ACT for Alexandria: stronger together
by Heather Peeler, ACT for Alexandria
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought profound changes to our nation and our community. The degree of hardship and loss of life exceeds what many of us have experienced in our lifetime.
“The past year is a testament to the love and compassion Alexandrians have for one another,” ACT shares for Alexandria President and CEO Heather Peeler. “We took shelter in place, supported local businesses, volunteered and donated so our community could stay safe and strong in the face of adversity.”
ACT for Alexandria’s is Alexandria’s community foundation and home to philanthropy. From March to December 2020, ACT for Alexandria, in partnership with the City of Alexandria, thousands of donors and over 100 nonprofits, worked together to provide essential programs and services to our neighbors in need. . Thousands of Alexandrines, local businesses, congregations and the city have provided more than $ 5.76 million in COVID-19 emergency support. The collective response to the pandemic has been immediate, responsive and comprehensive. You can read the details of this full response at actforalexandria.org.
The pandemic has also highlighted the destructive hold of racism in our community. The neighbors hardest hit by the pandemic have been the same ones who have been left out of the region’s pre-pandemic prosperity. “To move forward as a community, we understood that we needed to prioritize investments in African American, Latin and immigrant communities,” said Peeler.
Alexandrians are focused on ending the pandemic. According to the Alexandria Department of Health, vaccination rates continue to rise. Local businesses are reporting a recovery in business.
However, significant headwinds remain. Many Alexandrians continue to live with food and housing insecurity, lack of childcare services and persistent gaps in internet access. The economic security of those who were already at the forefront of finance before the pandemic is illusory. The city of Alexandria has proposed several initiatives that will use federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to address these issues. This essential investment will help all Alexandrians secure a stronger financial footing in the months to come.
“In order to have a fair recovery, we need to deepen our resolve to move forward together,” Peeler shares. “ACT will continue to work with partners and beneficiaries to meet the urgent human service needs of Alexandrians in a way that complements the efforts of the city government. The Alexandria Resilience Fund continues to receive donations. Grants are currently available for immunization in hard-to-reach communities. New funding guidelines for the Resilience Fund will be launched in July.
You can find more information about the Resilience Fund at actaforalexandria.org.