Holiday engagement opportunities for the whole family



Volunteering in Alexandria takes many forms and is needed more than ever. Consider volunteering your time to help others in need. (Photos: Volunteer Alexandria)

By Marion Brunken

Alexandria, VA – Two years ago I would have said it was time to give. This year, we feel that many have not stopped giving of their time and resources. But because the pandemic is not over, we must continue to support our neighbors in need.

Our website,, offers a database of needs, from being a Snow Buddy to an elderly or disabled neighbor, mentoring an adult or child, serving and delivering a meal to seniors or neighbors. in quarantine, to help raise funds and implement events for nonprofits serving our community. We are also planning a family volunteer day on Saturday, November 20. All vacation opportunities can be found under the Volunteering tab.

The good news is that our annual toy drive is back! Since 2013, Volunteer Alexandria’s Annual Toy Drive has provided toys, games and books to families who register with the Department of Community and Social Services Fund for Children of Alexandria. These families are low-income, receive assistance from the city of Alexandria, and many are recent immigrants. Due to COVID, we are focusing on infants and toddlers three years and under. Our goal is to provide two toys and two books per child to approximately 150 children.

How can I help you? 1. Donate a Toy or Book: Visit to view recommendations and order. We ask the community to donate NEW books and educational toys ONLY – UNPACKAGED.

2. Invite your friends, colleagues, neighbors to donate and set up a donation box at their workplace or business. Email [email protected] for more details.

3. Donate large, oversized gift bags. We need 150 bags to wrap the toys. Email [email protected] for more details.

4. Give time to pick up toy bins, sort and count, wrap bags or distribute items. Spanish and Amharic speakers are required. Visit to register and view dates and times. 5. Make a donation to help us run this campaign at

Become a Snow Buddy to remove snow / ice and provide sidewalk treatment to eligible residents of Alexandria. Volunteer Alexandria pairs trained volunteers with low-income seniors and people who are homebound or disabled. Snow Buddy’s service begins with the first snowfall or ice storm and typically ends on April 30. Assignments usually take place within walking distance of the volunteer’s home. You can register to become a Snow Buddy at There will be virtual and in-person directions for all Snow Buddies to review program and safety requirements and details.

The Snow Buddy Program is essential to the safety of these residents and the community. And it’s even more important during COVID with so many people having their door-to-door delivery. It helps ensure secure access for residents who need to leave their homes for medical or other essential appointments and for those who care for the needs of residents, such as home health workers or those who care for residents. deliver groceries or meals, medication or other necessities.

If you or someone you know would like to request a Snow Buddy, please go to Residents can apply online or by mail. Application forms are also available at libraries in Alexandria.

For more information or questions on this or other volunteer opportunities, contact Volunteer Alexandria at (703) 836-2176 or email [email protected].

ICYMI: Dr David C. Rose appointed Director of Alexandria Health Department

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