Samantha (Sammy) Rebecca Archer, a middle school student at St. Stephens & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, wanted to make a difference for those less fortunate, and she knew just how to do it. She encouraged guests invited to her Bat Mitzvah to donate to a local charity. Sammy asked her neighbors to give her some ideas. Many of them encouraged her to look at ALIVE! (ALexandrians InVolved Ecumenically), an organization that provides services to families in need in Alexandria.
Of ALIVE!’s six programs, Sammy chose ALIVE! House, a transitional housing program for single women and families in Alexandria. The generosity of Sammy’s guests and friends resulted in cash donations of more than $3,000, plus gift cards — as well as cleaning supplies for the residents.
“It made me feel great to know that my contribution was going to help families in need, and I was amazed by the generosity of my family and friends willing to help ALIVE!,” Sammy said.
She recently toured ALIVE! House to drop off the contributions. “Seeing ALIVE! House made everything very real to me. I realized for the first time how much these very basic things, like cleaning supplies, meant to these families,” she said.
ALIVE! relies on volunteers from its 41 member religious congregations and the community at large to provide a safety net for Alexandrians in need. ALIVE! House, is a haven to homeless single women and families, accommodating up to four households in a nurturing, home-like environment. Residents receive intensive case management, basic life skills training, supportive services, and linkages to community resources to support their goal of self-sufficiency and transition to permanent housing. To learn more about the services ALIVE! Provides, visit www.alive-inc.org.