Give Back: Your Alexandria Holiday Giving Guide

carpenters_shelter_volunteersIt's the Season of Giving and we hope that you'll take the time to give back to members of the Alexandria community who need your help. 

Below are opportunities that you and your family can get involved in. 

Happy Holidays! 


Give to ACT for Alexandria! 

ACT for Alexandria helps people who care deeply about our extraordinary city to do the greatest good for those in need among us. The result, from one end of Alexandria to the other, is greater assistance for those who lack basic needs for their supports to heal or prevent child abuse...and more powerful tools for those who yearn to build a new future or simply need a neighbor's helping hand today.

ACT magnifies the difference each of us can make by:

  • directing generous donations of time and dollars to effective existing services
  • creating innovative and successful solutions from the "building blocks" of existing services
  • strengthening human service organizations so they can accomplish more with their always-precious resources


New Hope Housing - Help Homeless Neighbors this Holiday Season

New Hope Housing is seeking support for the homeless men, women and children in their local shelter and transitional housing programs this holiday season. Donations of food baskets, gift cards (grocery stores and super stores, i.e. Wal-Mart, Target, etc.), toiletries, new pillows, and blankets are being accepted for distribution on November 17 and December 17. For information on food basket contents, visit Interested in adopting a family or contributing in a bigger way? Contact Michelle Jannazo at or (703) 799-2293x11 and support someone less fortunate this holiday season.

You can also help with Thanksgiving meals needed at two of their smaller houses! If you would prepare or PROVIDE (from a store) a Thanksgiving meal for 8-10 people, please contact Chris ASAP at


Community Partners for Children

Don't Forget: Community Partners for Children Toy Drive on December 3!

Since 1991, Community Partners for Children has worked with Alexandria’s Holiday Sharing program to help 8,000 children in need through their annual Holiday Donation Drive. This year, 350 families (650 children) need assistance providing holiday gifts for thier children. Families receive a special invitation to attend CPC’s Distribution Day. A local recreation center is transformed in a winter wonderland and children are entertained with fun activities while their parents choose gifts for them.


Department of Community & Human Services - Holiday Sharing Program

Children's Holiday Party

The holiday season is fast approaching and that means the Alexandria Domestic Violence Program is beginning to plan for our annual Children’s Holiday Party, which is scheduled for December 18, 2012.  As many of you know, this holiday party is for victims of intimate partner violence and their children who have participated in our programs.  

Every year, we invite well over 60 families to attend this party. Dinner is provided and the families participate in activities such as arts and crafts, face painting, and singing holiday songs while they await Santa’s arrival! We provide gift cards and presents for the children and their parent.  Many times these are the only gifts that the children receive and your continued generosity ensures its success.  

We hope that you will participate in this year’s event by donating new toys or contributing gift cards, such as Target, Old Navy, Walmart, CVS, Toy R’Us, Sears, JCPenny, restaurants, and grocery stores.  We are asking that all gifts remain unwrapped.  However, you may provide wrapping paper, which we will distribute to each parent at the party. 

We will be accepting donations at our main office, 421 King Street, Suite 400 Alexandria, VA between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, starting November 26th.  If you need any further information please contact 703.746.4911 or email or  We are also available to pick up the gifts. The deadline for having unwrapped gifts delivered or picked up be distributed as gifts, as well as calendars and greeting cards. For more information, call 703-370-0370.


Parent Leader Training Institute - BRYCE

BRYCE is a community service organization which encourages friendship, diversity, individuality, and family. We are seeking female student (grades 8-12) volunteers to assist with wrapping gifts, sorting toys, delivering holiday cheer and helping encourage elementary school students.

The deadline is December 10th and they can respond to La Von Curtis at


Campagna Center

The center needs clothes for teenagers and is always looking for canned goods, toys for younger children and books. Drop off donations at 418 S. Washington St. in Alexandria, Monday through Friday during normal business hours. Volunteers are also needed for Campagna Kids, a before- and after-school child care service; Head Start, a national preschool program.


Carpenter’s Shelter

Carpenter's Shelter, Northern Virginia’s largest homeless shelter, serves 1,000 homeless and formerly homeless men, women and families annually. Carpenter's is in need of volunteers to assist with the Winter Shelter, sort their pantry and clean out their toiletries closet. You can also help make a lasting impact by donating Target Gift Cards. Carpenter's Shelter is always in need of: cereal, coffee, powdered drink mixes, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, diapers and other toiletries. The shelter located at 930 N. Henry St., Alexandria. Please contact Courtney Bishop at 703-548-7500 x205 if you are interested in helping out this holiday season


Hopkins House

Hopkins House, at 1224 Princess St., Alexandria, needs monetary donations as well as preschool supplies, toys and children’s educational materials. Volunteers are needed to read to preschoolers. For more information, contact Jackie Balser, 703-549-4232 Ext. 23.


Senior Services of Alexandria

This year give a senior in Alexandria the gift of compassion. For a $25 plus donation, you can sponsor a senior citizen who may receive a visit from a community neighbor, a hot meal delivered to their home or assistance with life's daily challenges. We'll honor your friend, family or loved one with a beautiful Senior Services of Alexandria holiday greeting.

To send your gift, go to SSA's website, and click on the "DONATE" button to send your gift. Please email us at with the name and address of the person receiving the gift. You can also send your gift to: Senior Services of Alexandria, 700 Princess Street, Mezzanine Level, Alexandria, VA 22314, and include the name and address of the person receiving the gift.



Alexandria's Department of Recreation

On December 19th ARHA along with Alexandria's Department of Recreation will be hosting our annual "Santa's Winter Wonderland". The event will run from 6-7:30pm and in that time frame we will be distributing over 4,000 toys to over 1,300 kids in Alexandria. This event usually attracts considerable press and attendance from City officials, members of congress, celebrities and representatives from professional sporting teams.  The entire gymnasium at the Charles Houston Recreation Center in transformed into a literal "wonderland" with toy shop areas designated for kids of various ages. Each year the event has grown and we've received tremendous support from the community. This year we are looking to recruit 150 volunteers to help spread Christmas cheer to children in Alexandria. I would really love your support on this initiative in getting some volunteers to participate. If only one person is able to participate I would gladly welcome their help.


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