Sometimes All It Takes Is 18 People

It’s easy to forget how important our individual actions can be, but if you look around Alexandria closely, you can see people making an impact in the lives of people in need in our community everyday. That is what ACTion Alexandria is all about-helping individual acts make a big impact in our community.

Last week, I heard about ImagineDesign, a Manassas-based design firm giving away a website design to a DC area charity. All you had to do was nominate your favorite charity using their Facebook form.

I also knew that the Center for Alexandria’s Children was trying to figure out how they could afford a redesign of their current website to better meet it’s needs. It was a perfect storm if you will-a local nonprofit needed a website and a local design firm was donating a website to a worthy nonprofit. All we had to do was make sure the Center for Alexandria’s Children was selected as the winner by ImagineDesign.

The Center for Alexandria’s Children is a worthy organization if there ever was one. Their purpose is the elimination of child abuse in the City of Alexandria. The CAC works collaboratively through a public-private partnership to protect children and strengthen families by coordinating the investigation, prosecution, treatment and prevention of child abuse in one safe, child-friendly facility.

So, using email and Facebook to quickly mobilize supporters, 18 people nominated the Center for Alexandria’s Children to win ImagineDesign’s contest, making sure to include personal testimonials describing why they support the CAC.

Thanks to good timing, a great organization, and some help from loyal supporters, The Center for Alexandria’s Children was selected by ImagineDesign as the contest winner, and is well on it’s way to getting the new website it needs.

An important take away from the Center for Alexandria’s Children’s good fortune is that it doesn’t always take hundreds or thousands of people to vote for your project or organization, or thousands of dollars in donations. Sometimes it only takes 18 people to make all the difference in the world.

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

Giving in a Bad Economy, Mayor Euille’s Unity Breakfast, Recognizing SCAN and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • With the state of the economy, are you reconsidering giving to your favorite charities during the holidays? Jane Collins wrote an excellent column for her blog, Get Out and Give Back.  In it, she offers advice about donating despite the times.  Check it out!
  • Also read Collins’s coverage of Mayor Euille’s Unity Breakfast, an annual tradition that began in 2003.  ACT Executive Director John Porter attended, stressing to the crowd to remember that like the body’s need for exercise, philanthropy should be a constant activity because it enriches the community.
  • Find out about the work of Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia on the LocalKicks blog.  The 8th Annual Toast to Hope, held last month, raised funds for the various programs the foundation supports, which aid numerous children and families in the area.
  • Attention Alexandria Residents: The City wants to hear from you! If you would like to voice your opinion on transportation projects and priorities, be sure to attend this Wednesday’s meeting at Beatley Library from 7-9 PM.  For more information, visit the City’s Transportation Page or call (703) 746-4025.
  • Have a passion for the Arts? The Commission for the Arts is looking for volunteers with any experience or interest in literature, music and other forms to help make decisions on grants for the 2012 fiscal year.  To learn more, visit the Commission’s website or contact the Office of the Arts at (703) 746-5588.