Payless Gives, Santa’s Winter Wonderland, Carlyle House Ornament and More: The Christmas Column

  • With Christmas around the corner, read about the efforts of the Center for Alexandria’s Children to give shoes to the children it supports.  According to the Localkicks blog, the CAC was chosen as a partner in Payless Gives, an annual shoe donation program sponsored by Payless Shoe Source.  The CAC is just one of the 800 charities participating this year!
  • Want to help Santa? Bring a gift to the Charles Houston Recreation Center today or tomorrow and participate in Santa’s Winter Wonderland.  All presents will be delivered to children by Santa himself on Wednesday, December 22nd as part of a season celebration.  For more info, visit the City website.
  • Attention Shoppers: You can now purchase Alexandria’s annual holiday ornament from the Office of Historic Alexandria! This year’s edition “depicts the Carlyle House in a festive and wintry setting.”  Order online or stop by Gadsby’s Tavern to pick one up for a friend or family member.
  • Interested in a Christmas-themed tour of Old Town that will take you back to Colonial Times? Call (703) 519-1749 to learn more.  Tours end December 22nd, so hurry and make your reservations today for a magnificent experience!
  • The Salvation Army needs your help this Christmas! To find out how you can make a difference for a family this holiday, read their “Christmas Charity” page!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



Toys for Tots, Wheels to Africa, Alexandria’s Black History Museum and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • Don’t forget, tomorrow (December 14th) is the deadline to drop off donations for Toys for Tots at the Sheriff”s Office.  The City of Alexandria reports that donations are “needed for babies two and younger and children 13 and older.”  Your gifts will be given to the children of those incarcerated at the Alexandria Detention Center. Please contact Deputy Stubblefield at (703) 746-5134 to arrange your donation.
  • Check out this must-read article about  Wheels to Africa, a charity created by Arlington teenager Winston Duncan.  In six years, Duncan and others have sent 2,700 unwanted bikes to Africa.  T.C. Williams served as one of the drop-off locations this past Saturday for this year’s collection event.  Even though it has passed, you can still lend a helping hand by volunteering or donating to this great cause!
  • Looking for a way to get involved in your city? The Alexandria Commission for the Arts is in need of volunteers to serve on various panels.  All members are required to serve three-year terms, during which they will help approve grants and funding for the 2012 fiscal year.  To learn more, visit theAlexandria Commission for the Arts.
  • To kick off its new exhibit, “Style and Identity: Black Alexandria in the 1970s, Portraits by Horace Day,” Alexandria’s Black History Museum will host an event on Tuesday, December 14th.  The new exhibition will feature scenes of Alexandria and portraits of African American Alexandrians.  Read the official press release to find out more about the event and Day’s work.
  • Last week, the Carlyle Community blog detailed the upcoming visit of 150 1st Graders from Mount Vernon Community School to the Alexandria Sanitation Authority to learn about the importance of clean water.  The field trip was part of World Water Monitoring Day, celebrated throughout the world. You can see photos and videos of the field trip on the ASA’s Facebook page

Angel Giving Tree Program, Holiday on the Avenue, Scottish Christmas Walk and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • This holiday season, J.C. Penny and the Salvation Army have teamed up to promote the Angel Giving Tree program.  The online program saw 40,000 people participate last year.  You can adopt Angels in Alexandria to help. U.S. citizens who register will be sent a wish list from someone in-need via e-mail, based on criteria they choose, and can purchase goods that UPS will ship for free!
  • On Friday, December 3rd, all Alexandrians are welcome to attend “Holiday on the Avenue“- Del Ray’s holiday tree lighting.  It will take place from 6-9 PM and refreshments will be provided.  For more info, call (703) 746-3301.
  • Also that Friday and through the following Saturday, Old Town will play host to the 40th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade.  The parade itself begins at 11 AM on Saturday, and will feature over 100 Scottish clans, bagpipe players and more-all to celebrate Old Town’s Scottish heritage.  To learn more, visit the Walk’s official page.  Come join the festivities and look for ACT for Alexandria’s marching brigade headed up by Executive Director John Porter!
  • Check out Gale Curcio‘s article about Dr. Roy Heron and his effort to help minority students at T.C. Williams High School become more invested in their education.  Dr. Heron recently founded the D.C. Metro Area Chapter of the Carson Scholars Fund, which will hold its first fundraiser on Thursday, December 9th at the Embassy of New Zealand from 7-10 PM.
  • For those who’ve been following the possible redevelopment of Jefferson-Houston Elementary, you probably don’t want to miss the Parker-Grey Growler’s coverage of the final public meeting on this controversial project.

Shop at Food Matters Thursday to Support ALIVE!

On Thursday, November 18th, Food Matters in Cameron Station will donate 10% of its sales to ALIVE! in recognition of, and thanks to, the many ALIVE! volunteers who make a difference in our community day after day. Support a worth cause while enjoying farm fresh food and great live music

How You Can Help

Shop at Food Matters in Cameron Station tomorrow

When: Thursday, November 18th, 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Where: Food Matters in Cameron Station, 4906 Brenman Park Drive. Directions

Food Matters will also have live music (with no cover charge) of singer-songwriter Angie Miller from 6-8 p.m. Food Matters is located in the Cameron Station neighborhood of Alexandria at 4906 Brenman Park Drive. For more information, call Food Matters at 703-461-3663.

ALIVE! (ALexandrians InVolved Ecumenically) is a nonprofit organization that serves thousands of 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. More than 700 volunteers a year help ALIVE! fulfill the mission to put faith and love into action. Visit ALIVE!’s program overview page to learn more about their programs and how you can help.

Toys for Tots, Columbia Pike Transit Initiative and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • On Sunday, December 5th from 1-5 PM, the City’s 36th Annual Toys for Tots Benefit Square Dance will be held at the Lee Center Exhibit Hall.  The Capital Squares Demonstration Team will perform at 3 PM.  All toys donated during the event will be given to children in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  For more info,  call the City of Alexandria’s Special Events Hotline at (703) 746-5592 or visit the Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities page.
  • Alexandria residents are invited to attend two meetings regarding the Columbia Pike Transit Initiative.  According to the City of Alexandria’s website, plans are being made to “extend [the route] along Columbia Pike (Route 244) from the Bailey’s Crossroads/Skyline area in Fairfax County to Pentagon City in Arlington County. Alignment and yard options extend to the Northern Virginia Community College within the City of Alexandria.”  Both meetings, on November 15th and 18th, will be hosted by Arlington County and cover the same topics.  The City asks that those interested attend the meeting most convenient for them.
  • Barbara Maxwell, a reporter for The Examiner, writes that on Saturday, November 20th, the City of Alexandria and Covanta Energy will host a “Mercury Drop-Off” event where residents can safely dispose of devices containing the hazardous metal.  Visit the City’s Household Hazardous Waste page for more details.
  • City officials are encouraging all residents and visitors to recycle and reuse plastic bags.  With the Plastic Bag Recycling Initiative, the City of Alexandria hopes to promote environmental awareness and meet the goals set by the Eco-City Alexandria Initiative.  To learn more and to find out how you can help, visit the City’s Solid Waste and Recycling page.

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pike Transit Initiative