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Sharon's Nook Living with Lyme News About Us

Collecting data is the first step towards wisdom; sharing data is the first step towards community.

Welcome to!

Sharon E. Rainey
President and Founder
1146-D Walker Road
Great Falls VA 22066
Phone: 703-759-2102
Fax: 703-759-5415
"A resource for your home; a trusted connection for your family."
Read my blog Sharon's Nook at


Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you learn more about the site.

About   |   Membership   |   Referral Lists
Community Connections   |   Sharon's Nook


What is
We provide referrals and local information for the greater Northern Virginia and Maryland suburban areas. Through our website and email network, members can access and exchange information with their neighbors in a safe and positive environment.

How did get started?
The network began in 2000 in the Great Falls, Virginia community. The idea was born from residents' desire for a way to share information about their community and refer outstanding local businesses to one another. Initially run as a volunteer organization, but as a result of our success and growth, we became a full time business in 2003. Since then we have continued to grow and are here to stay!

Who are your members?
Local residents seeking business referrals, community information, and a way to exchange information with other local residents.

What areas do you cover?
We serve Northern Virginia including Alexandria, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and the Manassas area. We also serve suburban Maryland, currently in Montgomery County. Within these areas we have identified local communities to allow you to target your information by area.

How can I access information specific to my area?
You can select to view referrals by areas- as few or as many as you like. You can also subscribe to receive Community Connections emails by area, again as many or few as you like.

I don't see my area among those listed?
We have tried to provide the primary areas that cover region. If your area is not listed simply select the closest areas to your location.


How do I become a member?
Click on Become a Member under the logo in the top left corner.

How much does membership cost?
Membership is $65 for one year.

Can I sign up someone else?
Yes, you may purchase memberships for others by clicking on Gift Subscription near the top of the page.

Can I try without paying the membership fee?
Yes! We offer a free four month trial. There is no obligation to become a full member and pay the membership fee, you may cancel your membership at any time by emailing You will also receive an email reminder at 30 days and 7 days prior to your renewal date.

How do I become a trial member?
Click on Become a Member, located under the house near the top of the page. Select full membership from the drop down box. Fill out the membership form and enter your gift code in the box provided. Your free membership will begin immediately.

What types of membership are there?
We have two types of membership: full member and posting member.
Full membership gives you access to the entire site, subscription to Community Connections emails, and the ability to share referrals and Community Connections with other members. A posting member can only submit Community Connections to be posted on the site and emailed to full members. There is no cost to become a posting member.

Why do you have two types of membership?
The overwhelming majority of our members are full members. However, we wanted to give others the opportunity to share information with our members so we created a posting member category. Requiring membership to post on our site keeps it safe and friendly.

Referral Lists
Do I have to be a member to look at your referral lists?
Yes, access to referral lists is a benefit of full membership. If you are not a member or are not logged in as a member, you will be able to see one referral from a list as a sample. To see the full list, you must be logged in as a full member.

How do I access the referral lists?
Log in to the site using the log in button below the logo in the top left hand corner.
Click on the blue View Referral Lists button on the left hand side.
Select a category, or View All to see all referral lists.
Click on a referral list.

How do I access referrals for certain geographic areas?
Follow the steps above, then once you are on the list of your choice you have the option to select certain areas to view only those referrals. Once you make selections, they will remain in effect on subsequent referral lists until you make different selections again.

I would like to see a referral list updated.
Select your referral list and click on the link at the bottom of the page. This will send out a request to our members to update the referral list.

How do I write a referral?
First, make sure you are logged in as a full member.
Click on the blue Contribute a Referral button.
Fill out the form and hit submit at the bottom of the page.
We will review your referral and then add it to the list.

Can I write a referral if I don't have all the contact information?
Yes! Provide as much contact information as you can. We will contact the business to give them the opportunity to update their contact information.

What if I have had a bad experience, can I write about it?
We feature positive referrals only. We want to direct our members only to the best. Please let us know if you have any feedback on our advertisers, we will work with them to try to resolve the situation.

Do I have to provide my name on a referral I write?
Most referrals include the members name, however, you may leave off your name if the nature of the referral relates to something you would prefer to keep private.

I received a request to update a referral list but the link in the email isn't working what do I do?
If you are an Outlook user your links may be disabled as a security feature. Simply right click on the link and select the option to activate links.

Community Connections

What are Community Connections?
Emails containing local information in a variety of categories. Full members can subscribe to the categories of their choosing to receive Community Connections by email.

How do I sign up to receive Community Connections?
You will be asked to select the categories you wish to receive when you become a full member.

Can I change my selections?
Yes, you can change the categories you wish to receive at any time by clicking on My Account under the logo at the top right hand corner.

How many emails will I receive?
That will depend on the number of categories and the types of categories you select. It will vary quite a bit.

Can I still access Community Connections if I don't select to receive emails from that category?
Yes! Let's say you are interested in Volunteer Opportunities but do not wish to sign up for ongoing emails in that category. All email blasts are posted to the website- simply click on the View Community Connections button and select Volunteer Opportunities to view all these postings.

Do I have to be a member to post on
Yes, you be must a member to post on If you do not wish to become a full member, you may become a posting member and have the ability to post.

Is it free to post to Community Connections?
Posting is free for all categories except:
Job Postings $17.00
Classifieds $17.00
Need Childcare Provider $17.00
Real Estate Listings $25.00
These postings are emailed to members who have selected these categories and are posted on the site for one month.

How do I send out information to my Neighbors using the network?
Make sure you are logged in. Then click on one of the categories in the green Share Community Connections box. Fill out the form and click submit.

Does my information go out right away?
We ask you allow 24-48 hours to send out your posting. We make every attempt to send it out as soon as possible.

Sharon's Nook

What is Sharon's Nook?
Sharon Rainey, Founder and President of, writes about her life and work and shares these writings with the members. It is a chance for members to get to know Sharon on a more personal level.

How can I read Sharon's Nook?
Sign up to receive Sharon's Nook by email or read them on the site by clicking on the Sharon's Nook button.

One Last Question
I love your site! How can I tell other's about it?
Many of our new members find us through a friend's recommendation. To tell other's about us, please click on the pink Send an Evite to a Friend Button. There you can send an email to as many people as you like and even add your own message.

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