Alive Needs Volunteers

Alive Needs Volunteers

Religious congregations depend on volunteers to serve the community this holiday season.

One of Alexandria’s most active nonprofit organizations is know better by its acronym than anything else. People call it “Alive,” even though its official name is Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically. Since 1969, the alliance of religious congregations and community members has worked together to help those in need. It currently assists about 600 families in three locations every month. But not without help.

“If volunteers don’t show up, we can’t do that,” said Pam Goodell, volunteer coordinator with Alive. “It’s a great way to help out people within your own community.”

Goodell says that volunteers with Alive are often surprised to find a close-knit nature of those who work for the organization. She said that this is one of the reasons that the group enjoys long-term volunteers such as Alice and Joe Krafft and Doris and Don Mela, all of whom were honored by the group for their years of commitment to helping the less fortunate.

“There’s an intangible aspect to volunteering with Alive,” said Goodell. “They are captured by the spirit and the energy of people who are involved.”

Alive administrators report that the group has had a drop in donations and now must turn away hungry people. They say that the Capital Area Food Bank hasn’t given enough money and that the nonprofit’s food pantry has already been depleted of canned goods. Because the group can use its nonprofit status to buy food for 7 cents on the dollar, its leaders say that a cash donation is preferable to a canned contribution.

“All of our programs touch people directly right here in Alexandria. As someone who has grown up here, that’s important to me,” said Claire Maucieri, administrative assistant of the nonprofit’s office at First Christian Church. “People have heard about Alive, but they might not realize how many lives it touches every day.”

Maucieri said that Alive has so many volunteering possibilities that the organization can tailor an opportunity to meet the schedule and abilities of anyone interested. Those who are interested in volunteering for the nonprofit, community-based organization can call 703-837-9300.

Some volunteer opportunities:

* Furniture Delivery: Each Saturday, drivers and volunteers are needed to help pick up and deliver much needed furniture.

* Housewares: Volunteers are needed to assemble starter kits as well as deliver and pick up house wares.

* Family Emergency Program: This volunteer opportunity is great for retirees or others who are free during the day to help process requests, pack food or deliver food. From 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers process requests for food and financial assistance. At noon, volunteers are needed to deliver food to recipients.

* Administrative Opportunities: Volunteers are occasionally needed to help label and mail Alive newsletters and other mailers. In addition, the Alive House often needs volunteers to help with basic maintenance.

* Holiday Opportunities: On Thanksgiving Day, Alive needs volunteers to help sort and box food received from the Annual Turkey Trot at Cora Kelly Recreation Center. Volunteers are needed during the holiday season to help sort food received from various food drives sponsored by Alive’s congregations.

* Alive Gala Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to help with fundraising, publicity, decorations, silent auction and all aspects of planning for this signature Alive event.