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Want to lend a helping hand? Alexandria is full of summer volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer Alexandria’s website lists plenty of ways for residents to give back.

Here’s a roundup of some of the opportunities this summer:

Distribute food for ALIVE! — “Assist ALIVE! feeding food insecure City of Alexandria residents in local Alexandria neighborhoods throughout the city during weekdays. Volunteer roles include bagbing food, handing out perishable and nonperishable items, breakdown after the distribution, load and unload the truck.”  Click Here to sign up.”

Sexual Assault Center hotline operator — “The Sexual Assault Center (SAC) offers support to victims of sexual assault and their families and friends. Trained volunteers and staff are available 24 hours a day to provide crisis intervention and emotional support, advocacy with medical, police, and court systems, short-term individual and group counseling, and information and referrals. In addition to services for individuals, the staff is also available to provide training, information, and presentations to local schools and organizations. The Sexual Assault Center offers information and support for sexual assault (i.e. rape, attempted rape, fondling, indecent exposure, etc.) survivors and their family and friends, sexual harassment and stalking victims, and individuals of any age, race, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability, etc. Click HERE to learn more.”

Mentor for girls — “Space of Her Own is looking for mentors to build long lasting bonds with 9- to 11-year-olds through art projects after school.
Information sessions are scheduled at August 9 and 10 at the Lee Center. Click HERE to sign-up.”

Volunteer for Back to School Community Day — “On Saturday, August 27, UNCUT Youth needs volunteers to setup, breakdown, and provide support for their event – a day of food, games, raffles, and giveaways. Click HERE to sign-up.”

Youth sport coaches — “Coach an assigned group of children and focus on skill development, safety, fair, play, sportsmanship and fun. Work to esatblish and improve team unity and spirit. Click HERE to learn more.”

Tour guide at Carlyle House — “Carlyle House Historic Park, a colonial house museum in Old Town Alexandria, seeks volunteer docents to give public tours of the building. Carlyle House Docents commit to volunteering at least 2 weekday shifts per month or 1 weekend shift per month. Click HERE to express interest.”

Mentoring and tutoring at Casa Chirilagua — “The Arlandria-based organization Casa Chirilagua is seeking volunteers for its after-school programming. Click HERE for a full list of opportunities.”

Job counselor at Together We Bake — “Are you looking for a meaningful way to get involved with TWB? We are recruiting volunteers to act as Job Counselors for our upcoming sessions. This is a great opportunity to work one-on-one and build impactful relationships with Team Members while helping them discover and expand their career goals. Click HERE to learn more.”

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra concert volunteer — “The ASO needs your help to usher at performances and perform other duties. You can watch the performance once patrons are seated. Come hear this great orchestra if you love symphony. Click HERE to learn more.”

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If you’re an Alexandrian on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen Volunteer Alexandria posts written by Theresa Kramer-Burgess.

If the Volunteer Alexandria needs something, Kramer-Burgess lets everyone know about it on social media. Sometimes she posts more than a dozen times a week on each platform.

Kramer-Burgess has been Volunteer Alexandria’s social media coordinator since 2017, and Executive Director Marion Brunken says the nonprofit would be helpless without her.

“Staff and all (Volunteer Alexandria) Board members love what Theresa does, and appreciate your time and talent she gives to us and the community,” Brunken said. “Without her, we really wouldn’t be where we are today.”

There are dozens of volunteering opportunities available in the city, and Volunteer Alexandria staff struggled with social media until Kramer-Burgess took the responsibility off their hands.

“We need to take care of each other,” Kramer-Burgess said. “I love seeing results that have an impact on people’s lives and in the community. If I can be a small part of that, that’s something that as the human I feel I need to do. We should all do something to try to improve things in the world, whether it’s picking up a piece of trash or letting people know that something is available.”

Kramer-Burgess lives in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, and has been in marketing for 30 years. She describes herself as a behind-the-scenes type of person, and says the first few months of the pandemic were challenging. The need for volunteers increased exponentially, and she worked upward of 20 hours a week posting about availabilities.

“To see people answer the call and give of themselves and sign up for opportunities — it’s just been so amazing to see,” Kramer-Burgess said. “It’s been gratifying and restores one’s faith in people.”

Things have calmed down now, and now Kramer-Burgess gives about five hours a week to the cause. She also says she has no plan to walk away from her duties.

“It’s a part of my life now,” Kramer-Burgess said. “If they take my computer away from me, I guess I’ll have to stop, but no. I don’t have an endpoint. I never thought I’d be doing it for five years, but it fits in with my life.”

Photo via ALIVE!/Facebook

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