Cornerstones provides emergency food and shelter to local at-risk families and individuals, together with longer-term housing and other social and educational services.
FAQs about the Tikkun Olam Campaign
Why does NVHC Change (the Social Action Committee or SAC) need to reed to raise funds?
With only one fundraising campaign per year, NVHC Change asks for an ambitious sum to support our significant work in the community. Thanks to your generosity in past years, we have created positive change for our neighbors. Now, with the increased needs in the Reston community, as well as the needs of our extended Afghan family (11 members living in three households) and our two Ukrainian families (8 living together in one household), we want to do as much or more this coming year.
About 95 percent of our funds raised each year for the general Tikkun Olam fund go to local organizations and for our work in the community (with the remaining 5 percent going to national Jewish organizations, HIAS and MAZON).
How are Tikkun Olam funds allocated? Can the funds be used for other purposes?
The SAC allocates the funds raised each year at an open meeting in the spring. All congregants are welcome to attend this meeting and to participate in the discussion. All the funds must be used for social action purposes. No Tikkun Olam funds are used for NVHC operations nor are NVHC operating funds used to support Tikkun Olam efforts. The NVHC Board of Trustees reviews and approves the planned donations each year. For 2023-24, we plan to support ongoing efforts at 2022-23 levels and then increase our support or identify additional recipients, as appropriate.
Where does the money go?
To combat hunger in our community:
- We provide cash and in-kind contributions to Cornerstones, much of it for food assistance. This year we increased the number of meals prepared for both the Embry Rucker and hypothermia shelters.
- We work with Helping Hungry Kids to provide weekend snack bags for students at eight local elementary schools, including Forest Edge and Clearview. Tikkun Olam funds allow us to buy food in bulk, and our students also donate snacks and help to pack the bags. If Helping Hungry Kids does not need our entire allocation, we will donate the balance to a local pantry, such as the Cornerstones Food Pantry, South Lakes Food Pantry or Food for Neighbors.
To increase our visibility in the community and strengthen our interfaith and community relationships. We are members in local organizations and co-sponsors of local events with a social action focus:
- We identify and address issues of local concern with interfaith partners and community organizations.
- Through FACS, we work with over 70 places of worship to make Northern Virginia greener.
- We co-sponsor the annual Reston Pride Day to welcome the LGBTQ community.
- We co-sponsor the Fairfax County Student Peace Awards.
To support national and regional Jewish organizations with a social justice mission, such as HIAS, MAZON, and JCRC.
To fund social action projects at NVHC, including:
- Religious school projects. Green Team and Racial Justice, Rebuilding Democracy Project and Great Texts curriculum development for the Jewish community/interfaith work.
- Afghan Family and Ukrainian Family resettlement.
- A reserve is set aside each year for urgent needs in the community or to roll over into the next year.
Will we still participate in the Food Pantry Drive during the High Holy Days and food donations for Forest Edge and the Cornerstones shelters?
Yes! The SAC only asks for funds once a year, by this request. However, we will still ask congregants to donate food or other goods throughout the year for our social action projects. When additional food is needed beyond the food donations, Tikkun Olam funds are used. This year we also held collection drives for the Afghan and Ukrainian refugees to help furnish their homes and provide needed clothing.
Who are some of our partner organizations?
Cornerstones: Nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, and other services.
FACS (Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions): Nonpartisan, nonprofit, interfaith organization (with over 70 local faith organization participants) that focuses on developing local solutions to climate and environmental issues.
Fairfax County Student Peace Awards: Nonprofit organization that provides small cash awards for high schools to recognize students who have made a positive contribution to their school or community by promoting mutual understanding and respect for all people
Food for Neighbors: Nonprofit Herndon-based organization that provides weekend food to middle school and high school families in need in Fairfax and Loudoun counties.
HIAS (formerly Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society): National Jewish organization supporting refugees of all faiths in the U.S.
JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington): Regional Jewish organization focusing on public policy concerns central to Jewish consciousness.
Jewish Partnership for Democracy (A More Perfect Union): National network of Jewish institutions that is working to ensure free, fair, safe and accessible elections.
MAZON: National Jewish advocacy organization working to end hunger among all faiths in the U.S. and Israel.
Reston Pride: An event first held in June 2018, with NVHC co-sponsoring along with others in the faith community, Cornerstones, and corporate partners.
South Lakes High School Food Pantry: Nonprofit organization providing food to families in need in the South Lakes pyramid.
VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement): Nonpartisan, nonprofit, interfaith organization working to build community relationships, identify community concerns, and work for social justice at the local and state levels.
I want to participate in social action activities with NVHC. What can I do?