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Monetary Donations Still Needed for Residents Affected by Centreville Fires

Posted at 2:30 p.m.

County agencies and our official partners, including various nonprofits and faith-based organizations in the Centerville and Chantilly community, continue to provide services and resources to the residents of the May 2 fires in Centerville.

We are still seeking monetary gifts — cash, check or credit card — through our official partner, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM), 4511 Daly Drive, Suite J, Chantilly, VA 20151. This is the best way to ensure that your support goes directly to the residents of the Centreville fires. You can mail or drop off donations to WFCM, as well as donate online at wfcmva.org (click the donate button).

For additional information, call 703-988-9656 or email rkolowe@wfcmva.org.

“The generosity of our community is great. That is apparent in all the offers we have received so far,” said Diana Rothe-Smith, emergency response program manager, Volunteer Fairfax. “The best way to help the residents get exactly what they need as soon as they need it is to give cash to a coordinating community-based organization, in this case it’s Western Fairfax Christian Ministries.”

County officials continue to partner with WFCM to identify residents’ needs and updates will be provided here on the blog on what future types of donations and assistance would be most beneficial.

Charity Fraud Precautions

Unfortunately, a tragic event such as an earthquake, hurricane or a local fire often prompts an outpouring of assistance from well-meaning residents. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reminds consumers who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of a natural disaster to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization or good cause.

Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, including the following:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming emails, by clicking on links contained within those messages.
  • Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by researching the BBB Wise Giving Alliance or Guidestar.
  • Be cautious of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • Make contributions directly to known organizations, rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf, to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
  • If a charity is soliciting contributions in Virginia, verify its registration with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs (OCRP) at 804-786-1343, or search the OCRP Charitable Organization Database.
  • While a legitimate charity should be registered with OCRP to solicit contributions in Virginia, registration alone does not mean that the organization will be effective in aiding victims of a particular natural disaster.
  • Carefully read the terms and conditions of online giving platforms, such as GoFundMe.
  • Use a credit card to make your donation in case you need to dispute a charge with your credit card company.

For questions and concerns about charitable giving, contact the Fairfax County Consumer Affairs Branch, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 433, Fairfax. A consumer specialist is available to respond to your consumer inquiries Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 703-222-8435 or email consumer@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Donations Update in Response to the May 2 Centreville Fires

Posted at 4:55 p.m.

Fairfax County thanks our community and partners for their generous contributions to support our neighbors affected by the fires in Centerville on Wednesday, May 2. The response has been great.

As we continue to assess the needs of the residents, which will guide our donation efforts moving forward, we have identified two additional needs.

Monetary Donations

While gift cards continue to be a great resource, cash will work best for addressing housing needs, including application costs, deposits, rent, etc. Please consider designating a cash donation to Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, the organization taking the lead to work directly with the county and the affected residents, for this immediate need.

You can mail or drop off donations to Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM), 4511 Daly Drive, Suite J, Chantilly, Va. WFCM can receive donations in person from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

WFCM is also accepting online cash donations at wfcmva.org (click the donate button)

For additional information, call 703-988-9656 or email rkolowe@wfcmva.org.

Housing

Long-term affordable housing options for those displaced by the fire, particularly our older adult residents, is a primary focus right now. We are looking for tax-credit affordability level and accessibility (ADA) among other criteria.

For offers or information on housing criteria, contact Elisa Johnson with the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development at 703-279-7302, TTY 711.

 

Fairfax County Continues to Assist Those Affected by the Centreville Fires

Posted at 4:10 p.m.

As the county continues to assist residents affected by the May 2 fires in Centreville, additional county-sponsored donation options are now available.

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) is now receiving both monetary donations and gift cards to support their operations to benefit the residents impacted by the May 2 fires. WFCM can receive donations from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. WFCM is located at 4511 Daly Drive, Suite J, Chantilly. Speak with the person at the front desk regarding your donation.

In addition, Volunteer Fairfax continues to receive donations of generic gift cards on behalf of the coordinating community-based organizations serving the residents. Denominations of $20 or less are preferred. Gift cards can be dropped off during normal business hours or mailed to their office at 10530 Page Ave, Fairfax, VA 22030. Alternatively, call Volunteer Fairfax at 703-246-3460 or email volsrus@volunteerfairfax.org to coordinate your gift. After hours, leave a message and someone will contact you to coordinate your donation.

Go Fund Me Campaigns

You may have noticed several Go Fund Me accounts created online related to the Forest Glen and Sully Station fires. Please note that these are not official Fairfax County-sponsored fundraising efforts. Fairfax County, through its donations management plan within the county’s emergency operations plan, has at this time identified Western Fairfax Christian Ministries and Volunteer Fairfax as the official custodians of donations to residents affected by the fires.

For Residents Affected by the Fires

People impacted by the Centreville fires may contact the county’s Coordinated Services Planning at 703-222-0880, TTY 711 for short-term or long-term needs.

Gift Card Donations for Fire Victims Will Continue to be Accepted This Weekend

Posted at 4:15 p.m.

Fairfax County, Volunteer Fairfax and other nonprofit partners continue to assist our neighbors who were affected by the fires in Centreville on Wednesday, May 2.

Volunteer Fairfax will continue to receive your generous donations of gift cards through the weekend. They are accepting generic gift cards valid at local stores on behalf of the coordinating community-based organizations serving the residents. Denominations of $20 or less are preferred.

Gift cards can be dropped off Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at their office at 10530 Page Ave, Fairfax, VA 22030. You also may drop off gift cards next week, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or mail them to Volunteer Fairfax at the address above.

Alternatively, call Volunteer Fairfax at 703-246-3460 or email volsrus@volunteerfairfax.org to coordinate your gift. If after hours, leave a message and someone will contact you to coordinate your donation.

Please include your name, email and mailing address with your donation so you can be thanked and acknowledged, and so a receipt can be sent for your gift.

For persons impacted by the Centreville fires, you may contact the county’s Coordinated Services Planning at 703-222-0880, TTY 711.

Information for Those Wanting to Donate to Residents Displaced by Fire

Posted at 4 p.m.

Fairfax County is working with Volunteer Fairfax and other nonprofit partners to assist our neighbors who were affected by the fires in Centreville on Wednesday, May 2. There are various needs; many residents have lost everything.

If you are interested in assisting those impacted, we are requesting donations of gift cards that can be used for food, clothes, household items, etc. Consider generic gift cards valid at local stores. Any denomination is appreciated. Please call Volunteer Fairfax at 703-246-3460 or email volsrus@volunteerfairfax.org to coordinate your gift. If after hours, leave a message and staff from Volunteer Fairfax will return your message to coordinate your donation.

For persons impacted by the Centreville fires, you may contact the county’s Coordinated Services Planning at 703-222-0880.