Giving BackKids

Give Your Son or Daughter the Option of Engaging with Others this Summer in a Meaningful and Rewarding Way

By Mary Wadland

ALEXANDRIA,VA-Volunteer Alexandria is seeking middle and high school students to spend one to three days learning first-hand about the social issues Alexandrians face and how local non-profit organizations address these issues. Breaks with Impact – Doing Good in the Neighborhood is a hands-on experience for students to learn how hunger, homelessness, the environment, etc. affect the residents of our city and how the students can make a difference.

The program’s objectives are to create a strong understanding of why volunteering is important, inform youth on the issues area nonprofits address, educate youth on how a nonprofit fulfills their mission, provide ways youth can identify an issue important to them, encourage youth to be involved in community, and make youth feel more valued in the community. In April, 17 students were able to participate in the program, which started at Meade Memorial Church for welcoming and learning about hunger in our City. Later that morning, the students traveled to Alexandria Families for Safe Streets (AFSS). Students reached out to pedestrians and drivers to let them know more about how to safely cross streets or be aware of pedestrians in the Carlyle area. One student responded to the question about what they enjoyed best, “I enjoyed learning about being safe while also having an interactive experience with pedestrians. I also enjoyed learning about other people’s stories.”

After lunch, the students served at Alexandria Community Shelter and made the shelter more welcoming for its residents by cleaning bathrooms, sleeping rooms and public spaces. After volunteering, the students heard from speakers from the shelter and from the City’s Alexandria’s Substance Abuse Center. It was a great experience for the students to hear from four different speakers. All the speakers had a great impact on the students. “I enjoyed how we were all supportive and helped the current shelter members,” said a student after the program. Another responded that it changed her life hearing from the clients.

Enrollment for July and August is open now: Visit

High School: Jul 10 – 12, Aug 26 – 28. One day program on July 23rd

Middle School: Jul 15 – 17, Aug 19 – 21. One day program on July 25th

Email Myra at [email protected] for questions.

About Volunteer Alexandria

Volunteer Alexandria strives to build a stronger community by inspiring and mobilizing people to volunteer. The organization serves as a matchmaker, providing connections between volunteers and organizations that need assistance, when and where it is needed, throughout the community. From creating and maintaining green space, preparing for emergencies, promoting arts and culture, developing hands-on job skills, to feeding the hungry, Volunteer Alexandria has a 39-year legacy of caring for the heart of Alexandria. By mobilizing helping hands, Volunteer Alexandria is in the business of helping Alexandrians give back to this city with their whole heart, through volunteering. Contact: 703-836-2176, [email protected]

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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