Opinion Your Views — 09 May 2013
When city residents get together, good things happen

To the editor:

Perhaps you’re one of the 5,872 donors who contributed to Spring2ACTion, Alexandria’s giving day, on April 17. If so, you helped make dreams possible for thousands of children, families in need and low-income, micro-entrepreneur women in our community.

If not — and you’re only now learning about Spring2ACTion — it’s not too late to learn about the needs of our community and the passionate nonprofits that create social change. Every once in a while we have an opportunity, as a community, to come together; transform everything; make dreams happen; give a little more; and make a lasting impact.

Spring2ACTion on April 17 was just that kind of day for Alexandria. Led and organized by the dedicated team at ACT for Alexandria, the 24-hour online philanthropy day raised $659,591 from 5,872 donors for 97 local nonprofits.

For Empowered Women International — an Alexandria-based nonprofit that creates jobs and economic opportunity for immigrant and low-income women in our community through entrepreneurship training, mentoring and market access — Spring2ACTion was powerful.

With everyone’s generosity, we raised $30,497 and won an additional $2,850 in prizes from ACT for Alexandria.
The funding will directly support 17 entrepreneurship scholarships for immigrant and low-income women who dare to dream big, create value through their work and make a difference through their passion and dedication.

The scholarship will provide for their enrollment in the Entrepreneur Training for Success — our nonprofit’s three-month flagship program — which includes 60 hours of business startup training, 30 hours of mentoring, coaching and support services, networking opportunities, and access to microloans of up to $5,000 per startup.

Each scholarship will not only empower a woman, her children and her family, but our community as a whole. Each scholarship will lead to a new startup in our community that might just become the bakery in your neighborhood, the local artist working with children in after-school educational programs or the local yoga studio.

Thank you, Alexandria and ACT for Alexandria, for everything you did in making Spring2ACTion a day to remember, celebrate and make change happen.

We did it together. We can do it again.

- Marga C. Fripp
Founder and executive director, Empowered Women International

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