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Serving Thousands of Needy Alexandrians Each Year

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ALIVE!( ALexandrians In Volved Ecumenically) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization of volunteers from over 40 religious congregations and the community working together to help those in need in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Founded in 1969, ALIVE! is the largest private safety net for the needy in the city of Alexandria, addressing short-term to long-term needs for those less fortunate in the community. Learn more ...

Save the Date: ALIVE!’s Second Annual Empty Bowls Alexandria!

Empty Bowls logo

When: November 12, 2016 at 6:00 PM
Where: Durant Arts Center in Old Towne Alexandria

Last year, our community came together to donate $37,000 to feed Alexandrians in need at the inaugural Empty Bowls Alexandria event. Join us this November to help even more neighbors put food on their tables. Download the flyer, buy a ticket, or become an event sponsor.

Step ALIVE! Walkathon Wrap-up

Despite early morning showers, the weather broke for a few hours during the afternoon, allowing more than 100 individuals to participate in the 35th Annual Step ALIVE! Walkathon. Led out of First Christian Church by bagpipes, walkers strolled down King Street into and around Old Town.

Returning to the church, an array of returning walkers were greeted by the sounds of the Taste of Bluegrass Band and delicious food donated by sponsors and volunteers. We thank all of our sponsors and walkers for making this year’s Step ALIVE! Walkathon a success. (See the sponsors for this event.)

StepALIVE poster with names of sponsor organizations
Posted 5/9/2016

ALIVE’s Food Warehouse Project Receives Grant from TechFoundation

The ALIVE! Food and Family Emergency Program has received a generous grant of $14,256 from TechFoundation, Inc. as part of its TechGrants Program. Read the press release.

Introducing 2016 Living Legend of Alexandria: Diane Charles

Diane Charles has been selected as one of twelve 2016 Living Legends of Alexandria. Selections are made following a process where the community nominates individuals who have made a difference lives of others in Alexandria. According to the official selection announcement, Show more ...

"Diane Charles has lived and worked in Alexandria over 30 years. She has recognized community needs and found ways to make positive change. As Director of Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) for 11 years and currently leading ALIVE! she has grown and strengthened programs and staffing and leads by example as a citizen-volunteer."

ALIVE!’s Board of Directors and volunteers heartily concur!

Partnering with the Alexandria Sheriff’s Department

ALIVE! regularly partners with the Alexandria’s Department to provide food, such as single servings that can be carried, to the homeless and others in need in the City of Alexandria. Here, Deputy Wright helps out a resident in January 2016.
photo of Deputy Wright

Diane Charles Attends White House Briefing on Childhood Hunger

ALIVE!'s Executive Director, Diane Charles, was recently invited to attend "A White House Conversation on Child Hunger in America." The program consisted to two panels discussing research evidence on child hunger in America and the role of SNAP and the practitioner and beneficiary perspectives of SNAP, hunger, children's life outcomes.

During the first panel, “Research Evidence on Child Hunger in America and the Role of SNAP,” Diane and others heard from leading economists discuss their research which provides evidence on child hunger and the broad value of SNAP. The second panel, “Practitioner and Beneficiary Perspectives on SNAP, Hunger, and Children’s Life Outcomes,” included presentations from those who are on the ground working on child hunger every day.

ALIVE’s CDC Shines in Recent NAEYC Accreditation Renewal

The ALIVE! Child Development Center (CDC) is pleased to announce it has achieved another five-year term of accreditation from NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). Read the press release.

CDC NAEYC Certificate

ALIVE! Empty Bowls Event

photo of empty bowls on table at ALIVE Empty Bowls event

ALIVE!’s inaugural Empty Bowls Alexandria event on Saturday night, November 14th, brought together over 130 people to raise awareness and funds to feed people in Alexandria who are hungry. Over $30,000 was raised to support ALIVE!’s Last Saturday Food Distribution and Family Emergency Programs.
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More than 13,500 of Alexandria’s residents live in poverty Held at the Durant Arts Center in Old Town, guests at ALIVE!’s Empty Bowls event enjoyed a delicious meal of soup, bread and desserts provided by 12 of Alexandria’s restaurants. Jen Walker Real Estate Team, Mercedes-Benz of Alexandria and Whole Foods – Old Town were the lead financial sponsors of the event. Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria Fine Arts Department and their ceramics students crafted and provided unique bowls for each attendee. ALIVE! is the largest private safety net for those in need in the City of Alexandria.

See our current list of sponsors.

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots program encouraging local artists and organizations to work together to raise hunger awareness and help feed those who are hungry in their own communities.

photo of ALIVE executive director Diane Charles with person in turkey costume40th Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot Brings in Canned Goods and Monetary Donations

ALIVE! received 46 banana boxes of food, $689 in cash donations, and a $5,000 check from the Del Ray Business Association to support ALIVE!s Food Program as part of the 40th Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot. Thanks to everyone who turned out to run the race and help ALIVE!

Coverage of New Alexandria Food Center Dedication

Dedicated on October 16, the center is located in space made available by the city of Alexandria, which also funded and oversaw renovations to the space as part of its commitment to meeting the emergency food needs of its residents. "The new Food Center is a wonderful example of the Mayor and Members of the City Council, City government, non-profits and Alexandria’s faith community coming together to tackle a significant issue affecting the health and well-being of Alexandrians,” states Diane Charles. (Read more. See also NBC4 coverage.)

Amanda Finishes Marathon to Raise Funds for ALIVE! House

Amanda Isaac finishes Marine Corps MarathonAmanda Isaac successfully completed the 26.2-mile 2015 Marine Corps Marathon on behalf of ALIVE! House. She wants to thank everyone for supporting her throughout the journey of training and finishing the event. Donations will still be accepted online (or via cash/check) until November 30th! (Continued)

ALIVE! Celebrates 46th Annual Volunteer Recognition and Recommitment Potluck

An annual tradition, this much-anticipated event brought volunteers together on October 6 for an evening of good food and camaraderie. This year’s event was held at the Fairlington United Methodist Church. Attendees heard motivational remarks from Fairlington’s lead pastor, Mary Beth Blinn. Individuals joining the celebration this year included Harry and Ann Williams, who were part of the group who founded ALIVE!.

ALIVE! 2015 volunteer recognition dinner

"It Starts at Home," a Commentary

Diane Charles commentary in Alexandria Gazette-Packet, 9/18/2015

ALIVE! Executive Director Diane Charles comments on the importance of affordable housing in the September 17, 2015, Alexandria Gazette-Packet. (Read it here or find it on page 10 of the Gazette-Packet.)

ALIVE's CDC Receives 4-Star QRIS Rating

ALIVE!'s Child Development Center (CDC) received a four-star VSQI rating for the third consecutive rating period. This rating places the CDC in the 95 thpercentile for high-quality early childhood education programs in Virginia. More impressively, the CDC is the only program in Alexandria to achieve this four-star rating three consecutive times. Read more ...

ALIVE! Selected for 2015–16 Catalogue for Philanthropy

logo of Catalog for Philanthropy

Recognized as "one of the best small charities in Greater Washington," ALIVE! is honored to announce its selection for the 2015–16 Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington. This award reflects ALIVE!'s status as a highly effective local charity, serving as the largest private safety net for the needy in the city of Alexandria, addressing short- to long-term needs for those less fortunate in the community. Read more ...

United Way Grants Awarded

ALIVE! was among ten nonprofit organizations serving the city of Alexandria that collectively were awarded $105,000 in United Way National Capital Area Community Impact grants, emphasizing education, financial stability, and health. Read more here.

United Way UCA Community Impact Grantees

Hunger Free Alexandria

Hunger Free Alexandria seal

In September 2014, ALIVE! member congregations conducted a Hunger Free Alexandria event at Fairlington Presbyterian Church to foster increased commitment to ending hunger in our city. Visit the Hunger Free websitefor more information.

Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network Food Study Report

The Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria’s Childhood Obesity Action Network (A-COAN) has released a new report, "Toward an End to Hunger in Alexandria,"commissioned by A-COAN with other Alexandria organizations.

The study examines food hardship in the city and obstacles and remedies to providing more assistance to needy residents. The study's authors looked at the emergency food assistance system in Alexandria, availability and use of government food aid programs, and private sector food assistance efforts. To learn more about the report or to get connected with the partnership, visit the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria’s websiteor email HealthierAlexandria@alexandriava.gov.

ALIVE! Legacy Society

Learn more about the ALIVE! Legacy Society, a community of friends and supporters who have provided for ALIVE! in their wills or trusts — or who have formally expressed the intent to do so.

Support ALIVE!

Put your charitable contributions to work in the local community. Consider a tax-deductible, donation to ALIVE! Use your credit card to securely donate online now.

Learn More

More than 700 volunteers a year help ALIVE! fulfill the mission to put faith and love into action. Of ALIVE!’s seven programs, five are staffed and managed entirely by volunteers. ALIVE! is Alexandrians helping Alexandrians.

Find out more about ALIVE! and our many volunteer opportunities and wish lists of needed itemsfor our programs. Connect with us on facebook, post on our our wall, join in a discussion, and much more. And don't miss our video on You Tube logo

ALIVE's Vision and Mission

  • To alleviate the suffering caused by poverty and to dramatically improve the lives of those in need in the city of Alexandria.
  • Through faith and love, to help people faced with emergency situations or long-term needs become capable of assuming self-reliant roles in the community.

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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)