Local nonprofit Casa Chirilagua is planning to keep with the spirit of Thanksgiving by distributing meals to those in need, but needs some public help for setup and distribution.
“We are distributing 500 meals for Thanksgiving on Wednesday, Nov. 25,” said the organization, which provides assistance in the Chirilagua and Arlandria neighborhood. “The setup will begin at 1:30 p.m. and the distribution will begin at 2:00 p.m.”
Casa Chirilagua needs volunteers to help
- Setup tables
- Organizing the boxes
- Helping manage the line
- Make sure people are remaining socially distanced,
- Handing out boxes
- Taking tickets
- Handing out masks
The organization asked that those who volunteer make sure they have not been exposed to COVID-19 before they volunteer, that they haven’t experienced any symptoms of respiratory illness within the last 14 days, and that they don’t live with someone who is considered at risk.
Volunteers can sign up through the Volunteer Alexandria website.
Staff photo by James Cullum
Unlike many of his Latino neighbors in Arlandria, Realtor Brett Rice has had a solid year and is giving back in a big way. On Wednesday, Nov. 25, which is the day before Thanksgiving, Rice and Alexandria Restaurant Partners will give away 500 meals worth about $35,000 to the community.
“The pandemic hasn’t been bad for everyone, and people are buying second homes and vacationing, and I just want to do something that will help the community,” Rice told ALXnow.
Each meal will feed a family of four, and there’s no news yet as to what’s on the menu.
“This year has been very good for his business and he feels lead to give back to neighbors who have had a hard year,” said Casa Chirilagua Executive Director Adriana Gómez Schellhaas. “We are certainly on board.”
Alexandria Living Legend Pat Miller has set up a page for donations.
Rice, who lives in Del Ray, also owns Arlandria Floors, and said that his business was at rock bottom during the height of the pandemic, although his troubles pale in comparison with the city’s poorer residents. He came up with the idea two weeks ago while hanging out with his friend Murray Bonnit, who has joined in the effort.
“I haven’t had to struggle to pay bills, and I haven’t lost my family members, and I think people forget around here how affluent we live in Del Ray,” he said. “We can’t live in this bubble with a lot of talk and no action.”
The usual gatherings of family and friends are now subject to a calculation: is a big turkey dinner worth the risk of contracting a potentially deadly or debilitating disease?
For some, the solution will be a smaller dinner, perhaps with only some of the fixin’s. For others, however, it might be business as usual.
Asked about it last week on CNBC, two prominent figures in the medical field said the traditional Thanksgiving gathering was out for them this year.
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) October 29, 2020
"I'm going to forego Thanksgiving this year … I'm not going to be bringing together a large group of people," says @ScottGottliebMD on holiday plans during the pandemic. "This is the hardest point in this pandemic right now, the next two months." pic.twitter.com/Bitrwczp9H
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) October 29, 2020
What are your current turkey day plans? If they’ve changed from your usual Thanksgiving plans, let us know in the comments.
Photo via Sarah Lou/Flickr
With parades, festivals and even the Christmas tree lighting in Old Town all impacted by COVID-19, the holiday season will be dramatically different for Alexandria business owners.
Bearing that in mind, Visit Alexandria just announced Alexandria Shop Small Week, a new virtual promotional series from Nov. 27 to Dec. 6 with deals and giveaways to help make up for losses to this year’s post-Thanksgiving period of holiday shopping.
The series begins with Plaid Friday: Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday on Nov. 27.
“Nearly 50 independent shops are touting one-of-a-kind deals on designer and coveted merchandise, including home décor, chic fashion, gourmet food, classic toys and gifts for pets,” according to Visit Alexandria. “Check out Black-owned Alexandria businesses during the nationwide ‘Buy Black Friday’ initiative every Friday from October 30 to November 27, 2020.”
According to Visit Alexandria:
Members of the Old Town Business Association and Old Town Boutique District are celebrating Plaid Friday with two unique offerings. Snag a free plaid mask made by local designer DMARAN when you spend $100 or more at participating Old Town stores, plus enjoy gift-wrapping at select stores. Don your favorite tartan as part of this year’s Virtual Plaid Patrol and snap a pic to post to Instagram, tagging @otboutiques, @alhstayle and @tsgalexandria and use #PlaidPatrol. You’ll be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card to an Old Town Boutique District business of your choice. Two winners will be selected.
Nearly 50 independent shops, many opening early, offer some of their best deals of the year.
- Small Business Saturday – November 28
Enjoy free parking, prizes from the Elf Patrol and nearly 50 independent boutiques featuring discounts or gifts with purchase.
- Museum Store Sunday – November 29
Enjoy discounts of 20% at participating Alexandria museum stores plus 20% off Black history merchandise from Manumission Tour Company’s online store.
- Cyber Monday – November 30
Promotional online offers from more than 30 Alexandria boutiques include discounts, gifts with purchase and free shipping.
- Giving Tuesday – December 1
- Instagram Gift Card Giveaways – December 4-6
Follow @VisitAlexVA for three days of giveaways and your chance to win one of three $300 gift cards to a choice of local boutiques.
- Alexandria Santa–gram Giveaway – Extends through Shop Small Week, November 9-December 20
Beyer Says Biden Needs Support — “President-Elect Biden must be given all the support he needs to take the helm of government, including swift consideration and confirmation of his team, so that he can take the country forward. We have no time to lose – there is serious work to be done.” [Twitter]
Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter Was on Jeopardy — “This picture is from years ago when I had the opportunity of a lifetime to appear on Jeopardy and personally meet Alex Trebek. He was as warm and engaging as you would think he was. Today we mourn his loss. He was a television icon and philanthropist who left the world a much better place. My heart goes out to the Trebek family and to the families of all who have been impacted by this terrible disease.” [Facebook]
City Recommends Celebrating a Virtual Thanksgiving — “The City and the AHD strongly urge those celebrating Thanksgiving to choose lower risk activities to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 outbreaks, rather than the traditional indoor gatherings and traveling.” [Twitter]
City Tearing Down Robinson Terminal North — “AlexRenew is demolishing the building as part of its much larger plans to improve Alexandria’s sewer and stormwater infrastructure.” [Alexandria Living]
Alexandria’s Tree Lighting Goes Virtual on Nov. 21 — “Alexandria’s annual Tree Lighting ceremony that rings in the holiday season will be a little different this year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event that usually takes place at Market Square will be held online on Saturday, Nov. 21.” [Zebra]
Today’s Weather — “Areas of patchy fog early. Partly cloudy skies. High 72F. Winds light and variable. A few clouds overnight. Areas of patchy fog. Low 54F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Development and Communications Specialist — “The Campagna Center’s (TCC) Development Specialist plays a vital role in ensuring that TCC’s donors feel good about their giving. The individual will act as the first point of contact for stewardship activities and donor requests, always presenting an amicable demeanor, a can-do attitude, and appropriately reflecting TCC’s mission and values.” [Indeed]
Big Tree Falls Hard on Russell Road — “Tracey Cain was in Ohio visiting family when her husband Patrick McLaughlin called from their home at 2912 Russell Road this morning at 3 am. ‘The big tree in the front yard just fell down. It’s blocking the whole road. It’s pulled down a power line, and now it looks like no Thanksgiving for Russell Road,’ was the news.” [Zebra]
School Board Shrinking? — “The Alexandria City School Board is considering decreasing the number of members on the board and increasing the length of the terms they serve. A majority of school board members said they were in favor of these changes at a school board work session on Nov. 14.” [Alexandria Times]
Long-Running Turkey Bowl Game — “When they were in elementary school, the athletic field next to James K. Polk Elementary School, in Alexandria, Virginia, was much more expansive. But for two dozen friends who play an annual football game there, it seems to take longer to reach the end zone 30 years later.” [WTOP]
Nearby: Kwanzaa Celebration Later This Month — “Looking for a venue to sell your products during Kwanzaa? We have a few spaces available at or Ujamaa Kwanzaa Celebration. The Marketplace is open from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and is a part of our 4th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration.” [Patch]
Turkey day is almost here, traffic is terrible, and ALXnow is about to go on bit of a holiday break.
Before we do, however, we wanted to wish all of our readers a happy Thanksgiving. Since we launched in October, nearly 60,000 people have visited the site — exceeding even our most optimistic expectations. We are thankful for each and every one of you that have discovered us and hope you stop back often — and maybe even subscribe to our email newsletter.
We have some big things in store starting after the new year and can’t wait to do even more to serve you.
The ALXnow team wishes you and yours a great holiday. Unless there’s breaking news between now and then — which we’ll endeavor to cover as soon as possible — we’ll resume our local news coverage on Monday.
Much of the D.C. region, including Alexandria, will be under a Wind Advisory starting tonight.
Strong winds with gusts up to 50 mph are expected to start whipping up Wednesday night and will continue through Thursday afternoon, making for a blustery Thanksgiving holiday.
Forecasters caution that the wind gusts could topple trees and power lines, causing widespread power outages. Drivers should also take caution.
More from the National Weather Service:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
156 PM EST WED NOV 27 2019
…WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY…
* WHAT…WEST TO NORTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 50 MPH EXPECTED.
* WHERE…THE WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS, CENTRAL MARYLAND, AND PORTIONS OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.
* WHEN…FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY.
* IMPACTS…DAMAGING WINDS COULD BLOW DOWN TREES AND POWER LINES. WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE. TRAVEL COULD BE DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.
USE EXTRA CAUTION WHEN DRIVING, ESPECIALLY IF OPERATING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. SECURE OUTDOOR OBJECTS.
High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories in effect this evening through Thursday afternoon. Winds 10 to 20 mph gusting 25 mph. Winds are going to get stronger tonight and Thursday. Winds will average 20 to 30 mph gusts 50 mph in advisory areas and gusts to 60 mph in warning areas. pic.twitter.com/qhxw3AmLFT
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) November 27, 2019
Alexandria Keeps High Bond Rating — “S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service have reaffirmed the City of Alexandria’s top bond ratings of ‘AAA’ and ‘Aaa,’ respectively, in advance of the City’s planned sale of $205 million in general obligation tax-exempt bonds to fund the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station and school facility capital projects.” [City of Alexandria]
More Phone Problems for City — A week after an issue with a fiber optic line knocked out incoming calls for most Alexandria non-emergency phone lines last week, the same issue with incoming calls cropped up yesterday. It was reported to be resolved later Tuesday afternoon. [Twitter/@AlexandriaVAGov]
Art League Holding Ceramics Sale — “Calling all holiday shoppers and ceramic enthusiasts! The Art League’s blockbuster Holiday Ceramics Sale is back starting Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8, at 722 King Street in Old Town Alexandria. This highly anticipated pop-up shop features hundreds of original works for every taste and budget.” [Zebra]
Czech Ambassador Visits Port City — “Today we welcomed the @CzechEmbassyDC to the brewery! We are honored to have Hynek Kmoníček, the Ambassador Extraordinary of the Czech Republic to the U.S. here. He has given the official stamp of approval for our #DownrightPilsner a Czech-style Pilsner!” [Twitter/@PortCityBrew]
Thanksgiving Cooking Tips from AFD — “Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Alexandria Fire Department is offering cooking safety tips so your meal can go smoothly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day for cooking-related fires in homes. In 2017, there were 1,600 reported home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, a 238 percent increase over the daily average.” [Patch]
(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) Thanksgiving is just two days away, and much of the city government will be shutting down for the holiday.
On Thursday (Nov. 28), all city facilities and the Torpedo Factory will be closed. DASH bus service will not operate, but the King Street Trolley will still be running. The Vola Lawson Animal Shelter will be closed on Thursday except for its Kongs-giving event to make treat packages for animals in the shelter.
Also Thursday, parking meters will not be enforced. However, trash and recycling will still be collected.
On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the Chinquapin Park Recreation Center will be open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. The Charles Houston and Patrick Henry recreation centers will be open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The Torpedo Factory will also be open but all other city facilities will be closed.
Several grocery stores around Alexandria will be open on Thanksgiving Day until the afternoon.
- Giant grocery stores throughout the D.C. region will be open until 5 p.m.
- Harris Teeter stores, even the 24-hour locations, will close at 2 p.m.
- Safeway stores will close at 7 p.m.
Other grocery stores, like Trader Joe’s, MOM’s Organic Market, Aldi, BJ’s, and Costco will be closed, according to WTOP.
If you’re looking to pick up a turkey at the last minute, local restaurant group Alexandria Restaurant Partners is offering Thanksgiving meal bundles to take home at various locations.
More on the planned closures, from a City of Alexandria press release, is below (after the jump).