On March 12, 2020 in response to the growing threat of the coronavirus, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency, and on March 16, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay did the same. The health and economic impacts of the virus will be massive.

FACS remains committed to carrying out our mission to advocate for equitable, local actions to address the growing threat of climate change and to place those most vulnerable at the forefront of our actions. Now, more than ever, these populations are facing challenges that are unprecedented.

During this time, we join with our local partners that are directly providing services to and advocating on behalf of those struggling to meet their basic needs. Together, and in the spirit of One Fairfax, we are building a Community of Practice that strengthens our community’s resilience and our ability to adapt and respond to these dramatic and often unforeseen events.

FACS encourages our network, partners and the broader community to do what they can to join together to strengthen resiliency efforts through the following actions:

  • Reach out to your County Supervisor, School Board Representative, and state legislators to affirm their hard work to maintain county and local services. Don’t know who your elected officials are? Check here.
  • Demonstrate kindness and empathy to frontline service providers, including trash collectors, health care professionals, and grocery workers. This could be a simple wave, handwritten notes, or a ‘thank you’.
  • Support the calls to action of FACS’ partners serving the local community
    • Organizations providing food distribution services, including food pantries, have seen a large increase in families in need yet are facing diminished donations. Food for Others is seeking donations of food and limited in-person volunteering at their warehouse. Most needed items right now are rice, pasta, canned tomato products, and canned fruit. Donations can be dropped off Monday – Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at their warehouse, loading dock 2. They are also in need of borrowing several tents to provide shelter from the rain when the clients do their pickups. Long-term, consider vegetable and herb gardens to donate fresh produce.
    • Our lower-income neighbors are especially hard hit with disruption to paychecks caused by the virus. Britepaths stabilize low-income and out-of-work neighbors with monetary donations for gift cards, etc.
    • The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy advocates for workers’ rights through calls to action.
    • Safe, decent housing that is affordable provides the stability for families and individuals to thrive and for our communities to prosper. Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance conducts state and county-level advocacy for safe, decent shelter; protection of the housing-insecure. Sign up to receive their action alerts here: https://nvaha.org/email-sign/.
    • The importance of connecting with people during this time of social distancing is critical, especially for seniors. The local Shepherd’s Center provide services to older adults. They run a Friendly Caller program to make phone calls to isolated seniors. They are also in need of volunteer drivers for critical needs such as chemo, acute rehab services, dialysis and surgical procedures. Clients are also driven to the grocery store or food bank.