0
Votes

Alexandria Bulletin

Old Town is holding its annual door-decorating contest with judging to take place on Dec. 11. Old Town is defined as the historic district which is Columbus St. to the west, the river as the eastern border, Oronoco St. to the north and the WW Bridge to the south. Natural materials in the Colonial tradition, i.e., evergreens, fruits, cones, nuts must be used. The decorations may not include lighting but may include all-weather ribbons and bows No professionally done decorations. Originality of design and compatibility with the period of the home are desirable Other factors of importance are scale, use of color, visibility from street or sidewalk.

Alexandria is getting ready to celebrate the 2006 Holiday Season with a warm welcome to family, friends and the many visitors who come to experience the festive traditions of our City. You can help to make that welcome even warmer by participating in Alexandria’s 2006 Holiday Decorating Contest, sponsored by the Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association. Three local homes and three local businesses will be selected to win prizes valued at $100, $75, and $50. Visit www.FunSide.com and click on “Holiday Decorating Contest Nominations” now through Dec. 12 to nominate your favorite selections for the Best Decorated Home and the Best Decorated Business in Alexandria. Businesses and homes should be nominated based on their display of holiday spirit, which includes but is not limited to originality, historic ambiance, humor, lights and color. The ACVA encourages all business organizations and civic associations to tell their members about the contest. The 2006 Holiday Decorating Contest moves into the voting phase from Dec. 20-26. The top six businesses and homes, based on the number of nominations received, will be placed on the Voting Page with a picture, address and, when appropriate, name of business. Visit www.FunSide.com, click on “Holiday Decorating Contest – Vote for Your Favorite” and vote for your favorite business and home. Winners will be announced at First Night Alexandria. For more information, contact ACVA Marketing Director Laura Rod at lrod@funside.com.

Parlez Vous at 1407 King St. has teamed up with the Campagna Center and Alexandria Head Start for the 2006 Holiday Giving Tree. Helping a child this holiday season is as easy as 1-2-3!

* Pick an ornament from the Giving Tree located in the Parlez Vous office. Each ornament includes the age and sex of the child. (Please save the ornament as the number on it corresponds to a specific child)

* Pick up the information slip that corresponds to your child’s number. Use the information on the slip to guide you as you make your child’s wishes come true. Feel free to buy as little or as much as you can. Remember that even the smallest surprises will bring a smile to a child’s face.

* Bring your wrapped gifts back to Parlez Vous. Please be sure to put your ornament on the top of the package (or at least the number) so we know who the special child is that you have helped. Return all wrapped gifts by Thursday, Dec. 14.

Individuals can pick an angel off of our Christmas tree and buy a Christmas gift for a local child who wouldn’t have Christmas otherwise between Dec. 4 and Dec. 19 at YMCA Alexandria. You can be involved by taking an angel and purchasing a gift for a child and by volunteering to help sort the toys.

Alexandria Department of Human Services 2006 Holiday Sharing Program seeks volunteers to sponsor families, seniors, disabled persons, teens or a foster child with holiday gifts. Also provide new luggage for a foster child. Contact Suzanne Kratzok early in December, 703-519-3318, ext. 206, or Suzanne.kratzok@alexandriava.gov.

The Domestic Violence Program is asking the community to help children and mothers affected by domestic violence during the holiday season. When you are out doing your holiday shopping this weekend, please consider purchasing toys for the Children’s Holiday Party.  You can bring a little extra joy into a family's life by donating brand-new, unwrapped toys, for all ages, to children who attend the party.  More than 100 women and children participate in this annual event.  Donations will be accepted between 8am and 5pm until Tuesday, December 12, at the Alexandria Office On Women, 421 King Street, Suite 400, in Old Town Alexandria.  For more information, please call 703.838.4911 or visit the web site at www.alexwomen.com.

Alexandria’s Domestic Violence Program is asking the community to help children and mothers affected by domestic violence during the upcoming holiday season. You can bring a little extra joy into a family's life by donating brand-new, unwrapped toys, for all ages, for their annual Children’s Holiday Party. More than 100 women and children participate in this annual event. Donations will be accepted between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. from now through Monday, Dec. 12 at the Alexandria Office On Women, 421 King St., Suite 400, in Old Town Alexandria. Call 703-838-4911 or visit www.alexwomen.com.

Since 1991, Community Partners for Children has provided toys and clothing to a cumulative 7,000 children in need through our annual Holiday Donation Drive.This year's drive continues through Saturday, December 16, which is Distribution Day at T.C. Williams High School.

Community Partners for Children collects gifts from drop boxes located throughout the city. Donors can leave toys at stores, banks or libraries. There are over 35 box locations throughout the City. Here is a sampling:

* All Alexandria Public Library Branches, Virginia Commerce Banks, Burke & Herbert, Commonwealth Federal Credit Union, Park Fairfax, Alexandria Volunteer Bureau, A Show of Hands, Chrysalis Chiropractic, Dairy Godmother, Great Harvest Bread Company, St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, Yates Automotive, Alexandria INOVA Hospital, Old Town Post Box.

* Donate toys! Leave a game, a book, clothing, or any other new toy for a deserving child at a CPC donation box.

* Volunteer to sort toys & assist families on Dec. 16 and Dec. 19. To volunteer contact Kendra Chambers 703-717-0373 or kendrajanedc@aol.com.

The first volunteer shift is from 7:30-11 a.m. Help deliver the toys to the high school, then sort and count the items.

The second volunteer shift is from noon-4 p.m. Help escort the families while they select gift items. Do craft projects with the children. Spanish speakers are needed.

* Make a cash contribution by sending a check to Community Partners for Children, PO Box 2738, Alexandria, VA 22301.

The Alexandria Community Services Board is urgently seeking volunteers to serve as legally appointed guardians for geriatric adults with mental illness. Service would start in late January 2007 or after. Ideal guardians will be compassionate persons who are able to make difficult decisions. Guardians make decisions about personal care, health care and living arrangements. Guardians meet periodically with the client and his/her social worker or service provider. The provider will give guardians pertinent information relevant to decision making.

Some of the clients in need of guardians may eventually be placed in nursing homes outside of Alexandria in locations such as Manassas, Warrenton, Fredericksburg or possibly Richmond. The guardian would then need to maintain correspondence with service providers in the location and visit as needed, approximately one or two times per year.

Guardians are bonded and court-appointed in Alexandria and will receive a copy of the Virginia Handbook for Guardians: A Practical Handbook.  A tuberculosis test and training is required. The duties require approximately two hours per month. For more information about this volunteer opportunity, contact Jennifer Cohen Cordero at  jennifer.cohen-cordero@alexandriava.gov or 703-838-4455, x165.

The Alexandria Fire Department, Emergency Management Division, partnered with the Be Safe Coalition need a limited number of adult and youth volunteers to sell hot chocolate at a fundraising event on New Year’s Eve at the Embassy Suites and Jefferson Houston School to raise money for fire and life safety education. The volunteers will work a two hour shift 6-8 p.m.; 8-10 p.m.; or 10 p.m.-midnight at one of the locations. Volunteers receive free passes to the First Night Alexandria events. Contact Patsieann Misiti at 703-706-3940 ext. 222.

The Alexandria Chapter of the American Red Cross will be offering a Pet First Aid class on Dec. 9 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Chapter headquarters located at 123 North Alfred St. in Old Town. Participants will learn how to perform rescue breathing and CPR on a pet; care for a choking pet; control bleeding, bandage injuries and care for shock; and more. The cost of the training is $40 and that includes all of the materials and the Pet First Aid Handbook. For more information or to register, call 703-549-8300 or visit www.alexandriaredcross.org.

The Alexandria Chapter of the American Red Cross will be offering a babysitter's training class on Dec. 10 from 9 a.m.—4 p.m. at the Chapter headquarters located at 123 North Alfred St. in Old Town. This hands-on course is designed for young people between 11 and 15 years of age. Participants will learn how to keep infants, toddlers and children safe; basic care for infants and children; handle emergencies such as choking and bleeding and more. The cost of training is $50 and includes all of the materials required and the Babysitter's Handbook. Bring a bag lunch and snacks. For more information or to register, call 703-549-8300 or visit www.alexandriaredcross.org.

Volunteers needed for ALIVE!’s Food Sorting and Distribution Day for Saturday, Dec. 9, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 300 Wythe Street, Alexandria. Contact Suzanne Lamb, 703-683-4634. ALIVE sorts and distributes food monthly on the fourth Saturday of each month.

Community Partners for Children Toy Sorting/Distribution Day at T.C. Williams High School cafeteria, Saturday, Dec. 16, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 19, time to be determined. Contact Pat Miller at pmiller1806@comcast.net for more.

Northern Virginia Training Center seeks volunteers for holiday gift wrapping, holiday party sponsors (civic or corporate groups), Christmas caroling, sponsors to provide gifts for residential units and individuals to play Santa at holiday parties. Contact Maureen Gregg or Ashley Breymaier at 703-323-4078, 703-323-4079, e-mail Maureen.gregg@nvtc.dmhmrsas.virginia.gov or Ashley.breymaier@dmhmrsas.virigina.gov.

Alexandria Department of Human Services 2006 Holiday Sharing Program seeks volunteers to sort and distribute gifts on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 13 and 14, in shifts from 8:45 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Alexandria DHS, 2 Herbert St., Alexandria, or as delivery drivers on Dec. 15. Contact Suzanne Kratzok early in December, 703-519-3318, ext. 206, or Suzanne.kratzok@alexandriava.gov to help.

From 5:30 a.m., Dec. 29 to 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, join the YMCA Alexandria at 420 East Monroe Ave. in Alexandria for a 24-hour swim-a-thon as our swim teams swim non-stop as a fundraiser to help with camp scholarships for disadvantaged children. Contact Linda Blake at 703-838-8095 for more information.

The Alexandria Community Services Board is seeking a volunteer to assist a pre-school therapist with a play group for 50 infants, toddlers and their care givers. The volunteer is needed to help with activities, monitor children and help clean up. The volunteer should be energetic, comfortable giving direction and have experience with small children. The group meets on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon Recreation Center: 2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria. Call 703-838-4455, ext 165.

The City of Alexandria has partnered with Rebuilding Together Alexandria, a leading volunteer community organization, to implement a new free weatherization program for low-income homeowners to help City residents increase home comfort and lower heating fuel bills this winter. For additional information on the weatherization program or to apply for assistance, call the Alexandria Department of Human Services, Office of Community Services at 703-838-0971. For more information on other types of home repair assistance, call Katharine Medina of Rebuilding Together Alexandria at 703-836-1021.

HEW Federal Credit Union (HEWFCU), a federally insured financial institution can now serve the entire City of Alexandria. All residents are able to join HEWFCU and take advantage of the low-cost products and services the credit union offers. With experienced lending and member services staff and a physical facility already located in the area, HEWFCU has the tools and infrastructure to deploy to the market as an alternative to non-traditional financial services providers. Visit HEWFCU's office located on 400 N. Columbus St.; or visit www.hewfcu.com.

Rebuilding Together Alexandria (formerly Christmas in April) is seeking homeowners who need assistance with home repairs. Teams of volunteers work on many houses throughout Alexandria, repairing and renovating homes so that homeowners may continue to live in warmth, safety, and independence. All repairs are made at no expense to the homeowner. If you are a low-income Alexandria homeowner and need help with home repairs, call for an application at 703-836-1021 or e-mail info@rebuildingtogetheralex.org for more information. Limited applications accepted.