Our View: It’s Time to ACT

Our View: It’s Time to ACT
(Photo Credit: ACT for Alexandria)

One of the best things about Alexandria is that we give generously, of our money and of our time, to help others. This generosity takes place year-round, but it’s capsulized by two annual events: ACT for Alexandria’s annual day of giving, Spring2ACTion, and Volunteer Alexandria’s Community Service Day.

This year, Spring2ACTion takes place on April 10, but with a twist – early giving actually began yesterday and lasts for two full weeks.

Like with voting, allowing early giving hopefully casts a wider net and enables more people to participate. With a single day of giving, it’s easy to forget to call up the site, spring2action.org, on that particular day. With two full weeks to donate, there’s really no excuse, even for the procrastinators among us.

Spring2ACTion has been phenomenally successful since its inception in 2011. The annual day of giving has raised more than $8 million in all, with 2018 alone bringing in $1,812,851 from 9,438 individual donors giving to 156 nonprofits, according to the ACT for Alexandria website.

This year’s target is an ambitious $2 million, ACT President and CEO Heather Peeler recently told the Times. Particularly with the two-week head start, it’s a total the community foundation is likely to surpass.

ACT for Alexandria was started with seed money from the family of Norma Steuerle, a generous, long-time Alexandria resident who was killed in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

If donating time is your preference, then mark May 17 – Volunteer Alexandria’s Community Service Day – on your calendar, but contact them first to let them know you’re coming.

Volunteer Alexandria partners with the City of Alexandria to place hundreds of volunteers on more than 20 service projects at nonprofits around the city. Participants in the Community Service Day are also encouraged to fundraise to help meet the cost of running the organization year-round.

As with ACT’s day of giving, it’s possible to volunteer on a day other than May 17 between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m., the official date and hours of the service day, if that doesn’t work for you or your organization. Volunteer Alexandria also has fun participant events like an after party and prizes for leading individual and team fundraisers.

So please mark April 10 and May 17 on your calendar to give and volunteer in Alexandria. Whether you do so as an individual or as part of a team, the rewards from being a part of Alexandria’s giving community will pay off for you and our city for years to come. Remember, you can donate to Spring2ACTion now, and contact Volunteer Alexandria if you need to schedule a day other than May 17 to volunteer.

To participate, go to spring2action.org and click on the green “Donate” button to give, and go to volunteeralexandria.org and click on the blue “Register” link to sign up.

It’s never too early, or too late, to help.