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Local Outreach

Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA)

The Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) was founded in 1967 by a small group of Protestants and Catholics to serve the community, without regard to ethnicity or religious beliefs. The first ministry provided affordable day care for children of low-income families. ACCA now serves Annandale, Lincolnia, Bailey’s Crossroads, and Culmore through collaboration with Fairfax County and the United Way. Funding and in-kind support comes from its 27 member churches, individuals, businesses, community organizations and the county, state and federal government. Except for the Child Development Center (CDC), all ministries are volunteer-run. More than 95% of the funding goes directly back in to the community. Little River UCC is a long-time partner of ACCA as it has participated in the White Gift Christmas and has funded ACCA with end-of-year monies. In 2016 Little River UCC formally joined ACCA and contributed $3,000. We have volunteers who read to the children at the CDC and those who assist with the Family Emergency Assistance ministry.

ARISE (United College Ministries in Northern Virginia)

ARISE is a program of the United College Ministries in Northern Virginia that reaches out to and provides spiritual support to students on the campuses of George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College, regardless of their affiliation with Christianity. Through ordained and peer ministers, ARISE fosters awareness in students that the greater community cares about them. Activities include the “Listening Post” a place to talk with a person who listens, responds, and provides non-judgmental companionship; campus involvement through organizing events on topics of interest such as world hunger; mission work trips; a weekly meal with informal conversation, and the publicizing of events, activities and resources available throughout the national capital area. Little River UCC provides financial support to ARISE.

Fairfax FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help)

Fairfax FISH is an ecumenical outreach program that works through referrals from the Fairfax County Department of Human Services to assist people in need in Fairfax County. FISH provides food, clothing, and financial assistance for rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, gasoline, and medical bills. FISH volunteers also deliver food to homes. Little River UCC supports FISH financially, participates with 14 other member churches on the FISH Council, and provides volunteers who respond to FISH requests for assistance one day every four weeks. In addition, on each communion Sunday, many people bring non-perishable food donations to restock the food pantry we maintain for FISH.

Food for Others

Food for Others helps meet the nutritional needs of people in Northern Virginia who are unable to provide adequate food for themselves and their families. As the largest distributor of free food directly to people in need in Northern Virginia, it furnishes assistance vitally needed by our unemployed and low-income neighbors. Food for Others provides a safety net for people who suddenly face unforeseen emergencies such as a family illness or the loss of a job or a spouse. Little River UCC gives financial support to Food for Others, and our members provide assistance by collecting surplus food from local grocery stores, working in the warehouse.


Homestretch is the largest provider of transitional housing to homeless families in Fairfax County. Its mission is to empower homeless families to return to stable housing and self-sufficiency by giving them the skills, knowledge, and hope they need to become productive participants in their communities. In addition to housing, Homestretch provides many other services to help families succeed, including life skills, computer literacy, and GED and financial management classes, as well as intensive case management and mentoring services. Homestretch places special emphasis on children, offering numerous enrichment services to ensure that they have the best possible chance of a normal, healthy childhood. Little River UCC provides financial support to Homestretch.

Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC)

The Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) battles poverty and injustice by solving critical legal problems for individuals and communities. Then they use what they learn to identify, investigate, and attack systemic injustices. The LAJC is committed to providing a full range of services. They use a combination of individual representation, group and class litigation, community organizing, policy advocacy, and media relations, with offices in Falls Church, Charlottesville, Petersburg, and Richmond. The Falls Church location specializes in immigration issues. Partnering with the LAJC is a function of Little River's commitments to social justice, defending the rights of the vulnerable, and “welcoming the stranger,” (Deuteronomy 10:19, Leviticus 19:34). We have funded the LAJC in 2016 and 2017. Little River UCC has provided pro-bono attorneys, and volunteers who take snacks to the office in Culmore and assist with data entry.

"Little Library" Project, Fairfax County’s Sheriff’s Office

In November of 2017, LRUCC donated 106 books for use and distribution in the lobby of the Adult Detention Center. From the Sheriff’s Office: "I could feel the love as I picked up each book that once sat on the shelves of your children’s/grandchildren’s room. Thank you for giving that love a chance to spread as we put these books into the hands of children who have contact with our agency. This project will not only make a positive difference in the lives of these children, but help us, as Law Enforcement Officers, build a positive relationship with them one book at a time." This project is ongoing. Bring your gently loved books, infant through twelve yeas old, to Little River UCC. There is a basket outside the Social Hall waiting to receive them.

The Potomac Conservancy

The Potomac Conservancy safeguards the lands and waters of the Potomac River and connects people to this national treasure. They believe that the foundation of healthy, sustainable, and connected communities starts with clean water. It is the region’s leading clean water advocate. They combine the grassroots power of 21,000 members and online activists with local land conservation and policy initiatives to strengthen the Voice of the Nation’s River. Volunteers assist with (1) land protection, (2) clean water advocacy, and (3) community conservation. The Potomac Conservancy partnership demonstrates LRUCC’s commitments to environment justice and protection of God’s creation. We funded the Conservancy in 2016 and 2017. Volunteers helped clean up the Potomac waterway in April of 2017; Little River UCC plans to continue to help improve the nation’s capital’s waterways for our future.

Second Story

Second Story provides a safe haven for at-risk children, youth, and young adults in Northern Virginia. It offers emergency shelter for teenagers, a round-the-clock crisis hotline, a program to assist young mothers in finding stability and turning their lives around, and help with rent, budgeting, and schoolwork for homeless youth who are trying to finish high school. Through its financial support for Second Story, Little River UCC seeks to support interventions to help vulnerable youth in our community. The Board of Outreach and Social Justice is also exploring other ways to support Second Story's important work.

Shaw Community Center

Shaw Community Center (SCC)provides educational and social programs that respond to the needs of residents of the Shaw area of Northwest Washington. Offerings include an after-school program, college prep classes and scholarships, wellness and enrichment programs for children and youth, a summer day camp, digital-media literacy and job-readiness instruction for adults, and mentoring for children and youth. SCC is a ministry of the Potomac Association of the United Church of Christ; Little River UCC supports its programs financially. Volunteers from Little River work with participants and staff, and our members donate school supplies, scholarship funds, and Christmas gifts to Shaw.

Thrive DC

Thrive DC, located in Northwest Washington, works to prevent and end homelessness by recognizing the dignity and potential of persons in need and providing services that meet basic needs, educate and empower people, and create community. Financial and volunteer support from Little River UCC helps Thrive DC provide services including two daily meals, free showers and laundry, employment training, and mentoring.

Christmas Gifts for Children in Need

The White Gift service is a long-standing and cherished tradition at Little River UCC that reenacts the story of the Magi bringing gifts to the infant Jesus. As the service culminates, the congregation carries gifts wrapped in simple white to the manger. Through this service, hundreds of gifts are provided each year to needy children served by Annandale Christian Community for Action, Main Street Child Development Center in Fairfax, and Shaw Community Center in Washington.

Hubert S. Beckwith Scholarship Fund

The Hubert S. Beckwith Scholarship Fund was established to honor Little River's founding pastor and to assist seminary students from the Potomac Association of the UCC who have demonstrated academic excellence and sustained commitment to community service. Currently a $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually.