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GoFundMe for Mya Hall, third from left (image via GoFundMe)

Mya Hall, a manager at Matt & Tony’s All Day Kitchen + Bar in Del Ray (1501 Mt Vernon Avenue) was killed Saturday morning in a single-vehicle crash on I-70 in Baltimore.

Hall, 28, leaves behind one son. Matt Sloan, owner of Matt & Tony’s, launched a GoFundMe to support Hall’s family. Sloan described Hall as a beloved friend who brightened everyone’s day with her smile and humor:

We are heartbroken after losing a beloved friend, Mya Hall. A talented manager at Matt and Tony’s in Alexandria, she brightened everyone’s day with her smile and her sense of humor.

We are asking for support to help her family, including her son, through this difficult time. We will miss you, Mya!

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The Alexandria Fire Department is running its annual fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) starting next week.

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.


One month after Nasrat Ahmad Yar’s murder in D.C., the family said the GoFundMe has helped them stay in their home.

Yar worked as an interpreter for U.S. Army Special Forces in Afghanistan before moving to the United States with his family after the collapse of the Afghan government in 2021. Yar lived in Alexandria and worked as a tow truck driver and rideshare driver to support his family.

While working as a rideshare driver for Lyft in D.C. on Monday, July 3, Yar was shot and killed. Surveillance video shows four people running from the scene, but no arrests have been announced.

In an update posted yesterday on the GoFundMe, organizer Jeramie Malone said the family was behind on their rent when Nasrat was killed, and the fundraiser has kept his widow and children from being evicted and the remaining funds are being put into a trust for the family.

According to Malone:

Thank you all for continued support for Nasrat’s family. Because of your kind donations, the Ahmad Yars have been able to stay in their home. The night he was killed, just over a month ago, Nasrat was behind on his rent because he had given so much of his money away to friends and family in need. Thanks to all of you, Nasrat’s wife and children do not need to worry about a roof over their heads.

We are also in the process of having the donor funds put into a trust for Nasrat’s wife and kids. Nasrat’s dream was to see his precious children grow up safe, happy, and healthy here in the US. Nasrat will not be here to see his kids grow up and to celebrate their many successes. He was robbed of the opportunity to share the many beautiful experiences they will have. Nasrat’s family almost lost their opportunity to fulfill his dreams for them, but your generosity has given them another chance. Thank you for the kindness that shows that there are so many good people here.

Image via Facebook

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The Alexandria City High School marquee (staff photo by James Cullum)

A grassroots social media page at Alexandria City High School, run by students and teachers, is looking for some funding to help make better content for the school.

Alexandria City High School teacher Gabriel Elias was the example in a Washington Post story and a White House briefing in 2020 of teachers adapting to virtual classrooms and connecting with students digitally. Since then, Elias has been working with a volunteer team of students and teachers to make a positive social media hub at the school. Now he’s looking for some help to take the project to the next level.

“Over the past years, I’ve gone from teaching with social media to planning, shooting, editing, and posting for a school of over 4,000,” Elias, a teacher at the school’s International Academy, wrote. “I teach full-time, but I run the successful social media team. The impact of our positive content on struggling students, concerned parents, potential community partners, and inspired teachers is massive. I want to step it up next year!”

The channel includes testimonials from students, coverage of events at the school and more. The Instagram page has roughly 3,233 followers.

So far, the students and teachers have mostly been using personal cellphones since they don’t have access to cameras that record well indoors. Elias is looking for funds to help give the students access to top-of-the-line camera kits, microphones and more to help promote activities and events at the school.

The Donors Choose page — a fundraising platform for teachers — says the goal is $2,922 for better equipment by Nov. 14.

“By last year’s end, we were posting (we are a team of students and teachers– all volunteer) at least ten video segments a week including sports events, clubs like Black Student Union, ceremonies, interviews on safety, and much more,” Elias wrote. “Next year will be even more: People expect a video for everything!”

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Good Wednesday morning, Alexandria!

☀️ Today’s weather: Sunny, with a high near 94. Light and variable wind becoming southwest 5 to 8 mph in the morning. At night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. South wind around 7 mph.

🚨 You need to know

A GoFundMe supporting the family of Nasrat Ahmad Yar, a 31-year-old Alexandria resident and father of four who was murdered in D.C., has raised $488,760.

Yar worked with U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan as an interpreter and fled the country with his family after the Taliban took over. Yar worked as a Lyft driver and tow truck driver to support his wife and four children, from 15 months to 13 years. The GoFundMe said the funds go to the family to cover their basic living expenses and essential needs.

Hundreds attended Yar’s funeral in Fredericksburg on Saturday, including Army officers Yar served with, the Washington Post reported.

D.C. police said Yar was shot in the stomach and video footage near the scene showed four young people running through an alley after the shooting. One of them said “You killed him,” and another responded, “He was reaching bro.” The case remains under investigation.

Image via Facebook

📈 Tuesday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Jul 11, 2023.

  1. Notes: Fives Guys HQ moving to Alexandria this month (3547 views)
  2. Unhappy Amtrak passengers piling up in Alexandria after D.C. derailment (2115 views)
  3. Man steals trash bag full of items from CVS near Potomac Yard (796 views)
  4. Alexandria ranked as a top ten American city by travel magazine, but pushed down by a Tennessee city (673 views)

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.

  • No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.

Good Friday morning, Alexandria!

🌥 Today’s weather: Cloudy. Mild. High of 69 and low of 51.
🌥 Tomorrow: Cloudy. Mild. High of 72 and low of 52. Sunrise at 6:05 am and sunset at 8:04 pm.

🚨 You need to know

More gunfire was reported near the Braddock Road Metro station yesterday afternoon, prompting the Alexandria Police Department to tweet that it’s “determined” to solve recent crime issues.

“APD has taken action by installing cameras and increasing police presence in the area to ensure everyone’s safety,” APD tweeted. “No one has been hurt, but we’re determined to prevent any potential harm by keeping a police presence there until we resolve this violence.”

Thursday’s incident occurred in the same block as a number of recent shootings. The city is experiencing a crime surge, and police are fighting it by increasing patrols in high-crime areas, installing mobile camera units and hosting community events.

📈 Thursday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for May 4, 2023.

  1. JUST IN: Police investigating shots fired incident near Braddock Road Metro station (1834 views)
  2. Fundraiser established for family of the ACHS student who died this week (1203 views)
  3. Notes: Alexandria driver killed in hit-and-run in D.C. | ALXnow (727 views)
  4. JUST IN: Melanie Kay-Wyatt announced as Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent (516 views)

🗞 Other local coverage

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today and this weekend in Alexandria, from our event calendar.


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:

  1. Move2Learn | Powered by Runningbrooke raised $170,400 from 174 donors
  2. Casa Chirilagua raised $167,994.79 from 327 donors
  3. Carpenter’s Shelter raised $91,938.53 from 289 donors
  4. Art League raised $83,214.50 from 205 donors
  5. The Alexandria Harmonizers raised $77,674 from 319 donors
  6. ALIVE! raised $74,756 from 423 donors
  7. Alexandria Tutoring Consortium raised $72,952 from 206 donors
  8. Alexandria Seaport Foundation raised $66,602 from 101 donors
  9. Friends of Guest House raised $62,833 from 141 donors
  10. Together We Bake raised $62,683 from 138 donors

Image via Running Brooke/Facebook

Fibre space at 1319 Prince Street

A number of Alexandria businesses are donating a percentage of proceeds to local charities and nonprofits for this Wednesday’s Spring2ACTion fundraiser.

ACT for Alexandria’s goal this year is to raise $2.5 million from 10,000 donors for 185 participating nonprofits and charities.

Today, Piece Out Del Ray (2419 Mount Vernon Avenue) will conduct a bingo night from 7 to 9 p.m., with proceeds from $10 tickets benefiting Volunteer Alexandria.

“Come out for a fun night of BINGO and beer from Two Roads Brewing,” Piece Out Del Ray posted. “$5 drafts, food specials, beer swag and fun prizes. We will play 8 rounds of Bingo, so you have plenty of chances to win… Doors open at 5, and the first ball drops at 7.”

fibre space (1319 Prince Street) is extending its sample sale through Wednesday, and all proceeds will benefit Friends of Guest House, a nonprofit that helps women reenter society after prison.

“We do this once a year and it’s become a big hit since people always want to buy our shop samples and they aren’t usually for sale,” owner Danielle Romanetti told ALXnow.

Homegrown Restaurant Group has participated in the fundraiser since it began 13 years ago. Its six Alexandria restaurants will donate 10% of all sales to a number of charities and nonprofits.

“The HomeGrown Restaurant Group has been supporting ACT for Alexandria since the first year when John Porter strong-armed us into participating,” HRG co-owner “Mango” Mike Anderson told ALXnow. “Which has been the right move for us in supporting Alexandria. We encourage all Alexandrians to get on board this year and let’s make it a record year for ACT for Alexandria.”

HRG will donate 10% to from these locations to the following organizations:

Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap (401 E. Braddock Road) is also donating 15% of its proceeds Wednesday to AWLA.

Last year, ACT for Alexandria raised $2.65 million from 7,700 donors for 172 nonprofits. The top recipients last year were RunningBrooke, which took in $157,000 from 197 donors, Casa Chirilagua with $114,000 from 313 donors and Friends of Guest House with $112,000 from 180 donors.

Spring2ACTion officially starts at midnight on Wednesday (April 26).


The biggest single-day fundraiser for Alexandria nonprofits  is around the corner, and early giving starts today.

ACT for Alexandria’s annual Spring2ACTion fundraiser is on April 26, and this year’s goal is to raise $2.5 million from 10,000 donors.

“I know our community will once again rise to the challenge to make sure all of our neighbors thrive,” said Heather Peeler, president and CEO of ACT for Alexandria (ACT). “Spring2ACTion is an opportunity for all Alexandrians to come together and support the nonprofits that are essential to our city.”

Nearly $19 million has been raised since the fundraiser was launched 13 years ago. There are 185 nonprofits participating this year, an increase of 13 organizations.

“We anticipate another incredible year where generous Alexandrians will come together and support the organizations that serve our community in the best of times and during challenging times,” Peeler said.

A number of nonprofits and residents are still struggling to recover from the pandemic, according to ACT for Alexandria.

Donors can also give to the Alexandria Resilience Fund, which helps families facing financial difficulties from the pandemic. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 467 households that have received a writ of eviction — a 372% increase compared to 2022.

“Now that eviction moratoriums and state rent relief programs have ended, low-income families have few options for managing the region’s high cost of living,” ACT for Alexandria said in a release.

Last year, ACT for Alexandria raised $2.65 million from 7,700 donors for 172 nonprofits. The top recipients last year were RunningBrooke, which took in $157,000 from 197 donors, Casa Chirilagua with $114,000 from 313 donors and Friends of Guest House with $112,000 from 180 donors.

Via Running Brooke/Facebook

Mason Social bartender James Lee (image via GoFundMe)

A GoFundMe campaign for James Lee, a bartender at Mason Social, has raised $58,653 to help him recover from being shot multiple times in an attempted carjacking.

Zebra reported last week that Lee was reportedly approached by two men while he was stopping for gas on Pennsylvania Avenue. The men allegedly drew their guns and told him to give up his car. When he got in the car and fled, he was shot seven times. He was able to get away and called 911 before passing out from his injuries.

According to the GoFundMe:

James, by the grace of God, survived, and continues to fight for a full recovery. He has endured three surgeries including one when a stint was put in his spine. He has a long, hard road to recovery and will be unable to work for the foreseeable future. His recovery could be anywhere from 6 months to a year.

James has a one year old son and a girlfriend who both mean the world to him. Medical and household expenses are mounting up. To help James support his family through this difficult time we are establishing a Go Fund Me page. We appreciate any contribution you can make towards assisting in his recovery after this senseless act of violence.

As of Friday afternoon, the GoFundMe has raised $58,653 of the $75,000 goal.


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