Alexandria, VA

With a line around the block, Casa Chirilagua and World Central Kitchen gave out 1,500 meals to families in Arlandria on Thursday afternoon.

Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow that there will be a new community food distribution next Thursday at Charles Houston Recreation Center. The food is being provided by Washington Street United Methodist Church, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Royal Restaurant from 4 to 6 p.m.

Volunteers can sign up for the distribution here.

“If they decide this works and is a good need, they will do it bi-weekly,” Brunken told ALXnow.

In Arlandria, the food was provided by Taco Bamba in D.C., and community volunteers gave it out over the course of an hour. The meals were made of chicken, vegetables and rice. The residents also received bags of groceries from ALIVE!

Next week’s World Central Kitchen food distribution will be at William Ramsay Elementary School after 5 p.m.

Staff photos by James Cullum

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Morning Notes

Uncertainty Lingers for Furloughed Alexandrians — “When Joy Phansond was furloughed from her job as sales coordinator at the Holiday Inn in Old Town, the temporary layoff was initially supposed to last until April 5. Then it was extended to May 5. Then it was extended again until June 5.” [Gazette]

Cinema Del Ray Canceled Due to Coronavirus — “Due to COVID-19, we must ensure the safety of our fellow community members by canceling Cinema Del Ray 2020. We greatly appreciate the support Cinema Del Ray has been shown in the past. We will be back next year, better than ever!” [Facebook]

Old Town Spanish Restaurant ‘La Tasca’ Files for Bankruptcy — “In the past two years, La Tasca has closed two locations in Chinatown and Clarendon.” [Washington Business Journal]

Food Trucks Lift Spirits in Cameron Station — “Rothschild started reaching out to various food truck vendors on March 25, and shortly thereafter she landed her first truck to visit the neighborhood, at the corner of Cameron Station Boulevard and Harold Secord Street – barbecue purveyor Smoking Kow. And neighbors were ready for a feast.” [Gazette]

Tenants and Workers United Raises $16K for Arlandria Community — “Many of our members have had their work hours reduced or been laid off completely. For the undocumented community, there is no social safety net: no unemployment benefits and no stimulus check from the federal government.” [actblue.com]

Contest: Alexandria Living Magazine Gives Away $600 in Merchandise — “Along with KH Giving, we can finally announce the winner of this week’s Mission Masks giveaway! Dixie won $600 worth of prizes including $250 in gift cards from Sweet Fire Donna’s, $100 from Chadwicks and $100 from Bastille and more! These gift cards are all purchased from local restaurants as a way to support them.” [Facebook]

Photos: Meal Distribution at William Ramsey Elementary — “Enjoy these photos of ACPS meal distribution at William Ramsey Elementary School. Thank you to volunteer and photographer, Chris Castillo.” [Facebook]

How Funeral Homes and Cemeteries are Coping in Alexandria — “Some immediate families of the deceased elect to have ceremonies recorded or live streamed for extended family and friends who cannot be present. Others are opting to hold a memorial service at a later date, when larger groups may be able to congregate, rather than a funeral with restricted attendees now.” [Alex Times]

‘La Brocante’ and ‘Top It Off’ Open This Weekend in Del Ray — “La Brocante and Top It Off are now both open on the weekends only (including TODAY until 5 p.m.), with social distancing measures in place (extra sanitizing, limits on the number of people in the stores, and face masks).” [Facebook]

‘Pacers Running’ Donates Shoes to ‘Together We Bake’ — “Thank you @runpacers and @on_running for giving running shoes to our TWB family! We’re excited to break in our shoes.” [Facebook]

New Job: Member Marketing Manager — “We are looking for someone passionate and analytical who loves product marketing. The purpose of this role is to help drive many stakeholders across many departments to inspire members to act on our top opportunities. If you love coordinating complex marketing campaigns, then this job is for you.” [Indeed]

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After receiving two recent donations totaling $150,000, ACT for Alexandria is nearing $1 million for its ACT Now COVID-19 response fund, and the organization will be taking a break from giving grants to nonprofits to plan for the summer.

“We’re working with the city and our nonprofit partners to think through what the next phase of recovery is going to look like,” ACT for Alexandria President and CEO Heather Peeler told ALXnow. “We’ll be pausing grant making for a couple of weeks. While we talk through and get a better sense for how the needs of our community are evolving.”

Last week, Act for Alexandria was notified that it won two unsolicited grants, one for $50,000 from the Myer Foundation and another $150,000 grant from the Frank and Betty Wright Foundation.

Peeler set a personal goal of raising $1 million for the fund by the end of the summer, and the recent grants have put the total raised at more than $985,000. As of mid-May, the fund has awarded $686,860 in grants to Alexandria nonprofits, including ALIVE!, Together We Bake and Neighborhood Health.

ACT for Alexandria will pause the grants from May 26 until mid-June.

Last month, the organization also raised a record $2.45 million for 156 nonprofits during the Spring2ACTion event, and the platform remains open to donate to local organizations.

“Our strategy is to constantly share the work that the nonprofits are doing in our community,” Peeler said. “By showing that all the donations are making a real difference in people’s lives, that’s the best strategy for engaging donors and helping them see how they can continue to make a difference.”

Photo via Alive!/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Beyer Co-Sponsors COVID-19 Testing Legislation — “NEW: today I introduced bipartisan legislation to boost innovation for COVID-19 testing with my @HouseScience colleague @RepAGonzalez.” [Twitter]

Chamber of Commerce Hosting Virtual General Assembly Breakfast Thursday — “Please join us on May 21st for a timely virtual conversation with our General Assembly delegation.  The delegation will discuss the 2020 session, Virginia’s COVID-19 response and the challenges currently facing the Commonwealth.” [Chamber of Commerce]

Sheriff’s Deputy Recognizes Memorial Day, Virtually Colors With Kids — “With Memorial Day approaching, Deputy Smith talks about the role and responsibilities of the U.S. military and what it means to be a service member.” [Facebook]

Police Recognize Peace Officer Memorial Day — “This past Friday was Peace Officer Memorial Day. Sgt. Harrington took a quiet moment alone at the Alexandria Police Fallen Officers Memorial to record a message. We remember and honor all those across the country that have died in the line of duty.” [Twitter]

Trinity United Methodist Church Collecting Food Today — “Reminder that Trinity United Methodist Church will be collecting non-perishable goods in our parking lot each Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. near the food trucks. The food is delivered to Rising Hope United Methodist Church to support their food pantry for the homeless and low-income families in this time of need.” [Rising Hope UMC]

United Community Pantry Sees 500% Increase Since February — “This mobile food distribution program is critical to help our neighbors in need – many of whom simply cannot reach us at our food pantry.” [Zebra]

Dog-Themed Del Ray T-Shirt Helps Restaurants — “All sales of the $25 t-shirt which are available in purple and green are going toward the employee funds at Del Ray restaurants.” [Zebra]

New Job: Direct Response Copywriter — “We’re looking for Copywriters of all experience levels, be it 2 years of experience or 30; if you can write compelling copy that can inspire anyone to do anything, this role is for you.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

City Helps World Central Kitchen Give Out 1,250 Meals — “On May 14, City staff and volunteers distributed 1,250 hot meals to 350 families in the third food distribution organized in Alexandria by World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit food distribution organization founded by chef José Andrés. Local nonprofit ALIVE! also distributed 800 pounds of food at the event. This food distribution will take place again at Casa Chirilagua on May 21 and Ramsay Elementary School on May 28.” [City of Alexandria]

10,000 Maniacs Show at The Birchmere Rescheduled to November — “his show has been RESCHEDULED AGAIN, now for Friday November 20, 2020! All 3/20/20 & 5/31/20 tickets will be honored on the new date. Refunds available through Ticketmaster if you cannot attend the new date. If you purchased at The Birchmere Box Office, please hold on to your tickets until we reopen. Tickets for 11/20/20 on sale now!” [Birchmere]

Old Town Books Raising Funds to Stay Afloat — “I never thought I would be turning to crowd funding to keep the store open. This fundraiser is to cover payroll, rent, and fixed costs during the shut down. It will keep the store open through the next very uncertain year while we adapt our business model to continue operating through the COVID-19 outbreak. I want Old Town Books to be here when the clouds part, and I hope you do, too.” [GoFundMe]

Here’s the Latest from the Old Town Boutique District — “The Old Town Boutique District kindly asks for you to continue to hold hands with us and support us little guys any way that you can. We love our loyal shop local community and we still need you.” [OTBD]

Tall Ship Providence Hosting Virtual Tours on Tuesdays — “Every week, historic re-enactors talk about Providence, life aboard the ship and much more in a series of videos, online discussion and other virtual features.” [Alexandria Living]

North Potomac Yard Virtual Community Meeting at 7 p.m. — “The Virginia Tech Foundation and JBG SMITH will host a virtual community meeting to provide information regarding transportation, open space, sustainability and community benefits.” [City of Alexandria]

Sixth Grader Leaves Colorful Rocks in Neighborhood — “Sophie Richardson, a 6th grade student at St. Stephens/St. Agnes School, is brightening up the Vauxcleuse neighborhood near Inova Alexandria Hospital with rocks painted with uplifting messages for her neighbors to find.” [Gazette]

Virtue Feed and Grain Donates Meals to D.C. Nonprofit — “We are grateful for the partnership & hope to continue giving back to our community.” [Facebook]

Pedego Electric Bikes Gets Colorful Shipment of Helmets — “We just received a shipment of new Thousand helmets! Refilling some favorites and adding a few new awesome colors. Come and get them while they last!” [Facebook]

The Art League is Offering Online Courses — “Check out our new online classes to help keep you connected to each other and your creativity. Connect to online classes using Zoom, a video-conferencing platform that is simple and easy to use. And stay in touch with your classmates and teacher with Google classroom.” [Art League]

New Job: Alexandria Health Department Communications Officer — “The AHD Communications Officer is a key member of AHD’s Population Health team comprised of the Population Health Manager, Health Planner, and HIV/AIDS Prevention Coordinator. The Communications Officer reports directly to the Population Health Manager, is AHD’s principal communications subject matter expert, and provides oversight of AHD’s internal and external communications.” [Indeed]

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Kate Garvey, Director of the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services, says COVID-19 has helped lay bare existing islands of food insecurity in the city.

As her department has worked extensively with community partners like ALIVE! for food distribution, Garvey said the pandemic emphasizes a growing need.

“We have a sense of urgency and have to look at the immediate need,” Garvey said, “[but] the disproportionate impact shows us the severity of the problem and how we have to look at this going forward.”

Garvey said programs like support for housing and food assistance aren’t isolated, but inter-dependent.

“You never expect something of this nature, but there are things we can learn from it and how vulnerable so many people are,” Garvey said. “The same individuals are so negatively impacted. It’s not separate projects… food, rent, etc. It’s all together to support families across Alexandria.”

Garvey was one of three department heads who put forward plans earlier this week to address dire community needs like rent assistance and helping local businesses stay afloat.

The Food Security Plan proposed by the Department of Community and Human Services includes allocating $532,325 in CARES act funding — which must be used directly on coronavirus response programs — on ensuring those in areas hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic have access to food and essential supplies.

Programs include:

  • Large scale food distributions (2 per month): 8,000 people served, the program costs $56,000 monthly
  • Pop-up distributions in impacted neighborhoods/apartment complexes: 1000 people served monthly, the program costs $7,000
  • World Central Kitchen service weekly: 1000 served monthly, 250 per week, with a program cost of $7,000 monthly
  • Support to 13 food pantries: supports 1,500 households monthly and the program costs $14,000
  • Home delivery of 14 frozen meals for self-isolating older adults: 100 people served weekly with a program cost of $26,000 monthly
  • Home delivery to individuals and families in ARHA, AHDC housing and non-profit programs: 1,125 people served monthly, the program costs $12,625
  • Serving households under quarantine: 25 households served and 20 in reserve with a program cost of $3,700 monthly
  • Grocery gift card distribution: 1,000 families with $400 per family for a cost of $400,000 monthly

Garvey said the gift card distribution, by far the largest cost in the plan, is essential as one that allows families in need to give them the independence to prioritize and assess their own needs.

World Central Kitchen’s new program runs every Thursday, alternating between the parking lot at Casa Chirilagua (4109 Mount Vernon Avenue) and William Ramsay Elementary School (5700 Sanger Avenue). There, the Department of Community and Human Services and community partners like ALIVE! to distribute hot meals and groceries for future meals.

“With these large scale food distributions, we’re able to reach a lot of people, but we want to make sure we’re not making people come out(side) too much,” Garvey said. “ALIVE! has really created an atmosphere where there is a lot of focus on health practices. We’re minimizing the health risk.”

In general, Garvey was effusive in praise for non-profits around Alexandria and other community partners who have stepped up to help during the pandemic.

“It’s amazing how generous residents have been and in donating things,” she said. “It’s really taking all of us to respond and we’re lucky how generous and thoughtful people have been.”

Photo via ALIVE!/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Arlandria in Crisis Over COVID-19 Spread — “Azucena Esquival lives in a cramped apartment in the Arlandria neighborhood of Alexandria, where the problem of community spread isn’t just theoretical. The pandemic is in her household. Earlier this month, she tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Another adult in her household paid $300 to get a test, which was also positive. They are living with two people who have not been tested. None of them are currently working, and they have no source of income.” [Gazette]

Alexandria Unemployment Claims Spike — “As of the Times’ print deadline, Alexandria residents had filed 10,609 initial unemployment claims, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. Initial claims began pouring in throughout mid-March, climbing from 33 the week of March 14 to 797 the week of March 21.” [Alex Times]

Senior Shoppers Surprised with $100 Cash Visa Cards at Alexandria Safeway — “Shoppers at the Safeway in Alexandria on King Street were surprised this morning with $100 gift cards at checkout courtesy of PenFed Credit Union. In all, there were 100 cards disbursed to customers in addition to goodie bags containing face masks and hand sanitizers.” [Zebra]

‘The Dog Park’ Having Anniversary Sale — “10 years ago on May 15th, The Dog Park opened it’s doors! We had a 10 day celebration planned but due to the ongoing crisis we decided to postpone the event until our customers feel more comfortable leaving their homes. However we can still celebrate.🐾 On Friday, May 15th we will be having an Anniversary Sale. EVERYTHING (with the exception of can/kibble) is 10% OFF to honor our anniversary.” [Facebook]

Teacher Does Extra to Help Student Online — “Virtual High Five! Ms. Hall congratulates one of her kindergarten students during a 1:1 zoom session. Ms. Hall noticed during their synchronous math class yesterday that this student was struggling with a concept and scheduled an extra 1:1 zoom session to work through it.” [Facebook]

Here’s How to Thank Hospital Heroes — “We have been grateful for the outpouring of support our community has provided our healthcare heroes! We are sharing notes of gratitude sent for #InovaHeroes. If you would like to send a message to an Inova team member, send an email to…” [Facebook]

Pork Barrel BBQ Buys Fancy New Red Tent — “We have UPGRADED to a bigger and better tent! Pick up all your orders for Pork Barrel BBQ, Holy Cow Del Ray and The Sushi Bar at the BIG RED TENT from here on out!” [Facebook]

Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Auctions Gift Cards to Local Restaurants — “Click Below & Bid! And then…order some takeout for dinner to support THEM in this time of COVID (https://events.handbid.com/…/scholarship-fund-of-alex…/items). ALERT: Some Gift Cards are ALREADY SOLD through our Buy-it-Now Option. Get Bidding before it’s too late.” [Facebook]

Carpenter’s Shelter Honors Volunteer of the Week — “Our Volunteer of the Week, Angela of DC Metro Church, truly has a heart for the children of the shelter. For over 4 years, she participated weekly in Children’s Hour at the shelter, a program in which volunteers interacted with and entertained kids in shelter for an hour on weekday evenings. After the weekends, the children would be jumping out of their seats in anticipation of children’s hour with Angela every Monday! Even now, with our children’s hour program suspended due to COVID-19, she donates to help our families currently housed in a hotel. Thank you Angela for your huge heart and years of service to our families.” [Facebook]

New Job: WMATA Assistant Superintendent — “This is technical management, supervisory and administrative building and support equipment maintenance work. Employee in this job is responsible for assisting in the planning, scheduling, inspecting, managing, coordinating and establishing work priorities for major Plant Maintenance activities.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Mayor Hosting Weekly Virtual Town Hall Tonight — “Thursday evening (May 14th) beginning at 8 PM, I will be hosting another virtual Living Room Town Hall Meeting. ‬‪We will discuss the City’s on-going response to the COVID-19 outbreak and address any questions you might have. ‬‪Please post questions and join us Thursday night!‬” [Facebook]

Volunteer Alexandria Needs Household Donations — “Can you donate some canned goods, diapers, or kitty litter? During COVID-19, there is a great need for a variety of goods — many of which you may have around the house or be able to pick up in your next shopping trip.” [Facebook]

Alexandria City Public Schools Not Making Staff Reductions — “While these budget reductions will impact some of our employees’ take-home salary, we are fortunate to not be required to implement a reduction in our workforce at this time. It is important that we understand the budget reduction recommendations that were presented last week may potentially increase in the near future if we do not see an uptick in our economy and revitalization of dollars appropriated to ACPS from city, local, state, and federal funding sources.” [ACPS]

Congressman Beyer Calls President ‘Compulsive Liar’ — “This isn’t complicated. Dr. Fauci is a highly decorated scientist and doctor, a respected medical expert who spent his life leading American efforts to fight infectious diseases. Trump is a compulsive liar who suggested we could fight COVID-19 by injecting people with bleach.” [Twitter]

Scholarship Fund Auctioning Guitar Signed by ‘Collective Soul’ — “Along the way during our Virtual Auction to Support Scholarships we’ll be highlighting some of the amazing and unique donations we received this year. CHECK OUT this QUINTESSENTIALLY ’90s Fender Electric Guitar Signed by COLLECTIVE SOUL. Dude, rock on, this is some quality ’90s memorabilia here…” [Facebook]

Virginia Theological Seminary Hosting Virtual Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. — “Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of our 197th Commencement Ceremony, which will be broadcast on our website, here on Facebook, and on YouTube at 10:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow, May 14. Join us in honoring the Class of 2020!” [Facebook]

‘Mind The Mat’ Hosting Virtual Prenatal Pilates Today at 6 p.m. — “No experience necessary! Start at any stage of your pregnancy. Our prenatal program is designed for pregnancy not modified for it. This course was developed by Megan Brown, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Pilates Instructor and mother of two.” [Facebook]

Buskey Hard Cider Offers Delivery in Alexandria — “Orders for the NOVA Zone run between Ruther Glen, up I-95 up to Arlington and out to Winchester. It’s a big territory! Delivery schedule for this week: start delivering on Friday, and continue subsequent days based on orders! Orders must be placed by 11:59pm on Thursday night.” [Buskey Cider]

Alexandria Library Offers Remote Academic Journal Access — “JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization established with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.” [Zebra]

New Job: Digital Communications Manager — “The ideal candidate has a mix of technical and creative acumen with the ability to think critically and strategically about communications while helping our association move forward with modern communications techniques.” [Indeed]

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ALIVE! gave out 90,000 pounds of food to hungry Alexandrians in the month of April, and will conduct it’s next mass food distribution on Saturday, May 30.

“That’s three times our monthly average,” ALIVE! Executive Director Jennifer Ayers told ALXnow.

ALIVE! is also distributing food for COVID-19 positive residents.

“For people who are in mandated quarantine who test positive for COVID and are food insecure, we’re supplying food for them,” Ayers said. “Like today, we provided food for the Alexandria Health Department to deliver to 80 individuals who are COVID positive.”

The “truck-to-trunk” food distribution will be held at ALIVE! from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the parking lots of Cora Kelly School and John Adams Elementary School. People who walk to the site are asked to observe social distancing.

ALIVE!, which gave out 13,000 pounds of food at its distribution on April 27, is also giving food to more than 500 individuals stuck at home, as opposed to an average of about 200 families before the crisis. Additionally, the nonprofit is delivering meals to more than 20 homeless individuals being housed in hotels in the city.

Throughout the month, $1 will be donated to ALIVE! with every purchase of a reusable $2.50 community bag at the Giant Food at 3131 Duke Street.

ALIVE! has received a lot from the community since the pandemic struck, including $145,611 from 491 donors in the Spring2ACTion campaign on April 15, and, most recently, $7753.40 from Alexandria Little League. Ayers said that now is the time to donate to the nonprofit.

“People are giving right now, and that’s important,” Ayers said.

Essential Program – Home-Delivered Frozen Meal Program for City Residents 60+ – Alexandria has set up a new…

Posted by ALIVE on Friday, May 8, 2020

Photo via Alive!/Facebook

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Even though Alexandria Little Leaguers won’t be knocking the covers off baseballs this season, their organization has raised $15,850 so that local nonprofits can provide emergency food assistance in the city.

Alexandria Little League raised the money in a GoFundMe campaign, and funds were divided between ALIVE! and Feed The Fight Alexandria, which gives food to local hospitals. The organization also received some help from a local church.

Del Ray United Methodist Church partnered with us by matching the second $5000 with their own check for $5000. Which brought us to the total of $15,500 which we distributed over the weekend,” Alexandria Little League president Sherry Reilly told ALXnow.

Jennifer Ayers, the executive director of ALIVE! spoke to ALXnow as she held a check for $7753.40, which was awarded on Giving Tuesday on May 5. ALIVE! did not participate in Giving Tuesday because it received more than $145,000 in the Spring2ACTion fundraiser on April 15, and Ayers said she appreciated the support.

“That’s a really big donation for us,” Ayers said. “People are giving right now, and that’s important.”

Photo via Alexandria Little League/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Northam Says Northern Virginia Will Ease Restrictions More Slowly — “Northam said that more information about ‘how this will work’ for Northern Virginia localities will be released on Wednesday.” [Reston Now]

Metro Phased Reopening Plan Includes Face Mask Requirement for Riders — “In the first phase, trains will run every 20 minutes and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule. Service will ramp up slowly from there. All riders will need to wear masks to board a bus or train in the WMATA system. (Right now, that’s just a recommendation and request, according to Metro’s website.)” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Salon Owner Cautions Against Reopening — “My colleagues and I think the Governor’s plan to allow salons to open is dangerous and shortsighted. It’s also worth mentioning that it seems the overwhelming majority with opposite opinion aren’t the professionals who have to do this work, based on the engagements I’ve had and observed in the comments section of the Governor’s Live streams. While that may not be an effective means of data collection, I think it speaks volumes– we are being excluded from the conversation about our own industries and our own lives.” [Alexandria Living]

DASH Adds Digital Displays for Riders at Bus Stops — “Thanks to the I-395 Commuter Choice funding, DASH is adding new digital displays to stops on the AT1 and AT9 to improve riders’ experience during essential travel. These signs display real time bus arrival information and helpful alerts.” [Facebook]

Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Online Auction Open Until May 30 — “We have received MORE THAN 150 Fantastic Auction Items, Expieriences, Packages, Gift Cards and One-of-A-Kind Opportunities from some amazing and generous local donors. This VIRTUAL SILENT Auction will help make up for our Canceled Spring Benefit Gala. ALL Proceeds Go to Helping Send T.C. Williams High School students with financial need to College.” [Facebook]

The Bishop Ireton High School Food Drive is on May 15 — “Spread the word! Looking forward to seeing you, even if for only a few minutes, socially distant. Thank you in advance!” [Facebook]

The Birchmere Reopening in June Schedules Performances in June — The upcoming schedule of performances includes Gaelic Storm, Steve Earl & The Dukes, and actor Kevin Bacon and his brother. [Facebook]

New Job: Digital Content Manager — “The Manager, Digital Content is responsible for the management and creation of content on AASLD’s (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases) primary website and its related sites. This position will work with the Director, Digital Media to ensure AASLD’s websites are up-to-date, provide solid user experiences and follow best practices.” [Indeed]

Zebra Newspaper to Resume Printing in June — “The printing press rolls for us again in June, with your papers arriving around town and online June 8, 2020. But, the times, they are a-changin’ in terms of our distribution. We are adding more newspaper boxes to neighborhoods. If you want a box somewhere in particular, please let me know directly. You will start seeing them delivered in about 14 days.” [Zebra]

Road Paving Begins on Mount Vernon Avenue — “Mount Vernon Avenue will be under paving reconstruction for two weeks starting May 13, 2020.” [Zebra]

Taste of Del Ray, Other Community Events Canceled — “Taste of Del Ray and Well Ray in June as well as the Del Ray Music Festival will not happen in 2020. A decision on October’s Art on the Avenue, one of Del Ray’s largest events, has not been made. Art on the Avenue typically draws 75,000 people.” [Patch]

Former Councilman Fannon Named Alexandria Living Legend — “I have always been proud of Alexandria and was very fortunate to be born in such a great community… I was raised to be civic minded and to always contribute and give back to our fellow citizens.” [Gazette]

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As the Arlandria community struggles with the highest infection rate in Alexandria, Casa Chirilagua is asking for donations to help low-income families.

The city’s Hispanic population is largely located in Arlandria and leads with positive cases at 533 and four reported deaths.

“Our Latino community members are suffering disproportionately with COVID-19,” Casa Chirilagua said in an email. “Casa Chirilagua in Del Ray is a hub of support for the community. Their needs are great, but not anything we can’t address with concerted action.”

Donors are being asked to drop off donated items at 2610 Terrett Avenue and at Casa Chirilagua at 4109 Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray by this Thursday at noon.

The Christian nonprofit located in Arlandria works with more than 120 families living below the poverty line, and so far the nonprofit has also paid more than $25,000 in rent and utilities for families impacted by COVID-19. At this time, the 22305 ZIP code, which includes the Arlandria, Potomac Yard and Potomac West neighborhoods, had the largest number of reported cases at 360, with an estimated population of 16,095 residents.

Additionally, last Friday, local groups demanded that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam authorize supplying 10,000 testing kits to the Arlandria area, and provide housing for poor COVID-positive patients living in jam-packed housing. It is not clear how many people have recovered from the virus, and an accurate count on the number of cases is difficult to maintain in Alexandria since the highest infection rates are in the city’s poorest areas.

Casa Chirilagua also conducts a donation drive from 1-4 p.m. on Thursdays and a weekly food distribution every Thursday at 5 p.m.

Here is a list of what they are looking for:

The most commonly needed household items for families in the community are the following:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Body Soap
  • Dish Soap
  • Cleaning Supplies such as Windex and All-Purpose Spray Cleaners
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Dental Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Diapers
  • Masks
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels

The following food items are much needed in the community:

  • Uncooked beans (black/pinto)
  • Instant coffee
  • Oil (canola, olive)
  • Uncooked pasta
  • Canned tuna/chicken
  • Canned beans (black/pinto)
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Canned soups
  • Cereals
  • Baby food
  • Granola bars
  • Maseca (corn flour)
  • Packaged flour tortillas
  • Packaged corn tortillas
  • Baby formula
  • Apple Sauce
  • Mayonnaise/Mustard

Staff photo by James Cullum

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