The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
Mission: To rebuild lives and break the cycle of crime with opportunities, alternatives, and resources for offenders and their families to create a safer community.
OAR of Fairfax County is a local non-profit restorative justice organization providing human services since 1971. Our history has its roots in the highest principles of human rights, and the most practical applications of a community’s enlightened self-interest and citizen action. Its origins can be traced to a 1968 prison strike at the State Penitentiary in Richmond, Virginia. In response, several local churches convened a conference on Churches and the Correctional System. Following that effort, Jay Worrall, Jr. founded the OAR movement, which at the time stood for Offender Aid and Restoration. It was his vision of citizen visitors helping jail inmates that formed the original premise for the creation of OAR organizations around the country.
In September 1970, Offender Aid and Restoration of Virginia received its articles of incorporation. In 1971, the Fairfax OAR was established, and in 1973, Worrall opened the national office. At the height of the movement there were 22 local agencies in 10 states. Today there remain eight local OAR affiliates, four of which are in Virginia, who have emerged as viable non-profit organizations with expanded missions and service delivery areas. In 1998, OAR of Fairfax County voted to change its name from Offender Aid and Restoration to do business as "Opportunities, Alternatives & Resources" in order to better reflect the organization’s mission and goals.
by Lyla D. from Fairfax, VA
Before I became the Volunteer Coordinator for OAR, I was a volunteer from September 2009 until my first day on the job in April of 2015. My journey to OAR started with a school project. Now 7 years later, I've made a career out of being inspired by change.
Back then we really didn't have volunteer orientations and very little training. Now we have a one hour session where you can learn everything you need to make the proper choice. We use empirically based materials for several of our jail classes, and we have shadowing sessions with multiple training sessions. We also have continuing education seminars several times a year. I might be an excellent example to quantify why OAR is an amazing place because I am happy to announce that after several months of asking there was a change in policy and I get to volunteer again doing what I love most in life. However, there are many who are equally inspired. Click here to learn more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8LyjWA4K-c#action=share