The Fill the Boot campaign is an annual drive run by the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2141. This year, it kicks off on Wednesday, Aug. 23 and will run through Thursday, Aug. 31. Drivers around Alexandria can expect to see local firefighters along the side of the road looking for donations.
“Between 2009 and 2022, AFD has raised more than $350,000 for MDA,” the city said in a release. “Every boot drive helps families with muscular dystrophy in your community by funding research for new treatments, supporting MDA Care Centers, and sending kids to MDA Summer Camp.”
According to the release, firefighters will be trying to fill the boot with donations at:
- George Washington Parkway/Slaters Lane
- Richmond Highway/East Glebe Road
- King Street/Quaker Lane/Braddock Road
- Van Dorn Street/Edsall Road
- Washington Street/King Street
- Duke Street/Patrick Street/Henry Street OR Gibbon Street/Patrick Street/Henry Street
- Duke Street/Quaker Lane
Donations can also be made online.
Some of the best hairdressing talent in Alexandria came together today (Monday) to give children from affordable neighborhoods and Carpenter’s Shelter a free back-to-school makeover.
Four hairdressers spent the morning working on styling hair for 22 girls and one boy at the new Iye’s Beauty Salon (4600 Duke Street). It was a mini-reunion for hairdressers of Angels Salon, a recently closed salon specializing in Black hair, including Iye’s eponymous owner Iye Bayoh.
Bayoh said she specializes in natural styles and braiding. Bayoh said because most children don’t like getting their hair done, the Salon tries to make it more engaging for children.
“It’s relaxing,” Bayoh said. “This is a place where people can come to get peace of mind.”
Bayoh said City Council member Alyia Gaskins coordinated the event. Bayoh was joined by Shanika Morgan from Nevaeh Crowns (5510 Cherokee Avenue), Marquis Handley from Quisonthecombs, and Shantell Ford from The Divine Touch Salon.
Gaynelle Diaz, director of Resident and Community Services at Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA), said the event helped children in ARHA feel empowered as they head back to school.
“It really helps out,” said Diaz. “With having to buy school supplies and with things being more expensive, takes some of the financial burden off of families. They don’t have to shift priorities, because you want your kids to go back and feel good about themselves so parents to worry about.”
Diaz said the event came out of conversations about how Black girls are generally neglected in back-to-school events.
“At back-to-school events, it’s more common to offer free haircuts for young boys and men because it’s a quicker process because we feel girls get left out,” Diaz said. “Sometimes, when you’re doing community events, it doesn’t go as quickly and we have a harder time finding people who are available to donate their time.”
The new salon opened on the ground floor of an apartment building on Duke Street on Aug. 2. Bayoh, who is originally from West Africa but has lived most of her life in Alexandria, said after working at Angels Salon she thought it was important to stay local in Alexandria.
“Most of my clientele is from around here and I grew up in Alexandria,” Bayoh said. “It’s been good, the people here are great, and it’s good for the kids to have a feel of what it’s like in a salon.”
ACT for Alexandria did it again.
Wednesday’s Spring2ACTion fundraiser — the largest single day of giving in Alexandria — broke the record set two years ago by collecting $2.9 million for 182 local nonprofits. The 13th annual event received more than 7,700 individual donations and ACT for Alexandria exceeded its goal of $2.5 million.
“Alexandria is an incredibly generous community,” ACT for Alexandria CEO Heather Peeler told ALXnow shortly after midnight. “People really want to give back and see our community thrive.”
The final tally keeps changing, as stragglers are allowed to donate on the Spring2ACTion website until Sunday, April 30.
Spring2ACTion is the main annual fundraiser for most of the participating nonprofits. The top three recipients are Move2Learn with $170,400, Casa Chirilagua with $167,994 and Carpenter’s Shelter with $91,938.
“They’re not doing the galas or the big events,” she said. “They’re using Spring2ACTion as a way to promote their organization, connect with donors, connect with local businesses, and raise critical funds.”
Peeler said that 75 Alexandria businesses also donated a portion of their proceeds toward the effort.
“It shows that Alexandra’s business community is is very connected to and supportive of the nonprofit community,” she said.
Peeler said that her staff of six employees are tired.
“We’re a little tired, to be honest, but we are super excited,” she said. “We have a tremendous sense of responsibility, because so many nonprofits really depend on Spring2ACTion for those donations to support their work. It doesn’t happen overnight, even though it seems it all happens on one day. It’s many months of preparation in terms of connecting with potential donors, and providing training and opportunities for nonprofits to learn what they can do to have the best Spring2ACTion possible.”
Spring2ACTion has raised more than $20 million over the last 13 years.
Spring2ACTion Top 10:
- Move2Learn | Powered by Runningbrooke raised $170,400 from 174 donors
- Casa Chirilagua raised $167,994.79 from 327 donors
- Carpenter’s Shelter raised $91,938.53 from 289 donors
- Art League raised $83,214.50 from 205 donors
- The Alexandria Harmonizers raised $77,674 from 319 donors
- ALIVE! raised $74,756 from 423 donors
- Alexandria Tutoring Consortium raised $72,952 from 206 donors
- Alexandria Seaport Foundation raised $66,602 from 101 donors
- Friends of Guest House raised $62,833 from 141 donors
- Together We Bake raised $62,683 from 138 donors
— ACT for Alexandria (@ACTforAlex) April 27, 2023
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! For your amazing support of our ACPS students this Spring2ACTion! We're honored and grateful so many in our community chose to give to Move2Learn to bring movement to classrooms to help kids feel and learn their best. You're the best!💗 pic.twitter.com/tcJNbSp2Xq
— Move2Learn (@move2learnkids) April 27, 2023
I just donated to a list of Alexandria non-profits who are addressing critical needs in our City.
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) April 26, 2023
Image via Running Brooke/Facebook
Alexandrians are likely to see more firefighters on the streets next week as the Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) launches its “Fill the Boot” campaign to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease that causes the progressive loss of muscle mass. The campaign is an annual fundraiser for the AFD, raising money for treatment and other forms of support for those dealing with muscular dystrophy.
“Between 2015 and 2019, AFD has raised more than $230,000 for MDA, and the goal this year is to raise $50,000,” AFD said in a press release. “Every boot drive helps families with muscular dystrophy in your community by funding research for new treatments, supporting MDA Care Centers, and sending kids to MDA Summer Camp.”
The campaign is set for Tuesday, Aug. 30, Sept. 1-2, and Sept. 5-7.
This year, the campaign is a cooperative effort between on-duty AFD personnel, Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department personnel, off-duty volunteers, friends and family, and members of local labor organizations.
AFD said the campaign is scheduled to host fundraising efforts at:
- Van Dorn Street/Edsall Road
- Richmond Highway/East Glebe Road
- King Street/Quaker Lane/Braddock Road
- Washington Street/Slaters Lane OR King Street
- Duke Street/Patrick Street OR Henry Street
- Duke Street/Quaker Lane
Those interested in contributing can also do so online.
The event is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe Street) on Sunday, Aug. 14.
The program, which is led by School Board Member Willie Bailey, will offer school supplies for kids in need as well as a free haircut.
“A free haircut and school supply giveaway event will be happening in the Alexandria area,” the group said in a flyer. “Please note that kids must be present to receive their backpacks and school supplies!”
Additional booths will be set up throughout the gym to offer a variety of other services to local families.
West End residents now have a new hub to to take care of food insecurity and other basic living needs.
On Thursday morning (May 26), nonprofit and city leaders cut the ribbon for the ALIVE! West End Food Hub at 510 S. Van Dorn Street in the Van Dorn Station Shopping Center. The brick and mortar location was made possible by funding from the American Rescue Plan.
Residents will now be able to pick up free food five days a week, in addition to personal items, cleaning and school supplies, and connections to other city and federal services.
“I’m very excited about this,” Mayor Justin Wilson said at the ribbon cutting. “It’s addressing a critical need that multiplied exponentially at the beginning of COVID — our food insecurity, but it allows us to try to meet that need long into the future.”
Rolf Blank, is the vice president of the ALIVE! board, which is made up of dozens of representatives from religious congregations.
“For a long time, the board and a member of congregations have been looking for another way to be able to distribute food and interact with our community,” Blank said. “It’s really more than about food. It’s a way for people to interact with our staff.”
The Food Hub is open from noon to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Celebrating the opening of @ALIVE4AlexVA's new food hub on the West End! Alexandrians in need can access free food and be connected to support services in this beautiful new space. pic.twitter.com/Ub84MKFSFg
— Canek Aguirre (@CanekForCouncil) May 26, 2022
It could take months before Alexandria grocery store shelves are stocked with infant formula, as communities around the country are struggling through the shortage.
HRG’s Bill Blackburn was inspired to find the formula after reading a Washington Post article about a restaurant owner who found a stash through his commercial food supply chain.
“Homegrown Restaurant Group is proud to partner with these organizations to provide this much-needed baby formula to ALIVE! during this crisis,” Blackburn said.
ALIVE! Executive Director Jennifer Ayers said that the nonprofit needed the formula and is grateful.
“Once again neighbors have demonstrated that if there’s a need in this community that we can work together to help other neighbors,” Ayers said.
ACT for Alexandria raised $2.5 million for 172 local nonprofits in its 12th annual Spring2ACTion fundraiser on Wednesday (April 27). The fundraiser is the largest single day of giving in Alexandria, and came just short of matching the amount raised last year, ACT CEO Heather Peeler told ALXnow.
“I’m almost speechless in terms of thinking about how to describe just the care and love that people show for our community,” Peeler said shortly after midnight. “This is really about the entire community coming together. It’s about the nonprofits that are doing incredible work that people want to support, the donors who are feeling really generous and the local businesses who see giving back as core to their business. It’s really an all-hands-on-deck effort from across the city.”
The final numbers keep changing, as stragglers will be allowed to donate on the Spring2ACTion website until Sunday, May 1.
The top three recipients were the same as last year: RunningBrooke took in $157,000 from 197 donors, followed by Casa Chirilagua with $114,000 from 313 donors and Friends of Guest House with $112,000 from 180 donors.
Spring2ACTion has raised nearly $19 million over the last 12 years, and awarded $28,000 in prizes to the organizations with the most donors.
The Del Ray Business Association also raised the most of the five competing business associations, raising $20,525 from 90 donors, and final tallies are still be made for participating businesses that contributed 10% of proceeds toward Spring2ACTion.
Spring2ACTion Top 10:
- RunningBrooke raised $157,492 from 197 donors
- Casa Chirilagua raised $116,443 from 313 donors
- Friends of Guest House raised $112,046 from 180 donors
- ALIVE! raised $82,450.50 from 451 donors
- Carpenter’s Shelter raised $81,705 from 294 donors
- King Street Cats raised $63,295 from 506 donors
- Space of Her Own, Inc. (SOHO) raised $59,758 from 160 donors
- Community Lodgings raised 57,060 from 135 donors
- Alexandria Tutoring Consortium raised $55,201 from 180 donors
- Act for Alexandria raised %52,305 from 143 donors
CONGRATULATIONS, ALEXANDRIA! We did it! JUST UNDER THE WIRE! A huge thank you to all of our nonprofits, donors, sponsors, and so many more for getting #Spring2ACTion to its $2.5 Million Dollar goal this year. Congrats! pic.twitter.com/2huzDbBPk9
— ACT for Alexandria (@ACTforAlex) April 28, 2022
A HUGE thank you to all of our #Spring2ACTion donors! We were able to reach our goal and we look forward to expanding seating options at the playground!
— Polk Elementary PTA (@PolkPTA) April 28, 2022
— Abdel Elnoubi (@AbdelElnoubi) April 28, 2022
(updated at 5:30 p.m.) A Night for Ukraine organizers hope to raise $10,000 to go toward relief efforts in Ukraine and raise awareness at the event, which Alexandria businesses have rallied behind to support.
LOVE in ALX‘s Mary Leonard and local business owner Dominique Fakir put together the Friday night fundraiser for U.S.-based nonprofit CORE, Community Organized Relief Efforts. The nonprofit’s volunteers are working in Poland to address the immediate needs of Ukrainian refugees.
“(A Night in Ukraine) really is just an opportunity for people to plug in locally and then see how their efforts here actually affect change over there,” Fakir told ALXnow. “You always want to help but you don’t know how. So my hope was really to have this event to share stories about what’s happening on the ground and then how people can give either financially, support-wise, even spreading awareness, like posting on social media, that matters, and keeping the conversation going.”
Leonard, who is in Poland volunteering, has been sharing stories about what she’s seen and heard on social media. She has helped escort refugees into Poland and said that their needs include everything from long-term housing, food and clothing.
“Some days the questions are ‘where can I get a bus to Warsaw or Rzeszow or another destination,'” Leonard said in an email. “Other days, we’re there with shopping carts to carry the luggage in shopping carts on to their destination busses…Refugees are now fleeing with one or two bags they threw together and emergency left their house. You’ll find everything from feminine products to coloring books in the crossing camp.”
Leonard posted a story on her social media accounts about horrifying conditions in Mariupol that a man told her about seeing before he made it to Poland and was separated from his son who is still in Ukraine.
“Four weeks ago, the lives of everyone in Ukraine were like yours. Loving, happy, sweet. They went to work, were raising their children, going to concerts, falling in love. And now this. Never take what you have for granted,” Leonard wrote in the post.
The fundraiser will host Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, First Secretary of the Ukrainian embassy Kateryna Smagliy, and CORE relief workers who will share their stories. As of this morning (Thursday) about 150 people had purchased tickets. Local businesses have donated more than $10,000 of in-kind services so there will be a plenty of food and people together in solidarity, Fakir said.
“This issue of the attack on democracy the unprovoked war it’s just heartbreaking as an American to see that,” she said.
The event will be held at the ALX rooftop at 277 South Washington Street, Penthouse 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are available on EventBrite.
Leasing Starts for Apartments Over Wegmans — “Developer Stonebridge and its leasing partner Bozzuto, announced Wednesday the start of leasing for Easton, a boutique-style apartment building offering sophisticated design and amenities located in the Carlyle Crossing neighborhood. The 11-story building is slated to begin move-ins in mid-April just ahead of the anticipated May 11 opening of Wegmans Carlyle Crossing.” [Alexandria Living]
Ukraine Donation Drive Launched — Leaders launched an effort Wednesday to provide donations, such as gently used coats, new blankets, new pairs of sweat socks or heavy socks, and new pairs of gloves at locations around Northern Virginia. “No matter the scale – global to local – humanity is a community unto itself and we must always come to the assist of those in need,” Alexandria Vice Mayor Amy Jackson said at the event. [Facebook, Patch]
Kingstowne Woman’s Family Raises Funds to Find Suspect — “The family of a missing Alexandria woman, who is presumed dead, is raising money to help catch her alleged killer.”[WJLA]
It’s Thursday — Light rain throughout the day. High of 67 and low of 58. Sunrise at 7:06 a.m. and sunset at 7:25 p.m. [Weather.gov]