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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Action In Community Through Service of Prince William County

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Human Services, Mental Health, Victims Services

Mission: ACTS is a community organization whose mission is to alleviate hunger, homelessness and domestic violence and to help people achieve self-sufficiency in Prince William County area, VA.

Results: In 1969, 13 local churches came together with the purpose of preventing and alleviating human suffering. Their inspiration came through their collaboration in helping a family whose home was destroyed by fire. They decided that an organization that brought all their resources together to provide assistance to people without regard to their religious affiliation and that would be run by lay people would be an asset to the community. ACTS’ founders began by addressing the most basic human needs of food and shelter. They established Prince William County’s first food bank, set up a used furniture distribution system, and developed a homeless shelter in local churches. As the community grew, ACTS’ services expanded to meet other needs of the residents. Hunger and homelessness are still issues today. Services now also include a comprehensive domestic violence prevention and intervention program to include the whole family—women, men and children. In addition, Helpline provides an anonymous crisis telephone service as well as resource referrals. The support groups sponsored by Helpline are essential to people who have lost a loved one to suicide or who have attempted suicide. Most recently, SAVAS joined the ACTS family of services in 2012 and is the only sexual assault crisis center serving Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. Today, each of the programs addresses the mission of ACTS: to alleviate hunger, homelessness and interpersonal violence in order to help individuals achieve self-sufficiency. In 2016: Provided over $95,000 to 1,243 households requesting utility assistance. Provided food for 25,051 individuals (13,893 adults and 11,158 children). Placed 54 families in permanent housing. Made over $266,000 from the thrift store, and these proceeds went to client support programs. Answered 51,240 Helpline calls. 9,840 of these calls were associated with attempted suicide. Helped provide relief to 3,797 domestic violence victims. Handled 636 cases of sexual assault. 318 people donated 6,696 hours of their time.

Target demographics: our neighbors in need

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 80,000 individuals in need

Geographic areas served: Prince William County, VA

Programs: Utility Assistance (for individuals living in Eastern Prince William County) Food Assistance Emergency Shelter Sustainable Housing Program Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Services Suicide Helpline Thrift Store Domestic Violence Shelter

Community Stories

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For the second year ACTS (Action in Community Through Service of Prince William County) I have worked with the staff at this non profit to help them raise funds through a 5K at my shopping center. The volunteers of this organization not only give so much of their time to help the community but also jumped to help with the fundraiser that is organized by a local church. They also came out and supported a food drive we did on Black Friday evening during our annual tree lighting ceremony. This organization gives so much back to the community. They have a great relationship with the business community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our team has been working with ACTS for more than 15 years and it has been an incredible experience! ACTS is the epitome of HOPE, PASSION, and SERVICE. They provide opportunity to people in need of hope, they selflessly serve our community, and are wholeheartedly committed to assisting folks get back on their feet and giving them the tools they need to dream again! Under the leadership of CEO Steve Liga, ACTS is a bright light in the lives of everyone in our community! We will continue to support their efforts for as long as they serve!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Love working here and helping people in our community!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have the privilege of serving as a volunteer with ACTS, working on a team of highly professional and deeply devoted staff and volunteers. Last year we volunteers worked close to 3200 hours serving in a number of the services ACTS provides the community. Volunteers worked in the Food Pantry, serving some 8500 families; the Thrift Store, whose sales fund ACTS support services; the Helpline, which is networked with the National Suicide Prevention Hotline; Sexual Assault Services; Turning Points, ACTS' domestic violence services; and the Adopt-A-Day Program, providing meals for children in ACTS family shelter. It is truly a blessing to work with an organization doing so much for the community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I used to be a volunteer for an organization close to ACTS and knew the food pantry and emergency assistance was available. Years ago I was working a part-time minimum wage job and brought my children with me to ACTS. Once I arrived, there was a line to get in. We patiently for the doors to open. My eldest played with two other children with the assortment of toys provided.

I was met with compassion by the Emergency Assistance worker and she was informative. My husband's income put us right above the poverty line so, even if I quit my job, we would not qualify for assistance. I had an electric bill due and groceries needed rest of the month. The worker told me my electric bill would have to be past-due before they could help me. She explained that they get money on Mondays and by Wednesday morning, the funds were gone. I received a one-time food pantry voucher for that day to help with groceries and 2 clothing vouchers good for six months.

I felt too guilty using the clothing vouchers for the local thrift store as I did not want to take from those who were truly in need. We needed food and were desperate for diapers, so I was thankful for the generous amount of food we were given. ACTS provided me with 12 diapers, enough for one day, and I was grateful as I did not know I would receive any. ACTS provided us with: toilet paper, bubble bath, vegetables, frozen venison, milk, condiments, sandwiches, bread, and pound cake. There had to have been 100 items. I was overwhelmed with choices and they even accommodated my vegetarian needs. I assumed food pantries only gave nonperishable items like boxed and canned goods, I had no idea we would get household items as well as meat, dairy, and produce. It was a humbling experience for our time of need.

I came back once our electric bill was past-due and they explained that the churches are the ones to provide the funding. The Emergency Assistance worker let me know that those in need that qualified would be given a number and then the assigned churches would provide them with the funding for the past due bills. Each qualified person had to bring proof of identity including a government i.d. and the past-due bill with their name on it. I had to provide W-2s and pay stubs for myself and my husband along with our i.d.s.

Things have come full circle as I now work for ACTS. I am still learning all the amazing things our non-profit has to offer our community, as well as the impact we are making nationwide. The experience of being in need has helped me know how to help others today who call for financial assistance and need resources. I cannot be prouder of where I work and I look forward to continue to grow with ACTS.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACTS has provided to numerous individuals and families a wide spectrum of services and kindness through their homelessness services, helpline, food bank, thrift store, and domestic violence areas. I have personally seen the positive affect these have had on individuals I have personally met within our community and through my congregation. As a past member of the Board of Social Services within the county, I have seen ACTS work and the outstanding impact it has had in the complex area of homelessness. ACTS has put forth a wide range of options to help now and in the future.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

impact of ACTS to help folks in crisis is huge as they are the Single biggest organization to help in the Prince William County community. They help feed, house, train countless people who have needs a hand up. Their model is to have the people being self sufficient. The programs They have are extensive and year round. The organization is very well respected in Eastern Prince William County and all of the schools partner won the organization. I have personally worked with ACTS for several years in partnership with Cooperative Council of Ministries, participated in fundraisers and walked in the I WALK FOR ACTS in October (This event alone has grown in visibility and size over the past few years). Their leadership in Steve Liga is, in my opinion, the reason for their success and respect in the community. His efforts are personally seen as a very passionate, professional, and tirelessly worker and advocate for clients in need for help. One substantive example is the re-emergence and expansion of the Thrift Store as a retail entity to raise funds for ACTS
He also has been successful in partnership with countless stores in the area to assist in helping a path forward for those in need of help.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACTS has done and is continuing to do a great work in Prince William County. Opening an office in Manassas last year has enabled the organization to reach more of the entire county. Also the annual IWALK for ACTS is a great way to love on the community while at the same time raising awareness for the services ACTS provides.

Board Member

Rating: 5

In FY 17, the year ending Jun 30th, ACTS helped over 80,000 people in Prince William County! This is 80,000 of our neighbors. Specifically, ACTS:

• Provided over $221,000 in financial assistance to 2,300 people
• Distributed 647,000 pounds of food from its Food Pantry
• Provided shelter for 31 homeless adults and 43 children
• Placed 114 families into permanent housing
• Helped 3, 693 victims of Domestic Violence
• Helped 772 victims of Sexual Assault
• Placed 30 adults and 68 children into our Safe House to protect them from further abuse
• Placed 5 families into transitional housing
• Answered over 15,000 calls on our Helpline
Specific stories include:
In just one month, one of ACTS Sexual Assault Specialists served 14 different clients. Each of those 14 clients had multiple appointments. Each of those 14 clients came to her because they'd been assaulted or abused. Some of them told her that this was the first time they were able ever to face what had happened to them. This is just one of several Sexual Assault Specialists that make a difference in PWC every day!

In April 17, ACTS 24/7/365 Helpline received over 2,500 hotline calls. About 570 were related to suicide intervention, whether the caller was struggling with suicidal ideation or was worried about someone else. Out of these calls, emergency services were called 19 times, providing direct life-saving intervention to these individuals. ACTS Savres live and makes a difference in PWC every day!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACTS is an amazing organization with a wonderful staff and many dedicated volunteers who help them serve residents throughout Prince William County. I have been volunteering and financially supporting ACTS for about two years, and I love every minute of it. I know the work I am doing helps my neighbors, and that local connection means a lot to me. And I know my donations go to support their great programs that help the most vulnerable in the community.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

-I have been struggling with homelessness for the past 6 months. Currently I work 2 jobs and go to school. I sleep outside in a fenced in area located at my work shop, so I am safe every night. I don't get paid for a few weeks and I'm doing everything I have to. It's very difficult not having a place for my stuff or a warm place to sleep, not knowing when my next meal is. Hoping I can get some help to get into a place! Thank you so much and I am very thankful for anyone who just prays or even had me in their thoughts.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at ACTS Food Pantry and it has been so rewarding for me. I look forward to going on my scheduled days for so many reasons..... everyone is so nice, seeing the appreciation on the clients faces, knowing that you and the organization are helping so many people in need. The clients are truly grateful for what ACTS Food Pantry provides for them. This is a excellent organization and makes a great impact in peoples lives.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a stay home mom where I felt I was much needed and by staying home I saw my rewards through my daughter's success. She went off to college and I now needed to do something good for someone else and myself again. The ACTS Pantry has been so rewarding to me in so many ways...... helping others through their hard times, seeing them smile, feeling their appreciation, and meeting other volunteers that become your friends. Everyone at ACTS is so nice, hard working, and kind. It is a great organization and I so enjoy going to volunteer. That is rewarding and success to me.

Christina87

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ACTS is an excellent organization that repeatedly strives to enhance the services offered to the community. Having been a staple of Prince William social services for 25+ years, they are well regarded by clients, donors and the community as a whole.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACTS has big impact within the county. There are so many programs that help people make it through a crisis. The Emergency Assistance section helps people with utility bills, food assistance or propane. There are 2 emergency shelters and thrift store that support Prince William County residents. Other programs range from a helpline to domestic violence shelters. Great place to volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5


As a volunteer Acts is an excellent organization to work. Most important is that all the people are friendly and they appreciate what you do. This is my second volunteer experience here and it is amazing. Everyone smiles at you, they say good morning and they thank you for the job you are doing. They make you feel like even as a volunteer you are a member of a team.

It is also a place to start your career, they have full and part time jobs.

I would rate this organization as excellent in its goals for helping people, especially women.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACTS is the best kept secret in Prince William County. The staff is so caring and kind. They continue to give of themselves to help those in need in our county. The Thrift Store in Dumfries is a great asset to the community. You can donate and shop for bargains knowing that all of the funds are used to support the various programs within ACTS. Thank you ACTS for all you do. Keep up the good work

Paul131

Donor

Rating: 5

The thrift store and shelter provide major benefits throughout the community, I have both donated and utilized these facilities on numerous occasions. I have also donated to the food pantry. So many volunteers and they are all delightful, helpful and caring. They are able to reach and help so many people in need. ACTS just had a book sale, with amazing deals throughout the day. I can't wait for this year's charity walk at National Harbor. I hope the supporters don't try to make this about themselves, and instead they allow ACTS to shine with all they have to offer.

1 Christine114

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to VA last year and after many unsuccessful attempts in volunteering with other local organizations I found ACTS through St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Woodbridge. I called and was invited to start volunteering at the Food Panty right away. I volunteered there for months and continue to be amazed by the wonderful people who are employees of ACTS, generosity of the other volunteers, and the many different programs and individuals/families/groups throughout the community that ACTS helps on a day-to-day basis. I have now volunteered with ACTS in many different capacities for the past year and a half. I have been blessed with an internship in the Volunteer/Event Department during this summer between school semesters. I have also used many of the programs myself. It would be my hope and desire that everyone in the surrounding community gets to learn, contribute, and use the many wonderful programs and helpful services that ACTS has to offer! ACTS is quite an amazing non-profit organization and I am proud and totally dedicated to support their mission!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACTS amazed me when I first started volunteering. I had never seen an organization supply so many resources to a community in one place. It is a one-stop-shop for many of our neighbors in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The services prided by ACTS staff and volunteers help thousands of individuals every year. I personally know that as a volunteer I am making a difference in a persons life. So few non-profits put their clients first and ACTS always does what is needed to help those in need in our community.