Throughout the year we will focus around our "Core Four" program initiatives: Mobile Meals, Hygiene Heroes, Trends to Transition and Warm Winters.
In Virginia, 136,220 (7 percent of the population) residents struggle to get the food they need (Feeding America, 2014). Food insecure seniors are 53 percent more likely to report a heart attack. Food insecure children are more likely to experience stomachaches, headaches, colds, ear infections, and fatigue.
Mobile Meals provides meals-ready-to-eat to the displaced underserved population throughout the area (i.e.: safe, public places for pick-up). Volunteers will be dressed in TGNCK community outreach t-shirts and distribute packaged meals at set “hub” locations on a weekly basis. The summer meals will include two sandwiches (limited vegetarian sandwiches will be available), healthy snack, bottled water, and a utensil. Fall and winter meals will include a bowl of soup, sandwich, healthy snack bottled water and a utensil.
We have recently incorporated the Emergency Meal Units (EMUs) sub-initiative for identified families in urgent need of dry goods. Identified families will receive the emergency meal units to immediately remedy food scarcity. Each EMU consists of: 1lb bag of rice, 2cn beans (either butter beans or black beans 7 servings total) and 1lb of whole grain old fashioned oats.
Our Meals 2 Go Kits are kits designed to help fight childhood hunger. While homelessness is distinctly visible in our community, many children face food insecurity and lack essential clothing and school supplies necessary to effectively perform on an academic and social basis. Each kit consists of 1bx flavored oatmeal, 1bx saltine crackers, 1ea creamy peanut butter, 2cn Chefboyardee and 2cn vegetable soup. We deliver 50 kits on a biweekly basis to all schools committed to our Community Partnerships.
Hygiene Heroes’ primary focus is to provide the underserved with access to essential toiletries such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, socks, feminine hygiene products, and hand sanitizer. These items are available during mobile meal distribution and can be retrieved on an individual basis upon need. In addition to preparing custom hygiene bags, we donate bulk quantities to our adopted shelter, and individually (by request). This initiative became a personal priority for our Founder/Executive Director, when several middle school aged girls identified that they had exceeded the recommended use of their sanitary napkins because of a lack of resources. No young lady’s childhood or education experience should be adversely influenced by the lack of sanitary hygiene products. Families in the community may contact the office to request supplies during this time in their life.
Trends to Transition-
Trends to Transition collects professional attire for men and women transitioning back into the workforce. To qualify for assistance, each participant must have completed a job-training program, have an interview scheduled, and have been referred to TGNCK by one of its partner programs located throughout Northern Virginia. These partner organizations include homeless shelters, welfare-to-work job training centers, and job training programs for Veterans, disabled individuals and recovering substance abusers.
Our skillset, experience, uniqueness, and ability to perform the essential functions of a job description is the foundation for a qualified individual to obtain employment; however, like it or not, our appearance is equally important when it comes to making an impression and being selected for employment. Employers hire individuals they believe will “fit” into their organization, department, and/or team.
Clothing influences your attitude and confidence levels. When prospective new hires feel good about the way they look, they project a positive image, naturally conveying confidence and a positive attitude. When selling your qualifications, these non-verbal skills are equally important as the verbal responses you provide during your interviews(s).
Unemployment is a measure of how many people without jobs are actively seeking employment. The inability to find work is also associated with stress, financial hardship, health problems, and strain on family relationships. Virginia’s unemployment rate is down to 4.1 percent: expanding the workforce by 4,940 and increasing household employment by 5,588 (Virginia Employment Commission, 2016). By providing professional attire to adults who are actively seeking employment, TGNCK will do all that it can to ensure the unemployment rate continues to decrease.
Winters in Northern Virginia and D.C. can be crucial to those who are equipped with winter coats and snow suits and life threatening to those who do not. Throughout the year, TGNCK will focus on collecting coats, ranging from youth small to adult extra-large, to provide to individuals and/or families who are not in the position to protect themselves from the winter elements. Donations may be “gently used” (adequate/good condition and dry cleaned), new or in the form of a monetary donation of any amount. All donations are tax deductible. Upon final acquisition of all coats, coats will be neatly hung up and displayed for those, in need, to retrieve them. This initiative was identified to alleviate the unnecessary stress associated with not having adequate winter outerwear. Children will be able to wait for the school bus and/or walk to school in the warm comfort of a donated coat, in their size, that fits and provides protection against weather elements. Adults will be able to obtain and retain employment in the warm comfort of a donated coat, in their size, that fits and provides protection against weather elements.
“Gently used” or brand new blankets will be collected to distribute to the displaced underserved population located in the metropolitan area of D.C. during three separate community outreach events leading up to the winter months. Monetary donations in any amount that may also be contributed to acquire blankets. It is too common to observe individuals suffering from behavioral health and/or the elderly sleeping on park benches or in front of retail stores in the midst of snow storms, thunderstorms, or windy evenings with little to no outer protection.