June 5, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ACT for Alexandria Announces ACT Now Fund Grants
Seven Alexandria nonprofits receive grants to meet growing demands for safety-net services
Alexandria, VA – ACT for Alexandria (ACT), Alexandria’s own community foundation, announced the first round of ACT Now Fund Grants, totaling $25,000 and impacting 7 local nonprofit organizations aiding children, youth and families in Alexandria. ACT for Alexandria established the ACT Now Fund as a response to the dramatically increasing demands for basic needs and services triggered by the economic downturn. The goal is to raise $100,000 to support nonprofits that offer emergency food, shelter, financial, and medical assistance.
These first-round grant recipients include: Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services, Inc., ALIVE!, Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Community Lodgings, CrisisLink, Friends of Guest House and Senior Services of Alexandria. The ACT Now Fund is comprised of donations from individuals, ACT Donor Advised Funds, Cardinal Bank, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and the ACT Community Fund. The next round of grant awards will be made in October 2009.
Alexandria’s needs are growing and changing on a daily basis. “While many of these issues are receiving focus and attention, ACT’s role as a convener of people and a catalyst for innovative solutions is critical,” notes Jonelle Wallmeyer, Executive Director of ACT. We started the ACT Now Fund to specifically address the rising requests and funding shortfalls that our nonprofits are facing.”
The recipients of the ACT Now Fund Grants all spoke to the overwhelming increase in clients and demand for basic needs such as food and clothing. One area being hit hard is crisis de-escalation and mental health support. CrisisLink Executive Director, Carol Loftur-Thun noted in their application that they were seeing a 66% increase in suicide-related calls since July 2008. The economic crisis is having an unprecedented effect on youth. Last year, the hotline received 147 calls from Alexandria youth. “These statistics are startling and we need to support the staff capacity of these nonprofits that are on the front lines. They are saving lives and preventing tragedies every day,” says Wallmeyer.
To raise funds for ACT Now, ACT recently held a Dine & Donate event at Le Refuge Restaurant. It was a win-win for everyone. Le Refuge received an increase in customers and the ACT Now Fund received 15% of the evening’s sales. ACT is planning additional monthly dinners and a corporate giving program for this summer. Restaurants interested in participating can contact the ACT office for more information.
Launched in 2004, ACT for Alexandria (ACT) is a community foundation that serves as a catalyst for increasing charitable investment and philanthropic involvement in Alexandria. ACT is committed to engaging Alexandrians, innovating solutions, and investing in actions that will make a real difference, resulting in a better Alexandria for all. For more information about ACT and how you can support the pressing needs of the nonprofit community in Alexandria, contact ACT at 703-739-7778 or visit www.actforalexandria.org.
ACT for Alexandria
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