Our View: Spring means cleaning — and giving

Our View: Spring means cleaning — and giving

(File photo)

This week heralds the coming of spring and all that it entails, though winter did give us one last blast of cold over the weekend. Each day seemingly brings new floral delights, starting with forsythia and daphne blooms and moving on to flowering redbud, Bradford pear and the magnificent tulip magnolia trees. And Washington’s iconic cherry blossoms are forecast to peak within the week.

Of course, spring means many things beyond horticultural delights. It means daylight savings time and its accompanying extra hour of evening light. Gradually warming weather enables people to get outside more to exercise, shop or sit in a park with a book. Many people react to the changing of the season by purging their closets of long-neglected clothing and doing spring cleaning chores.

Spring means spring break, family travel and youth sports teams journeying to warm locales to train for their seasons. It means the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. And it means the approach of the professional baseball season as teams enter the final weeks of spring training.

In Alexandria, spring means all of those things, but it also means much more. In the Port City, spring cleaning morphs into one of the things our city is known for — giving back. There are ample opportunities for giving. First up is the annual Spring2ACTion giving day, held on April 20 this year. Run by ACT for Alexandria, Spring2ACTion is an ambitious effort to raise money for our city’s nonprofit organizations.

This year, ACT for Alexandria has set a goal of raising $1.5 million, with 10,000 participating donors. This seems attainable, given that last year the organization raised $1,276,909 from 9,431 donors. It’s not too early to begin thinking about which nonprofits you might want to support during the campaign. For a listing of participating nonprofit organizations, visit www.spring2action.org.

Next up is Volunteer Alexandria’s annual business philanthropy summit, scheduled for May 3. This year’s keynote speaker is U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald. The event is a breakfast that brings together local businesses and nonprofit organizations to seek synergy in solving community needs.

The final main giving opportunity is Spring for Alexandria from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on May 13. Also organized by Volunteer Alexandria in partnership with the City of Alexandria, the day is one where local businesses often allow their staffs to forego in-house work for a few hours to lend help to local nonprofits.

Opportunities include painting walls, planting flowers, cleaning parks, getting public pools ready for summer, labelling books for a book drive and more. For more information or to register, go to www.springforalexandria.org.

Let’s all enjoy our walks through the glorious spring flora and fauna and the excitement of spring sports. But it’s not too early to think about which organizations we want to support through Spring2ACTion giving and Spring for Alexandria volunteering. To paraphrase from that leading philosopher, Tigger: Giving is what Alexandrians do best.