The National Museum of the Marine Corps will accept unwrapped toys in support of the Marine Toys for Tots Program through Dec. 12.

Help the museum fill its WWII-era Jeep and trailer this holiday season. Stop by soon and drop off a toy.


Today is Museum Store Sunday. From noon until 4 p.m. at the Mary Washington House, 1200 Charles St., shoppers will enjoy 20 percent off most museum store purchases during this special shopping opportunity. Find unique holiday and hostess gifts during this event and help support the museums’ mission.

In the garden, artisans and vendors will sell one of a kind crafts and creations.

Mary Washington House joins more than 1100 museum stores representing all 50 states, 15 countries, and four continents in offering relaxing, inspired shopping inside museums and cultural institutions.

Visiting the museum store is always free of charge.


Everyone can have their pictures taken with Santa at Re-Tail Thrift Store, 3503 Lafayette Blvd., Fredericksburg. Pictures will be taken today and Dec. 8 and 15, from noon to 4 p.m.; Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Friday, Dec. 13, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bring your children and your pets. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are preferred. Call 540/891-5300 to make an appointment.

The cost is $20 and includes a 4”x 6” print of your favorite photo and the rest on a USB to take home. The cost is $15 if you bring your own USB for photo transfer.

Proceeds benefit Rikki’s Refuge Animal Sanctuary. Visit


Divine Connections is a 501 ©(3) nonprofit organization that is devoted to making a difference in the community. It provides the highest quality programs that benefit financially challenged residents in the city and surrounding area.

Divine Connections is excited to host its fourth annual Cinderella and Prince Charming Project community event in March 2020. The free event will be held at the Fredericksburg EXPO Center.

Financially challenged high school students, young ladies and young men who otherwise would not be able to attend prom, will be provided with prom attire. The evening also includes a short etiquette briefing, make-overs and personal shoppers to help them select their prom attire. Refreshments will also be served.

Divine Connections is in need of support for this event. It is collecting monetary donations, gift cards and prom attire, gently used or new prom dresses, tuxedos, shoes, accessories, etc. No donation is too small as all of the donations are used exclusively for the high school students.

Divine Connections relies on support from generous donors. The donations are tax deductible.

To make a donation or for more information, email or or telephone 540/642-0162 or 540/412-8763.


The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation is accepting nominations for its 2020 Annual Awards Program. Each year, the Foundation presents a series of awards for creative works preserving or advancing Marine Corps history, traditions, culture or service. Marines and civilians are eligible to submit their own artistic entries or the distinguished work of others. Awards will be presented during the Foundation’s Annual Awards ceremony on May 9, 2020, at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 15, 2020.

Awards are presented in 17 categories including journalism, documentary, literature, screenplay, photography and poetry. A panel of experts from major regional and national media outlets, authors, noted photographers and Marines will judge the submissions. Entry is free. Winners will receive a gold medallion award, commemorative brick in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park, and a $2,000 cash prize if applicable.

For more information visit


Rappahannock Adult Activities is accepting orders for holiday poinsettias. Proceeds from the sale of poinsettias support day programs which provide adults with developmental disabilities opportunities for exercise, education and excursions.

The plants are available in red, white and pink and come in four sizes: 4.5-inch for $5; 6.5-inch for $10; 8-inch for $16; and 10-inch for $25.

Orders will be taken on a first come, first served basis and should be placed by Thursday.

Deliveries will be Dec. 10-13. Participants in RAAI’s day support program can make arrangements for weekday delivery of orders of five or more poinsettias. Orders of less than five poinsettias are available for pick-up between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the greenhouse, 750 Kings Highway in Stafford County.

Order online at Or, call RAAI at 540/373-7643 to place an order over the phone.


As temperatures drop and we’re finally approaching winter, we seek the warmth of our homes. But where do the animals without homes go? We’ve seen cats hide in cars, climb into drains, and break into garages or sheds to stay warm.

Mo Galbraith has begun a project to help stray and outdoor cats in the community by making shelters. With most of the animal shelters in the area nearing capacity, she was inspired by her best friend to seek an alternative solution for these cats.

Galbraith will construct shelters from materials such as storage containers, plastic or styrofoam coolers, straw, sheets and blankets.

To donate materials or toward the cause, or if you know where a cat colony is located, contact her at If your outdoor or farm cats need a shelter, she can assist you as well.

Galbraith has also set up a page at


SERVE is asking its neighbors to donate gift cards for its clients for the holidays. The organization needs $10 grocery cards for meat with holiday meal boxes, and $20 Walmart or Target cards for teenagers to pick out their gifts themselves. SERVE appreciates anything it is fortunate enough to receive. All donations are tax deductible.


The Stars of Love campaign sponsored by the Stafford Hospital Auxiliary has begun. All donations fund the purchase of infant and adult CPR manikins for classes at Stafford Hospital. Stars of Love is a heartfelt opportunity to honor and celebrate a loved one or anyone who has made your life better.

With a minimum donation of $15, a silver star bearing the name of your honoree will be placed on the hospital’s holiday tree and the donation will be recognized in the Book of Honor on display in the hospital lobby.

To ensure your star is on the tree for the tree lighting and holiday gathering on Thursday, forms should be completed by Tuesday. However, donations will be accepted through Jan. 1, 2020.

Donors may pick up their ornament(s) in the Stafford Hospital Gift Shop between Jan. 6 and 10, 2020, during its regular hours.

For more information or to purchase a star, call the gift shop at 540/741-9145.


Embrace Treatment Foster Care wants all of its children to experience the excitement of the holiday season. It is collecting stocking stuffers for local children in foster care.

Gift ideas include headphones, small toys, phone chargers, lip gloss, hair ties, nail polish, socks, Play-Doh, Lego, mittens, Matchbox cars, mini book lights, movie tickets, bath bubbles, hand warmers, coffee or tea, and gift cards.

Donations may be dropped off at Katora Coffee, 615 Caroline St.; Towne Centre Branch Library, 390 Spotsylvania Mall; Salem Church Branch Library, 2607 Salem Church Road; or Howell Branch Library, 806 Lyons Blvd., through Friday.

For more information, contact Gretchen Rusden, Foster Parent Recruitment Coordinator, at 540/613-5120; or

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