To the editor:
I write this letter as a longtime volunteer for and supporter of the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club. We serve 80 to 120 kids after school every day. This club has been a proud part of our community since 1936. We make a tremendous difference in the lives of these children.
A couple of months ago, our local Boys & Girls Club faced a funding shortage and reached out to Mayor Allison Silberberg. She quickly met with the Club’s branch director, the regional vice president and the head of the Greater Washington Boys & Girls Club in her office and gave us an hour of her time. She listened carefully and asked great questions. She is an enthusiastic supporter of our work but was candid that it would be difficult to find funding. She committed to trying to solicit support from the community on our behalf.
The issue was that the Club did not have the resources to hire additional part-time staff and had 42 kids on a waiting list who needed our after-school programs. So we were being forced to turn these children away.
To my pleasant surprise, a few weeks later, Silberberg advised us that she had found some donors to give significant funding, and that has allowed us to hire the necessary part-time staff so that we could adequately admit these children into our club until the end of the school year.
That is leadership. Silberberg listens.
She is focused. She cares deeply, especially about children. And she went to bat for these kids. She is a doer and gets things done.
This is not politics. This is about doing the right thing. Silberberg is committed to doing the right thing and not seeking attention for it.
She really came through for us, and we are very grateful. I hope she is re-elected on June 12.
-Mike Menchel, volunteer and former board member, Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club