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Votes

What If Everyone Gave on One Day: Imagine the Possibilities

Commentary

Alexandria is fortunate to be one of the most giving communities anywhere in America. In fact, according to Convio, we consistently rank in the top 1 percent for online donations of any community in the country.

Our commitment to helping our neighbors in need and strengthening our community is more important than ever. We continue to struggle to get out from under a bruising recession. We may be headed in the right direction, but governments and nonprofits are typically the last to recover during tough economic times. We are still seeing a growing need for support services and fewer resources to get the job done.

But, what if we leveraged that spirit for giving, raised the bar and took our collective impact to new heights?

What if we came closer to ridding hunger from our community where almost 60 percent of students attending public school are eligible for free or reduced price lunch? What if we dramatically increased the number of at-promise students getting the extra support they need to excel? What if we dramatically improved the readiness for learning of kids entering kindergarten? What if we were able to provide shelter, clothing and food to those senior citizens who have done so much for others in their lifetimes and now find themselves in need?

That’s the thinking behind ACT for Alexandria’s annual Spring2ACTion effort. On Wednesday, April 17, our entire community will come together for 24 hours to raise funds to support nearly 100 local nonprofits that heal the sick, educate children and adults, feed the hungry, protect our environment, enrich our lives and so much more.

This is Spring2ACTion’s third year and we’re “raising the bar.” By tapping the collective power of this community’s rich giving tradition, we have set an ambitious goal of $400,000 for worthy causes throughout Alexandria. This builds on the success of previous years’ efforts — from $104,000 in 2011 to more than $320,000 last year.

Last year Casa Chirilagua, a small nonprofit in the Arlandria, participated in Spring2ACTion for the first time. They wanted to raise $15,000 to start a middle school program for youth living in the neighborhood. Through social media and the generosity of donors and volunteers, Casa Chirilagua was able to raise over $33,000 and with grants and prizes awarded from Spring2ACTion, they received more than $40,000 in one day.

But we can’t get across the goal line unless everyone pitches in. Whether it’s $10, $50, $100 or $1,000, every donation counts. And it’s simple. Just go to www.Spring2ACTion.org to get involved.

We know we can’t solve all of our community’s problems in one day, but we do know that leveraging the power of giving on one day, April 17, can make a huge difference. We’ve seen it before. Together, we can do it again.