ALEXANDRIA, VA- Marion Brunken, Executive Director for Volunteer Alexandria, is putting out the call for help. “Our core mission at Volunteer Alexandria does not and cannot stop under the most trying times our community may face. The need for community support is, now, greater than ever and our volunteers matter more than ever,” says Brunken.
Since 1980, Volunteer Alexandria has linked individual and group volunteers to area nonprofit organizations and City agencies in need of support.
In response to the ongoing pandemic crisis, Volunteer Alexandria has created COVID-19 Care for Community, a central internet bulletin board meant to mobilize and deploy volunteers, quickly and efficiently to those in need.
Brunken explains, “For weeks, our volunteers have helped to distribute and deliver meals to our schools and other needy organizations. Our team is working remotely and we currently are mobilizing people to help with the food distribution from ALIVE! ALIVE! was able to purchase a lot food with the idea to provide families more than their usual amount.”
Safeguards for All
Volunteer Alexandria is keeping volunteers and food recipients safe by asking that the following boxes are checked:
- All volunteers must pledge they have not been at any risky places where people have tested posted for COVID-19.
- Volunteers must not exhibit any symptoms of a respiratory illness including fever, runny nose, sore throat, coughing or difficulty breathing now or in the past 24 hours.
- People over the age of 65 years are not eligible to volunteer for hands-on off site activities (due to the CDC and City Guidance).
- Volunteers are asked to bring their own sanitizer, wipes, and keep a 6-foot distance from other people.
- The volunteer manager onsite will ask the above questions again, and provide sanitizer/gloves.
“And, we avoid groups of 10+ and try to keep social distancing while volunteering,” Brunken adds.
Hearing the Call
The rewards for helping are incalculable. Ann, one of the volunteers at one of the food stations handing out bags said, “I am concerned about these children not getting the food that they need. I am here today to help those kids get fed and to help in any way I can.”
Another volunteer, Donna, adds, “I am retired and want to give back to the community. I volunteer with many local nonprofits and even with Volunteer Alexandria’s Emergency Preparedness program. With everything shutting down, I heard the call and felt the need to help others deal with this difficult situation.”
Help Needed Immediately
Volunteer Alexandria is in need of volunteers to assist handing out bags of food at St. Joseph Catholic Church starting this Thursday, March 26 and on the Saturdays of March 28, April 4 and April 11. Families in their cars will be able to pick up bags of free food at John Adams Elementary School (5651 Rayburn Ave, Alexandria, VA) and Cora Kelly Elementary School (3600 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA).
Volunteer Alexandria works in partnership with nonprofits, government and the business community to inspire people to volunteer, and to engage volunteers in activities that in turn strengthen our community. If you are eligible, register at www.VolunteerAlexandria.org/CareforCommunity