April was Second Chance Month and we had many events and new initiatives that I am thrilled to share with you. Thanks to you, the 11th Annual Second Chance Fundraising Breakfast was a great success. You can learn more about the event and see pictures below.
I also want to introduce you to OAR's new department, Community Engagement. Race equity has been a core goal at OAR for a few years and with the new Community Engagement department we also seek to promote equity in the legal system and across all systems. Read below to find out more about OAR's new Community Engagement department.
You may know that there are several important primary election races taking place on June 11th. I want to encourage you to learn more about the candidates, particularly, in the City of Alexandria Clerk of the Court and the Arlington and City of Falls Church Commonwealth Attorney Primaries.
Even though Second Chance Month has now come to an end, I want to encourage you to keep the mission alive! Your support has given individuals like Jane, whose story you can read below, a second chance at life. Thank you for supporting OAR's mission and together we can continue to strengthen our community through second and fair chances for all!
Elizabeth Jones Valderrama, MA, CVA Executive Director
A Participant Story: Meet "Jane"*
Jane was incarcerated for two years in the Alexandria Detention Center in Alexandria, VA and was released in October 2018. She heard of OAR through her Case Manager while she was incarcerated and decided to reach out after her release to figure out her next steps. Jane met with an OAR team member for about a month to receive assistance on finding new employment. Before she was incarcerated, Jane was a department store manager for over a decade. However, even with her years of experience and stable employment history, Jane still found it extremely difficult to find a new job given her record. In her first few meetings with the OAR team, Jane expressed that she was extremely nervous about how to disclose her criminal record to employers and she was afraid that because of her record, she would not be able to go back to being a store manager, a job she knew and loved for years. Throughout the next month, the OAR team practiced mock interviews with Jane, assisted her in her job search by making recommendations and connections, and helped her figure out the best way to disclose her record to potential employers. After each meeting with the OAR team, Jane felt more energized and motivated to find employment despite the barriers she faced. Through hard work and diligence, Jane landed a store manager position at a local grocery store within just one month! OAR continued to support Jane after she found employment, providing her with transportation vouchers so she could get to and from her training sessions for her new job. Now, months after Jane has been released from incarceration, she is happily working and thriving in the community thanks to your support!
*Name changed to protect the privacy of the participant. The photo is a stock photo and not necessarily representative of the participant.
Presenting: OAR's Community Engagement Department
We are excited to announce that OAR is launching a new department. OAR has a longstanding tradition of pursuing justice. This new initiative will focus on engaging the community in a racial equity dialogue with the ultimate goal of creating a sense of urgency in implementing systemic solutions. The Community Engagement department will be part of our effort to "move the needle" forward within the organization and in our community with respect to the intersecting issues of race, poverty, and incarceration. The Community Engagement department will host monthly meetings and have conversations as well as advocate for changes that can make our community one where every person - including those who have been incarcerated - enjoys equal civil and human rights. Our goal through this program is to engage the community in supporting and working for racial equity and justice for all. We will be posting more information about this new department and how to get involved in the coming months so be on the lookout!
OAR's 11th Annual Second Chance Fundraising Breakfast
OAR's 11th Annual Second Chance Fundraising Breakfast took place on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott with over 525 individuals in attendance to support second and fair chances.
Guests heard the stories of "Joseph," an individual who received assistance through OAR's Reentry Program in his journey home from incarceration and "Mya," whose story demonstrates how families are affected by incarceration and how OAR works to support these families. When talking about his journey back from incarceration, Joseph stated, "I feel good about who I am today. I am closer to becoming the man and the father I want and need to be and I have been able to find joy. I don't think I would still be here if not for OAR. They were there with me every step of the way, and I am so grateful."
Thank you to all who joined us in celebrating second and fair chances as well as our incredible sponsors, Table Captains, and volunteers who made this event possible. Below are some pictures of the event! To see all the photos from the event, please visit our Facebook Page here.
For this month’s Volunteer Spotlight, we would like to highlight the 63 individuals who supported OAR’s 11th Annual Second Chance Fundraising Breakfast by being a Table Captain! These volunteers and OAR team members invited friends and colleagues to join them at the event, and were tasked with leading their table at the event, fostering conversation, distributing and collecting donation forms, and more! The event truly could not have been a success without these dedicated volunteers! Big thanks to:
Elsa Afrolian, Gail Arnall, Pam Berg, Ric Blacksten, Michael Brouri, Janet Burt, Tony Casson, Alex Chacaltana, Joseph Chapman, Margaret Clark, Jamie Conrad, Brett Covington, Lisa D'Alonzo, Mara D'Amico, Evan Davies, Kathy Dwyer, Steven Early, Bill Fogarty, Elizabeth Fogarty, Janet Garber, Christine Gregory, Don Hayes, Ann Hermann, Priscilla Hoffman-Stowe, Gladys Jones, Nancy Joyner, Joey Katona, Florence King, Mondre' Kornegay, Marcella Labellarte, Katie Leonard, James and Sheila Mack, Kayla Mcafee, Terri McPalmer, Susan Olson, Pam and Eric Quanrud-Wenberg, Scott Reamy, Mark Riley, Robert Roudik, Mike Rosenow, Shirley Ruhe, Alejandra Santaolalla, Rosalie Smith, Ann Springer, Amy Stitzel, David Temple, Jr., John Timmer, Wendy Webb, McGennis Williams, Dawn Wilson, and Josh Witmer.
We couldn't have done it without all your support!
Would you like to share your OAR volunteer story for a chance to be featured in future e-newsletters and on our social media? Contact email@example.com.
Interested in volunteering with OAR? Here are some upcoming volunteer opportunities!
Assist with Event Preparation
Friday May 17, 2019, anytime between 10am and 4pm
Monday May 20, 2019, anytime between 10am and 4pm
OAR seeks administrative support in preparing for an upcoming event. Tasks may include stuffing and organizing nametags, assisting with data entry, and other tasks as needed. Minimum three-hour shifts requested.
For all of the opportunities listed above, please contact Heather Pritchett at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up! Thank you!
Do More 24
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
United Way of the National Capital Area presents the 7th Annual Do More 24! Do More 24 is a 24-hour giving day specific to nonprofit organizations in the Washington D.C. metro area that collectively focuses on engaging donors, partners, and volunteers in an effort to do more throughout the community. For more information on how to support OAR for Do More 24, click here.
May 2019 - August 2019
For the second year in a row, OAR will be having a back-to-school drive, collecting new backpacks and school supplies for children who have a parent incarcerated locally. Starting early May, you can support OAR's Project Backpack program by donating supplies through our Project Backpack Amazon Wishlist or by donating funds that will help cover the mailing costs to send backpacks and supplies to children who live outside of the local delivery area! We will also be having donation boxes set up in the community during this drive. Stay tuned on our social media and our website for more information as we get closer to the date! Interested in hosting a donation box? Contact Stephannie Ku at email@example.com.
Learn more about OAR at a free tour of our mission
Want to learn more about us? Join us for a free one-hour tour of our mission at the OAR office! Guests will hear about OAR's programs and services from the team members who are working in the programs and hear participant success stories. We promise to end on time. Below is a list of upcoming dates and times. Please sign up here or contact Heather Pritchett at firstname.lastname@example.org.