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Cascades Blog: Sterling Rotary Helps Build a Diaper Bank
Every baby needs diapers. On average, a child needs 7,000 diapers from birth to age two, according to the Rotary Club of Sterling. Infants go through 10 to 12 diapers a day—and each diaper costs 23 to 26 cents, for a total expense of about $70 to $90 each month.

Members of the Sterling Rotary—along with partners including Giant Food, My Guys Moving, diaper donors across the region and the NOVA Diaper Bank—work throughout the year to obtain and distribute diapers to families in need in Loudoun and western Fairfax County.

This year, the Rotary’s fall diaper drive is expected to round up nearly 85,000 diapers and thousands of baby wipes during its annual effort to replenish the NOVA Diaper Bank. The diaper bank, sponsored by the Sterling Rotary Club, is operated by A Hand Up-NOVA, an organization run by local Rotarians.

“There is no federal program that subsidizes diapers,” Susan Mullen, the Rotarian leading the project, said. “I thought you could go in and buy diapers with food stamps. That was not true.”

The NOVA Diaper Bank began its mission with the goal of helping 150 babies each month. This month, it will provide diapers for 290 children, with the delivery of 12,334 diapers to eight different helping organizations in the area.

Although the numbers appear large, Mullen points out that the need is great.

“We can’t give them a full supply. We can only give about a quarter of what they need for a month,” she said. “I wish we could give more. We have limited funds and limited inventory.”

Mullen also noted that research she conducted when she took on the project indicated that 750 babies in the area need the organization’s help.

The diaper project requires a small army of volunteers. Sterling Rotary President Judy Brittle, a strong supporter of the effort, obtained a $2,750 grant for the project from the Rotary district. A Giant Foods team representing multiple stores stocked and stored the diapers until they were purchased and picked up for delivery to the diaper bank. My Guys Moving provided a truck and three employees to move the diapers from Giant to the diaper bank. Sterling Rotary Club members, including project founder Linda Carducci, provided vital support—and Mullen’s husband, Frank, helped her inventory the incoming donations.

Discussion is underway on plans for next year’s diaper drive. In the meantime, donation arrangements can be made by contacting .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Tax-deductible financial donations can be made by check, payable to A Hand Up-NOVA and mailed to P.O. Box 2115, Ashburn, VA 20146.

The Rotary Club of Sterling meets every Monday at 12:15 p.m. at The Bungalow Lakehouse. Members of the community are welcome to attend—and to join the Rotary effort to tackle humanitarian challenges.
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Sterling Blog: Middle Schoolers on the Move
November, the time for Thanksgiving, football, and high school seniors completing college applications. However, our eighth grade students at Sterling Middle School aren’t waiting until their senior year to think about college—they are thinking about it right now.

Last week, half the eighth grade class (the other half went this week) made the four-hour round trip to James Madison University. The students toured the huge campus, visiting the Student Success Center where college students can get help on anything from writing papers to math problems. They also had lunch along with other college students in the campus cafeteria. But the big purpose of the trip was a presentation by the admissions staff on what our students can do today to be ready to enter college.

The admissions staff went over the importance of challenging yourself at school by taking the harder courses and getting A's and B's throughout your high school career. Sure, parents and teachers tell them this all the time, but it’s different when someone working at the college tells them. The staff person also stressed the importance of quality extracurricular activities over quantity. The students were then encouraged to ask questions about how they can start getting ready for college. As an added bonus, JMU brought in three current students - including a Park View graduate - to talk to them about student life, from academics to sports, including how JMU’s football team is currently undefeated. The JMU students told them to learn good study habits now and become comfortable with talking to teachers about how they can improve in class, as that will help them when they reach college. Lastly, the kids made an important stop at the bookstore to stock up on their JMU swag.

Thank you to the faculty members and staff who made this trip possible and allowing a JMU alumnus, friendly neighborhood columnist, and proud parent of a Sterling Middle School student to come along as a chaperone.

Remember, this weekend is your last opportunity to see “Man of La Mancha” by our treasured Sterling Playmakers. Don’t miss this show and then wonder why your friends are singing “Impossible Dream” and yet you don’t know the song. Showtimes are 8 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18, and then your absolute last shot is 2 p.m. on Nov. 19. The show is at Seneca Middle School, just across route seven. For more information, or to buy your tickets, visit http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com.
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Sterling Blog: Craft Show This Weekend
It may be November, but Project Graduation is already thinking about June. Park View’s Project Graduation is how our community shows high school graduates how proud we are of them. Not only does this group fund an all night celebration for our students, it also provides scholarships, gifts, and even school supplies for those going to college. It’s our whole town wishing graduates well as they start the next chapter in their lives.

To fund all this, Project Graduation hosts two craft fairs a year—and the next one is Nov. 11. From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., more than 70 artists, crafters, and vendors will fill Park View’s gym and lobby with unique and wonderful items. Whether you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift (it never hurts to start early) or you’re just wanting something nice for you (I’m not one to judge), this is the perfect place to start looking.

After all, you’re doing it for the kids, right?

Also this Saturday, St. Matthew Episcopal Church, at 201 East Frederick Drive, will be holding a Community Lunch from noon until 2 p.m., and you池e all invited to this Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings.

No need for reservations or an RSVP, just show up for a good meal with good music and crafts for the kids. Show up a wee bit early at 11 a.m. and you're invited to a Veterans Day Service with a special guest speaker, Lt. Col. (Ret) Glenn Schiraldi Ph.D. Want to do more than just eat? St. Matt is always looking for volunteers to help with these community lunches. Simply reach out to the church at stmtts.org.
And yes, we're still on Saturday, Inferior Nerve, a local non profit is sponsoring a coat and winter clothing drive for the families of Loudoun County Public Schools. Just drop new or gently used items off at the Sterling Community Center on Enterprise Street and Inferior Nerve will make sure someone in need is warmed by your generosity. The organization will also be hosting a follow up at Claude Moore Community Center on Nov. 18. To learn more about this really wonderful organization, visit them online at inferiornerve.org

This weekend, Sterling Playmakers open their fall musical event, “Man of La Mancha,” featuring the unforgettable songs of “Impossible Dream” and “To Each His Dulcinea” at Seneca Ridge Middle School directed by the incomparable Kathy Bleutge. Show times are 8 p.m. Nov. 10, and 11, and 2 p.m. On Nov. 12. Tickets are on sale now at SterlingPlaymakers.com or they’ll be available at the door.

Please keep sending information about events and businesses in and around Sterling to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) – I’d love to hear all about it
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