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Falls Church Project Kicks Off VolunteerFest in Fairfax County

Two local women organized project at Aurora House to give back.

Friends and College of William & Mary graduates Anna Dausman and Ksenija Kapetanovic wanted to do something to help others and last weekend, they were able to do just that.

With a $500 “Dream Big” grant from Volunteer Fairfax and 50 volunteers, they constructed three raised beds to grow herbs and vegetables in the back yard of the Aurora House. The team also built a composite bin and a place for a future flower garden as part of the kickoff for Volunteer Fairfax’s 18th Annual VolunteerFest.

“We got the grant in early August and started planning then,” said Dausman, 22, of Vienna. “Hopefully we get to do something similar in the spring.”

Thousands of volunteers throughout Fairfax County will work on 60 projects at area nonprofits, schools and parks. Jessica Hubbard, spokeswoman for Volunteer Fairfax, said the regionwide day of service is in conjunction with “Make a Difference Day,” a national initiative for volunteers.

"VolunteerFest is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday in October and connects people with opportunities to serve, increases the strength of communities and promotes civic engagement," said a release from Volunteer Fairfax. 

Dausman and Kapetanovic, 22, of Falls Church, rounded up family and friends, including some of their former classmates they volunteered with in college, to help with their project at the house, a residential counseling center for girls ages 13-17 in the City of Falls Church. The group started their day around 9 a.m. Saturday and by 3 p.m., their day was done.

“It was a lot of fun,” Kapetanovic said. “It was great to work with our former William & Mary friends again.”

Jeanne Sanders, executive director of Volunteer Fairfax, said coming together to address common problems build a stronger, more vibrant community. She said her organization is looking for more people to come up with projects to help their communities in Northern Virginia.

“This year we are looking for big projects, projects that can make a lasting impact in the community,” Sanders said in a statement. “We are encouraging non-profits and government agencies to submit proposals for projects using 50 volunteers, a $500 consumable supply budget and access to our tool shed.”

To register to help with one of the VolunteerFest projects on Saturday, click here.

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