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2019 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, Suicide Prevention, 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

112 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ACTS is a very well run nonprofit. They provide great services to the community. I very much enjoy volunteering my time to assist this nonprofit.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with ACTS for the past 10 years volunteering. I work in Dumfries and see first hand how they positively affect the community.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My sister was a dv client. I called turning points hotline and was able to get resources for her. She also went to the safe house and they helped her get into transitional housing. Thanks to them she got out a bad situation.

1 pamschou

Donor

Rating: 5

ACTS does so many wonderful things for the community. They shelter the homeless, minister to those who have experinced personal violence, feed the hungry, help those experiencing difficult times and just need a helping hand. I am always amazed at their generousity and willingness to go the extra mile to help someone. Thank ACTS for providing relief, fostering hope and promoting self-sufficency for our Prince William are neighbors. You ROCK!!!

1 Kathy119

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the finest organizations in our community. ACTS has always been responsive to the needs of their neighbors and sought the best ways to meet those needs.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated thousands of dollars to this fine organization for over the past 20 years and know the current Director and all of the past 4 Directors over that time. They are a very frugal, well run, run organization helping the very needy and desperate in the community. They have strong board members who are intimately involved in every aspect of the business.

Review from CharityNavigator

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I referred a friend recently who has never had to ask for any help. His wife lost her job and money has been tight. His intake was done very professionally and he has been able to receive food once a month from the food bank. I feel very confident that ACTS helps people in need in Woodbridge

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with ACTS more than 30 years ago when they needed drivers to pickup women and children and drive them to safe houses. Today I pickup and deliver food to the ACTS food pantry and am a telephone volunteer twice a month with the Sexual Assault Victims Advocacy Service (SAVAS) and ACTS Turning Points collaboration. It is a privilege to be associated with ACTS and your wonderful caring staff. I pray that everyone in all Prince William County jurisdictions will have the same wonderful opportunity to experience the peace, joy and happiness that comes from helping others in our community.

Thank you ACTS. Your opportunities help to make me a better person.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My family first moved to Prince William County in 1990, and after many overseas military assignments, we were eager to feel part of a real community. Volunteering for ACTS, through our church, was one way to become involved at a grassroots level. We have become regular donors to ACTS, because we have seen first hand the commitment and dedication of the staff, the real needs that are met through domestic violence programs, the food pantry, helpline, shelter, and other assistance programs, and the efficiency with which services are provided. We know that our donations are being put to work to assist our neighbors in need.

1 Tom K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has been involved and help supports ACTS in many ways over the years. Acts works and provides a strong vehicle for concerned residents and greatly contributes to the betterment of those less fortunate. Without ACTS involvement some of the services would not be provided to the residents of Prince William County. ACTS is a catalyst of bringing residents together for a common good.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The needs within our community would not be met without the work of this wonderful organization. They provide basic goods and services to a population that is struggling to meet the basic needs of their families. ACTS is there when a family suddenly finds themselves without a home. ACTS is there when someone has been abused and needs a safe place to go. ACTS is there when an individual is feeling suicidal and needs a compassionate listener. ACTS is there for the family who has no money to put food on the table and the next check is two weeks away. ACTS is there to provide child care for low income families so that parents can work and know that their children are in a safe a loving enviornment. ACTS is there... whenever there is a need. Your $5000 donation would allow these types of life-altering works to continue.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is an honor to be able to be a member of the Board for ACTs. Through my church, I have worked with the homeless and those that are living on the fringe for over 15 years. Long before joining the Board, I watched as this group of dedicated staff and volunteers were able to make a difference in the lives of members of our community. In tough economic times like we have experienced the last couple of years, you need organizations that effectively use the resources that it receives. ACTS works diligentily to try to get the most out of each donation and/or gift. Again it is a joy to be associated with such an organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became involved with ACTS in about 1990 as Lake Ridge Baptist's representative at ACTS meetings. It was there that I became familiar with the different ways ACTS serves our community. My invovement grew as I saw first hand the wonderful things they were doing in our community. Upon my retirement I was able to have time to work shoulder to shoulder with the terrific ACTS staff in the Emergency Assistance office. I am always impressed with their patience, and with the dignity and respect they give all clients who walk through their doors.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

As a long-time donor to and volunteer for ACTS, I continue to be happy and impressed with their presence in the community, their professionalism, and their outstanding ability to utilize the resources provided to them by the community. The battered womens' shelter, the homeless shelter, and the annual Operation Turkey Food drive are three noteworthy examples of ACTs ongoing success. I have made ACTs the recipient of my annual giving to the United Way Campaign, as well as participating as I can in their volunteer efforts.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with the ACTS organization over the past twenty plus years in many It is the one organization that the church community in this area gives to that we know all the proceeds go to their community projects. We are more than willing to assist in helping with food, money for utility bills and rent. The food pantry giving is overwhelming - I volunteered there in more recent years and the need is so great! ACTS programs for those with family abuse are extensive and so involved. Their shelters for women and children are safe havens for those who need it. Volunteering at the ACTS Dumfries Thrift Shop was a wonderful, fulfilling experience. So many needy have vouchers that they can come and get what is needed for their survival. This organization has been a blessing to all who help in any capacity and to those who receive assistance. The people who work for them are all caring and have real concern for the community they serve.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I visted ACTS last year and attended the ACTS 101 introduction. I donated items to the thift stoire and some cash.
ACTS is doing a great job helping out in the community, specilly with the programs for women and families.
Well organized distribution warehouse for food donation.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has been involved in supporting ACTS for many years. Acts provides a vehicle for concerned residents of Prince William county to contribute to the betterment of those less fortunate. Operation Turkey is a great example of the participation from the local churches and businesses and the organized efforts of the ACTS staff.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I work with ACTS through my church's Social Ministry Committee and as Secretary of the Cooperative Council of Ministries (CCOM), a consortium of churches aiding the homeless in Prince William County. ACTS is a completely professional, efficient, and compassionate provider of supplies and services to those in need in our community. Our church regularly refers people to ACTS for its variety of services and supports its work through periodic food drives and fundraisers. My wife and I are regular donors, because we know contributing to ACTS is the most effective use of our funds in meeting the needs of the least of these in our county.
I have regular contact with ACTS leadership through my work at CCOM and am always impressed with their sense of mission and their expertise. I have worked with service organizations in the states and abroad, and ACTS is second to none in its commitment to the people it serves and level of energy in providing that service. The county is blessed to have an organization like ACTS working for its people, and without ACTS some of these services would not be provided.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We at Old Bridge United Methodist Church collect food items for the ACTS food pantry and have seen the food used to aid the neediest in our community. We have also seen ACTS assist people in need with emergency housing, clothes, and other essentials. ACTS provides a much needed and tremendous service to the neediest in Prince william County.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For 27 years I've coordinated a team of church volunteers who help at the Thrift Store each month. I've seen the store expand its locations and services and streamline its procedures for processing donations and serving the community. This past month I've made a trip to ACTS new administrative offices and large food pantry. These more modern facilities serve many more people each year and continue to be overseen by kind and efficient folks with their eye on specific needs of our community. This month I also stopped by the Emergency Shelter where a most hospitable staff member provided me a tour of the facility for which our church women's group will be doing a service project in April. I'd visited this facility years ago and was amazed by all that has been done through volunteer help to improve the facility. Even more impressive, however, was the informed and caring generosity of the staff member herself. She was quick to translate our general offer of help into a specific plan for serving shelter residents. I came away thanksful to be part of ACTS and eager to show and tell others what I'd so quickly learned about this wonderful organization.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our congregation has supported the work of ACTS for nearly 40 years. A number of our members have served on the board or worked in administrative capacities, so I have heard many instances of ACTS' work in the community and have met families and individuals who have benefited directly from its emergency housing, spouse abuse program, food assistance, and support for those working to overcome homelessness.
I am always surprised when someone in the community does not know of the ACTS organization, so I think they should might seek to publicize their work, to bring in more enthusiastic supporters.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved in ACTS for over 35 years and have served on the Board for most of this time. Over this time the organization has added many programs to serve the people in Prince William County, Virginia, that need help and assistance. ACTS has done this in a very cost effective way, has a very dedicated staff and has many volunteers and supporters. Prince William County is a better place to live because of ACTS.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

ACTS has been meeting our community's most urgent needs for over four decades. The staff members are truly committed to the mission and go beyond expectations. The volunteer involvement is outstanding with hundreds of individuals sharfing their talents and resources.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I and my family have supported ACTS for overe 25 years. We've donated many items to help the poor; sent people to them who were in need of getting help; worked with some staff members at Thanksgiving and with a local church to help feed the poor; and have even bought items at the store to help others in need. The staff has always been extremely helpfull and held those they were assisting or servicing with up most respect. There is no concern of a person/family's religion, race or political choice in helping those in need. More importantly the staff seems to go beyond doing thier jobs in demonstrating that they take joy and pride in helping those in need.

Review from Guidestar

Robert R.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have volunteered at ACTS for a number of years mostly picking up donated food from various businesses and, during special food drives, from many of the schools in this area. No matter how much food we pick up there is never enough. The staff at ACTS goes out of its way to provide as much food as possible for those in need. Spending as much time as I do there I have also seen the thrift stores in action as well as the homeless shelter. Without ACTS there would be many more people out there going hungry and many others living outdoors. I am also aware of the other facilities run by ACTS and am amazed at how much good this organization does in this community.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served on the ACTS board for almost nine years and I never cease to be excited to tell people about ACTS and its mission to alleviate human suffering in Prince William County. The staff and volunteers are always kind, compassionate, and enthused as they seek to serve our neighbors who find themselves in need of food, shelter, clothing, emergency financial assistance, or somone to talk to when they are feeling down. Last year I took monthly meals to the homeless shelter and I was always impressed by how clean the shelter was and how the residents and staff acted like family, the children seemed happy and safe. They had a beautiful room to play in and even computers to help with their homework. I am very thankful that ACTS is a part of our community.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have watched and particpated in ACTS for nearly three decades. As a former Prince William County official, I learned what an important role ACTS plays in the continuum of services provided to the less fortunate members of our community. Without the range of services available through ACTS, many economically disadvantaged families would go chronically unserved with serious results for both those families and our community. The County government, faced with its own fiscal challenges, simply could not afford to provide directly those services offered by ACTS nor could the County match the efficiency ACTS achieves through its extensive use of volunteers and donations.

Now as a Board member, I see even more clearly how ACTS stretches its income to extend services to those in need. Demand outstrips capacity, yet ACTS continues to reach so many. The Board is diligent in examining programs and services to look for opportunities to shift available funding to more critical service areas, but all of the remaining services provided by the agency are critical to its core mission and the clients served.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served on the ACTS Board for several years now and find that ACTS provides a variety of valuable services to the community. Those who work with ACTS are dedicated to helping those in need. Many in the community have utilized one or more of ACTS services or have referred someone they know to ACTS. The community supports ACTS - students have collected can goods and coats for ACTS and businesses have donated goods and services to ACTS. Because of the continued support of the community, ACTS is able to continue to help those in need.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became personally acquainted with ACTS through my church when I helped to organize our first walk in support of the homeless about 4 years ago. Currently, I serve on the Board and count it a privilege to work with a group of people who are committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve. We live in a nation where the issues of hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, and suicide should never go unaswered. ACTS has answered the call to help serve those in need and has done a tremendous job with the resources available. Unfortunately, with the economic challenges that many still face in our community and nation, the need seems greater than the resources. I have encountered so many people who have been a part of this organization for many, many years. This serves as a testimony to not only the work of the organization, but also to the good stewarship of time and resources that this organization practices to ensure that services get to those who most need them.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been personally involved with ACTS as a donor and volunteer for over ten years. My experience says this is a top flight, charitable organization that offers a broad array of serices; homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters and programs, suicide prevention programs, emergency assistance services, and a food pantry. ACTS has a remarkable reputation in our community and receives financial support from a diverse base, including grants, churches, private and corporate donations, and even some limited public funds. It is a great organization, doing great things!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was able to work with ACTS days before Christmas 2010. My daughter-in-law, grandchildren and I went to the family shelter and made some beaded jewelry with the children and mothers that were spending Christmas at the shelter. The excitement in those children's eyes was a great gift to me. ACTS provides a great service to families who are suffering hard times and need a little lift to keep things together. We are grateful such services are provided. Who knows when WE may need them. I know they made Christmas a lot brighter this year.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have lived in Prince William County for most of my life and since I was a young girl in Girl Scouts, I have been aware of the good works that Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) does in my community. As a girl, I helped with food drives and as an adult, we donate all of our children's clothes and books that they have outgrown, as well as any other household items we can no longer use. We love the fact that our donations are either given to our neighbors in need in the community, or sold in the Thrift Store to help with the day t0 day operations of the organization. And now, my own children see how ACTS helps our community every holiday season when they take canned goods to their school for the annual food drive.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Without ACTS, Prince William would not have a much needed saftey net as they struggle to survive.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We first became aware of ACTS through our church when we moved to Prince William County, VA. We were young with young children and not much money to spare, so we donated to the thrift stores and food drives. Realizing that we were alleviating the hunger and suffering of our own neighbors, as opposed to the poor in general, we eventually made ACTS one of our permanent/monthly charitable contributions. It is satisfying and reassuring to "help at home". As our exposure to the many programs and volunteers grew, we were and are routinely impressed with the dignity with which the "clients" are afforded as well as the actual aid. Our family could not be more satisfied with the results of our contributions.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There is no question that the food pantry has provided a much needed service in these recent challenging times.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We sometimes forget , in an area where money and politics reign, that that there are people who need help with the basics of life, food, shelter, and transportation. ACTS is actively helping these people and all donations are used for this purpose with as little overhead as possible.

I wish I could do more!

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with ACTS and its good works for over 20 years. I initially worked with ACTS as a church delegate from my parish church. Then over 19 years ago i was elected to the Board of Directors and have served there ever since. Over this time period i have served on various committees and task forces for the organization. I am currently serving on the Finance and Personnel committees.
One may ask why i would remain on the Boars of such an organization for this length of time. I strongly believe in the mission of ACTS and the service it provides my community. As a member of the Finance Committee accept the challenge of overseeing the management of the Agency's funds and stewardship of all of it valuable resources.

Review from Guidestar

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband has been involved with ACTS for many years, but he and I have only been married for four years and I came from the west coast to Virginia, so I knew nothing of this organization before arriving. Paul suggested that if I was ever looking for a volunteer service opportunity that ACTS could fix me up very quickly and would provide all the training I would need to do a good job. He was so right. I worked for about six months in the food pantry on the busiest day of the week. Quite often we would see as many as 60 families during my four hour shift. The work was so rewarding, and the people were so appreciative of the help that I really felt like I was making a difference. Recently I have had to take time off to deal with a slipped disc, but when that gets fixed, I'll be back. I truly enjoyed working with dedicated volunteers and those who came because they were court ordered to do community service. Regardless of why they were there, almost everybody rapidly understood their importance to the team effort, and our productivity was really amazing. Sharen Moessner