ACTion Alexandria turns one year old on Tuesday and has much to celebrate.
The nonprofit is a barn raising effort for the digital age – it helps other Alexandria nonprofits raise funds and initiate projects to grow community giving via online tools.
During the last year, ACTion raised more than $120,000 and donated more than 3,700 items to area nonprofits, among many other success stories.
The group also garnered about 2,000 registered members, or about 1.3% of Alexandria’s population. This year, it hopes to attract about 15,000 members or 10%, said Executive Director Tracy Viselli during an interview at St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub.
In January, the nonprofit was named Del. David Englin’s “nonprofit of the month,” a new initiative by the 45th District’s House lawmaker.
“We’ve done a lot of great things but I’m most proud of Spring2ACTion, an event that really raises awareness about good nonprofits in the area,” she said, adding that it was the first “giving day” sponsored by a city rather than on the state level.
ACTion plans to host the event again this year, on May 2. Part of the event will include a dinner event at Pork Barrel BBQ, which will donate the proceeds to Spring to Action.
The group also recently partnered with the Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network and Alexandria/Arlington Smart Beginnings to launch the Project Play Spruce Up Grants Competition to help residents improve local, public playgrounds.
Two grants of $5,000 and two grants of $2,500 were awarded based upon the number of votes received on ACTion Alexandria, feasibility and need and accessibility based upon recommendations from a recent citywide play space assessment report conducted by Design Concepts.
The group awarded $5,000 to Sunset Park at 10 Russell Rd. and another $5,000 to Brookvalley Park at Holmes Run Trail and Ripley St. Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy won $2,500 as did Angel Park at 201 West Taylor Run Pkwy.
The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities will make the improvements by April 30.
This month, ACTion Alexandria is going to kick off a Green Ideas Challenge similar to the playground challenge, asking citizens on how to make Alexandria a more sustainable, greener city.
The City of Alexandria last year gave ACTion $50,000 to use over two years. Viselli said she hopes the city will continue to fund the endeavor and looks forward to doing more collaborative projects with the city.