News Briefs

Helping Families at Ronald McDonald House

volunteersFeb 13, 2020: Through coordinated volunteer efforts, Virginia Department of Transportation employees in the Salem District have helped families traveling for their children’s medical care feel more at home.

Many Salem District employees have adopted the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Charities of Southwest Virginia as their favorite charity of choice.

Between six teams, VDOT employees provide one to two meals a month. Each team is assigned a day to purchase, prepare and serve meals for up to 40 individuals.

Over the course of a year, these teams will have fed approximately 1,200 people and donated more than 800 hours of their time.

These efforts were acknowledged with a 2019 VDOT Commissioner’s Award for Outstanding Achievement.

"I got involved with Ronald McDonald House because my grandson had an extended stay in the Wake Forest Medical Center when he was born eight years ago," explained Salem Residency Engineer Ray Varney, who leads one of the VDOT teams.

"My wife and daughter stayed at the RMH there for nearly two weeks. They could wash their clothes, eat, sleep and tend to their daily needs without the added pressure of paying for lodging, meals, transportation and other services."

RMH also has a special place in Carol Linkenhoker’s heart. "Ten years ago, my niece, Dorothy, was born 10 weeks early and had to spend a month in the NICU. RMH served as home base for my brother and sister-in-law, providing a comfortable place for them and extended family throughout Dorothy’s stay in the hospital."

Both children are now thriving. Their families remember the kindness bestowed upon are happy to be able to provide the same kindness to others in similar situations.

Walking for the Kids

Walk for kids groupJan. 29, 2020: The Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) Northern Virginia District made a difference one step at a time (literally!) for the recent Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC).

One of the district's most successful events was its first-ever Walk4Kids Health drive, during which more than 90 VDOT staff members, other state employees and consultants pounded the pavement with laps around the district complex during their lunch hour.

Collectively, they walked 222 miles and raised $7,000, setting a new record in the district for the most money raised in a single event.

The proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

PHOTOS: See highlights from the Walk4Kids Health drive.

The event was one of many that helped the district exceed its $25,000 CVC goal.

A final tally shows the district raised more than $32,000 in combined direct donations, e-pledges and event contributions.

The district sends a special thanks to the Planning and Investment Management group for organizing the Walk4Kids Health drive. Everyone who helped, participated and donated made the CVC season a huge success.

"Planting Seeds of Bike Safety"

traffic gardenJan. 13, 2020: Students at Hollin Meadows Elementary School are learning the rules of the road in a fun and safe environment, thanks to the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant.

The newly-renovated Alexandria campus is “Planting Seeds of Bike Safety” by creating the first traffic garden in Fairfax County.

The roadway playground features bike lanes, cross walks and road signs that teach students about bike and pedestrian safety.

Students learn how to communicate with other drivers, how to yield to pedestrians and some even learn how to ride a bike for the first time.

VIDEO: Students at Hollin Meadows share their experiences, including a blind student riding his bike with the help of a fellow classmate.

The project was funded by grants from VDOT’s SRTS and neighborhood and community services.

Educators are hopeful the installment will set a new standard for public school playgrounds in the near future.

Page last modified: Feb. 13, 2020