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Home for the Holidays Event to Support Fisher House, Military Families

Event will feature local vendors and holiday gifts while benefiting military families.

The second annual Helping Others Home for the Holidays event at JJ Deli will include many area vendors and business for some local holiday shopping while supporting a good cause on Friday, Nov. 30.

Home for the Holidays will support Fisher House, a group that helps provide military families a home away from home when they’re visiting with their soldiers who are receiving treatment at military medical centers.

The event, which takes place from 4-9 p.m., will feature items such as Stella and Dot jewelry, local art, Scentsy, home decor, local wines for tasting and for sale, and much more. 

New Herndon vendors this year include Canine Carousel and Herndon Florist. Other vendors are joining from throughout the area, including Leesburg, Sterling and Reston.  

Home for the Holidays will also feature holiday-related mini workshops. Mini workshops will be about 15-20 minutes long each. Workshops include: 

•  Jackie Johnson, the Or/gan/iz/er, with tips on organizing for the holidays at 4:30 p.m.; 
•  Roxy Rowton of Everyday Refinement with helpful hints on dressing for the holidays at 5:45 p.m.; 
• Kristy Falcone of Decorating Den Interiors sharing information on decorating for the holidays at 6:45 p.m.; 
• and JJ Deli's Jeff Johnson with tips on catering and food for the holidays at 8 p.m. 

The event will also include a grand raffle prize drawing that includes items and gifts worth about $1,000, including a round of golf for four. Tickets for the raffle are $5 each or 5 for $20. The raffle drawing will take place at 8:30 p.m. and the winner does not need to be present. 

"We've really reached out to the local business community," said Jackie Johnson, who started the event with Robyn McClure of Decorating Den Interiors in 2011. 

McClure said this year the event was so popular that space for vendors ran out quickly and some had to be turned down. 

Last year's event raised $3,000 for Fisher House, an organization that's close to the Johnson family's heart. All funds raised at the event will go directly to Fisher House. 

Jackie Johnson said they learned about Fisher House and the support it provides to military families about nine years ago on a trip to Walter Reed Medical Center. 

No family pays to stay at a Fisher House when they are visiting with their soldiers who are receiving treatment. Fisher House also helps make sure soldiers have what they need, such as phone cards to call home, toiletries and other necessities.

Jeff Johnson said during that trip they met the father of a soldier who was undergoing his 20th operation. The father had been at Fisher House for 18 months so that he could be with his son. 

Fisher House programs are located at every major military medical center, as well as a number of VA medical centers. According to Fisher House, the support of family members is important during what is a very stressful time for a soldier or veteran who is wounded, injured or ill. 

Jeff Johnson said once they were aware of Fisher House they did more research and found out it's a top rated organization as well. It has received an A+ rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy and received a four star rating on Charity Navigator. 

"We love what they do and their attitude and their approach," Jeff Johnson said. 

The Johnsons said Fisher House is continuously working to build more facilities to accommodate the families who participate in the program and appreciates every penny received. 

McClure said in doing this event, and continuing to do the event yearly, they hope to create a synergy in the community and help build awareness in the area for Fisher House.

The Home for the Holidays event will provide a place for people to get useful holiday tips, buy holiday gifts for family and friends from local vendors and businesses, and socialize, all while supporting a good cause. 

"'Tis the season — what better way to give," Jackie Johnson said. 

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