Back in September, Scott Thomas and Natalie Puri donated their personal food to ALIVE!, and soon after the couple were volunteering for the nonprofit, driving a food truck around the city and directing food distribution efforts.
“I asked if they needed volunteers and they asked if I could drive a truck,” Thomas told ALXnow. “That was on a Tuesday. By Friday I was going on a test drive.”
Thomas, who serves full time in the U.S. Navy, now manages multiple truck-to-trunk food giveaways at Cora Kelly School and John Adams Elementary School. It’s an important job that takes up two Saturdays and up to 12 hours of their time every month (Puri directs traffic at the events), but Thomas says it’s worth it.
“I’m always glad that I did it, because I think it’s valuable,” he said. “I think it would get done without me, but I’m glad to play a part.”
ALIVE! currently needs volunteers, all of whom are vetted through Volunteer Alexandria.
Thomas has noticed a change in the clientele since the coronavirus hit the city.
“You realize people are in dire straits,” he said. “We started seeing folks in very nice cars, new suburbans, and those are $70,000. You think in your mind that one of the owners could have been a bartender and the other worked at a health club, and they could afford a car like that, but now they’re both out of a job.”
He also looks forward to the end of the pandemic and no longer wearing a face mask.
“The worst part is not see people’s faces,” he said. “There’s a fine line from being very prosperous and standing in line for food. But I can tell that they are very grateful.”
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.