Letter to the Editor: Listener And a Doer

Letter to the Editor: Listener And a Doer

I write this letter as a longtime volunteer for and supporter of the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club. We serve 80 to 120 kids after school every day. This club has been a proud part of our community since 1936. We make a tremendous difference in the lives of these children.

A couple of months ago, our local Boys & Girls Club was facing a fiscal challenge and reached out to Mayor Allison Silberberg. She quickly met with the club’s branch director, the regional vice president, and the head of the Greater Washington Boys & Girls Club in her office and gave us an hour of her time. She listened so carefully and asked great questions. She is certainly an enthusiastic supporter of our work but was candid that it would be difficult to find funding but would try and solicit support from the community on our behalf.

The issue was that the club did not have the resources to hire additional part-time staff and had 42 kids on a waiting list who needed our after-school programs. So we were being forced to turn away these children.

To my pleasant surprise, a few weeks later, Mayor Silberberg advised us that she had found some donors to give significant funding, and that has allowed us to hire the necessary part-time staff so that we could adequately admit these children into our club until the end of the school year.

That is leadership. Mayor Silberberg listens. She is focused. She cares deeply, especially about children. And she went to bat for these kids. She is a doer and gets things done.

This is not politics. This is about doing the right thing. Mayor Silberberg is committed doing the right thing and not seeking attention for it. She really came through for us, and we are very grateful. I hope she is re-elected on June 12.

Michael Menchel

Volunteer and former board member for the Dunbar Alexandria Boys & Girls Club