The Del Ray Business Association, the American Hospital Association, Singhal & Company, and the Fairfax County Firefighters and Friends will provide new winter coats to 175 preschool students and their parents at The Child & Family Network Centers. CFNC staff will personally hand out the coats to many of the children and their parents on Thursday, Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m. at the CFNC classrooms located at 3700 Wheeler Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304.
“Alexandrians are extremely giving people and this project reflects that,” said Pat Miller, member of the Del Ray Business Association and coat drive organizer. “By letting the child choose their coat color we know they are not only getting something they need, but also something that will make their day a little brighter,” she said. The annual coat drive is part of CFNC’s comprehensive programming to provide low income families in Alexandria with the resources they need to succeed in school and life. Since its opening, CFNC along with community partners has given away more than 2,500 new winter coats.
Based in Alexandria, VA, CFNC was started in 1984 by a group of mothers living in public housing after seven of their children failed kindergarten. This endeavor was an immediate success and all of the children from CFNC’s first class were recognized by the public school as gifted. CFNC continues to expand both its award winning preschool and its comprehensive socials services. With the new classrooms opened in Alexandria’s West End last winter, CFNC reaches nearly 200 three and four-year-olds and their families living in Alexandria’s poorest neighborhoods. CFNC’s diverse population consists of families from 21 countries, including many in Central and South America, as well as Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Kuwait.
CFNC’s interim CEO, Lee Jackson, is very pleased with the coat drive’s success, “For CFNC children, getting a new coat can be life changing and free up their parents’ resources to concentrate on other needs. We are so grateful for the support of the Del Ray Business Association, the American Hospital Association, Singhal & Company, the Fairfax County Firefighters and Friends, and companies, individuals and foundations like them who are working to make a positive change in the lives of the at-risk children in Alexandria.”