ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The Arlington community is doing great things for neighborhoods in need during the pandemic. Real Food for Kids has served about 75,000 meals since schools closed and volunteers are handing out about 900 meals per week.
While scores of people wait in line for food and other donations in a South Arlington neighborhood off Columbia Pike, they’re also given the option to take an activity bag or two for their kids or grandkids. Adriana Jokisch has been collecting unwanted craft materials through social media and an Amazon wishlist.
“I really wanted to come up with fun things to do that are self contained,” Jokisch said. The bags range from educational activities, like handwriting practice, to arts and crafts.
Melissa Schwaber takes the bags to the donation sites. “Complexes that we’re going to are kind of apartment style buildings so they might not have green space, whereas I have a backyard I can send my kids to. I think it’s helpful just to have a bag when it’s a rainy day or too hot to go outside that a family can pull out.”
Volunteers are getting the word out by translating all their advertising into Spanish.
Jokisch has had to set up a “bag section” in her basement to store the impressive amounts of donations she receives. “I do have to say the generosity and kindness of our Arlington neighbors has surpassed my expectations,” she said. “I have put out a few calls for donations and people keep sending great items to include in the bags!”
Jokisch is continuing to collect donations of arts and craft supplies, including: coloring/activity books, old buttons, empty jewelry boxes, stickers, scrapbook paper, beads, knitting and crochet needles, yarn, felt, foam shapes, paint, brushes, and small wooden shapes. To donate, email email@example.com.