get Involved With FOCUS!

Join Metro DC area Orthodox Christians in reaching out to families in the Chirilagua neighborhood of Arlandria who are experiencing financial stress and uncertainty made worse by the effects of COVID-19.

Metro DC Area Family Care Drive

In partnership with Grace Episcopal Church Food Pantry (Alexandria, VA), the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve is inviting Orthodox Christians in the Metro DC area to take action this Spring.

Diapers are among the items in highest demand for the families served by the Grace Food Pantry. As simple as it sounds, diapers are really important. Of course, keeping baby clean and dry promotes comfort and health. In addition, an adequate supply of diapers has been shown to be a tangible way of reducing parenting stress, which is a critical factor influencing child health and development.

Join us in meeting this critical need. Here’s how:

  • Donate Online to support a bulk purchase of diapers for Grace Food Pantry, made available at below market cost through our partnership with Entegra. Make out checks to FOCUS North America – DC Drive and mail to: PO Box 645039, Pittsburgh, PA 15264.
  • Shop for additional wish list items Grace Food Pantry needs. Make this a family project, or help coordinate a parish-wide care drive.

A Community in Need

Help our neighbors in the Chirilagua neighborhood of Northern Virginia who are suffering the effects of the pandemic. Many residents in the area are unemployed or have had work reduced due to the pandemic, and their community has experienced a high rate of COVID-19 infections.

For more than 25 years the Grace Episcopal Church Food Pantry has served families in Alexandria and Arlington experiencing food insecurity. Prior to the pandemic, they regularly helped more than 30 families weekly, but in the last year the need has surged, and the Grace Food Pantry is currently helping over 300 families every week. Despite the pandemic, they have expanded their service operations and have distributed over 10,000 grocery bags of food and household necessities over the past year. 

The pantry is located on the northern edge of Alexandria in the Arlandria area. Arlandria is a low-income “pocket” in the largely affluent Northern Virginia region. For decades this neighborhood has experienced consistently high levels of childhood poverty. Even before the pandemic, many Arlandria residents experienced low economic security, working in low-wage jobs and living in crowded conditions to economize. Unfortunately those underlying economic conditions have been exacerbated during the pandemic, and Arlandria has experienced a community spread of the COVID-19 virus on a level that is greater than many other neighborhoods in Alexandria and the surrounding area of Northern Virginia.

The pantry is walking distance from a neighborhood nicknamed “Chirilagua,” after a town in southeastern El Salvador from which many residents fled, and serves hundreds of Hispanic families.

Our Community partners

The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve (FOCUS) exists to support the growth of Orthodox Christian service efforts by providing engagement opportunities that reveal Christ in our neighbor and serve community needs with our five ministry areas of Food, Occupation, Clothing, Understanding and Shelter. Click here to learn more about FOCUS North America's purpose, mission, and vision.

By partnering with Grace Food Pantry, FOCUS seeks to engage Orthodox Christians in the Metro DC area by offering meaningful support to an existing ministry that aligns with our purpose & mission.

This bulk purchase of diapers at discount pricing is made possible by a partnership between FOCUS North America and Sodexo, a world-wide quality of life services company with U.S. headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Sodexo provides performance-enhancing solutions across a wide range of services and industries, including food and hospitality services supporting private and public companies, universities, seniors, and other communities. FOCUS is procuring the diapers through Sodexo's purchasing arm, Entegra Procurement Services. Generous assistance from Sodexo and Entegra employees, as well as access to Entegra's purchasing efficiencies and supply chains, enable FOCUS to steward donor contributions and maximize purchasing power to help those in need.

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