Volunteers are the Heart of Alexandria celebrated volunteers who gave their time and expertise to make our City a better place for all of us in 2022. Each year, Volunteer Alexandria recognizes and honors the work of volunteers and businesses that supported Alexandria's nonprofit organizations and community. Volunteers give vital assistance in fulfilling our mission and we couldn't do what we do without the help of those who donate their time, talents, and skills. In 2022, reported volunteers donated over $29,500 hours, valued at close to $890,000! (Value of one volunter hour in VA is $29.95). See a full list of all volunteers.

“Without volunteers, our hard-working nonprofits would not be able to fulfill their missions and we couldn’t do what we do to serve our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Justin Wilson. “The donation of time, talents and skills of our community’s volunteers make Alexandria a better place for all of us.” 

Instead of a plaque, all awardees were invited to join us for a tree planting. Each awardee received a tree in honor of their service. This is an inititiave between the VolALX and the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities. Location: Holmes Run Park

And the Awardees are...

Willie Bailey: Marian Van Landingham Lifetime Achievement Awardee - Mr. Bailey has supported children and our community for numerous years. His work in the community over many years is just amazing and outstanding, and he continued to do so during this pandemic. He has given so much time and energy to help our children to stay warm and prepare for school, now serves on the school board, and the community appreciates him.
Paloma Santiago-Adorno:  Joan White Grassroots Volunteer Service Awardee - Ms. Santiago-Adorno volunteers with Alexandria/Arlington CASA, advocating for children to get support services. She has been a CASA for over 10 years and has tirelessly advocated for 11 children to receive the services they need, obtain academic support to succeed in school, and achieve permanency in a safe, stable, harm-free home. She has been on her current case for three years, ensuring the child you advocate for has a constant adult figure in her life as she navigates the trauma of the abuse the child endured.
Todd Peterson: Joan White Grassroots Volunteer Service Awardee - Todd volunteers with CASA Chirilagua, mentoring youth and developing personal goals. Todd is the type of mentor that every student can only dream of having: enduringly investing time, energy, and empathy into his relationship with his mentee to bridge the gaps between the students’ potential and access in the Chirilagua community.
Gerry Hebert: Joan White Grassroots Volunteer Service Awardee Gerry volunteers with ALIVE! Inc., working tirelessly on opening new food hubs and serving Alexandria's citizens. He has jumped in headfirst and led by example and since 1986, he has dedicated his time, talents, and treasure to the mission and vision of ALIVE! to help Alexandrians in need. Since the Hub opened, Gerry continues to check in to fill in the gaps and provide what is needed, such as carts for clients to be able to take their groceries home since not everyone has access to a vehicle. 
Kate Harbour: Youth Service Volunteer Awardee – Kate volunteers with the Substance Abuse and Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA), discouraging vaping and alcohol use on a variety of different projects. She serves on the SAPCA Board, provided numerous ideas on how to market vaping prevention messages to your ACPS peers, planned and implemented events and initiatives around the topic, and co-present at meetings. In addition, she is a member of the Alexandria Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission, founded the Women in Film Club, and manages the ACHS Junior Varsity Wrestling Team.
Wanda Dougherty: RSVP Volunteer Service Awardee Ms. Dougherty volunteers with ALIVE! Inc., spending dozens of hours training numerous other volunteers to sort and pack dry goods to safe and nutritional standards ensuring that people in the city are given safe, vetted, accurately sorted, and culturally relevant foods.
Susan Hager: RSVP Volunteer Service Awardee Susan volunteers with the job counselors from Together We Bake and worked on developing virtual programs during the pandemic to continue to provide classes over zoom. You have created a wide range of options and increased the availability of volunteers. Hanna says that you grow with them as they grow, and you do everything from the kindness of your heart.

Last Saturday Site Leaders (Jim Karlson, Jennifer Moustgaard, Joe Harrington): Emergency Preparedness Volunteer Service Awardees The Last Saturday Site Leaders volunteer for ALIVE! Inc., organizing and successfully running the Last Saturday food distribution programs during COVID. They were integral in the development of strategies to serve the community and continue to evolve the processes to best serve clients. They are known as true leaders - managing volunteers and troubleshooting on site to deliver to clients in the highest need communities.

Picture: Joe Harrington

Joe Blaszkow: Business Leader of the Year Awardee – Given to an Alexandria business and its’ leader in recognition of extraordinary commitment to volunteerism and financial support to the Alexandria community. Blaszkow Legal, has been a dedicated sponsor and supporter of ALIVE! for many years, helping the agency grow and prosper.

This event is sponsored by