Help Us to Fill the Fridge

By Carpenter's Shelter,


Please help us to Fill the Fridge at Carpenter’s Shelter Hoffman Center location and Alexandria Community Shelter.

Click to download a printable PDF of donation drop-off hours and items.


The Hoffman Center

930 N. Henry St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Dates: Tuesday, February 20th to Saturday, February 24th

Drop-Off Hours:

  • 10 am – 12 noon
  • 1 pm – 4 pm

Instructions: A volunteer will be at the David’s Side entrance (at 1102 First St, Alexandria, VA 22314) at The Hoffman Center to accept donations.


Alexandria Community Shelter

2355-B Mill Road, Alexandria, VA, 22314

Dates: Tuesday, February 20th to Saturday, February 24th

Drop-Off Hours:

  • 10 am – 12 noon
  • 1 pm – 4 pm

Instructions: A volunteer will be at a table at the front entrance of ACS to accept donations.



We need your help with…


Refrigerator Items:

  • Cheese sticks
  • Juice
  • Kids juice boxes
  • Tea 
  • Milk
  • Beef or chicken hot dogs
  • Applesauce
  • Bottled water

Freezer Items:

  • Frozen family-size meals (lasagna, mac and cheese, tuna casserole, vegetable casserole)
  • Chicken tenders and kid size chicken nuggets
  • Frozen vegetables, french fries
  • Frozen breakfast items (waffles, french toast, sausage)
  • Hamburger

Pantry Items

  • Instant coffee
  • Powder coffee creamer
  • Hot cocoa packets
  • Lemonade powder mix
  • Ice tea mix
  • Hot tea bags
  • Oatmeal
  • Individually wrapped breakfast bars, granola bars
  • Canned food (soup, vegetables, tuna)
  • Ramen bowls
  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Boxed Mac and Cheese 
  • Maple syrup
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise)
  • Grits
  • Variety snack boxes: potato chips, popcorn

If you would like to donate other items, you can find the Carpenter’s Shelter Amazon Wish List here.

Please do not donate expired goods. 

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Help Fill the Plate of Neighbors Experiencing Homelessness at ACS

By Carpenter's Shelter,

On December 13th, 2023, Carpenter’s Shelter transitioned into becoming the operator of Alexandria Community Shelter (ACS) after signing a multi-year contract with the City of Alexandria.
Volunteers can sign up to fulfill either Meal Delivery or Meal Service at ACS. If you would like to both provide the meal and serve it that day, please sign up for both meal delivery and meal service time slots.
Sign up today to volunteer by going to the Volunteer Login and selecting ACS as the location.
We have several time slots available for meal delivery and meal service providers!
New to Volunteering?
Visit to begin the application process to volunteer at our shelter.
Alexandria Community Shelter
2355-A Mill Road
Alexandria, VA, 22314


The Alexandria Community Shelter is a partnership funded by the City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services’ Office of Community Services.

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2023 Christmas Gift Drive for Shelter Residents

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Christmas Gift Drive for Residents

It’s that special time of year again! Christmas gift donations for our residents are greatly appreciated.

View the Shelter Resident Christmas Gift Sign Up Page

We ask that you fulfill the entire request as closely as possible. If you are unable to locate the item being requested, a gift card for a store likely to carry the item is acceptable. You can sponsor more than one individual.

Our guests and clients in the community were asked to provide two items not to exceed the value of $50 each for adults and five items not to exceed the value of $50 each for children. Click the sign-up genius to view the Christmas Gift Drive for Residents.
How to Deliver Christmas Wish List Items:

Online orders can be sent directly to: Carpenter’s Shelter, 930 N Henry St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Attn: Demi Henry and the listed case manager and with the guest’s name(s) listed on a gift receipt. Please ensure the items arrive unwrapped.  
For in-person delivery please include a label on each item purchased, with the name of the case manager as well as the first and last name(s) of the guest(s) you are sponsoring. 

Please provide the items unwrapped so that we can verify what each item is as part of the sorting process. The delivery can be made every day between 9am and 9pm at the Carpenter’s Shelter at 930 N Henry St, Alexandria, VA. There is a table set up in the vestibule of the entrance with signed donations forms. You can place your donations on the table and complete the signed donation form, keeping the white copy for yourself and leaving the yellow copy on top of your donation for our records. 

 We ask that you include a gift receipt for each purchase, as it makes it easier to exchange if there are issues with sizing etc. We also ask that you label every gift you purchase and donate, with both the name(first and last) of who it is for and their case manager’s name. It helps tremendously with the process of sorting the hundreds of gifts we get in from our guest’s wish lists. 

Please be aware that gifts bought online at Wal Mart will not be delivered to our shelter with a paper gift receipt and we will not know which resident the gift is for. Wal Mart only provides gift receipts by email.
Please make sure your gifts will arrive to our shelter during business hours no later than December 18th, 2023.

If you have any questions, please contact Demi Henry at’


Wishing you a “Happy Holiday” Season!

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Join Us at the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade and Del Ray Lighting!

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Scottish Christmas Walk Parade

December 2nd, 2023, Saturday, 11 am to 1 pm

Old Town Alexandria (Parade route starts at the intersection of Wolfe St. and Saint Asaph St. in Old Town Alexandria.)

Carpenter’s Shelter will be walking in the 52nd Annual Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade!

There will be pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds and more. Wave hello to our crew as we walk down the parade route!

More information about the Scottish Walk Parade

Download Parade Route Map

List of Road Closures


Del Ray Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting

December 3rd, Sunday, 6 pm

Del Ray Pat Miller Neighborhood Square (Mt. Vernon and Oxford Ave. intersection in Del Ray)

Come out and show your support by bringing breakfast cereals, canned goods, and new underwear (for men, women or children in various sizes) for Carpenter’s Shelter. The event is free and open to all.

Visit hand-painted holiday windows in storefronts and start your holiday shopping with a stroll down Mt. Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of luminarias in honor of the late Nancy Dunning. For more information, visit Del Ray Holiday Season Kick-Off – DRBA (


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2023 Stuff the Bus Donations for Carpenter’s Shelter

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) is bringing back the “Stuff the Bus” donation drive for winter clothing, canned goods and toiletries for Carpenter’s Shelter!

All donations will benefit families and individuals at Carpenter’s Shelter. Stuff the Bus will accept donations of select clothing items in youth and adult sizes, as well as shelf-stable food and essential toiletries.


2023 Stuff the Bus Donation Drop-Off Locations


Potomac Yard Shopping Center

Monday, December 11, 11 am to 2 pm


King Street Metro Station

Tuesday, December 12, 3 pm to 7 pm


Van Dorn Metro Station

Wednesday, December 13, 9 am to noon


Bradlee Shopping Center

Thursday, December 14, 11 am to 2 pm


City Hall/Market Square

Friday, December 15, 3 pm to 7 pm



Donation Needs for Carpenter’s Shelter


New Clothing:

  • Coats (Adults)
  • Hats (Adults, Children)
  • Gloves (Adults, Children)
  • Underwear (Men, Women)
  • Socks (Adults, Children)

Full-size toiletries:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby wash
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Body Lotion
  • Toilet Paper

Pantry Items:

  • Individually Wrapped Breakfast Bars, Granola Bars
  • Canned Food
  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Boxed Mac and Cheese 
  • Oatmeal

If you would like to donate other items, you can find the Carpenter’s Shelter Amazon Wish List here.


Financial gifts can also be made online here.







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2023 Thanksgiving Grocery Gift Card Donations and Winter Coats

By Carpenter's Shelter,

Thanksgiving Grocery Store & General Gift Card Drive:

We will be providing grocery store gift cards for our families in the community rather than collecting food items directly.


We are critically running low on gift cards for our clients, with inflation we have seen an increase in support our clients need to access basic necessities and thus try to provide them with gift cards whenever possible. Additionally, we support over 150 individuals and families in the community and hope to collect enough grocery store gift cards to ensure all of them have a fantastic feast for Thanksgiving.

We are asking for gift cards to local grocery stores like Harris Teeter, Giant, Aldi’s, Safeway, Food Lion, Walmart, and/or Visa gift cards in $25 to $100 increments. The distribution amount for the clients we support in the community will be based on the number of gift cards we receive and the size of the household. With that in mind we have a goal of collecting 450 gift cards by Tuesday, November 21st.

Whether it be donating gift cards or hosting a drive, any assistance with reaching our target would be greatly appreciated! Donations can be made any day of the week between 9am and 9pm using the process outlined below. We ask that you email Demi Henry at once the donation has been made, with the number and amounts of the gift cards donated to help with tracking. Please spread the word! With your support and advocacy, we hope to collect enough grocery store gift cards to ensure that none of our clients go without food on Thanksgiving Day.



2023 Winter Coat Drive!

It is getting cold and there are families in our community who we want to ensure have the necessities to remain warm this winter season. We are currently in need of winter coats for our shelter residents and shelter graduates as the weather is quickly changing.

How to Sponsor the Winter Coat Drive:
If you are interested and decide to sign up in providing a coat, please sign-up here

Please keep in mind that you are able to sponsor more than one individual if you would like. We ask that you give us an ETA on when you may be able to deliver the coats you sign up for (we want to let our clients know when the winter coats will be received.)

Organization/ Group Sponsor:
We have already begun collecting sizing information from our clients. If you are interested in assisting by hosting a new coat drive on our behalf, please email our Volunteer Coordinator, Demi Henry at

We can share our excel spreadsheet with you which will include the client’s names, their gender, size, and color preference. You will be able to access all the coat requests and sign up for any you would like to fulfill. We do ask that the coats be brand new or as new if possible.

What are next steps:
Please either have the coat(s) shipped directly to Carpenter’s Shelter or you can drop off all donations no later than November 22, 2023.
Address: Carpenter’s Shelter, 930 N. Henry St Alexandria, VA 22314
If you choose to ship, please address “Attn: Demi Henry” labeled with the individual’s name on each coat or in with the individual’s names in the “gift message” section if you are shipping online. (Ex: Jazmin T., Blue Coat Size 10.)

We are incredibly grateful for your continued generosity! Thank you!

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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
  • Children’s Corner
  • Live and Silent Auctions
  • Raffles and Baskets
  • Neil Gillespie will be awarded the fourth prestigious Val Hawkins award

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



  • Anna Sudha’s Community Kitchen
  • Bittersweet Catering
  • Chadwick’s
  • Dishes of India
  • Hard Times Cafe
  • Hen Quarter
  • Landini Brothers
  • Nando’s Peri-Peri
  • ROCKLANDS Barbeque and Grill
  • Ruby’s Jamaican Kitchen
  • Wagon Wheel 
  • The Warehouse
  • What the Chef
  • The Wharf
  • Whiskey & Oyster
  • Union Street Public House



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



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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