Stories of Hope & Helping

In the midst of a global pandemic, we are seeing stories of hope from our churches. We are putting those here for you. We hope they will offer you hope and inspiration in these crazy times.

“Stuff The Truck” Donation Drive Shatters Goals


Two truckloads of food and supplies and $50k raised in aid for Arlandria community hard-hit by COVID-19.


ARLINGTON, VA, June 9, 2020 – A month-long MISSION:COVID donation drive coordinated by Calvary United Methodist Church for the Chirilagua community surpassed projections Saturday, raising $50,000 and filling two truckloads of food and supplies. Hundreds of Calvary neighbors and supporters in the greater Arlington community turned out to bring food and household supplies to “Stuff the Truck” on June 6.
Planned as a large-scale, community-wide food collection event and fundraiser, Stuff the Truck set a goal to fill a 20-foot truck with food and supplies, with volunteers following safety guidelines and accepting drive-up donations on Saturday from 11 am to1pm. The response was overwhelming. Within a half-hour of opening the event, organizers rented a second truck to transport the supplies.
Stuff the Truck capped off a month-long MISSION:COVID initiative led by Calvary UMC members to raise supplies and funding for the residents of Chirilagua, a mostly immigrant community in Arlandria where the pandemic has brought high rates of illness, job loss and food insecurity. 



More than 40% of Chirilagua residents are unemployed and, as of mid-May, more than half of COVID tests taken by Chirilagua residents were positive.


Calvary’s relationship with the Chirilagua community spans 18 years, including co-hosting annual holiday events and potlucks.
Results of MISSION:COVID overall:


  • Over 200 donors came on foot or car to the Calvary UMC parking lot to donate items that 30 volunteers helped collect, sort, and pack;
  • Volunteers filled two trucks (20-foot and 26-foot) to the brim with groceries, household supplies, diapers and more; These items were delivered to over 400 families in Chirilagua, a mostly immigrant community in Arlington that has been hard-hit by job loss, food insecurity, and a drastic spike in COVID cases;
  • Calvary exceeded its $35,000 fundraising goal, raising over $50,000 to support those in need locally with donations from the congregation, community members and a matching
    fund from Calvary’s Missions committee. Several families contributed stimulus checks to the fundraiser.


“When we set out on this mission a month ago, our goal was to fill just one truck with items and raise $15,000 to benefit area groups facing food insecurity. Thanks to the generosity of our church family and surrounding neighborhood who were called to respond, the hard work of our amazing volunteer team, and God’s grace, we were able to do so much more,” said Matthew Smith, Pastor of Calvary UMC. “Our faith calls us to serve God by extending love to our
neighbors. We are so grateful to everyone for showing God’s love to these families, as well as the thousands of others who will receive much-needed help due to Mission COVID’s substantial financial gifts to local organizations bringing direct relief to those in need.”


Fauquier Hospital staff honored Friday with a 10-biplane flyover

Warrenton UMC helps put together an event to honor their local hospital workers. 

Chalking the Walk

Families from Cherrydale UMC in Arlington have been leaving messages of encouragement and chalk drawings in the church parking lot.

Rising Hope Mission Church Continues to Feed the Vulnerable

Rising Hope with Chef Andres’ Worked Kitchen is providing meals on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 PM.

Link: Chef Andres’ World Central Kitchen Feeding Hundreds in Mount Vernon

Mary Paden Facebook Photo

Healing Icons with Cathy Abbott

This project is part of Arlington Arts Center (AAC)’s Art and Wellness series, exploring the connection between art and healing from various cultural and spiritual perspectives.


You will find several templates of healing icons created by Cathy Abbott on the following pages. The first two were created directly in response to the current coronavirus crisis, with the virus depicted as the “demon” in the center. Print out the templates and color them in as you wish. As you color, the artist suggests that you meditate or pray about someone in need of healing, the coronavirus situation, or any other threat to health.


From Wesley UMC (Vienna):

“Monday Altar at Wesley. It was wonderful two hours with the love from our community. There are all kinds of ways to worship God. One way is to come to church on Sunday, follow the liturgy and go with Benediction. This overwhelming love, however, was one of the most beautiful liturgies that I have recently participated. Thank you, folks. God will save lives through the love and generosity you shared.”

From Fairfax UMC:

Fairfax held a food drive on Saturday, March 21 from 12-3 to support Rising Hope.  They set up a ‘drive-through donations station’ in the parking lot so people could pull up, pop their trunk, and their volunteers pulled out their donations and put them right into our mission van.  Donations were delivered to Rising Hope on Monday.

On Wednesday, March 18 they delivered more than 400 pounds of beans and rice to Rising Hope which were packed into family meal packs by their 11:00 worship team.  They also delivered food Power Packs that they had made at the 11:00 service for distribution to the FCPS school food distribution program.

From Bethel UMC (Woodbridge):

(March 19) “Today I spoke with the owners of the Jefferson and Rip Van Winkle motels.  The people living in the motels are especially vulnerable and in need.  This week is the scheduled week for Motel Ministry.  We will make sure that supplies are loaded into bags and dropped off at the offices for residents to come and pick up.

I also went today to Great Harvest Bread Company to donate $870 toward the purchase of bread.  I’ll pick up 30 loaves on Sunday to go to the motels along with the other items and the rest of the bread will go to the Fauquier Food Pantry.  Let me share with you how God is at work in the midst of all of this.  On Tuesday, I saw a Facebook post about an anonymous donor who gave $700 to Great Harvest for them to bake bread for the Food Pantry.  I sent out an email asking if you would like to contribute.  We got pledges for $800.  I added $70 from the Communion Fund to buy bread for the motel ministry families.  Pablo, the owner of Great Harvest Bread Company is adding another $174 (20%) worth of bread to go to the Food Pantry. “

From Comunity of Faith, Oakton, & Vale:

Served 74 families (350 individuals) March 17 without a hitch, enough food and plenty of volunteers – all outside!!!
Done with Community of Faith, Oakton and Vale.

From Floris & Restoration

Yesterday (March 14)  we held a food and book collection for South Lakes High School and Forest Edge Elementary.
We collected a lot of supplies to be used by students during their time off.


From our Ministry Partners

As we hear of needs from our ministry partners and our community, we will post these here.