Day of Impact 2023

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Remember to Mention Carpenter's Shelter when placing your order.











Chadwicks Alexandria Dining Area with String Lights



WHERE: Chadwick’s, 203 Strand St, Alexandria, VA 22314

WHEN: September 28, 2023, Thursday

11 am – 2 am

WHAT: All-Day Event. Choose Lunch or Dinner!

For every guest who visits and mentions Carpenter’s Shelter, Chadwick’s will donate 10% of their sales in support of our mission!

Whether you’re stopping by for a delicious lunch, indulging in a scrumptious dinner, or simply grabbing a drink during happy hour, your participation counts. Your contribution will help support the families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

You must mention Carpenter’s Shelter when you visit so that we are able to receive the 10% from Chadwick’s and Sweet Fire Donna’s Barbecue & Hops. 



Sweet Fire Donna's Barbecue & Hops

Sweet Fire Donna’s Barbecue & Hops


WHERE: Sweet Fire Donna’s Barbecue & Hops,

510 John Carlyle St, Alexandria, VA 22314

WHEN: Wednesday, October 4

12 pm – 10 pm

WHAT: Dine in at Sweet Fire Donna’s Barbecue & Hops, and mention “Carpenter’s Shelter” so that 10% of proceeds will benefit Carpenter Shelter’s homeless children, women and men. Thank you for your support!

For every guest who visits and mentions Carpenter’s Shelter, Sweet Fire Donna’s will donate 10% of their sales in support of our mission!

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Get Ready for Carpenter’s Cook-Off All-Stars 2023!

By Carpenter's Shelter,


We’re hosting a Big Birthday Bash and Cook-Off All-Stars back at the Birchmere.

The afternoon’s festivities will consist of top-rated local restaurants and caterers showcasing their delicacies–which you get to taste and judge!

  • Live Music Performance by the Jones Point Band
  • Children’s Corner
  • Live and Silent Auctions
  • Raffles
  • An Award Presentation

It is a family-friendly affair that’s fun for all!

Click to Buy Tickets for Carpenter's Cook-Off All-Stars 2023


October 29, Sunday, 12 pm to 3 pm



Please contact Monise Quidley, Director of Development at 703-548-7500 or email for more information.



If you are a restaurant owner or caterer and you would like to participate in this year’s Carpenter’s Cook-Off All-Stars, please fill out the 2023 Restaurant & Participation Form and return it to Michiko Yoon at no later than September 22, 2023.

Download Restaurant Participation Forms



Tickets are available from September 1, 2023 to October 25, 2023. Buy Tickets.

$50 adults, and $20 for children (12 and under.)

Day of ticket prices are $75 adults, and $25 for children (12 and under.) 



Carpenter’s Cook-Off All-Stars proceeds will benefit all of Carpenter’s Shelter’s programs and services that annually serve more than 600 children, women and men experiencing homelessness in Alexandria.



We are accepting items, including gift baskets, gift certificates, gift cards, professional services, jewelry and fun experiences to use in the live and silent auctions and raffles at Carpenter’s Cook-Off All-Stars. Please contact Meghan Cole at with questions or to make a donation.


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Spring2ACTion on April 27!

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Alexandria’s online giving day, Spring2ACTion, is right around the corner!  April 27 is the day Alexandria comes together to support nonprofits doing good work in our region. This year, generous individuals, churches, and the Mason Hirst Foundation have agreed to match the first $32,000 in donations to Carpenter’s Shelter through Spring2ACTion. That means your gift to us will have twice the impact! 

ACT for Alexandria gives out fun prizes throughout the day – such as to nonprofits who bring in the most donors and “power hours” for the most donations during a specific time. Check out their prize section to make your donation go even farther! 

Let’s rally around what makes Alexandria a great community and generously give during Spring2ACTion. A little can go a long way when we give together on April 27. 

Help us reach our goal of raising $75,000 to support children, women, and men experiencing homelessness. Donate at

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Ringing in 2022 with a Vision Board Party!

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Residents and staff gathered on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve for a Vision Board party!  A vision board is a visual representation of your goals. Each participant used magazines, photos, clip art, and inspirational quotes to create a poster depicting their hopes and dreams for 2022. Goal setting is an important step for everyone – it provides direction, focus, motivation, and gives you control of your future. Besides the all-important goal of housing, residents included goals about family, faith, employment, savings, credit, cars, and more. Both staff and residents alike loved the process and were happy to show off their creations!

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Carpenter’s Community Comes Together for Thanksgiving

By Carpenter's Shelter,

The outpouring of support for those we serve has been phenomenal this year. Thanks to our generous and committed community, we collected 517 grocery store gift cards for our clients living in the community to purchase items for Thanksgiving dinner. In years past, we have held a large food drive and filled our freezer with more turkeys than you can imagine! The Thanksgiving food baskets we provided were very popular and greatly appreciated by our former shelter residents. This year, to limit the number of people in and out of the shelter, we pivoted from the food baskets and provided grocery store gift cards instead. We set a goal to collect 400 gift cards to be given out to families according to the number of people in their household. We were thrilled to surpass our goal by 117 cards!  One community client summed it up best: “I’m especially thankful for the Thanksgiving gift card from Carpenter’s Shelter and being able to break bread with loved ones in my new apartment. We’ll be having Cornish hens, stuffing, yams, vegetables, rolls, and of course, pie!” 

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Octoberfest Online Auction

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Start your holiday shopping early while supporting children, women, and men experiencing homelessness!  Join us online from October 8 – 22, 2021 to bid on one-of-a-kind items like trips to wineries, theater tickets, jewelry, gift baskets, restaurant gift cards, and much more!  Click here to learn more.  

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Carpenter’s Shelter Board Wins Prestigious Leadership Award

By Carpenter's Shelter,

July 2021 – The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has recognized the exceptional leadership of the Carpenter’s Shelter Board of Directors with the 2021 Board Leadership Award! We are so proud that our hard-working Board is receiving this prestigious recognition for demonstrating “outstanding leadership, community support, and responsiveness to the people and communities it serves”. Carpenter’s Shelter will receive a $10,000 grant, community exposure, and training opportunities for the Board of Directors. In recent years, our Board has led Carpenter’s Shelter through the extensive New Heights redevelopment project and capital campaign, formalized our commitment to racial equity, created the Innovation Fund, and of course, navigated a pandemic — all while continuing to house and support people in our community facing homelessness. “Being named as the 2021 Board Leadership Award Winner is affirmation that the hard work the Board has done over the last five years has been well worth it,” states Edith Bullard, Carpenter’s Board Chair. We greatly appreciate this tremendous honor!

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Watch the Ribbon Cutting and Take a Virtual Tour of Your New Shelter!

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Carpenter’s Shelter, Cut a Virtual Ribbon for its new Shelter and building at 930 N. Henry Street.

Alexandria, Virginia, On December 10th, 2020 at 11:00 am, Carpenter’s Shelter hosted a virtual Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for its new Shelter and Building. This ribbon cutting was held in conjunction with the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) who also celebrated the opening of 97 affordable apartment units named The Bloom at Braddock.

“It’s with pride that we open the doors on this purpose-built space to help Alexandria’s population that is homeless. But more importantly to be able to work with a great organization in AHDC to also increase the city’s affordable housing supply,” Shannon Steene, Executive Director Carpenter’s Shelter stated. “it’s great to be part of this dynamic collaboration and we are looking forward to working together,” he continued.


Due to the pandemic masks were required and social distancing protocols were followed during the physical ceremony. Limited access to the interior of the building was granted to registered members of the press members.

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Shannon Steene awarded the 2020 David Bradt Nonprofit Leadership Award.

By Carpenter's Shelter,

One of three recipients, Shannon has been recognized for his resourcefulness and his ability to lead the Carpenter’s Shelter through immense growth and rapid change.

 It was announced today that Shannon Steene, Carpenter’s Shelter’s Executive Director, received the 2020 David Bradt Nonprofit Leadership Award from the Greater Washington Community Foundation. This award, given to area nonprofit leaders annually (this year’s cohort: Shannon Steene, Paula Fitzgerald, and Tyler Spencer) is in recognition of their potential and promise as leaders in the nonprofit arena and is meant to help them create forward momentum for their teams and organizations.

As the Executive Director of Carpenter’s Shelter, Shannon was recognized for his efforts to help the shelter live out its mission of helping residents struggling with homelessness achieve dignity and independence through shelter, guidance, education, and advocacy. When asked about how his leadership has changed during the pandemic, Shannon reflected, “If we were on a game show, this would be called the speed round. The leadership required [during COVID-19] has been faster and the rules have been changing much more rapidly. A few things have remained constant for us: the safety of our residents, volunteers, and staff and that shutting down, even temporarily, was not an option. But otherwise, every element of what we know has been shifting.”

The award was created in late 2018 by Alex Orfinger, along with David Bradt’s wife, family and friends. Alex wanted to find a way to recognize David’s many years of service to the local community. Together, with the Greater Washington Community Foundation, they established the David Bradt Nonprofit Education Fund. The honor was designed to provide an annual award that would enable nonprofit leaders and their teams in the DMV to attend intensive executive training programs.

“I’m humbled by this recognition and look forward to the leadership development that comes as part of the award. My aim is to fully leverage the opportunity to keep moving Carpenter’s Shelter forward, especially as we are starting the next chapter of our organizational life in the new shelter. Support from the David Bradt Leadership Award can only help strengthen my leadership during these unusual times,” says Steene.

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Will you help us ______ this story?

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Many of you may have already seen the Carpenter’s Shelter mad lib in your mailbox. This holiday season we ask you to fill in this story and consider how a gift can change the course of our residents’ lives. 

A digital version of the mad lib can be found here. Fill it out and post a picture on social media using the #mad4carpenters. We can’t wait to see how you complete the story! 

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One BIG Impact

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Carpenter’s Shelter is going to have a big day on Saturday, Nov. 18th! Not only will we be hosting Run for Shelter, our annual 5K, 10K and Fun Run, but we will also be having impact days at Whole Foods Market, Sweet Fire Donna’s and Pork Barrel BBQ. This gives you many ways to support the homeless in our community just before the holidays. Below are the details about our upcoming impact days:

Whole Foods Market

Shop at Whole Foods Market in Old Town (1700 Duke Street) on Saturday, Nov. 18th! If you present your Run for Shelter bib or an impact card that will be the race bags and at the event, 5% of your purchase will be donated to the shelter. It’s a perfect time to stock up on all the ingredients you need for Thanksgiving!

Sweet Fire Donna’s and Pork Barrel BBQ

Would you rather have someone else fix you lunch or dinner? Eat at Sweet Fire Donna’s or Pork Barrel BBQ on Saturday Nov. 18th, and 5% of your purchase will be donated to the shelter!

Whole Foods Market, Sweet Fire Donna’s, Pork Barrel BBQ are just around the corner from Run for Shelter and are perfect stops on the way home after logging some miles! Be sure to spread the word to family and friends.   

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Thanksgiving Food Drive

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Carpenter’s Shelter is kicking off our annual canned food drive! Each year, Carpenter’s Shelter gives out 60 Thanksgiving baskets to shelter graduates. We need your help collecting the items so families can make a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. Click here for more information about items needed and to schedule a drop-off. 

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Volunteer Appreciation and Service Award Winners

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Carpenter’s Shelter relies on the commitment of more than 1,000 volunteers each year to keep the shelter up and running. From preparing and serving meals to sitting at the front desk to keeping our pantries and toiletry closet organized, volunteers touch every aspect of the shelter. To say thank you for all of their efforts, Carpenter’s Shelter will honor our volunteers at a Volunteer Appreciation Cook-Out on Saturday, June 24th from 2-4pm. Come join the fun, play cards and cornhole and eat the afternoon away! 

Also during Volunteer Appreciation, we will be honoring volunteers who have gone above and beyond to support the work of Carpenter’s Shelter. Help us congratulate the following service award winners!

Bob Douglas Service Award Winner

Beth H.– The winner of our 2017 Bob Douglas Award, Beth, has done a little bit of everything at Carpenter’s over the last seventeen years.  As a professional caterer, Beth has provided our clients with fantastic meals and caters many of our special events. She has also recruited many new people to volunteer at Carpenter’s in various capacities. Beth recently donated a car in April and even finds time to sit at the front desk.

Wall of Honor Award Winners

Carrie K.– As our annual report photographer and co-chair of Circle of Hope, Carrie helps clients and staff capture memories, as well as create new ones by leading volunteer opportunities and recruiting new volunteers to our team. After last year’s photo shoot, Carrie provided family photos for our residents who otherwise could not afford it. For one client, it was the first and only photos that she had of her new born child. 

Edith B.– A board member since 2013, Edith uses her skills and connection to PCI Communications to help us tell our story and share our mission to potential donors and volunteers through professional mailings and videos. She also facilitates focus groups with current and former residents so that their voice and perspective can be considered when the board and leadership team make decisions.

Ray R.–  As a front desk volunteer for almost three years, Ray is the face and voice of Carpenter’s Shelter several times a week as he welcomes clients, guests, and staff into the shelter. He helps the staff by answering the phone and helping potential clients and donors receive the information they need.

Yahweh Outreach International– For almost three years, volunteers from YOI provide our clients delicious meals and help our staff fill last minute meal openings. Also a few volunteers from Yahweh managed our Carpenter’s Café table at Cook-Off this year and nearly took home the People’s Choice Award!

If you would like to join us for the Volunteer Appreciation Cook-Out, please RSVP to by June 10th. 

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Alternative Giving

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Warm scarves and seasonal sweaters are great gifts for your loved ones, but why not give them a gift that will make them feel warm from the inside out?
Purchasing a sustainable gift is a great way to tell someone “I Love You,” without having to brave the stores or worry about selecting the wrong size.  By making a donation in someone’s name, you’re really giving two gifts in one:  one to the person it helps, and one to the person it honors.
Carpenter’s Shelter will be able to put your Alternative gift toward ensuring our single adults, children and families continue to receive shelter, warm beds, healthy meals, supportive case management and life-changing educational workshops that help them end their struggle with homelessness. Just think of how your loved ones will feel when they realize that your gift to them is a gift to the whole community. Every donation is tax deductible.
Your gift could provide:

  • $25 – Sheets for one of our 60 beds
  • $50 – Metro card for one week of job searching
  • $100 – 10 blankets for Winter Shelter
  • $250 – Two weeks of milk and healthy snacks for residents
  • $500 – One month of health services at our onsite clinic
  • $750 – LifeSkills classes for our next client
  • $1,000 – One month of services for a homeless child

Click the green Donate button at the top of the page to make a gift!

Contact with questions. 

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Thanksgiving Food Drive

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Each year, many struggling families look to Carpenter’s Shelter for help during the holidays. Our shelter residents are served a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner by volunteers, and Community Case Managed (CCM) clients receive the items and ingredients they need to prepare a delightful meal for their families at home. Carpenter’s Shelter relies entirely on donations from the local community to provide this needed assistance to CCM families.

Click here to view Thanksgiving donations needed at the shelter. Donations will be accepted from Nov. 7-18. Please call in advance to schedule a drop-off date. 

For more info, contact Kelly McDermott at (703) 548-7500 ext 213 or

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Updated In-Kind Donations Policy

By Carpenter's Shelter,

We have made some changes to our In-Kind Donation Policy. These updates are to ensure we are stewarding donations to the best of our ability as well as educating our donors on our specific needs. Some of the changes are highlighted below: 

  • We now have an email sign up sheet for those who would like us to reach out to them when we have a specific need. For example, if we have a family that needs clothes for their children, we will reach out to those on the list with details of what we need. Email if you’re interested in signing up!
  • We cannot accept unsolicited clothing, furniture, used or new toys, books, games or car seats due to space constraints and safety
  • Due to VA health code, we are unable to accept any leftover perishable refrigerated foods. We have an amazing team of volunteers who come every single day to feed our clients. We are unable to ensure that the food was kept at safe temperatures, so we will no longer be accepting any of these foods.

Click here for a printable copy of our In-Kind Donation Policy. 

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