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Ways to Give Back this Winter

As the cold weather sets in, many Americans will wish they could curl up with a heavy blanket and hibernate until the first signs of Spring. But, Winter is actually one of the best times to get involved in your community and give back, especially to those less fortunate.

Here are some wonderful ways to help others this Winter:

Get crafty. If you knit, crochet, or quilt, you can use your skills to help people who don’t have warm clothing or blankets. Craft sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, or blankets, and then drop your work off at local shelter.

Hand out heat. Every year, homes are destroyed due to fires caused by unsafe kerosene or space heaters. You can help by buying and then donating a few child-safe space heaters to local charities. Additionally, many families in poverty can’t afford to heat their homes. Consider donating to local groups that pay utility bills for families in need.

Donate winter clothing and blankets. If you’ve got extra blankets or winter coats, don’t let them pile up in the closet. Take them to your local shelter or donation center.

Give flu foods to the food pantry. People in poverty can’t send a family member out for chicken soup, ginger ale, tea and other foods that help cure the flu. Give some flu foods to your local pantry for those who truly need them.

Give a sled. Children love sleds, and you can make sure that no child in your community has to go without one this Winter. Donate sleds, ice skates, snowboards and other winter toys to bring joy to the children in your community.

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Environmental Responsibility—Today and Every Day

Yesterday (November 15) was America Recycles Day, but it’s vital that we respect the Earth throughout the year. Did you know that over 75 percent of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30 percent? And, if every American recycled just a tenth of newspapers, we could save 25 million trees each year.

There’s no better time than now to start being environmentally responsible. Here are a few easy ways:

Use recycling bins—Start separating trash from recyclables in your home using separate bins. Most communities have free recycling stations at schools or community centers. For more convenience, you can pay a small fee for a curbside pickup service. Also, if your office isn’t recycling, tell the boss you think it’s time to start!

Donate clothes—Textiles is one of the biggest contributors to landfill waste. Every year, Americans create over 14 million tons of textile waste that could easily be donated. Instead of throwing away a “useless” t-shirt, donate it to a homeless shelter.

Pare down your pantry—Thrown away food contributes to landfills, also. Many households discard perfectly good food because it doesn’t interest them or they’ve forgotten to eat a perishable item. Start donating your unwanted canned food to homeless shelters or other organizations. And make a point to eat all your perishables before their expiration dates.

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November 15 is National Philanthropy Day

In case you didn’t know, November 15th is National Philanthropy Day or NPD, which celebrates the charitable work that people do to make a difference in their communities.

Of course, as NPDLove.com points out, “whether you’re a donor or a volunteer (or both!), young or old, no matter how much you give or what causes you support—what you do from the heart makes a difference! And you make a difference every day! Your generosity and commitment doesn’t take time off. NPD is recognized on Nov. 15, but we celebrate what you do throughout the year!”

Dating back to 1985, National Philanthropy Day was created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). You can learn more about the AFP at afpnet.org.

On November 12, the AFP will recognize six of the most outstanding, committed and inspiring donors and volunteers from across North America. Honorees will be recognized at the National Philanthropy Day Honors event in New York City. Visit NPDLove.com to learn more about this year’s honorees, and National Philanthropy Day.

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ANB Continues Partnership

Access National Bank, Brain Injury Services (“BIS”) and Access National Bank (the “Bank”), for the 15th year, continue to build on their very special relationship. Through its strategic partnership with Brain Injury Services, the Bank contributes both financially and with its leadership in making a difference to a great organization.

“Access National Bank has been a great partner over the years. They have been there for us as our banker as well as supporting the work we do in Northern Virginia. Their associates are always engaged with the various fundraising campaigns and Access National Bank is a strong supporter of our annual golf tournament which brings in over 30k a year that goes towards all the special programs that BIS offers.”

“In addition, we are fortunate enough to have Tom Ciolkosz, Vice President, Nonprofit Banker of Access National Bank serving on our Board of Directors. Tom brings a great perspective to the organization because he is so involved with serving the other nonprofits in the community,” said Karen Brown, CEO of BIS.

“Brain Injury Services’ role in the community is so important, and at any given time, we serve approximately 500 survivors of brain injuries in Northern Virginia. These clients turn to BIS for services run by highly skilled staff members to support their continued recovery and reentry into the community. This type of corporate partnership with Access National Bank assists BIS in continuing to make these programs and services possible for all those in need,” Ms. Brown said.

Access National Bank CEO Mike Clarke said, “The Bank is honored to be involved with Brain Injury Services for the last 15 years. Our partnership is about how can we work together to make it a win-win for both organizations. The relationship is able to prosper because we have passionate associates who want to make a difference in our community, as well as being the organizations’ trusted business advisor.”

Access National Bank was founded in 1999 by professional bankers and business people. The Bank is dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions by connecting them with a local relationship manager to provide quality personalized service and support in the Greater Washington DC Metropolitan area. Access National Bank trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under its holding company, Access National Corporation (NASDAQ: ANCX). Additional information is available at www.AccessNationalBank.com. CONTACT: Access National Bank, Tom Ciolkosz, Nonprofit Banker, 703-871-1045

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Show Thanks This Thanksgiving

Each year, Thanksgiving reminds us how much we have to be grateful for. And, one of the best ways to show gratitude is to give back. As the holiday approaches, think taking some time to warm the hearts of others.

Here are some great ways to show thanks this Thanksgiving:

Provide dinner for a family in need. Many families don’t have the means to enjoy a lavish feast around the dinner table on Thanksgiving. This year, make the holiday one to remember for a hungry family. You can donate a complete dinner through your local church or community outreach organization. Visit Feeding America to find more ways to join the fight against hunger.

Deliver food to a homeless shelter. If you live in Los Angeles, for example, Union Rescue Mission serves upwards of 4000 meals on Thanksgiving Day. You can also volunteer your time and help serve food at your local shelter.

Visit a local nursing home. Elderly nursing home residents frequently spend the holidays alone. You can make their day simply by spending some time with them.

Give the gift of life. Donating blood or platelets is a great way to give back.

Make (or adopt) a furry friend. Animal shelters are always in need of a helping hand.

Extend an invitation. If you know someone who will be alone for the holidays, make them feel loved by inviting them to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Donate to a favorite charity. There’s a good chance your house is filled with things you don’t need. Gather up your gently used toys, clothes and furniture, and deliver them to the Salvation Army, Goodwill another charitable organization in your community. such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill.

Of course, Thanksgiving isn’t the only time you should give back. You can search for new and interesting organizations and volunteer activities all year on VolunteerMatch.org.