ACTion Alexandria Holiday Guide: How To Help

ALIVE!_food_distribution'Tis the season!

The Holidays are just around the corner. Thanksgiving is exactly two weeks away, soon after that we will all be subjected to 24-hour Christmas music on our radio stations. The Holidays deliver us all a well deserved break. We get to be around our loved ones more often, eat some really good food, enjoy all the seasonal weather changes from inside a warm home, take advantage of shopping deals and not to mention giving and receiving presents. But, there are many people in our society who do not look forward to any holiday.

Did you know that over 10% of Virginians live at or below the poverty level? There are thousands of citizens that will be hungry, thirsty, cold, lonely, sick and homeless during the Holiday Season. So, perhaps this year, you can use all that Holiday Spirit on something other than multi-colored lights.Happy_Holidays_Penguin

The five below are just a few of the things you can do to help fellow Alexandrians and Virginians this Holiday Season. If you want to do more, please take a look at Kevin Dauray's blog post on ACTion and learn about Alexandria's Holiday Sharing Program. If you know of any other Thanksgivng or Holiday volunteer or donation oppurtunities please leave the information on the blog post in the Comment section. Together we can make this Holiday Season a memorable one for those in need.

ACTion's Holiday Guide: How To Help
  • Alexandria's Holiday Sharing Program provides gifts for those with disabilities, the elderly and low-income families.  This year has seen an increase-especially in the number of families signing up for the program-because of the dire economic situation.  For more information on how you can bring the light of the season into someone else's life, please visit the Holiday Sharing Program's signup page.

  • The Christ Church Lazarus Ministry provides assistance to those in the city of Alexandria who find themselves needing good, clothing, financial, material and spirtiual assistance and counseling. Food is the support most requested. In Fiscal year 2011, 3,837 Lazarus guests requested food assistant for their families. In the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2012 the Lazarus Ministry has provided food for 893 households containing 2,096 individuals. This represents a 92% increase from FY 2011.
  • The church will be recieving 175 turkeys for Thanksgiving distribution. It is in the process of building a Client Choice Store to provide all the sides for Thanksgiving dinner. It needs help filling its shelves. You can make a food donation to the store until November 17th. They need to be dropped off at 118 North Washington Street. Listed below are sides need:

  • Canned Green Beans
  • Chicken Broth
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Collard Greens
  • Turkey Gravy
  • Yams
  • Brownie Mix
  • Cereal and Nonfat Dry Milk

On November 22nd from 1:00PM to 4:00pm the Client Choice Store will be open. You can come in to volunteer. You'd be helping bag groceries, shop and keeping the store generally clean and orderly. Please contact Mary Dixon Hutcheson for any questions at 7023-778-4939 or visit the Mission & Outreach page.


  • The Holiday Project of the National Capital Area is an all volunteer, non profit organization that serves people through out the metro region. On holidays throughout the year, it organizes groups of people to visit with nursing home residents and hospital patients. It gives people a visit that delivers needed attention, conversation and companionship. The Holidays can be very special times of the year. But for those residing in institutions institutions, they often become lonely days with all too few visitors, cards and gifts and all too many memories of happier times. Vsitors bring a few joyful moments to the people we visit. Give a very special gift and get an even more special one in return. Please check out the Visit List and learn more about The Holiday Project of the National Capital Area.


  • The Child and Family Network Centers mission is to provide caring, high-quality free education and related services to at-risk children and families in their own neighborhoods to prepare and empower them for success in school and life. You can help this cause during the Holidays by making a contribution to the CFNC to ensure that over 200 struggling families can choose to put their kids in preschool at no cost to them. The CFNC is also in desperate need of winter gear to keep the children warm in the upcoming winter months. Let's get them over 200 hats, scarves, gloves and mittens before the second snowfall! Kids deserve to at least stay warm. Please call the CFNC at 703-836-0214 with any questions on where to deliver the donations.


  • The YMCA of Alexandria is more than just a place to play basketball or learn how to swim. As the nation’s leading nonprofit, the Y committed to helping people and communities to learn, grow and thrive. Its contributions are both far-reaching and intimate—from influencing our nation’s culture during times of profound social change to the individual support we provide an adult learning to read. Once again this Holiday Season, the YMCA of Alexandria will be providing a Thanksgiving Basket to over 120 families in the City. But this will not be possible without the help of people like you. The Y needs donations of canned food and non-perishable items to fill the baskets. Please call the Y at 703-838-8085 for more information on where to bring the donations and how else you could help this Holiday Season.


  • ALIVE! ALexandrians InVolved Ecumenically 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.

Family Emergency Program
Help process requests, pack food, or deliver food for this important ALIVE! program.

Where: ALIVE! office, 2723 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22302-4008
Date: daily
Time: 9:00 a.m. to noon for processing, noon to 2:00 p.m. for delivery volunteers

Unloading Food for Last Saturday Food Distribution
This is a great Friday workout with time for dinner and drinks afterward. Volunteers help unload food from the ALIVE! truck at Cora Kelly Recreation Center in preparation for the Last Saturday Food Distribution. Hand trucks are provided.

Where: Cora Kelly Recreation Center
Date: The last Friday of every month, January through October, and December 11.
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. 

Last Saturday Food Distribution
Volunteers are needed to help bag and distribute nonperishable food and fresh produce to low-income families


  • Cora Kelly Recreational Center (25 West Reed Avenue)
  • Ladrey Senior Residence (300 Wythe Street)
  • Church of the Resurrection (2280 N. Beauregard).

Date: Last Saturday of every month, January through October, and December 12
Time: Approximately 8:30 a.m.–12:00 noon



  • The Tahirih Justice Center works to protect immigrant women and girls seeking justice in United States from gender-based violence. Tahirih has developed an innovative and comprehensive approach to address the acute and growing needs of immigrant women and girls fleeing violence that combines direct legal services, client-based public policy advocacy, and public education. The Falls Church and Baltimore locations of Tahirih are in need of donations they can wrap to give to their client's at the Holiday Party. Suggested gift items are listed below.
  • Feminine Products
  • Toys
  • Clothing Vouchers (up to $20)
  • Food Vouchers (up to $20)
  • Transportation Passes/Cards

You can drop off your donations at 6402 Arlington Blvd, #300 in Falls Church until November 22nd. If you'd like to learn more about the Tahirih Justice Center visit its website.


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