Get Out and Give Back: A “Do Good” Expo

by WL Author

Thirty nonprofits gather in McLean this Saturday for the second annual Service Expo.
By Jane Hess Collins

Shaunel Brown talks with a representative from Reston Interfaith during the 2010 Service Expo. Photo by Landon Densley.

Make it a girl’s day out. The Service Expo is one-stop shopping if you’re looking to do some good this Saturday. Held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (2034 Great Falls Street, McLean, VA), 30 area nonprofits will showcase their services, provide volunteer opportunities and offer some great on-site projects. And, it’s only four miles from Tysons Galleria.

If you’re a doer more than a browser, you can finish a blanket and quilt for Angel Hugs, a small nonprofit that provides blankets for newborns who will never make it home from the hospital (omg, isn’t that heartbreaking)? Or, you can assemble meals, snacks and backpacks, write to service members, sort books or put together shelter kits for rescued English Springer Spaniels.

Project chair Lisa Piantanida expects up to 300 women to attend. “This is a great opportunity for people to use their talent, time and assets in the community,” she said. “There’s pretty much something for everyone who wants to participate.”

Why only women? “It’s not an exclusive thing, it’s more of a focused audience,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to give directly back to neighbors and friends in the community.”

And guys, don’t feel left out. You can give blood. Seriously, the Red Cross bloodmobile will be there onsite for you.

The nonprofits scheduled to be at the Service Expo are: Alternative House, Angel Hugs, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington Street People Assistance Network, Bethany House, Bikes for the World, Capital Hospice, Carpenter’s Shelter, Christ House, Committee for Helping Others, Computer C.O.R.E., Crisis Link, DC Central Kitchen, Doorways, Embry Rucker Shelter, Evercare Hospice, Facets, Families Forward, Food for Others, Homestretch, Liahona Children’s Foundation, Lutheran Social Services – Youth Haven Camps, Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue, Miriam’s Kitchen, Neighbors Foundation, New Approach Inc., Operation Support, Orphan Foundation of America, Our Daily Bread, Project Hope, Project Northstar, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Restoration Ministries, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Service Source, Share, Shelter House, Stop Hunger Now, The Family Health and Birth Center, The Lamb Center, Training Futures and Waste Reduction through Upcycling and Composting.

Get Out and Give Back is now on Facebook. Jane Hess Collins helps and encourages people to give back through her writing, speaking, coaching and workshops. She also established game nights for at-risk families throughout the country. You can contact her at

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