    By volunteering, you can give something back and make a difference to the people around you
  2. Give Voice.
    By lending your voice to advocate for the causes and issues you care about, you can affect the kind of change that makes our world a better place
  3. Give Dollars.
    Donate to a nonprofit in honor of GivingTuesday. Consider donating to one of any of the 150 participating Arlington organizations or a national charity today! 
  4. Give Talent.
    Many nonprofits are understaffed or operating on a small budget and can’t afford the talent that their missions deserve. Consider giving your skills to help a nonprofit.
  5. Give Kindness.
    A seemingly small act of kindness has the power to inspire generosity that can permeate society and catalyze change.

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Local Arlington Twitter Accounts To Follow

Are you active on Twitter? If yes, then you may find these Twitter accounts about Arlington, VA, worth a look or follow:

    • Casual Adventure @VACasualAdv
      Casual Adventure is a family-owned and operated local business selling outdoor, hiking, camping, travel and scouting accessories since 1955.
  • I Love Arlington VA @ilovearlingtonv
    This Twitter account belongs to a hyperlocal, Arlington-loving couple who frequently retweets about events and happenings throughout Arlington County.
  • Clarendon Nights @clarendonnights
    On this Twitter account, you’ll find a variety of event-focused announcements spotlighting live music, restaurants and nightlife in Clarendon.
  • Texas Jacks Barbecue @txjacksbarbecue
    Brisket, smoked-meats, and ribs-loving locals can enjoy beautiful food shots from this local American barbecue-themed restaurant off Washington Boulevard.

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Arlington Fun Fact: Arlington Was Once Part of D.C.

Time for another Arlington, Virginia, fun fact: Did you know Arlington County was originally part of Washington, D.C.?

? 1. When did the land now comprising of Arlington cede from Virginia?

? 2. Which U.S. President made the request?

? 3. What year was today’s Arlington land returned to Virginia?

Here are the answers!

? 1. The land in Virginia that now comprises Arlington County and the City of Alexandria was ceded to the federal government in 1790 to be part of the District of Columbia.

?2. t was made at the behest of U.S. President George Washington

? 3. The land was later returned to Virginia in 1847.

What you might not know is that even today a small strip of land on the “Virginia side” of the Potomac River is still part of D.C. That land runs from Memorial Circle at Arlington Memorial Bridge to Lady Bird Johnson Park and the Columbia Island Marina along the George Washington Memorial Parkway just south of Regan International Airport.

Learn more about this part of the history of D.C., Arlington and Alexandria at this very exhuative webpage from VirgniaPlaces.org.

If you like these Arlington-themed fun facts, follow me on social media:

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5 Things To Do In Arlington This October

If you’re looking for something to do in Arlington this October, at least one of these five, upcoming events I’ve rounded up may be right up your alley. This is hardly an all-inclusive list but highlights a variety of events for families and individuals alike.

October 4, 2019

Bark-Toberfest @ Courthaus Social

Bark-Toberfest @ Courthaus Social

You guessed it: puppies and canines are welcome at this award-winning, local foodie event from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Courthaus Social in Arlington, VA. Admission is free and families with their four-legged dogs are encouraged to attend. At least nine local breweries will be there; see the list of breweries and get more information here.

Photo credit: Courthaus Social

October 5, 2019

Beckett’s 6th Annual Celtic Festival

Beckett's 6th annual Celtic Festival

Families are welcome. Food and drinks will be available outside (Cambell Avenue will be closed for the party) plus live music, pipers and dancers will be entertaining throughout.

Event details here

Photo source: Beckett’s Celtic Festival

October 17, 2019

Rosslyn Cider Fest

Rosslyn Cider Fest

This Thursday night event at Gateway Park in Rosslyn from 4 to 8 p.m. includes cider tastings, food trucks, live music, and a pumpkin pie eating contest!

Get cider fest details here. 

Photo credit: Rosslyn Cider Fest

October 19, 2019

7th Annual Race For Every Woman 5K Run/Walk

7th Annual Race For Every Woman 5K Run/Walk

If you’re a marathon-for-a-cause buff, this run/walk event being held at Barcroft Park in Arlington is for you! Proceeds from runs are allocated towards purchasing mammograms.

More event info

Photo credit: 7th Annual Race For Every Woman 5K Run/Walk

October 26, 2019

Semper Fi Fund

Semper Fi Fund

Celebrate the Marine Corps Marathon and its community athletes, family, and friends and help support the Semper Fi Fund, which provides assistance and support to wounded and ill members of all branches of the military.

Event information

Video source:  Semper Fi Fund

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Local Jazz Lovers Rejoice: The Rosslyn Jazz Fest Is This Weekend

If you love music, you might love the music this weekend (Saturday, Sept. 7 from 1-7  p.m.) at the 29th Annual Rosslyn Jazz Fest 2019.

The free festival features jazz music, food trucks and crafting in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA) with some 10,000 attendees expected.

Sponsored by the Rosslyn BID and Arlington Arts, the festival has a fantastic line up of eclectic rhythms and diverse bands, including:

There will also be food trucks (include Swizzler — a hot dog truck — and Ben & Jerry’s),  a pop-up beer and wine garden, and the latest interactive installation aboard the Arlington Art Truck.

For complete entertainment times, artist info and even a Spotify playlist, please visit Rossyln.org.

Photo credit: Rosslynva.org

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Wishing Arlington County Kids & Families a Wonderful New School Year

It’s hard to believe summer has ended and that the start of yet another school year, which starts TODAY, is now upon us.

This morning will be exciting for many kids in our county returning to Arlington schools.

And for area parents, as well as families considering moving to Arlington County, VA, it may be of high interest to learn that Arlington Public Schools has recently ranked as a Top School District in Virginia by Niche.com (Niche ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents.).

Back to school resources from Arlington County

For local parents and families considering relocating to Arlington over the 2019-2020 school year, you may find Arlington County Government’s back to school resources worth a review. This helpful, dedicated list of resources covers everything from safety and transportation to after school programs and more.

5 new schools

Last but not least, it looks like Arlington County is kicking off this school year with five new school openings! Want to see the list of these new schools? See it here.

I hope you’ve found this round up of Arlington, VA, public schools-related news for the 2019-2020 school year to be helpful and timely.


~ Meg

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Cherrydale Fire House 100th Anniversary Celebration

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cherrydale Fire House on Saturday, July 20, and help to raise funds so that the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department can preserve it for another 100 years. The firehouse is a local historic landmark recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a parade through the Cherrydale neighborhood, followed by a celebration at the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire House, 3900 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy swing music, dancing, historic displays, and fire truck tours! There will also be a chili cook off (from chili’s made by fire department volunteers), a raffle, bingo, games and a silent auction from 3 to 7 p.m. to raise funds to preserve the firehouse.

Parking will be available at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1910 N Randolph St, Arlington, until 3 p.m.

Featured photo details

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5 Great Places To Watch July 4th Fireworks From Arlington, VA

The annual Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., are one of the largest displays in the U.S.A. The best way to avoid the crowds and get a great view of the Independence Day celebration is from across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA.

Here are 5 great places to watch July 4th fireworks from Arlington, VA:

1. U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
My favorite location is from the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial – known to locals as the Iwo Jima statue. It’s my favorite because you’ll watch the spectacle from a hill above the Potomac River with an iconic view of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capital in the background. The memorial is a short walk from the Rosslyn Metro station. Get there early and don’t forget your camera!

2. Along the banks of the Potomac River
The National Mall sits directly across the Potomac River from Arlington, and there are 3 miles of riverbank from which to watch the fireworks. Some places are harder to access than others, due to parking restrictions along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, but if you make the effort you can have all the space you’ll need to spread out with a picnic and an unobstructed view of the fireworks in D.C.

Other, more defined, locations along the Potomac include:

  • Gravelly Point – Just off the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Gravelly Point is a large, grassy park next to National Airport and offers a parking lot, picnic tables and portable restrooms. Gravelly Point is also considered one of the best places in the country to watch planes landing and taking off – they’ll be just 100 to 150 feet overhead. Access Gravelly Point from the northbound George Washington Parkway, the Mount Vernon bike trail or even a short walk from the Blue Line Metro station at National Airport (please note that the stations south of the airport on the Blue and Yellow lines toward Alexandria will be closed).
  • Lady Bird Johnson Park and Columbia Island Marina – Though technically located in D.C., Lady Bird Johnson Park is on the Arlington riverbank side. You can access the park from the bike trail or the southbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Limited parking is available at the Columbia Island Marina, where you’ll also find restrooms, water fountains and a small restaurant.

3. U.S. Air Force Memorial

The U.S. Air Force Memorial sits up on a hill overlooking the Pentagon and the D.C. monuments and is ideal for fireworks viewing.

Prior to the fireworks at 8 p.m., there will be a free concert featuring the Concert Band and Singing Sergeants. The memorial is located at 1 Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, off of Columbia Pike.

4. Key Bridge

The Francis Scott Key Bridge between Rosslyn and Georgetown offers 1,700 feet of sidewalk over the Potomac to view the fireworks from the National Mall. The sidewalk usually gets crowded, and there is no place to sit, so get there early to grab a spot or time it so you can walk into Georgetown to enjoy some post fireworks cocktails. The Key Bridge is a 10-minute walk from the Rossyln Metro station and the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

5. Long Bridge Park

Long Bridge Park is a large park (30 acres) with parking, rest rooms, picnic areas a network of walkways, play areas, a waterfowl sanctuary and a fantastic view of the D.C. fireworks. The park is adjacent to I-395 at 475 Long Bridge Dr., Arlington, VA, and a short walk from the Crystal City Metro station.

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Fill A Bag And Help Stamp Out Hunger In Arlington

Here’s an easy way that you can help to stamp out hunger. This Saturday, May 11, bag healthy non-perishable food items and place them by your mailbox before mail delivery. You may have already received a blue Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive bag in your mailbox. Your letter carrier will pick up the bag and deliver it to local food banks in your community.

In Arlington, VA, the food will go to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), which distributes groceries, directly and free of charge, to people living in Arlington who cannot afford to purchase enough food to meet their basic needs. This year, AFAC hopes to collect 30,000 pounds of healthy non-perishable foods from Arlington residents.

AFAC is one of my favorite local charities, and I have supported them for many years.

Food also is being accepted at Arlington Public Library branches and in the lobbies of Arlington’s Main, North, South, Shirlington and Westover post offices through May 17.

According to AFAC, the foods that are needed most include:

  • Low sugar cereal
  • Low sodium canned tomato products (diced, paste, or sauce)
  • Low sodium canned tuna
  • Low sodium canned soups
  • Low sodium canned beans

The timing of the food drive is important, with food banks, pantries and shelters running low on donations from the winter holidays and with summer approaching, when most school meal programs are suspended. While hunger might not seem to be an issue in a wealthy county like Arlington, VA, some 2,300 families come to AFAC for food assistance every week.

The National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive is the country’s largest single-day food drive.

Please join me in helping those in need.


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Arlington Festival Of The Arts This Weekend In Clarendon

The 7th Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts, a two-day juried outdoor art exhibit, returns to the Clarendon area of Arlington, VA, on Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More than 150 artists, who were selected by a panel of judges, will show off their works along Washington Boulevard, Clarendon Boulevard and North Highland Street.

The festival features a wide area of media including paintings, contemporary and whimsical art, sculptures, photography, handcrafted jewelry, ceramics and much more. Admission to the festival is free.

And of course, being in Clarendon, there are variety outdoor dining and drinking options available including the patios at Ambar, Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, Obey Lee Winery and Pamplona, among many others.

To learn more visit ArtFestival.com.