If you love shopping on Amazon as I do, I invite you to chose The Good News Community Kitchen as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile. Click the banner for more information! Thank you for thinking of our mission and assisting us!
I was always conditioned never to look back. Its acceptable to look back briefly to appreciate your current position and promising future but the keyword here is "briefly". Today, I choose to reflect a little longer than usual because 2016 has been a great year for TGNCK! Lets see here...what happened:
We formed in 2015 and received our tax-exempt status. We opened a brick-and-mortar and celebrated that by having a packed ribbon cutting ceremony where all guests donated school supplies that went to three elementary schools. We prepared over 2,000 meals throughout our region, distributed just as many hygiene packages, provided blankets and coats for three elementary schools, local families and the unsheltered homeless. We coordinated two Moving Forward Makeover workshops. We established a partnership with the men of Kappa Psi and Pi Lambda Lambda Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. We were featured in several magazines and newspapers. We received numerous contributions and grants. We held team building functions to strengthen the morale of our most important resource...our volunteers! Last but not least, we received the support and assistance of our amazing community! Feel free to view our Gallery page to see exactly what we've been doing!
We cannot THANK YOU enough for the amount of support and encouragement you give us. Just to give you a hint of what we are working on for next year: we have our inaugural charity gala coming up in February, each program will be lead by a Committee Chair, we are actively looking to secure two volunteer Office Managers to manage the office and we are looking to roll out our much anticipated Resume Writing 101 Workshop for Veterans! This workshop will also include interactive interview tips and ideas! We are looking to engage our teenage youth volunteers with students in need of tutors to help strengthen academic confidence and performance!
If you haven't submitted a volunteer application yet...it is never too late to submit one! We are always looking for dedicated team members to help rebuild and strengthen our community!
Guess What? We will be hosting our very first charity gala...1920's style!
What: A 1920's themed Charity Gala (Dinner, Jazz Band, Auction, Casino-Style Cocktail Hour and DANCING)
Where: Harbour View, 13200 Marina Way, Woodbridge, VA22191
When: Friday, February 3, 2017, 7:15pm to Midnight
Individual Guest $90
Coupled Guests $175
VIP Table $1,500 (Only 4 Tables - 2 Bottles of Wine, $200 Casino Chips, Framed 5x7 and Gala T-shirts for VIP Guests)
Register TODAY to help raise funds for an amazing cause in YOUR community.
This post will be short...THE WASHINGTON POST DID AN ARTICLE ON US!!!!!!!
We did it! On August 10, 2016, the Lake Ridge Rotary Club sponsored our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, hosted by The Prince William County Chamber of Commerce! The entire day was filled with a million emotions. I feared a small turnout, but would have still been completely appreciative of anyone who decided to take time out of their schedule to come down and support our event. We had well over 45 guests to attend our ceremony. Our office was filled with laughter, words of encouragement, delicious food provided by The Blue Arbor Café, Firebirds, and Not Your Average Joes. Honorable Gerald Connolly, Delegate Richard Anderson and Chairman Gerald Wittman sent representatives, Occoquan District Supervisor Mrs. Ruth Anderson, Occoquan Mayor Elizabeth Quist, Occoquan Events and Community Development Director Mrs. Donna Brown, The Lake Ridge and Woodbridge Rotary Club, Prince William County Chamber of Commerce, The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, Woodbridge High School JROTC leadership, Omega Psi Phi Pi Lambda Lambda Chapter, Game 7 RIders and King's Knights Motor Club, The Law Offices of Sheyna Nicole Burt, PLC and Stratford University were all in attendance. What's Up Woodbridge even conducted an interview (in front of EVERYONE...SO NERVOUS). This was by far one of the best nights of my life. The Town of Occoquan gave us a warm welcoming! I am more than excited, eager and ready to rebuild and strengthen my community!
Check out the interview conducted by What's Up Woodbridge
Wow! So much has occurred since my last post. Allow me to share with you the great accomplishments of our TGNCK team. To start things off, we secured our very own headquarters location in the beautiful historic Town of Occoquan, VA. We hosted our first "coming out" Social Mixer/Fundraising event (June), Not Your Average Joe's hosted a month long Cause Night to raise awareness and funds for our organization (June), The Home Depot, located in Dale City, VA, donated all manpower and equipment necessary to completely renovate our headquarters office (June-July), and we published our very first edition of The Good News! our quarterly newsletter (visit Documents to take a look). We have been moving at a rapid rate to establish our foundation and I cannot stress how appreciative I am to have the support of our community businesses and households.
We are gearing up to prepare for our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, on August 10, 2016 from 5pm to 6:30pm, sponsored by The Lake Ridge Rotary Club, with catering provided by The Blue Arbor Café and FireBirds Wood Fired Grill! During this groundbreaking event, we will begin accepting school supplies to prepare for our Back to School Blast Community Cookout to raise and donate 100 fully supplied backpacks to the students of a local Elementary School. If you would like to help prepare our future Leaders for the upcoming school year, bring your donation to 308 Poplar Alley #B, Occoquan, VA 22125, during our daily hours of operation.
TGNCK is excited about rebuilding and strengthening our communities. We are always looking for volunteers who foster the same charge: rebuilding and strengthening communities through Outreach, Unity, Compassion & Selfless-Service. If you are interested in volunteering with us please take a look at our Volunteer Application (Volunteer Page) to see how you can make a difference through our various outlets.
As always, I am truly glad that you support our initiatives and are on this journey with us! Stay tuned to see the work we are doing in our community.
The amount of success and community support we have been shown, thus far, is confirmation that we are truly walking in our passion. There is no greater feeling...truly...honestly!
Ever since I have been a little girl, I have dreamed of being active in my community. Years later, as an adult, I still have those dreams but decided to journal about it and share my thoughts with individuals I felt would be interested in these dreams of mine. Well, one day, nothing major about this day, I felt a nudge and had the bright idea that TODAY IS THE DAY I would take actual steps into making this dream a reality. I researched "Starting a Non-Profit Organization in The Commonwealth of Virginia" and took notes. Within minutes I had completed my Articles of Incorporation and dedicated a few hours to compiling every process, related to TGNCK's operations. This document would soon become my Bylaws. Ironically, those key individuals, I had shared my vision with, through the years, all agreed and voted to become my Board of Directors and Executive Officers. This step in the process affected me emotionally because, to me, this meant I wasn't the only person who believed in this vision or this cause. Now I'm really motivated.
The Commonwealth of Virginia recognized us as a non-stock corporation on March 4, 2015. A year later, the IRS awarded us our tax-exempt, 501(c)(3), status on March 15, 2016. If you're wondering why it took one year and 11 days, its because [well] the application fee is $400 and it is at this point ALL of your substantiating documentation must be complete: business plan, proposed budget, mission/vision statement, formation documentation, Bylaws, etc.. Once we received our award letter from the IRS, we submitted our application to receive Charitable Contributions (which comes with a $100 application fee). We needed a mailbox (fee), logo (fee), website (fee), business cards design (fee), business cards (fee), and lets not forget the time it takes to ensure these documents are completed accurately. We all have full-time lives that we are "balancing" to make this organization, amongst other goals, occur. Soon, we will begin writing grant proposals and hosting our own "FUN"draising events. This is quite the learning experience for each member of the Executive Committee; nevertheless, this is a worthy experience we each have committed to.
I truly hope that you are committed to enduring this wonderful journey with us as well. I think it is most rewarding when people can come together, in support of something positive, that helps others. The fellowship, bridges and partnerships built are priceless. Frequent my "Corner" to read about this process and other encounters while turning this dream into reality! I look forward to growing before you and helping others beside you.
*Pictured you have myself and fellow public servants, of religious-based outreach programs, touring the Virginia office of the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB).
This evening had to be one of the best evenings I've experienced while pursuing my outreach initiatives. We prepared barbeque chicken, yellow rice, and cabbage for the families at our adopted shelter. Typically, there are more adults than children but this time the children's table outnumbered the adult's table. We were a bit nervous when thinking about how the children would embrace the cabbage. Within minutes of everyone saying grace they overwhelmed us with much appreciated accolades. Of course I smiled from ear-to-ear, showing all of my gums. My moment came when one of the pre-teens asked if he could help wash dishes..."uh YES grab that towel and dry". Personally our wanting to make a difference in our community comes from moments like this. Yes. We want to strengthen our community and we want to end hunger but we also want to reinforce effective communication, active listening skills, and family-like experiences that will shape our younger generation [now] so that they value "family time" in the future. He could have went outside with the other guys but instead he helped, got to know us and why we do what we do. Hopefully the "thing" that intrigued him about us will push him to do the same, if not something more impactful, for his community.
Yesterday was a great day for T.G.N.C.K. Though we decided to "work" during the planning, coordinating, and forming of the organization (meaning we fed those who were hungry while we formed), we just recently accomplished the finalizing steps towards making T.G.N.C.K. a full non-profit organization. We formed as a non-stock corporation on March 4, 2015 but it wasn't until last week, when we were able to submit our application for tax-exemption recognition. Yesterday, we opened the non-profit business account, officially opened a credit card for the organization, and retrieved our Outreach T-shirts! Now, you may wonder why I'm so forthcoming with information. Well, simply put...I'm extremely proud of our accomplishments and I believe in transparency.
I came across this image and felt the need to share it. If you have a goal in mind, stay true to it and do everything in your means to bring it to life.
Visualize it. Inform others. Put it on the calendar. Be realistic. Remain committed.
See your goal come to life. Own your goal by sharing your concepts with others (accountability). Set a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, make it realistic, and set a time frame (SMART goal). Stick to accomplishing your goal despite any setback (which is a mere lesson that will better your approach).
In the planning phase you brainstorm and identify all areas that affect your project or goal. During our planning phase we touched on our mission, vision, name, objectives, budget, and even what color we wanted the public to identify with our organization. I recall a conversation where it was asked "why does it matter" and it didn't really bother me but, well I guess it actually did, because I need all things in my life to be transparent. For me, a color triggers an emotion and can influence how I respond to things: whether I embrace it, yield to it, reject it, or ignore it.
T.G.N.C.K. is all about helping those in need. In order to help anyone we must first be welcomed/received/trusted. We searched all colors and did minor assessments where we showed various images in various colors and asked people to give us their most honest feedback, with regard to the image and the first thought that popped in their mind. We even tried the assessment. What we found was that people gravitated towards blue, green and purple.
Green symbolizes freshness, fertility, growth, harmony, health, nature, and safety. T.G.N.C.K. strives to reunite as many individuals, as possible, with each characteristic. Through this process we decided to be the change we want to see in others and represent a fresh, growing, harmonious and safe pillar in our community.
T.G.N.C.K. formed March 4, 2015 in The Commonwealth of Virginia. Since then, we have adopted a local homeless shelter, distributed hygiene bags to the homeless, hosted a clothing drive for women and children's, and last but not least applied for tax-exempt recognition solidifying our 501(c)3 status.
Initially, when strategizing and brainstorming, we did not anticipate an entire year having passed by before we submitted the necessary documents to obtain tax-exemption. Despite the time gap, we continued to press forward, advancing our vision and mission within the Northern Virginia area. We have gained amazing contacts within the Prince William County public service community and with the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB).
We look forward to growing before your very eyes as well as having you assist and/or support us in the community. Our website will reflect every community outreach initiative we coordinate. Be sure to visit us frequently and to let your family, peers, and colleagues know about us.
This is just the beginning!