Alexandrians are known for their spirit of giving, whether it be in time, talents or resources, and there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved. But for those new to the city, a good place to start is with Volunteer Alexandria.
“Volunteer Alexandria is a connector of people and groups interested in getting involved in our community and organizations who are in need of volunteers to help them fulfill their mission,” said Marion Brunken, executive director of Volunteer Alexandria. “Often, people don’t know where to start so we will help anyone who wants to volunteer.”
Volunteer Alexandria will help connect individuals six years or older with a nonprofit organization or city agency that needs assistance and suits their interests.
“It’s really easy to be matched,” Brunken said. “Just visit VolunteerAlexandria.org, enter a keyword, zip code, or age, and the system populates a list of current opportunities. Or just call us 703-836-2176. We also help businesses find ways to make a difference in the community.”
Other volunteer opportunities include Senior Services of Alexandria, which uses volunteers for Meals on Wheels deliveries as well as the Friendly Visitor Program and Groceries to Go service. Carpenter’s Shelter, the city’s homeless shelter, uses volunteers for administrative tasks and meal services.
The American Legion provides support and services for veterans from World War II through the War on Terror. Members also volunteer in numerous community activities, including Rebuilding Together Alexandria, which works year-round to repair and rehabilitate homes free of cost for those in need, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, military veterans and families with children.
Since 1948, the Alexandria Sportsman’s Club has been providing scholarships to high school athletes through fundraising events and monthly meetings that feature speakers such as NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green.
One of the oldest organizations in the city is the Departmental Progressive Club. Originally founded in 1927 when recreational facilities were segregated, the DPC’s mission is "the creation of wholesome recreation, the encouragement of good character and the fostering of fellowship among its members.”
If you think you have no time to make a difference, think again. Head to Holy Cow, Del Ray’s Gourmet Burger Joint, where $.25 for each burger sold will be donated to one of more than 250 local charities as selected by the patron. Since the restaurant opened in 2012, more than 400,000 quarters, or $100,000, has been donated to local charities.
Dining out at Holy Cow is one small way to give back to the community. From national organizations like Rotary, Lions Club and Fraternal Order of the Eagles to local nonprofits like Senior Services of Alexandria, there are seemingly endless opportunities to volunteer your time and talents.
“Any level of volunteering will make a difference,” Brunken added.
Alexandria Rotary Club
Alexandria West Rotary Club
Alexandria Central Rotary Club
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club
American Legion Post 24
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Departmental Progressive Club
Fraternal Order of the Eagles
Kiwanis, Kiwanis of Del Ray
Lions Club of Alexandria
Rebuilding Together Alexandria
Senior Services of Alexandria