Opinion: Editorial: Give Locally in Alexandria

Opinion: Editorial: Give Locally in Alexandria

For thousands of families in our area, uncertainty and need are distant from the celebrations and plenty that so many of us associate with this holiday period.

The holidays are about giving, and giving thanks. The holidays are about children and family. The holidays are about sharing, about joy. The holidays are about being thankful and about faith and appreciation. The holidays are about alleviating suffering for others.

Northern Virginia is among the wealthiest areas in the country. Many if not most of us go through our daily and seasonal routines without encountering evidence of the needy families among us.

In Alexandria City Public Schools, most (more than 60 percent) of students are poor enough to receive subsidized meals. Among Alexandria’s families with children, more than 10 percent have incomes below the poverty line.

Many are children living in families who may be on the brink of homelessness, families who must choose between medical bills, car repair, heat and food. Some of these are children who may not be sure that they will have a meal between the meals they get in school.

Many nonprofits in the city need your help to provide a holiday meal for Christmas, to provide children with gifts.

There are literally hundreds, probably thousands, of ways to give locally this season. Here are a few ideas. Please let us know what we have missed.

— Mary Kimm, mkimm@connectionnewspapers.com

Where to Give Locally in Alexandria

  • ALIVE! Alexandria; 2723 King St, Alexandria, VA 22302; 703-837-9300; ALIVE! serves thousands Alexandrians annually with shelter; low-cost early childhood education and childcare; financial help for rent, utilities, medical care and other critical needs; emergency food; and deliveries of donated furniture and houseware. www.alive-inc.org

  • Senior Services of Alexandria, 703-836-4414, www.seniorservicesalex.org, Support services for elders enabling them to age with dignity.

  • Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, 703-746-4774, www.alexandriaanimals.org, Pet adoptions, spay and neuter assistance, education and community service and outreach.

  • Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia, 703-820-9001, www.scanva.org, Parent education, public education — re: child abuse and court advocacy for abused and neglected children.

  • Rebuilding Together Alexandria, 703-836-1021, www.RebuildingTogetherAlex.org, Home repair and maintenance for vulnerable veterans, elderly, disabled and families with children.

  • ACT for Alexandria, 703-739-7778, www.actforalexandria.org, Nonprofit and donor services.

  • Carpenter's Shelter, 703 548-7500,www.carpentersshelter.org, Homeless services and programs including education and case management.

  • The Campagna Center, 703-549-0111,www.campagnacenter.org, Educational and social development programs for children, teens, and adults.

  • Center for Alexandria’s Children, 703-838-4381, www.centerforalexandriaschildren.org, Child abuse and neglect and parent support.

  • Child and Family Network Centers, 703-836- 0214, www.cfnc-online.org, Provides caring, high-quality, free early education and related services to at-risk children and their families in their own neighborhoods to prepare them for success in school and life

  • Alexandria Tutoring Consortium, 703-549-6670 ext. 119 https://alexandriatutors.org/, Tutoring for Alexandria City Public Schools kindergarten and first grade students who are struggling to read. Donate now to fund its mission of making sure that every child in Alexandria can read and succeed.

  • Community Lodgings, Inc., 703-549-4407 Transitional and affordable housing, youth education, adult education, bilingual staff assistance.

  • Computer C.O.R.E. 703-931-7346, www.computercore.org, Adult education, computer training and career development.

  • Hopkins House, 703-549-8072,www.hopkinshouse.org, Preschool academy, family budgeting and literacy, family education and youth summer enrichment camp, Early Childhood Learning Institute.

  • Northern Virginia Family Services, www.nvfs.org, Employment and job training, healthcare, housing, mental health, foster care and Healthy Families. 571-748-2500

  • Volunteer Alexandria, 123 N Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-836-2176; http://volunteeralexandria.org; Volunteer recruitment and placement, court-referred community service placement, community awareness events, and volunteer management training.

  • Bethany House, 6121 Lincolnia Rd #303, Alexandria, VA 22312; 703-658-9500; http://www.bhnv.org/; Bethany House provides emergency shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic violence throughout Northern Virginia and the surrounding DC metro communities.

  • Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, 703-237-0866, www.lcnv.org, Teaches adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking and understanding English.

  • The Community Foundation of Northern Virginia, www.cfnova.org The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia works to respond to critical need and seed innovation in the region. Make grants in its focus areas of interest while also bringing a spotlight on the benefits of community philanthropists.

  • Friends of the Alexandria Mental Health Center, an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, serves as a safety net for clients of the CSB who encounter extraordinary or emergency financial needs. Able to devote more than 98 percent of the donations and grants to direct client support and co-sponsorship of free public educational programs. bit.ly/friendsoftheAMHC

  • Neighborhood Health, 6677 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22306. Partners with patients to treat the whole person through medical, behavioral health and dental programs. Ten clinics throughout region. Participating with all insurance including commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid, 703-535-5568, www.neighborhoodhealthva.org

  • Potomac Riverkeeper Network works to protect the public’s right to clean water in our rivers and streams; to stop pollution to promote safe drinking water; to protect healthy river habitats; and to enhance public use and enjoyment. 3070 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007. 202-888-2037 www.potomacriverkeepernetwork.org

  • Potomac River Conservancy, 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 805, Silver Spring, MD 20910, 301-608-1188 potomac.org, seeks to improve the Potomac River’s water quality by building an impassioned base of river advocates to impart change at the local level.