Independent Living Day 2015

ECNV was thrilled to advocate for Independent Living priorities at the General Assembly in Richmond on Wednesday, January 21st. Check out our photos!

Del. Kaye Kory with ECNV staff

Del. Kaye Kory with ECNV staff

Del. Patrick Hope with ECNV staff.

Del. Patrick Hope with ECNV staff.

Sen. George Barker with ECNV staff.

Sen. George Barker with ECNV staff.

Legislative Aide of Sen. Richard Saslaw with ECNV staff.

Legislative Aide of Sen. Richard Saslaw with ECNV staff.

Sen. Adam Ebbin with ECNV staff

Sen. Adam Ebbin with ECNV staff.

Sen. Barbara Favola with ECNV staff.

Sen. Barbara Favola with ECNV staff.



January 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

Home For The Holidays Reception

Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us at the Home for the Holidays Reception! This year’s event was a night to remember. We were honored to see special guests Congressman-elect Donald S. Beyer, Jr., Arlington County Board Members Libby Garvey and John Vihstadt, Arlington County Housing Commission Chair Holly Bray, WMATA Assistant General Manager for Access Services Christian Kent, Yoshiko Dart, and President & CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce Kate Roche. We would especially like to thank all of our sponsors and donors for ensuring that the Holiday Reception was a no-cost event for the community:


P.F. Chang’s Arlington, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Washington Wine Academy, Coca Cola Alexandria Sales Center, BJ’s Wholesale Club

Live musical performances by Manko Eponymous and Diana Urquiza


John Andelin and Ginger Geoffrey, Soula Antoniou, Annabel Bendz, Helena Berger, Ann Bisson, Holly Bray, Jim Brooker, David Burds, Maurice Coderre, Yoshiko Dart, Speed Davis, Deborah Fisher, Maya Flores, Michael Gekas, Marcie Goldstein, Theodore Hafner, Natalie Haslage, Bryna Helfer, Monica and Richard Hoffman, Justin King, Elizabeth Leef, Lenore Levin, Madonna Long, Lori Lovejoy, Helen and Gerald Mavroidis, Vartouhi Mehrabian and James Anderson, Maggie and Brad Mellor, John Menocal, Abbie Moore, James Murphy Jr., Wanita Niehaus, Olakonle Olaniyan, Lee Page, Maggie and Larry Roffee, Lewis Roth, Annette Saylor, James Scampavia and Cheryl Takemoto, Carolyn  Sowdon, Jon and Yvonne Strother, Brewster Thackeray, Steve Yaffe, Kelly Yeh, Tony Young and Kathleen Cameron

Door prizes generously donated by:

Fireworks Pizza Courthouse, Roof Top Restaurant, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Velocity Five Restaurant, IHOP Restaurant, Perfect Pita, Instyle Barbershop (Courthouse), Starbucks, Five Guys, 9Round Fitness & Kickboxing, Delhi Dhaba

Congressman-elect Don Beyer

Congressman-elect Don Beyer with ECNV Board Members Marcie Goldstein, Helena Berger, and Soula Antoniou and staff members Doris Ray and Brewster Thackeray

Congressman-elect Don Beyer

Congressman-elect Don Beyer

Yoshiko Dart and Ruchika Lalwani

Yoshiko Dart with ECNV staff member Ruchika Lalwani

ECNV Board Members

ECNV Board Members and guests

David Burd and guests

Former ECNV Executive Director David Burds with guests

Dara Baldwin, Ollie Cantos, and Helena Berger

Dara Baldwin, Ollie Cantos, and Helena Berger

Brewster Thackeray and Doug Zak

ECNV Executive Director Brewster Thackeray presenting a certificate to volunteer Doug Zak

Kelly Buckland

NCIL Executive Director Kelly Buckland

Ruchika Lalwani, Soula Antoniou, Elizabeth Leef

Ruchika Lalwani, Soula Antoniou, Elizabeth Leef

Steve Yaffe and Bryna Helfer

Steve Yaffe and Bryna Helfer

Marcie Goldstein and Elizabeth Leef

ECNV Board Chair Marcie Goldstein and Elizabeth Leef with guests

Madonna Long, Dara Baldwin, Heather Ansley

Madonna Long, Dara Baldwin, Heather Ansley

ECNV staff and guests

Cynthia Evans and Bill Ward with guests


Holiday party guests

Holiday reception full room

Holiday Reception at NRECA


Holiday party guests


Andrew Shaw and Cherie Leporatti with guest

Diana Urquiza

Diana Urquiza performing

Alexa Mavroidis with Diana Urquiza

Alexa Mavroidis with Diana Urquiza

Manko Eponymous

Manko Eponymous performing

December 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm Leave a comment

Join ECNV for #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday logo

#GivingTuesday is a national movement about giving back. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two days about shopping, #GivingTuesday is a great way to pay it forward by giving back to the community. Please join ECNV in #GivingTuesday on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.

The ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia is dedicated to serving the community every day by helping people with disabilities live independently. Your kind donation will:

  • Help people with disabilities in Northern Virginia receive support in transitioning out of nursing homes and into the community.
  • Create more workshops and programming to help people with disabilities find and maintain employment.
  • Allow our peer mentors to continue assisting people with disabilities in finding affordable, accessible housing.
  • Help people with disabilities receive assistance in navigating Medicaid wavers so they can live independently.
  • And much more!

Please consider joining ECNV in empowering people with disabilities to live independently by making a tax-deductible donation here: or call (703) 525-3268.

  • $25 – Print and mail 30 copies of the ECNV Declaration newsletter and calendar
  • $50 – Cover an hour of sign-language interpretation for a workshop participant who is Deaf
  • $100 – Sponsor a workshop on preparing for a job interview
  • $150 – Purchase a new battery for a donated electric wheelchair so it can be passed along to someone in urgent need

Your gift will make a difference in the lives of your neighbors with disabilities in Northern Virginia. Thank you!

December 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment

Mobility Equipment and printer/copier for sale

ECNV has mobility equipment and a printer/copier for sale. Prices below, or best offer. ECNV is grateful for donations of pre-owned mobility and other equipment. Our primary focus is to re-donate such equipment to others it will benefit in our community. In the case of very specialized items or those that have been here a long time, ECNV sells those items to fund the purchase of other equipment and services that are in demand. Contact ECNV at or 703-525-3268.


Copystar CS-5050 business printer: $1,400

black power chair

Pride Mobility Quantum 6000Z with Power Tilt, Recline, & Leg Lift: $950

Pride Revo Scooter

Pride Revo Scooter: $650

Pride power wheelchair

Pride power wheelchair: $650

Pride Legend scooter

Pride Legend scooter: $550

October 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

Taking Self-Talk from Lethal to Life-Affirming: Part 2

by Cynthia Evans, ECNV Director of Community Services

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Prompted by the passing of comedian Robin Williams, this is the 2nd of a two-part blog on the effects of depression on an ECNV employee, Cynthia Evans. Click here to read Part 1.

Part 2

Humor is an effective weapon against depression and despair. It’s usually not obvious to me when I’m blowing things out of proportion or beating up on myself. I may be ruminating over an especially traumatic event from long ago. The emotions may be as raw as when the incident occurred and daily functioning stops. After explaining how this event has convinced me that I really should just end it all, again, the sage wisdom of friends come to the rescue.

Friend: So what I hear you saying is that the pain of __[the incident]__ is making you feel so _[the feelings]_ that life just doesn’t seem to worth living any more. It’s just too much. Is that right?

Me: Yes, I just don’t think I can handle another day.

Friend: Okay, well let’s look at this. This event happened in your 30s, right?

Me: Yes, 33.

Friend: So this event happened 10 years ago. Now, I’m not trying to downplay how devastating this was, because I was there. I remember what you went through. But let me ask you something. You weren’t this depressed just a couple of days ago over this incident. Why do you think it’s so present for you now, today?

Me: I don’t know…I guess I hadn’t really been thinking about it until today.

Friend: I see. So when you weren’t thinking about it, you were able to go on with life. But now that you’ve been spending time thinking about it, you feel emotionally paralyzed. Does that seem accurate?

Me: [cracking a smile because I know where this is leading]…well, I guess you’re right.

Friend: Okay then. Let’s see if we find some other thing for you to think about so that you can get to work and not lose your job, your house, and your car. Because I’m pretty sure if that happens, you really will be suicidal. Fair enough?

Me: [chuckling] Fair enough. I’m open to suggestions…

Sarcasm is not a medically advised treatment for clinical depression. I have found, however, that sometimes it takes a friend willing to “speak the truth in love” to help me focus on what’s important.

These and many other tools have kept me together for many years. I have been hospitalized for suicidal ideation and depression seven times. But not once since 1991. I was saddened to hear about the passing of Robin Williams and to learn that he also had depression. He was a celebrity. I didn’t know his situation and to presume to would be wrong. I just felt the need to bring attention to the dangers of self-talk. And to encourage those who struggle with it to seek the support of others. I wouldn’t be alive had I listened to the lies of my own mind and I’m extremely grateful for the tools I’ve learned over the years.

If you’re interested in developing such tools for yourself, consider talking to a therapist, good friend, peer counselor, or loved one. Also check out WRAP (Wellness Recovery and Action Plan). It’s described as “a personalized wellness and recovery system born out of and rooted in the principle of self-determination. WRAP® is a wellness and recovery approach that helps people to:

1) decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviors;

2) increase personal empowerment;

3) improve quality of life; and

4) achieve their own life goals and dreams.”

They don’t always work — or, more accurately, I don’t always work them. But having them at my disposal has helped me out of many difficult times.

How about you? Even if you don’t have clinical depression, are there coping techniques that have helped you through difficult times? Please feel free to share anonymously if that would be more comfortable. We’d love to hear what’s working for you.

Thanks for reading…


To respond, please leave a reply in the comments section below. 

ECNV’s blogs are the personal experiences of individual contributors and should not be seen as endorsing a specific program or service.

September 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Taking Self-Talk from Lethal to Life-Affirming

Like many, I was saddened by the recent death of Robin Williams. I won’t attempt to speak to what he experienced in his last days. But I felt the need to share some thoughts and what helps me manage my depression. Everyone’s experience is different.

Continue Reading August 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

2014 NCIL March and Rally

Check out the pictures from the NCIL march and rally!

Continue Reading August 15, 2014 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Older Posts

Recent Posts

Follow ECNV’s Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.