Alexandria, VA

ALIVE! has given away hundreds of thousands of pounds of food since the onset of the pandemic, and on Monday the nonprofit got an additional boost with the donation of a large refrigerated shipping container.

The trailer was a gift from AMX Leasing, which is a part of Abilene Motor Express. It was arranged by Alexandria Living Legend Marion Moon, the CEO of the Convention Tradeshow Freight Specialists.

“Marion came to us and asked, ‘What do you need?’ and we replied, ‘Refrigeration,’ and Marion delivered,'” said ALIVE! Executive Director Jennifer Ayers. “Marion saw a need for us to have the right tools to expand our operations to serve more Alexandrian’s in need.”

The shipping container will be housed at the AlexRenew property at 1800 Limerick Street. The container will give ALIVE! much-needed refrigerated space and storage.

Richmond-based Abilene Motor Express has seen strong business over the last several months.

“Due to that, when Marion reached out with the opportunity to help others that have been affected more than us we were more than happy to help,” said Alan K. Jones of Abiline Motors.

Ayers said that food insecurity is rising with the pandemic.

“We distributed over 170,000 pounds of food last month without refrigeration,” she said. “By having the extra storage space, our logistics will be more efficient and we will be able to distribute more fresh foods like meat, eggs, produce, and dairy to more people – providing more nutrition to people in need.”

Courtesy photos

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Morning Notes

After Flooding, Councilman Says City Stormwater Management Needs Work — “Councilmember Chapman tells 7 On Your Side Thursday’s flooding means city leaders need to quickly consider wholesale changes in terms of storm management.” [WJLA]

City Extends Deadline on Personal Property Tax Payments — “To provide relief for our residents and businesses during the ongoing pandemic, the City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to extend the deadline for payment of the Personal Property Tax (Car Tax and Business). Payments are now due on December 15th.” [Twitter]

Casa Chirilagua Gets Grant to Develop Wifi-Friendly Outdoor Space — “AlexandriaVA.gov and Casa Chirilagua are working together to bridge the digital divide by building a safe and comfortable outdoor space with Wi-Fi for local students.” [Facebook]

Beyer Says Trump Watches Too Much TV — “The President says he is watching many hours of television a day as the country continues to reel amid its worst and deadliest crisis in most Americans’ lifetimes.” [Twitter]

City Wins National Technology Award for Remote 911 Call-Taking — “The annual PTI Solutions Awards recognize PTI member cities and counties that have implemented or updated innovative technology solutions within the past 15 months that positively affected local government performance and service to the public.” [CompTIA]

ALIVE! Free Food Distribution on Saturday — “ALIVE! Truck-to-Trunk will distribute food at two drive-through sites on Saturday, September 12 from 8:30 am – 10:30 am at the parking lots of Cora Kelly (3600 Commonwealth Ave) and John Adams (5651 Rayburn Ave) Elementary Schools. This distribution includes bags of shelf stable groceries, fresh produce, and eggs, while supplies last. People are encouraged to drive through. Walks-ups should maintain 6 feet social distance, wear a face mask, and bring carts or reusable bags to carry food home. “[Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Sunshine and clouds mixed during the day. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 82F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. At night, partly cloudy. Low near 65F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Spa Coordinator — “This experience includes answering phones, scheduling spa services, greeting all customers, assisting with inquiries, and processing point of sale transactions for all products, always exceeding expectations.” [Indeed]

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Get your trainers ready, because the 39th annual StepALIVE! Walkathon is going virtual this year.

For the last 38 years, ALIVE! has hosted a five-mile walkathon to raise funds for its programs. The event raises upward of $80,000 and is held in the spring, but all that has changed with the coronavirus pandemic.

The event will now be held from September 11 to 13, and participants will walk at their leisure to raise awareness and funds for ALIVE!, which has given away hundreds of thousands of pounds of food since the pandemic hit Alexandria.

“We gave out 160,000 pounds of food last month, and that’s the most we’ve ever done,” ALIVE! Executive Director Jennifer Ayers told ALXnow. “The persistent need is still there. We are seeing our numbers increasing, not decreasing, and the funds we raise from this walk will support our family assistance program to help people pay their bills.”

Registration costs $25 for an individual walker and $10 for seniors and kids up to 13 years old.

“We still continue to need funds to provide food and financial support to residents of Alexandria,” Ayers said. “We’re not expecting to raise this much this year, but we’ll take whatever we can get.”

Image via ALIVE!/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Woman Finds Missing $100K Lottery Ticket — “Four months ago she purchased a ticket using some of her favorite numbers, 2-14-15-17-21, and matched all five winning numbers on March 1, but she only just discovered that fact when she cleaned out her purse recently.” [Zebra]

Beyer Says Economic Warning Signs Troublesome — “It’s been a month since Senate Republicans cruelly allowed Americans’ enhanced unemployment benefits to expire amid a pandemic and economic crisis. Don’t be fooled by the stock market: millions of families are experiencing deep hardship. Warning signs for the economy abound.” [Twitter]

Mayor Gets Sneak Peek at ‘The Spire’ Affordable Housing Complex — “Great opportunity to check out AHC Affordable Housing’s latest housing project in the City under construction and arriving early next year. ‘The Spire’ will be 113 units serving 40% – 60% of Area Median Income.” [Facebook]

Ascend Cycle Wins Northern Virginia Magazine Award — “Did you hear?? We won the Best of NOVA: Cycling Studio 2020  ​We are SO excited to win this honor for a 3rd year in a row!” [Facebook]

Firefighters Raising Funds With Virtual Boot — “Ordinarily at this time of year, the men and women of Alexandria Firefighters, Inc. IAFF Local 2141 would be out around our community working to ‘Fill the Boot’ in support of Muscular Dystrophy Association. Join me in helping them Fill the ‘Virtual’ Boot this year!” [Facebook]

Volunteer Alexandria and Senior Services of Alexandria Need Help — “To meet the increased need due to COVID-19, Senior Services of Alexandria urgently needs 10 more volunteers to help deliver meals to local seniors. Volunteers are asked to commit to delivering meals once a week for three months.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — During the day, “Mainly sunny. High 88F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.” At night, “Partly cloudy. Low 73F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Virginia Quality Mental Health Specialist — “ACPS serves as a Local Coordinator for the City of Alexandria and is a part of the VQ Northern region. The VQ Mental Health Specialist will increase caregivers/teachers/directors use of strategies and practices to promote the social emotional development of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children.” [TopSchoolJobs.com]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Calls Out Minority Leader for Post Office Tweet — “Trump admitted he was sabotaging the US Postal Service to stop people from voting in a televised interview on FoxNews. It was even on a channel you guys actually watch.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Now Has 3,165 Cases of COVID-19 — “The latest update from the City on COVID-19: Positive tests up 19 to 3,165 in the City 7-day Positivity Rate steady at 5.8% 0 new hospitalizations Still safer at home, wash hands, wear masks and support our essential workers.” [Twitter]

Local White Collar Workers Adapt to COVID-19 — “Greg Crist is a D.C. lobbyist who used to wear suits, and go to lunch, and spend his days taking meetings on the Hill, or in his nicely appointed office at 701 Pennsylvania Ave. Now that his office is closed because of the pandemic, Crist is a man who commutes a few hundred feet from his Alexandria, Va., home to his silver Audi, where he spends much of the day taking calls in the only place where the important people on the other end of the line cannot hear his toddler son scream.” [Washington Post]

Colin Powell Was Interviewed for a Documentary in Alexandria — “Secretary Colin Powell was interviewed at the Athenaeum for a segment in “Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team”, that recently aired on PBS.” [Facebook]

Velocity Bike Cooperative Donates Bikes to Community Lodgings — “We’d like to give a special thank you to Vélocity Bicycle Cooperative for donating 15 bicycles which were given to our summer program students. We’d also like to thank our Board member, Marty Devine, for donating new bike helmets, bike locks, and bike bells for all of our summer program students. With their bikes and safety gear, our students can enjoy safe and healthy fun outdoors this summer!” [Facebook]

‘Horses Ate My Dad’ and ‘Splendid Offensive’ Headlining School of Rock Show — “This is what happens when we let students come up with their own band names. We trust that no Dads were harmed in the creation of one of the band names.” [Facebook]

The Alexandria Sock Design Contest is On — “Your sock design could become the Official Sock of Alexandria, be manufactured and go on sale at the Old Town Sock Co. in Old Town this holiday season!” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Community Alliance Needs Volunteers to Pack Care Kits — “Help us deliver 250 Care Kits by the end of summer! We’re still accepting Cleaning, Toiletry, Baby Supply, and Basic Meal kits to provide high-demand essential items to families in need in Alexandria.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 84F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. In the evening, a few clouds from time to time. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 68F. Winds light and variable. [Weather.com]

New Job: Police Officer — “You’re awake too? Perfect timing to think about a new career as a police officer. APD is holding a police test THIS FRIDAY (8/21) at APD HQ (3600 Wheeler Ave) at 2PM and 5PM.” [Twitter]

New Job: Reconstruction Estimator — “Review and evaluate cost estimates, communicates with team members regarding new and current projects. Prepare estimates and cost in detail for all products, ensure timely completion of estimates and rebuild jobs, establish and maintain working relation with homeowners and adjusters.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says House Democrats Working to Protect Postal Service — “So many of you are writing, calling, and urging us to act to protect the US Postal Service. We share your anger and frustration about what Trump is doing and your alarm about what it could mean for the election. And we ARE working to stop him.” [Twitter]

Noah and Josephus Lyles Win First and Second in 200 Meter Race in Monaco — “Lyles raised a black, fingerless-gloved right fist before getting into the blocks to win a 200m in his first international race of the season, conjuring memories of the famous 1968 Olympic podium gesture. He clocked 19.76 seconds, leading a one-two with younger brother Josephus.” [NBC Sports]

ALIVE! Gives Food to 900+ Households — “916 households received food at today’s Truck to Trunk food distribution. Thanks to everyone who made this possible- donors, volunteers, Department of Community & Human Services, City of Alexandria, VA; Volunteer Alexandria; Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, City of Alexandria, Virginia; Police Department, City of Alexandria, Virginia; Transportation & Environmental Services, City of Alexandria, Virginia and ALIVE! Staff!” [Facebook]

Monte Durham’s Salon Opening at Waterfront Next Month — “The chic boutique salon, located next door to Hotel Indigo, will feature Durham, who got his start as a hair stylist before heading down the bridal path to a hit reality TV show, TLC’s ‘Say Yes to the Dress – Atlanta.'” [Alexandria Living]

Chris Daughtry of American Idol to Play Virtual Concert for Birchmere — “Next week, Chris Daughtry presents his virtual “Live from Home Tour” on Aug. 18 to benefit 19 venues across the country, including The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.” [WTOP]

Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 83F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.” [Weather.com]

New Job: K-8 Teacher — “SchoolHouse is a new, innovative education startup that helps families to form Learning Pods, and matches excellent teachers with those Pods. A Pod is a group of approximately 4 – 8 students, of the same or similar grade level, who are learning, growing, and socializing together.” [Indeed]

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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.”

Courtesy photo

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The Alexandria Community Alliance has raised $12,670 in a GoFundMe campaign for Alexandria families impacted by COVID-19.

The nonprofit was formed shortly after the pandemic struck Alexandria, and is reportedly helping more than 50 families a week with bare necessities like food, toiletries and cleaning supplies.

“Many of these families are unemployed and not eligible for benefits,” the GoFundMe organizers wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We are helping to provide supplies that other organizations aren’t.”

The Alliance was originally created as the Alexandrians Supporting Alexandrians During COVID Facebook page. The group says it needs more donations.

“Once we deliver supplies we check back in with families every other week to see if they need anything else,” according to the Alliance. “There are lots of families that we can help with a regular delivery of groceries and supplies.”

Photo via ALIVE!/Facebook

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Morning Notes

City Celebrates 271st Birthday Virtually — My favorite event of each year is gathering with 30,000 of my closest friends to celebrate Alexandria’s birthday.‬ ‪This year, it is not to be, but join us for our virtual celebration with our Poet Laureate, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra & more.‬ Happy 271st Alexandria!‬” [Facebook]

Beyer Rebukes White House for Statement on Fauci — “From the moment this pandemic started the White House spent more time attacking Trump’s perceived enemies and massaging his fragile ego than they did listening to scientists, developing a testing strategy, figuring out how to safely reopen schools, or strengthening the response.” [Twitter]

Local Clubs Gives $44K in Scholarships — “This year, the Kiwanis Club awarded $44,000 to 17 local students. Kiwanis, a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that supports the youth of Alexandria, sponsors three Key Clubs at Edison, T.C. Williams, and R.E. Lee High Schools.” [Zebra]

Virtual Career Fair on Wednesday — “Employers and job seekers will have the opportunity to network via chat rooms, private chats and video chats. Job seekers will be able to apply and interview for jobs.” [City of Alexandria]

Virtual Black Lives Matter on Wednesday — “Virtual Discussion with Councilman Chapman with Alexandria Youth about Black Lives Matter.” [City of Alexandria]

New Job: Bartender — “Fine dining concept searching for a part-time and/or full time bartender.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Doubles Down on Trump Stance on School Reopenings — “Trump has again overruled the nation’s leading public health officials for political reasons, this time on guidance for reopening schools. He is intentionally endangering American children because he believes it will help him get reelected.” [Twitter]

Planning Commission to Evaluate Increasing School Density — The Planning Commission’s September 2 docket has been posted to the city’s website, and it includes a discussion to allow for an increase in density for public school sites. Since last fall, the city and administrators have been coordinating on a plan to co-locate affordable housing on school grounds. [City of Alexandria]

ACPS Reopening Survey Available Until July 12 — “Today, I am encouraging you to take part in what is surely one of the most important surveys ACPS has ever conducted. Your answers will guide us as we decide how and when to open school buildings, how and when virtual learning becomes necessary and preferable, and how we strike an acceptable balance between the two. As you know, there are no easy answers to the situation we find ourselves in and with the ever-changing landscape we must remain flexible to last-minute pivots. Please complete this survey by July 12 to allow us the time we need to properly prepare our path forward.” [ACPS]

ALIVE! Food Distributions on Saturday — “This Saturday, July 11, ALIVE! will be offering a “Truck-to-Trunk” distribution of food for residents who continue to be impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shelf-stable groceries will be handed out at the John Adams Elementary School and Cora Kelly Elementary School parking lots, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., or until supplies run out.” [City of Alexandria]

Lyceum Reopening on Friday — “The Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum will reopen to the public this Friday, July 10, at 11 a.m., with modified hours and new safety protocols. Exhibit galleries will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. To promote physical distancing of at least 6 feet between parties of no more than 10 people per party, visitors will be required to obtain timed-entry tickets through the Historic Alexandria online store.” [City of Alexandria]

New Job: Temporary Unarmed Security Officer — “We specialize in commercial, private, and government security, offering both armed and unarmed contract services. Please take the time to read this advertisement carefully as this posting is for TEMPORARY Unarmed Security Officers in Alexandria, Virginia.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Mayor Decries Hate Incidents in Alexandria — “‪Two sad examples of hate in our community this week. ‬This is not who we are as a City. We reject those that would spew hate and target members of our community.‬ ‪I hope that any violation of the law will be addressed aggressively by City, State and Federal officials, as applicable.‬” [Facebook]

Beyer Says Trump Doesn’t Care About Children — “Trump’s approach all along has been to pretend a miraculous end to the pandemic is just around the corner. He doesn’t have a plan. He isn’t going to lead. He doesn’t care about making schools safe for children and educators. It’s so important to get this right.” [Twitter]

The Tall Ship Providence Now Open — “Tall Ship Providence is open for Private Tours, Private Lunchtime Tours, and Happy Hours.” [Tall Ship Providence]

Food Distribution at Charles Houston Recreation Center on Thursday — “ALIVE!, in coordination with Washington Street United Methodist Church, Royal Restaurant, ARHA, and the City of Alexandria, will distribute bags of shelf-stable groceries and boxes of produce on Thursday, July 9 from 4 pm – 5:30 pm, or until supplies run out, at the parking lot of Charles Houston Recreation Center.” [ALIVE!]

There’s a New Phone Support Line for Alexandria Parents — “Phone lines are answered from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday through Friday. Assistance is available in English and Spanish. The person will be there simply to listen or provide guidance on more complex issues.” [Zebra]

Old Town Ghost Tours Are Back — “Follow an 18th century costumed guide by lantern light through the charming streets of Alexandria’s historic district, Old Town. On this entertaining tour you’ll hear ghost stories, legends and folklore.” [Visit Alexandria]

New Job: Dog Daycare Supervisor — “We are looking for individuals that are responsive to our customers, but also that are able to follow the rules and monitor staff that are directly supervising the dogs in our care. You will be on your feet a good majority of the day so please don’t apply if that is a problem.” [Indeed]

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Free food distributions will be disrupted by the July 4 weekend in Alexandria, but food is still available.

Most notably there will not be any Alexandria City Public Schools distributions from Friday, July 3, until operations resume on Monday, July 6.

“Meal distribution locations and pop up sites will not operate on Friday, July 3, ahead of the Independence Day holiday,” advised ACPS.

Here are the available free food distribution points in the city this weekend, according to Hunger Free Alexandria.

  • A bag lunch and food pantry distribution is available on Friday at Meade Memorial Episcopal Church (322 N. Alfred Street) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meals and food will be served in the courtyard to go.
  • Washington Street United Methodist Church (109 S. Washington Street) has a free breakfast Friday from 6-8 a.m.
  • Christ House (131 S. West Street) has evening meals available every night of the week from 4:30 – 6 p.m.
  • The ALIVE! food delivery program for COVID-19 patients, seniors, the disabled and single parents with young children is available for eligible residents by calling 703-746-5999
  • Rising Hope United Methodist Church (8220 Russell Road) will provide grab-and-go meals from 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday while supplies last

Staff photo by James Cullum

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