Newsletter

There are a number of available volunteer opportunities in Alexandria this summer.

“We need hundreds of people per week,” Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow. “More people are in need now than ever.”

Here’s Volunteer Alexandria’s list of new and upcoming opportunities.

  • Help Provide Meals to Children — “Alexandria City Public School (ACPS) will provide two days worth of breakfast and lunch meals with a snack pack free for any enrolled ACPS student on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Friday distribution will include a meal(s) for Saturday. Volunteers will meet at various schools to assist with packing boxes and loading buses with boxed meals. Then, volunteers will ride the bus along to distribute the meals while on site at a few ACPS mobile pop-up locations. Click on each location to sign up: Francis C. Hammond Middle School, Alexandria City High School, or Jefferson Houston School.”
  • Alexandria Dept. of Community and Human Services Volunteer Guardian — “Looking for individuals who can assure the well-being of an
    incapacitated Alexandrian living in an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Facility. Volunteer Guardians are appointed by the Court to make decisions for older Alexandria residents who have lost the capacity to understand the consequences of their decisions. The volunteer will visit the resident monthly and follow the person’s wishes as much as possible. To express interest, click HERE.”
  • Alexandria Families for Safer Streets Executive Assistant to Board of Directors — “The agency is seeking an executive assistant to help coordinate a diverse group of tasks necessary to keep us on track and moving forward. Someone with office manager skills would be the ideal candidate. To learn more click HERE.
  • ALIVE! — “Volunteers are needed to assist with multiple programs relating to their Food Program, ALIVE! House, and Alexandria Eviction Prevention Partnership Program will distribute food at Mobile Pop-ups and Truck to Trunk events, etc. Click HERE to learn about each opportunity and to register.”
  • The Alzheimer’s Association and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s –Saturday, September 25 (National Harbor) and Saturday, October 9, 2021, on the National Mall, Washington, DC. Volunteers are needed on the day of the events to help with set up, sign placement, information services, promise flower distribution, cheerleaders, and route monitors. To learn more and register, click HERE for September 25 and click HERE for October 9.
  • Create COVID-19 Care Packages with the Salvation Army — “We are collecting items for seniors and vulnerable populations. You can help by creating care packages from the security of your own home and safely dropping items at our locations. To express interest, click HERE.
  • Long Term Client Intake Case Workers — “Provide financial and logistical assistance to those in need of a Virginia state ID, needed to access housing, food assistance, jobs and more. While helping clients get IDs we also register them to vote and help others restore their voting rights. To register, click HERE.
  • On-Call Event Photographer — “Use your photography skills to help document the incredible work of our volunteers. Flexible schedule. Perfect for a
    student looking to build their portfolio or an experienced photographer looking for a service opportunity. Must provide digital photographs (and all rights to photographs) to @VolunteerAlex for use in digital and print promotions. Person must provide their own camera equipment and transportation. To express interest, click HERE.”
  • World Culture Food Festival on Saturday, July 31 – “Volunteers needed for the Around The World Cultural Food Festival. Shifts are in 4-hour and 8-hour segments. These shifts may be before, during, or after the festival. Each volunteer will receive food tickets. Upon request, students can also receive service hours for volunteering in the festival. To sign up, click HERE.”
  • Teacher at Friends of Guest House – “Dedicated volunteers needed to teach various subjects and skills classes to women. The ideal volunteer will be patient and interested in the success of these women as they further their knowledge. Volunteers are also needed to assist with vaccination pods and instruct substance abuse, addiction, and recovery classes. To register and learn more click HERE.”
  • Friendship Firehouse Street Festival — “Volunteers needed between 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on August 7 to assist with set up, visitor counts, greet, monitor tables and interact with guests. Ages 16 and above welcome, (skills needed: perseverance and a smile) fun for the whole family. To register, click HERE.
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Morning Notes

National search begins for new City Manager — “City Council has chosen the firm POLIHIRE to conduct a nationwide recruiting search. Members approved initial recruiting materials, including a recruitment brochure and timeline, during a closed executive session during the July 6 meeting.” [Patch]

Free food distribution this Saturday — “On Sat, July 17, @ALIVE4AlexVA will distribute food at 3 sites from 8:30-10:30am. Drive-up: Cora Kelly Elem School & NOVA-Alexandria (lot B-1). Walk-up: Ramsay Rec Center.” [Twitter]

Alexandrians biking in 211-mile charity ride — “Three residents from Alexandria will be among more than 6,000 riders participating in the 211-mile Pan-Mass Challenge on Aug. 7 and 8.” [Patch]

Today’s weather — “Sunshine and clouds mixed (during the day). High 93F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph… A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low 74F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Office manager — “Looking for someone proficient in word, office,Excel, and QuickBooks, to manage multifaceted Catering Company. Timely response to e-mails, seamless communications with 2 kitchens, as well as front of the house. Flexible hours, with potential for health benefits.” [Indeed]

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Sidewalk sale, via ALIVE!/Twitter

Alexandria non-profit ALIVE! took over a block of S. Payne Street this weekend for a sale that helped raise $4,000 for the program.

The sidewalk “yard sale” helped benefit residents of ALIVE! House and Friends of Guest House, two programs offering temporary shelter for women and families in need. The event featured sales on items like donated clothing, jewelry and games.

The sale also featured a partnership with Goodies, the frozen-custard and treats location that recently opened in an old ice house at 200 Commerce Street.

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The pandemic is over, right? Not for Volunteer Alexandria.

The nonprofit is still in the thick of finding volunteers to assist with food distributions, in addition to vaccination pod workers and guardians at assisted living facilities.

“We are actually seen a decrease in new people registering…only 114 people, which is really low for us,” Volunteer Alexandria’s Executive Director Marion Brunken told ALXnow. “We are still in need of people who are able to donate time to assist with food and meal distributions – ALIVE!, ACPS, and CASA Chirilagua all need people to assist.”

Brunken said there were 224 registered volunteers in April and 187 in March, and that she is now looking at a 30% shortage in school meal distribution volunteers.

“We need hundreds of people per week,” Brunken said. “Because, tutoring, mentoring — those are so important. Seniors always need food delivered, no matter if the pandemic is over or not. More people are in need now than ever. We still deliver food. We still have after school programs, and now we’re going to the summer camps, so we need to staff those as well.”

Register to volunteer here.

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The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria gave away a record $525,000 in college scholarships this year to 183 graduating seniors from T.C. Williams High School.

The nonprofit made the announcement this week after conducting a virtual ceremony to congratulate the awardees.

“We are so very proud of the next generation of nurses, doctors, business leaders, computer scientists, biologists, and professors who are heading off to college this fall thanks to the generosity of this community,”said SFA Executive Director Beth Lovain. “What I want to convey most is that in a year wrought with challenges, our Class of 2021 SFA Scholars have not only endured, but they have triumphed. They are truly ‘Generation Resilient.’ Through all of the adversity and through all of the challenges of COVID and 2021 they have remained poised and focused; their college dreams would not be pushed aside.”

SFA will also award $550,000 in renewal scholarships to help previous recipients from the 2018, 2019 and 2020 graduates who are now in college.

“I am so grateful and so honored to have been awarded a scholarship and I’m so proud of each and every one of you for being awarded one as well,” said Karam Burjas, T.C. senior class president. “I also want to give a big thank you to all of the donors and people who supported the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria this past year; without your gracious support none of this would’ve been possible.”

The nonprofit has awarded $17 million in scholarships since it was founded in 1986. Last year, SFA awarded $504,000 in scholarships to 181 graduating seniors, in addition to the $550,000 in renewal scholarships.

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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As part of the expansion of Catholic Charities USA’s (CCUSA) expansion into Carlyle, the non-profit is requesting permission to build a cafe and conference center on the ground floor of its 2050 Ballenger Avenue headquarters.

The expansion is part of an application headed to the Planning Commission on Tuesday, June 1. The space is owned by CCUSA and until recently was leased to a restaurant, but the non-profit said in its application that the restaurant closed in January.

“CCUSA proposes to repurpose the space formerly occupied by the restaurant and establish a conference center and cafe in its place,” CCUSA said. “The conference center will be occupied and managed by CCUSA, and will be utilized to host a variety of meetings and events including Board and membership meetings, trainings, and conferences.”

CCUSA said it will also rent out the conference center to third parties on a rental basis, which could help meet the heavy demand for conference space in the area.

“Over the years, CCUSA has received numerous inquiries regarding the availability of conference center space in its building,” the non-profit said. “Organizations that have expressed interest include other nonprofit organizations, community groups in Carlyle, and the Westin Hotel in instances where there has been overflow demand from its existing conference facility. The proposed ground floor conference center will help meet this demand.”

The cafe will offer sandwiches, desserts and beverages and operate as a workforce training program.

“The program will provide workforce training in the food and beverage and hospitality industries to underserved and vulnerable populations, such as the unemployed,” CCUSA said. “The space is well-suited for this use, given the existing kitchen facilities left in place by the former restaurant tenant.”

CCUSA said the commercial kitchen space could be used as an incubator for start-up food and beverage businesses for people from underprivileged communities.

Photo via Google Maps

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ACT for Alexandria raised $2.5 million for more than 156 local nonprofits during its 11th annual Spring2ACTion fundraiser — breaking the $2.45 million record set last year.

As of Thursday morning, 8,250 donors raised $2,509,133 for 156 nonprofits in Alexandria for the biggest one-day fundraiser in Alexandria. The final numbers are currently being tallied, and stragglers will be allowed to donate through the weekend.

“The Alexandria community has done it again,” ACT President and CEO Heather Peeler told ALXnow. “It’s remarkable and I can hardly even put words to just how much appreciation I have for the enormous generosity of this community.”

The top three recipients were RunningBrooke with $165,053.60, followed by Casa Chirilagua with $106,247.34 and Friends of Guest House with $100,715.

“What we achieve is only possible because there are 156 nonprofits who are reaching out to their board members and their constituents and getting their friends involved,” Peeler said. “We had over 70 local businesses participating who were engaging their customers and their employees. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort across the community.

Spring2ACTion has raised million for local nonprofits since its founding 11 years ago. All donations are tax deductible and irrevocable.

The Del Ray Business Association also raised $18,466.92 from 127 donors, soundly beating the Old Town Business Association in its fundraising challenge. OTBA raised $16,272 from seven donors.

Peeler is thankful of her staff of six, especially Brandi Yee, ACT for Alexandria’s chief program officer.

“Brandi has been with Spring2ACTion from the beginning, and this would not be possible if it weren’t for her,” Peeler said. “She has tremendous relationships with the nonprofit community and donors, and has so much insight in terms of what to do and how to make it happen.”

Spring2ACTion Top 10:

  1. RunningBrooke raised $165,053.60 from 198 donors
  2. Casa Chirilagua raised $106,247.34 from 369 donors
  3. Friends of Guest House raised $100,715 from 170 donors
  4. ALIVE! raised $98,649.24 from 471 donors
  5. Carpenter’s Shelter raised $73,050 from 300 donors
  6. Space of Her Own, Inc. (SOHO) raised $62,731.38 from 174 donors
  7. King Street Cats raised $62,465 from 495 donors
  8. Together We Bake raised $60,378 from 193 donors
  9. Center for Alexandria’s Children raised $51,040 from 134 donors
  10. Alexandria Tutoring Consortium raised $49,805 from 180 donors

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The biggest one-day fundraiser in Alexandria is here. Spring2ACTion started this morning and donors have until midnight to contribute to more than 150 nonprofits in the city.

Last year’s event raised $2.45 million from 8,453 donors, and the goal has been raised to $2.5 million. This year, event organizer ACT for Alexandria is looking for 10,000 donors.

Last year’s top recipients were:

Spring2ACTion has also gained the attention of 36 businesses in the the Del Ray Business Association and Old Town Business Association, which are competing to outraise each other.

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The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria has done it again. On Saturday, the nonprofit raised more than $450,000 for college-bound Alexandria students at its annual gala, which was held virtually for the second year in a row.

The gala was held this year at Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota, which also raffled off a $25,000 Toyota RAV-4 to T.C. Williams High School biology teacher Jennifer Darque. More than 400 dinners and deals were also auctioned off in the event, which was attended in-person by Mayor Justin Wilson and his wife, Alex Crawford-Batt, who received a SFA scholarship when she was a student.

“The need for scholarships in this community is great,” said SFA Director Beth Lovain. “Each year we have to turn kids away because we simply do not have the funds to help all of our students in need, especially this year with the economic fallout from COVID wreaking havoc on families that already struggle financially. But what I want to convey most is my overwhelming pride in our 2021 scholarship recipients. They are truly Generation Resilient. Through all of the adversity and through all of the challenges of COVID and 2020, they have remained poised and focused, their college dreams will not be pushed aside”

The Scholarship Fund awarded $525,000 in scholarships to 180 students from the class of 2021. Last year, SFA awarded $507,000  to 181 students, and the nonprofit has given $17 million to more than 5,000 students since its founding in 1986.

“I couldn’t be more grateful,” said T.C. senior Mikias Elias after receiving the $40,000 SFA Collis Warner Scholarship. “This scholarship brings great relief to my family knowing that college won’t be a financial struggle for us.”

Elias was recently accepted into the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.

“This scholarship will make my education at Virginia Tech possible,” he said. “On behalf of the Class of 2021 Scholarship awardees, I’d also like to say we are all relieved to know that we have financial support, and we are so proud that you believe in us.”

Photo via Scholarship Fund of Alexandria/Twitter

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Spring2ACTion, the biggest annual fundraiser for Alexandria nonprofits, is around the corner and organizers want to raise $2.5 million from 10,000 donors.

On April 28, donors will get a 24 hour chance to contribute to more than 150 nonprofits in the city.

Last year’s event raised $2.45 million from 8,453 donors, and the money was a lifeline during the beginning days of the pandemic.

Spring2ACTion is hosted by the foundation ACT for Alexandria, and has raised more than $12.5 million for local nonprofits since its founding 11 years ago. Last year alone, ACT for Alexandria distributed $5.7 million to support 131 Alexandria nonprofits.

“Last year was like a lifeline for our organizations,” Brandi Yee, ACT for Alexandria’s chief program officer, told ALXnow. “This is people’s livelihoods, and Spring2ACTion allowed organizations to pay salaries and help people through the pandemic. And it was used to help all these nonprofits pivot to meet the needs of their clients who are experiencing the effects of the pandemic.”

Last year’s top recipients were:

This year’s Spring2ACTion has also gained the attention of 36 businesses in the the Del Ray Business Association and Old Town Business Association, which are competing to outraise each other.

Photo via DASH/Facebook

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