Cart 0
Gives Back Logo.png
Untitled design (18).png

Hi!  My name is LJ and I am the Outreach Coordinator for Common Ground!  It's my job to find charities and organizations who need help in the Reston area, partner with them, and connect our families directly to them to help!  Below, you will find opportunities to fulfill your required volunteer hours!   


Step into the New Year

With a new year comes a new chance to be a healthier, more active you! Let's STEP into January together in one 30 day Daily Step Challenge! Each child 3+ will get their own pedometer as well as any parent (from any age group) who needs one! With your pedometer you can log your steps daily here (please create a copy) or on a printed Step Log. At the end of the month turn in your step count and we will tally them up! There will be awards for: Longest Family streak over 10,000 steps and Most Family Steps Overall!

While our Families will be competing, as a BIG COMMON GROUND FAMILY we will all win by starting February (Heart Month) Happier, Healthier and hopefully with new and exciting habits that will last all year long!

If you have any questions or would like a Common Ground Pedometer, send me an email!


From now until January 31st we will be collecting new and gently used winter coats of all sizes! Do you have jackets your kids grew out of after only wearing them two times? You you have coats you always swear you’ll wear but just collect dust in your closet? To someone without a jacket, winter is not just cold and gloomy, it is dangerous. Let’s keep our neighbors in need warm this year!

We will need six different volunteers to take jackets down to the Cornerstones Jacket Drop Off Center as well! Now through January 17, 2018, donations may be made on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM at the community room at the Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Office, 1801 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston, VA 20190.

Edudos has several local volunteers on the ground that go around to their schools to find out what support they need and provide it: food, water tanks, school supplies, even painting classrooms. As of now, they have Saints of Hope Kindergarten, the kindergarten they helped found, and two kindergartens in Nairobi that they support.

Their goal is to provide two meals a day to each child, basic hygiene supplies like soap, shampoo, toilet paper, some over the counter medication and basic first aid kits.

Click here to purchase Edudos items!

In 2019 we are going to create a relationship with one of the Edudos kindergartens. They will be our sister school. Our kids will all write to each other. We will send them pictures and skype with them. If they don't have the ability to do so, we will make sure that we help them with that. At Common Ground with think, more than anything else, it is important to find just that: Common Ground. With other countries, other cultures, other schools, other kids.

They will be family. They will be part of our village. And like anyone else in our little community, if we can help them, we will.

Twenty five dollars can buy a meal for eighty kids. Fifteen dollars can feed forty eight. Think what your donation could mean to those kids and their families!

We will be offering these lovely cards, aprons and bags pictures below until the 31st. We will also keep this lovely donation button so that you can donate to their cause any time. Each of the items pictured below was handmade to support Edudos' food for kids fund. The "Donation" button goes straight to the nonprofit, helping them purchase clean water for reservoirs in the dry season, school supplies for the children to use, and all the other things these kindergartens desperately need.

Thank you so much for your support! If you have any questions visit this website Or feel free to email LJ Donnell (

Habitat For Humanity

Common Ground is working with St. Anne's Episcopal Church and other members of the Interfaith Coalition to help build homes for families in need through Habitat for Humanity!

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. Healthy families in a strong community is what we strive for here at Common Ground so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for our families to spread that love (and earn parent hours at the same time!)

Our local group gathers once a month, alternating Wednesdays and Saturdays. The next date will be on a Wednesday near the end of September. The houses they are currently working on are in Lorton and Springfield, which are about a half hour down Fairfax County Parkway from the school. We can always organize carpools from the school if desired!

If this is a way you and your family would like to give back, please email LJ Donnell. She will add you to their informational email. This email provides detailed info on each project along with a link to sign up for specific dates if you are interested. You only have to sign up for the dates that work for you!

For more information on Habitat for Humanity, here is an informational video! You can also visit

Cool Green Bags

"A Simple Gesture" is an amazing local grocery drive that happens every other month. It provides non-perishable food to area pantries to support our neighbors in Northern Virginia.

What really makes it amazing is how "simple" the gesture really is.

You sign up, a "cool, green bag" is delivered right to your house. On this bag there is a laminated tag telling you the foods that are in the highest demand along with the six times a year that the bag should be placed out on your door.

Every time you shop you can just pick up a couple of extra items and store them in the bag by the door (or you can buy it all in one trip!)

10 days before pick-up you receive a reminder email. You also receive a reminder email 1-2 days before as well. If you're like me, this is the crucial step. Double reminders are key in our busy worlds!

On the pickup day, just make sure your bag is outside your front door by 8:30 AM. The rest will be done by pick-up and sorting volunteers!

If you want to be a Green Bag Filler, Collector, or Sorter Volunteer, the signup for any of these is the most simple of all!!

Step One: Go to

Step Two: Fill out your First and last name, your email and phone (and whether or not you'd like texting involved in your notifications!)

Step Three: Check all the boxes that apply to you! "I would like to share food with my neighbors." "I would like to drive to pick up bags every other month" "I would like to help sort the food at the Pantry on pick-up day." "I would like to help with additional support"

You can sign up online or in the office with LJ Donnell. The next pickup day is October 6th so sign up now!