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NOVEC HELPS is collecting toys to brighten Christmas

November 22, 2018

NOVEC HELPS is collecting new toys for children and new gifts for teenagers for the Northern Virginia Family Service's Gifting for Families program and the United States Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots drive.

“Stocking our Gifting for Families toy closet with toys designed to foster creativity, learning and fun brings holiday cheer to 2,200 children in NVFS programs. Support from NOVEC and its employees truly brightens the holidays for these children and their families!” shares Sarah Crosley, NVFS director of events. Crosley suggests several items for teens, including science kits, sports equipment, and even movie tickets.

 “The Toys for Tots Foundation always receives toys for toddlers and children under 10, but they also need gifts for older children who often watch their younger brothers and sisters open gifts while there’s little for them,” notes Jim Chesley, vice chairman of NOVEC’s board of directors. Chesley and the Clifton Lions Club and Dominion Cruisers are working with NOVEC HELPS on the drive. For older children, he suggests donating such items as books, backpacks, board games, bath gift sets, hand-held electronics, and winter hats, scarves, and gloves.

New unwrapped toys and gifts may be dropped off 8:15 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, until Friday, Dec. 7, at these NOVEC offices: 10323 Lomond Drive, Manassas, and 14500 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge.

2018 Day of Service: Giving back to Serve Our Willing Warriors

October 05, 2018

Armed with garden tools and protective gear, NOVEC volunteers headed to Serve Our Willing Warriors’ Bull Run retreat in Haymarket on Oct. 3. The team, organized by NOVEC HELPS, helped prepare the grounds before SOWW cut a ribbon to open a second house on their property later that month.

With just over 30 volunteers, they were able to transform the area, clearing about 21,000 square feet of brush and weeds on more than an acre of land around the house. “We so appreciated all your efforts in helping us prepare for the new house, which will enable us to serve twice the number of families that we are currently serving,” said Heidi Tamke, director of volunteer services for the organization. “With the heavy rains, the weeds were overwhelming. The NOVEC workers came in and knocked it out.  Their dedication was incredible.”


Pamela Rochon, a NOVEC employee and organizer for the event, said, “I was surprised when I showed up for the second shift at 10 o’clock how much had been done already. The early crew worked so fast!”


A New Home for Serving Willing Warriors


Serve Our Willing Warriors began serving recovering military members undergoing treatment in 2012, but it wasn’t until a home was purchased on 37 acres of land that it was able to become a dedicated retreat facility. On July 4, 2015, the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run opened as a home-away-from-home for service members and their families. The retreat provided free educational and therapeutic activities, as well as a break from the hospital environment.


“People from all areas of NOVEC — from vice presidents to customer service representatives — pitched in to help with the landscaping,” said Ashley Arnold, NOVEC community relations representative and one of the organizers. “It was a tough job on a hot day, but everyone kept a positive attitude. Every volunteer worked hard, side-by-side. We accomplished a lot in the two shifts we worked.”

After serving more than 100 military service members and their families, the new home on the property will aloow the group to serve more families in the area.

Electric co-op volunteers help Project Mend-A-House repair Woodbridge homes and donate $15,000

January 02, 2018

On Volunteer Day, teams of co-op volunteers replaced the skirting on five mobile homes. They replaced doors and rotted wood. They caulked around windows, doors, and other openings to seal air leaks. And they made the homes safer for the elderly and low-income homeowners by rebuilding decks and stairs.  

Cindy Fithian, NOVEC HELPS executive director, said, “We moved into the mobile home park like an army on a mission. Every volunteer -- including Stan Feuerberg, our president and CEO, vice presidents, engineers, administrators, meter readers, accountants, and line techs -- worked side-by-side.”

Ann Maria Laurenza, NRECA’s Insurance and Financial Services iCARE chair, agreed with Fithian and said, “NRECA staff trooped on site with tools and an abundance of enthusiasm to help achieve an ambitious single-day mission. Workers shared the spirit of cooperation as well as problem-solving skills.”

After seeing the home assigned to his team was “a challenge,” Bernie Cleveland, a HELPS board member, crawled under the home to apply heat tape to water pipes to keep them from freezing. He patched a hole in the home’s floor to keep summer heat and winter cold air -- and wildlife -- from entering.

Cleveland said, “To me, volunteering isn’t about what you do; it’s what you feel in your heart when you see how appreciative people are to have assistance. I look at it this way -- I may be the next one who needs some help. If everyone looked out for their neighbor, the world would be a better place. We’re supposed to ‘give back’ -- that’s the way I was brought up.”

Lori Kalaydjian, NOVEC’s facilities department manager, showed her team’s volunteers how to operate power tools. After learning the homeowner would have surgery the following day, Kalaydjian said, “Our team had extra motivation to make her deck, steps, and gate safe and secure.” 

“It was inspiring to witness the collective determination of the group to deliver nothing less than quality repairs and safety improvements, in hopes of making life just a little bit easier for those struggling with bigger challenges,” Laurenza said.

Feuerberg said, “Many organizations talk about corporate citizenship, but for us – it’s the way we do business. We invest in our communities. NOVEC and NOVEC HELPS support charitable, health, and educational organizations in the communities we serve. By joining forces with NRECA employees, we accomplished a lot in a day!”

Jennifer Schock-Bolles, PMAH executive director, thanked the volunteers and said, “The energy, safety, and home repairs the co-op volunteers made will greatly improve the lives of the five homeowners helped on Oct. 3. Project Mend-A-House could not have done this without the generosity of NOVEC, NOVEC HELPS, and NRECA.”

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