Wendy Rebera and Jenna Amendez load the car at Koinonia in Franconia.
Photo by Mike Salmon.
As the covid-19 pandemic impacted nearly every facet of people’s lives in March, Judy Davis manned the front desk at the Koinonia Foundation, going from one phone call to the other, and working with a family in the lobby.
All the residents of Virginia are being directed to stay at home, avoid others, and to not gather in groups of 10 or more, which means no work and no paycheck for some.
“We’re scrambling,” said Davis. Koinonia was only accepting food and monetary donations, and the table in the backroom was covered with canned goods but it was not much compared to the level of donations at other times. Since people are staying in, they were short staffed.
“Phones are ringing a lot,” said Davis.
Koinonia is a Christian-based organization that provides food and monetary assistance to those in need. Their motto is “We all need a helping hand sometimes.”
Donations come in from all over the Franconia and Kingstowne area. “Churches really help out a lot,” Davis said.
With the coronavirus closing facilities all over the area, including the dining area of restaurants where hourly wage employees work, the needs at places like Koinonia are going up. They don’t mention the virus by name on their website, but an upcoming pancake dinner was postponed. “This event has been postponed due to health concerns,” the posting read. On Davis’s desk was a big bottle of hand sanitizer for anyone that needed a dab.
On the other side of I-95, where Franconia Road turns into Old Keene Mill Road, ECHO, the Ecumenical Community Helping Others, is doing the same thing for residents.
ECHO is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) charity that gives food and financial help to people with short-term emergencies, and provides clothes and
Need info on volunteering or donating?
7205 Old Keene Mill Road
Springfield, VA 22150
KOINONIA FOUNDATION INC
PO Box 30878
Alexandria, VA 22310
household items to people with low incomes. In mid March, their needs were listed as food and personal care items, including "Cleaning supplies/wipes/sanitizer." They have a drop off area in the parking lot, right on Old Keene Mill Road, and to minimize contact with others, "Donation Door volunteers will come out to your car and carry in the donations so you will not have to come in close contact with anyone else," they state on the website. The coronavirus precautions are not mentioned though.
Presently, ECHO is only accepting donations of food, health/cleaning products, and financial contributions until further notice, it stated on the website. They are asking people to hold off on donations of clothing and housewares until volunteer staff is able to process these items once again.