DONATE SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR FOSTER KIDS

Embrace Treatment Foster Care is collecting school supplies for children in foster care. Donations may be dropped off at Books-a-Million, 137 Spotsylvania Mall Drive, Unit 5800, through Aug. 9.

Supplies needed include paper, blue or black pens, No. 2 pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener, colored pencils, crayons, markers, highlighters, tape, glue sticks, backpacks, construction paper, scissors, spiral notebooks, composition books, index cards, tissues, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, pencil case, calculator, rulers, protractors, binders, pocket folders, printer paper, USB flash drive, wireless mouse, mousepad and headphones.

Supplies will be collected until Aug. 9. For more information, contact Gretchen Rusden at gretchen.rusden@embracetfc.com.

REPORT UNSOLICITED PACKAGES OF SEEDS

Virginia residents have reported receiving unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.

Please do not plant these seeds. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appear to have Chinese origin to contact the Office of Plant Industry Services at 804/786-3515; or through the ReportAPest@vdacs.virginia.gov email.

Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.

AMATEUR RADIO JOINS DISASTER RESPONSE GROUP

Virginia ARES, Amateur Radio Emergency Service, has been accepted as an official member of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. VOAD serves the community in times of disaster, and ARES is an integral part of providing emergency communications. As such, this builds a more effective foundation for serving the needs of community in difficult times.

ARES is part of the Amateur Radio Relay League and is responsible for emergency communications utilizing amateur radio. Essential communication is a vital part to any aspect of emergency operation and ARES provides a key role that does not require landlines or cell phones to transmit essential communications. With the ability to transmit without the need of normal communications, it assures the flow of situational awareness and vital needs to those who need to receive that information.

Those who participate this volunteer role are trained to work in difficult environments. They are pleased to be part of Virginia VOAD and look forward to building relationships and adding effective communications to the very essential role that VOAD has in Virginia. To learn more, visit arrl.org; and vavoad.org.

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