Newsletter

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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Morning Notes

City Applies for Grant to Reimagine King Street — “The project runs from the six-way King Street-Braddock-Road-Quaker Lane intersection west past the Bradlee Shopping Center to Menonkin Drive, which is just before the I-395 interchange on King Street — about a 0.5 mile stretch of heavily-used roadway. The City Council granted permission for city staff to apply for the grant in March 2020, along with approval to apply for grants for the Duke Street Transitway and Landmark Transit Center. The King Street project would be funded in the 2026-27 fiscal year.” [Alexandria Living]

Pandemic Forces ‘Mom Made Foods’ to Close — “Mom Made Foods, an Alexandria-based company providing children’s frozen meals and snacks in stores and online, announced its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Patch]

ALIVE! Free Food Distribution is This Saturday — “On Sat, Mar 13, 8:30-10:30am, @ALIVE4AlexVA will distribute food in Cora Kelly Elem School parking lot and parking lot B-1 of NOVA-Alexandria Campus (map at alive-inc.org, if college closes due to weather, distribution cancelled).” [Twitter]

Police Chief Giving Community Update on Thursday — “COMMUNITY MEETING:: Chief Michael Brown heads to Del Ray on Thursday, March 11 to answer questions and listen to concerns from the community. We hope you can join us.” [Twitter]

Transportation and Environmental Services Chief Speaking at Regional Meeting — “You don’t want to miss our upcoming Roundtable’s ‘Smart Future’ panel, featuring Jennifer DeBruhl, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation; Chris Henry, Virginia Railway Express; Dennis Leach, Arlington County Department of Environmental Services; and Yon Lambert, Transportation & Environmental Services, City of Alexandria, Virginia. It is sure to be a lively discussion on the future of transportation around the Commonwealth! Jordan Pascale, WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio transportation reporter, to moderate. Tune in Wednesday, March 10th.” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny (during the day). High near 70F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph… Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 41F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Weekend Photographer — “Memory Makers is seeking entry level photographers to take pictures of the youth sports leagues that we service. Individuals interested in this position must be friendly, self-motivated, and dependable. This job is PERFECT for photographers that are looking to expand their professional experience.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Wants Federal Employees to Get Vaccine — “Our region has the largest concentration of federal employees. Many qualify as essential workers with local jurisdictions responsible for vaccinations. We’re asking the federal government to vaccinate feds via a separate federalized allocation to speed up vaccinations in the DMV.” [Twitter]

Alexandria Vaccinates 20,000 Residents — “On a hopeful note, Alexandria also hit the milestone this week of more than 20,000 residents vaccinated. AHD and private providers continue to vaccinate and work to schedule the tens of thousands of residents who pre-registered for vaccines.” [City of Alexandria]

45,000 Pre-Registered for COVID-19 Vaccine in Alexandria — “As of this writing, 45,000 residents are pre-registered for the shot in Phase 1b. Because of the limited supply – 2,000 doses per week – the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has had to prioritize within a group that includes tens of thousands of residents.” [Zebra]

ALIVE! Free Food Distribution on Saturday — “On Sat, Feb 20, 8:30-10:30am, @ALIVE4AlexVA will distribute food in Cora Kelly Elem School parking lot and parking lot B-1 of NOVA-Alexandria Campus (map at alive-inc.org, if college closes due to weather, distribution cancelled).” [Twitter]

Final Touches Being Made to Institute for Defense Analyses at Potomac Yard — “One step closer to moving into our new state-of-the-art facility in the high-tech #PotomacYard community of @AlexandriaVAGov! Windows are being installed as construction continues to progress.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Mainly cloudy with snow showers around in the morning. Some mixed winter precipitation possible. High around 40F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 50%. Snow accumulations less than one inch… Partly cloudy skies (in the evening). Low 24F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Termite Inspector/Salesman — “Moxie is seeking experienced/driven sales professionals who can join our team to help us grow our loyal customer base.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Beyer Says Trump Defense Weak During Senate Impeachment Hearing — “The House Managers established that Trump lied about the election, inspired the attackers to come to DC, directed them to the Capitol, and did nothing for hours to stop their violent attack. Senate Republicans objected, strenuously, to details of a phone call. And nothing else.” [Twitter]

CVS Starts Offering COVID-19 Vaccines in Alexandria and Fairfax County — “People interested in a vaccine are allowed to register through both the city or county health departments and through CVS at the same time, but local health department officials are pleading with people who get their vaccine through CVS to remove themselves from the health department waiting lists so others can get vaccinated faster.” [Alexandria Living]

ALIVE! Free Food Distribution Canceled — “The ALIVE! Trunk to Trunk Food Distribution scheduled for February 13 has been CANCELED due to forecasted weather conditions and the safety of residents, staff and volunteers. Instead, the distribution events will take place on February 20 at the same locations and times.” [Twitter]

Stracci Pizza Truck Brings Roman-Style Pizza to Del Ray — “Thomas Cardarelli, chef and owner of Stracci Pizza, (pronounced stráh-chee) always wanted to start something of his own — a high-tech, casual pizzeria. Then, the pandemic hit. His friend asked: ‘Why not get a food truck?'” [Alexandria Living]

Travel + Leisure Profiles Manumission Tour Company — “Explore different stories in Alexandria Virginia’s history of slaves who ran away to freedom using the underground railroad. Join us as we walk around Alexandria Virginia with John Chapman from Manumission Tours and explore some of these historical moments.” [Youtube]

Casa Chirilagua Revamps Food Pantry — “Casa Chirilagua brings access to non-perishable food items and cleaning products to the community through our pantry. With new shelving and reorganization, we can now hold hundreds of pounds of food and cleaning products. So far we’ve distributed 2,241 grocery bags of pantry items, valued at over $196,000. This could not be possible without your support!” [Facebook]

Today’s Weather — “Cloudy with a mixture of rain and snow in the morning. Temps nearly steady in the mid to upper 30s. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 70%… Cloudy (in the evening). Low 26F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Real Estate Photographer — “Shoot anywhere from 2 to 4 properties per day.Deliver consistently excellent images up to company standards.Upload raw images to development services. Additional opportunities and pay are available for shooting night photography and weekends.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Black History Museum Asks for Help in Conservation Effort — “The Alexandria Black History Museum (BHM) is asking for help from the community. The museum hopes to apply for a conservation grant from the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM)… From Jan. 11 through 20, people can vote for their favorite artifact on the top ten list. The artifact with the most votes will win the People’s Choice Award and $1,000 toward conservation work on the artifact.” [Zebra]

Nothing Bundt Cakes to Open on Duke Street — “Nothing Bundt Cakes is opening its first Alexandria location. The bakery will open at 4553 Duke St., replacing a Subway sandwich shop in the Shoppes at Foxchase in Alexandria’s West End.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Goodwin House to Receive Second Dose of Vaccine This Month — “375 people were vaccinated last month and are awaiting their second dose on January 19. Bagley hopes they’ll vaccinate more people once Governor Ralph Northam initiates Phase 1B, which will allow CVS and other pharmacies to distribute vaccinations.” [WDMV]

Alive! Feeds Hundreds at Food Distribution Event — “Alive!, an Alexandria, faith-based community organization, held its first large scale food distribution drives of the New Year.” [WJLA]

Northam Says Year-Round School is Possibility — “In a press conference this week, Governor Ralph Northam said, ‘One of the things we are entertaining is perhaps year-round schooling for the next year. Perhaps adding increased days this summer. To really help our kids get caught up.'” [Zebra]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Citizens’ Association Frustrated With ADU Policy Progress — “NRCA supported eight reasonable restrictions and prohibitions on ADUs…we are very disappointed that the vast majority of [our] comments and proposals were not included in the current version of the policy.” [Twitter]

Over 60 Restaurants Participate in January Restaurant Week — “For an extended two-week period, more than 60 restaurants in Alexandria, Virginia, will offer a $49 takeout, delivery or curbside pick-up dinner for two during Alexandria Restaurant Week To-Go, January 22 – February 7, 2021.” [Zebra]

Alexandria-based United Way Accused of Rewarding Sexist Behavior — “For decades, misogyny has been rampant across the organization’s leadership, according to detailed accounts from nine former United Way workers employed at the organization from the early 1990s to the beginning of 2020.” [Business Insider]

Blood Supply Low at Inova — “Inova Blood Donor Services estimates it must collect 200 units of must collect 200 units of blood, platelet, plasma and double red cells a day to meet the needs of the community. As of Jan. 4, the red blood cell inventory is below the desired levels for most blood types.” [Patch]

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After working as close partners through the pandemic, the City of Alexandria and community non-profit ACT for Alexandria have come together to launch a new program called the Alexandria Resilience Fund.

The new fund focuses on allocating funding to organizations dedicated to addressing the racial inequalities exhibited in coronavirus’ impact. The fund looks specifically to support nonprofits that have histories of supporting marginalized communities in Alexandria.

The Fund made grants up to $50,000 to 57 organizations from October to December 30, 2020.

“The City of Alexandria has designated CARES Act funding to establish the Alexandria Resilience Fund, in partnership with ACT for Alexandria,” ACT for Alexandria said on its website. “This effort builds on the significant investment and support provided by the ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund.  This new Fund will support the health and sustainability of local nonprofit organizations that are addressing ongoing and emerging human service needs of City residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

ACT for Alexandria listed additional criteria for the fund on its website:

  • Nonprofit must have the immediate ability to carry out proposed programs/services.
  • Nonprofit must be able to demonstrate how the grant request addresses direct costs incurred due to COVID-19.
  • Nonprofit must demonstrate how this funding request will impact City of Alexandria residents who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • Nonprofit must be committed to addressing racial equity and demonstrate deep, trusted relationships with communities that have been marginalized and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

So far, the Resilience Fund has raised a little over $1 million, with a goal of $1.5 million.

The ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund has now re-branded as the Alexandria Resilience Fund., which is distributing money into our community to support the many needs this crisis has created,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in his newsletter. “Please join me in supporting this fundraising effort.”

Image via ACT for Alexandria

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Morning Notes

Local Nonprofit Launches Sign Campaign — “Community Lodgings, an Alexandria non-profit, has started a campaign to spread messages of hope in the community.” [Local DMV]

Alexandria Deputy Retires — “Congratulations and best wishes to Master Deputy George Wooden! He retires this week following 26 years of outstanding service to ASO and the people of Alexandria. Thank you, Deputy Wooden!” [Twitter]

Statewide Bilingual Violence Helpline Launches Next Week — “On Monday, Jan. 4, 2020, victims of violence and injustice who live in Virginia and speak Spanish will have a new ally. That day, the Latinos in Virginia Empowerment Center (LVEC), based in North Chesterfield, will launch a hotline for those in need of assistance.” [Zebra]

Local Charity Serves 600 Families — “Tucked away in an unassuming warehouse on Alexandria’s east side, the Mother of Light Center, a charitable organization, identifies its mission as supporting the poor, the needy, and those experiencing homelessness. The organization runs in partnership with churches, city agencies and private donations.” [Zebra]

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