This past weekend we hosted a community resource fair at the shelter. Our clients were able to get information and connect with various local businesses and people in the community. Events like this are beneficial to those living at the shelter as it is a way for them to network with many potential employers and gather necessary information about higher education and other services offered in the city.
There were a total of 49 attendees, many of whom were able to pick up job applications and learn more about services in the area. We had 12 presenters, gave out 7 door prizes and provided lunch. Together We Bake and Northern Virginia Community College were just some of the community partners in attendance that provided our clients with some beneficial information about workforce training programs and enrolling in school.
We’d like to thank the following community partners for attending the community resource fair:
Recently we spoke with volunteers Sue and Joyce about their experiences at Carpenter’s Shelter. Both volunteers have been with the shelter for 25 years, serving lunch twice a week to our clients. We are so thankful to them for their years of dedication and service to Carpenter’s.
When did you get involved with Carpenter’s? What attracted you to the shelter?
Joyce: We’ve both been here about 25 years. My husband and I got involved in the beginning. We had a business and I found that I could take some time from that and help out in the kitchen and well, here we are.
Sue: My husband and I moved here from Arkansas, and I thought this would be a nice way to get involved.
What part of volunteering do you find rewarding?
Joyce: Being here with the people. You get to know the residents and you become fond of them. Of course you get to know them and then they leave, but that’s always a great thing.
Sue: It’s just a personal touch. We get to know everyone and learn their story.
What do you hope for the shelter long term?
Sue: For it to continue to do as well as it is.
Joyce: We started volunteering when the shelter was still in a warehouse. To see it grow like this is pretty great.
What’s your biggest takeaway?
Sue: I’d say it’s the satisfaction of a job well done and getting to know everyone here.
Joyce: Definitely the satisfaction that I’ve done something to help. Volunteering in the kitchen, you know, we’re only here for a short amount of time, but it’s nice to be able to do a little bit to help.
Carpenter’s relies heavily on the service and generosity of our volunteers and donors. If you’d like to volunteer with the shelter please click here!
Recently we spoke with Deputy Director Mary-Parker Lamm about her experiences working for Carpenter’s Shelter.
When did you get involved with Carpenter’s Shelter? What attracted you to the mission?
I started working at Carpenter’s in 2007 after I moved to the area and applied for an open position. I was impressed with the comprehensive approach to addressing an individual or family’s reasons for being homeless.
What sets Carpenter’s Shelter apart from other organizations?
Carpenter’s has a diverse staff who are supported by a unique community. A community that not only provides their dollars in an amazingly generous fashion but also provide volunteer hours that can’t be compared to other organizations! I believe our volunteer support is second to none!
What are your job responsibilities?
As Deputy Director, I am responsible for the overall operation of the programs at Carpenter’s Shelter. This includes: Winter Shelter, David’s Place, HSAC, Education and Employment, Case Management, Community Case Management and HMIS.
How did your background prepare you for this job at the Shelter?
My social work education and the diversity of my professional experience has helped me in this job although the best preparation has been working with many different individuals and the amazingly committed staff members that I’m grateful to be able to work with!
In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does?
Allowing so many men, women and children the opportunity to rebuild their lives in a respectful and supportive environment.
What aspects of your job at Carpenter’s Shelter do you find most rewarding?
Sharing in the success of residents and clients and their continuous display of strength and tenacity. It never ceases to amaze me!
Share one of your favorite Carpenter’s Shelter memories?
It’s hard to think of just one but I think the night that I heard Jasmine share her experience with Carpenter’s Shelter is certainly one of them and made me proud of what we do. She shared how she, her husband and three daughters walked from the King Street Metro to the shelter after arriving in town. They didn’t know what to expect and she was very afraid of where she was bringing her daughters. She talked about how grateful she was for the love and care that the staff provided to her and her children that first night and throughout their stay. She shared that the staff made such a difficult time for their family bearable and gave them the opportunity for the entire family to start their lives over and be successful now in the community.
On June 19 the United Way is hosting Do More 24, a 24-hour online fundraising event that encourages everyone to donate to non-profit organizations in the National Capital Area.
Carpenter’s Shelter is proud to be among the many non-profit organizations participating in Do More 24. This is more than a fundraiser; it’s your chance to advocate for the homeless in the Alexandria area.
Carpenter’s has remained dedicated to serving the City of Alexandria, and relies heavily on the donations from members of the community in order to continue to provide vital services to those living at Carpenter’s Shelter.
Help Carpenter’s by donating HERE.
$24 would provide twin size sheets for one of our 80 beds.
$48 would provide one of our clients a metro card for a week of job searching.
$96 would provide two weeks of after school snacks for the children in the shelter.
Fundraising begins at 12 am on June 19. Be sure to watch our Twitter and Facebook feeds for donation updates.
There are many wonderful non-profits participating in Do More 24, and we appreciate you choosing Carpenter’s Shelter as your charity of choice.
Please join on us on Saturday, May 16th from 2-4 pm for mocktails and light bites in our courtyard to celebrate the work of selfless individuals such as yourself who have gone above and beyond in their volunteer efforts to make Carpenter’s Shelter more than a roof for the last 26 years!
A small program will be presented and volunteers will have a chance to share any of their positive experiences or stories about volunteering at the shelter.
Now that warm weather has finally hit the area, Winter Shelter has closed its doors. Winter Shelter provides a safe refuge from illness, injury and death during inclement weather. This year Winter Shelter serviced 296 total individuals and logged 105 extended hours. Extended hours means Winter Shelter does not close due to severe weather conditions.
With the extensive snow days this season, there was a point when Winter Shelter was open over 100 hours straight. They opened their doors at 1:00 p.m. January 21 and remained open until the morning of January 26. While the polar vortex may have played a role, our volunteers rallied to help us serve our most vulnerable population.
The cold temperatures and harsh winds that come with the winter season cause the unsheltered to seek shelter. For many homeless persons, Winter Shelter is the first step toward getting off the streets. Oftentimes the window for accepting help is briefly open and our staff continues to be diligent when responding to those requesting shelter.
Carpenter’s Shelter would like to thank all the volunteers that helped with Winter Shelter as well as Church of St. Clement and Alfred Street Baptist Church for their partnerships this year.
Looking for a fun, easy way to support Carpenter’s Shelter? Attend Cook-Off and become part of the bidding war during our Live Auction!
We have collected an amazing assortment of auction items including travel packages, gift certificates, and one-of-a-kind opportunities. Simply get your Cook-Off ticket today and we’ll see you at The Birchmere April 27 for bidding to raise funds for the shelter.
CLICK HERE TO GET TICKETS
Here are the Live Auction items that will be up for bid:
Raise Your Spirits at Bluemont Vineyards
Enjoy a seated tasting, private tour, select light fare offerings, souvenir glasses and 15% discount for the day for yourself and up to 11 friends at Bluemont Vineyard, located just minutes from Leesbur, VA, featuring great wines and breathtaking views ofd Loudoun Valley. (Approximate Value = $200)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Two box seat tickets to see The Lion King at the Kennedy Center on Thursday, July 10, 2014, access the the Russian Lounge with two complimentary cocktails plus a certificate for a one-night stay in a deluxe room at the Hotel Palomar DC on July 10. Tickets donated by the Kennedy Center. Hotel stay donated by Kimpton Hotels. (Approximate Value = $550)
catered BBQ party for 25 people including slow smoked pork ribs, pulled chicken, pork BBQ sliders, creamy coleslaw, redskin potato salad, baked beans, and cornbread prepared by King Street Blues. Winner picks up catered items at the Old Town location. Donated by King Street Blues. (Approximate Value = $250)
Southwest to Austin
A $500 gift card on Southwest Airlines (daily non-stops from DCA to Austin) with no expiration or blackout dates plus a two-night stay at the Aloft Austin located at The Domain Shopping District, two gift cards for a 3 hour zipline tour at Lake Travis (30 miles from Austin) and a $30 gift card to Kona Grill which is also located at The Domain (hotel and gift card expire March 1, 2015). Hotel, airfare and restaurant gift card donated by Tim O’Hara. Zipline tour donated by Lake Travis Zipline Adventures. (Approximate Vale = $1050)
Race Over to Dover
Package for four people includes race day grandstand access, fully catered private Mobil 1 Trackside Hospitality Chalet, pre-race pit tours (limited access and availability), driver appearance, Mobil 1 Show Car Appearance, Mobil 1 Branded Track Pack during the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, September 28, 2014. (Approximate Value = $2100)
South of the Border Paradise
A three-night stay at the beautiful beachfront Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos all-inclusive resort located near the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula of Mexico overlooking the Sea of Cortes, plus two airline tickets on US Airways. (Approximate Value = $1400)
Rock the Red
Cheer the Capitals onto VICTORY! You and one guest will enjoy the game from the center ice at one Washington Capitals game for a mutually agreed upon date during the 2014/2015 season. For the ultimate fan, show your Capital’s pride by wearing an authentic Capitals jersey signed by the full 2014 team. Tickets donated by Hessel Aluise & Neun. (Approximate Value= $620)
Havana Nights Dinner Party
An authentic Cuban dinner for 10 at the winning bidder’s home including appetizers, dinner, dessert and cocktails prepared by Executive Director Lissette Bishins and served by Carpenter’s Shelter staff. (Approximate Value = $500)
Join Todd Thrasher, Sommelier and Mix Master of Restaurant Eve and PX, for one hour of private cocktail instruction and sampling for 8 people at Cathal Armstong’s newest restaurant Society Fair, located in Old Town. Learn the secrets of what makes his cocktails 4 stars! (Approximate Value = $500)
A Special Chesapeake Charter
Enjoy an outing for 6 on a 1951 classic wood power boat, the LeeStar, with Carpenter’s Shelter Board members Lee Fifer and Jim Coakley. The boat will depart from Deale, MD and dock for a long lunch at America’s oldest Inn, The Robert Morris Inn where Chef Proprietor and British Master Chef, Mark Salter, brings a modern British approach, combined with classical sensibilities, to the Inn’s restaurant, Salter’s Tavern and Tap Room. Valid through 2014 and date must be mutually agreed upon. Donated by Lee Fifer and Jim Coakley. (Approximate Value = $400)
Catch a Home Run in Philly
Two tickets to the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies game on Saturay, July 12 (tickets are Row 1 in left field); package includes a one-night stay with breakfast at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown, certificate for two Philly Cheesesteaks from Pat’s King of Steaks, $50 Starr Restaurants gift card (includes over 20 of the most popular restaurants in Philly), plus a VIP Pass for two, which allows you to visit most Philly attractions for free. Tickets donated by Bill Kelly. Hotel stay donated by the Sheraton Hotel. Gift card and VIP Pass donated by the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. Cheesesteak certificate donated by Pat’s King of Steaks. (Approximate Value = $400)
Looking for a hands-on internship that will further your skills and give you real-world experience? Carpenter’s Shelter offers three intern positions that assist our Development Department, they are Communications and Design Intern, Special Events Intern, and Development Intern.
The Communications and Design Intern and the Development Intern positions are offered year-round while the Special Events Intern position is only offered during the spring and fall semesters.
Internships last 14 weeks and require a commitment to work a minimum of twenty hours weekly (days and hours are flexible). The next internship session will begin June 2, 2014 and end September 5, 2014. Internships carry a stipend of $150 per week. All serious applicants may send a cover letter and resume to Courtney Bishop.
To read a full description of these internship opportunities, visit this page.
Carpenter’s Cook-Off is the shelter’s largest fundraising event of the year. For the past 12 years Carpenter’s has brought together over 25 of the area’s best local restaurants for a day of tastings, friendly competition and community building– all in support of the fight against homelessness in Northern Virginia.
Leading up to Cook-Off, we will hold an online auction which you can register for here. The online auction will open today at 10 p.m. and will run for 2 weeks until Friday, April 25 at 10 p.m.
VISIT THE ONLINE AUCTION
Here is a sampling of some Online Auction items:
Coffee with Congressman Moran
4 tickets to Madame Tussauds’ wax museum
A getaway to Annapolis, Maryland
8 dance classes at Gottaswing
A consultation and treatment at Radiance Medspa
Gift certificate to The Hamilton restaurant
Signed Alex Ovechkin hockey stick
All proceeds from the online auction bids will go towards Carpenter’s Shelter’s, helping to fund our programs and continue serving our clients. Online auction purchases are tax deductible.
Foodies from all-around know and love Ben and Jerry’s annual Free Cone Day. This year, Free Cone Day is April 8 and Carpenter’s Shelter will be scooping ice cream for donations at two Ben and Jerry’s locations.
Ben and Jerry’s Old Town 103 South Union Street Alexandria, VA 22314
Ben and Jerry’s National Harbor 138 National Plaza Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Please join us from noon to 8 p.m. for a sweet treat and help us raise funds for the shelter’s programs. While the ice cream will be free, all donations will directly benefit Carpenter’s operations.
If you’re unfamiliar with Free Cone Day it’s just what it sounds like. Ben and Jerry’s will dish out free scoops of ice cream to commemorate the company’s anniversary. (You can also get your scoop in a cup.)
Staff members from Carpenter’s will be joined by volunteer groups from Deloitte and PEEPS & Company to scoop ice cream. Long time friends of Carpenter’s, Don Beyer, John Chapman, Kerry Donley, Dana Lawhorne, John Porter and David Speck will also make appearances at the community event.
We hope to see you and your friends and family there!
Spring2ACTion is a 24-hour online event that encourages everyone to contribute to Alexandria’s nonprofit organizations on April 9th.
This is more than a giving day, it’s also a competition. We need your help to win. Help Carpenter’s raise money by donating here, if we reach $2,000 we also have a chance to win extra money for our programs thanks to a generous matching grant.
Carpenter’s Shelter will be promoting our biggest event of the year, Cook-Off, on Good Morning Washington. Tune into WJLA-Channel 8 on Wednesday, March 26 during the 6 a.m. hour or Thursday, March 27 during the 5 a.m. hour to catch our segment.
Please join us April 27th at The Birchmere Music Hall (3701 Mount Vernon Ave) from 12-3pm. Last year, the event sold out early. Don’t miss your chance to attend this year. Tickets are $50 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Limited quantities of VIP tickets are available for $65 until sold out. All VIP ticket holders will receive a special ‘Swag Bag’ gift.
Carpenter’s Shelter enjoyed connecting with our donors at our annual Thank-a-Thon on Thursday, March 6. Members of our staff, as well as volunteers Megan and Collin, picked up the phone to call and thank everyone who donated to the shelter over the past year.
Many of our donors were surprised to receive a personal thank you with no strings attached. We work hard to achieve our mission every day, and still believe it’s important to take the time to individually thank everyone.
Regardless of amount donated, $5 or $1,000, we know everyone deserves a thank you.
For about two hours calls were being made. You do the math; that’s a lot of donors. We are fortunate to have great supporters which allow us to be more independent as an organization and serve the community more effectively. Only 20 percent of our funding comes from the government, the rest comes from caring donors like you.
If you are passionate about helping end homelessness in Alexandria consider making a donation here. Every little bit helps our clients achieve independence and more stable futures.
As our biggest event of the year draws closer, preparations for
Carpenter’s Cook-Off are in full-swing. Cook-Off is brought to you annually through collective efforts between the shelter, restaurants, sponsorships, and donors.
Members of our Host Committee are part of an elite circle of individuals providing financial support for the event.
They are invited to our exclusive Host Committee Reception on Thursday, March 27 as a benefit of membership. This year’s reception will start at 6 p.m. at Port City Brewery in Alexandria.
Got eyes for this event but not a member of Host Committee? There’s still time to join. Take a look at the options and packages.
Top Chef $500
Four event tickets (2 adult, 2 children)
Invitation for two to pre-event reception
Carpenter’s Shelter house pin memento
First preview and bidding opportunity for one of a kind auction items
Name in Cook-Off program
Recognition on Carpenter’s Shelter website
Two event tickets
Invitation for two to pre-event reception
Name in Cook-Off program
Recognition on Carpenter’s Shelter website
One event ticket
Invitation to a pre-event reception
Name in Cook-Off program
Recognition on Carpenter’s Shelter website
If you are interested in becoming a member of Host Committee please call or
email Courtney Bishop. (703) 548-7500 x205.
Carpenter’s Shelter hosted an open house on Thursday, Feb. 20 for potential new members to join our Circle of HOPE program. Circle of HOPE is an internal giving circle where members commit to an annual contribution of $250 and have the opportunity to bring their families and children to the shelter for service days.
Ten families attended the event. First they viewed a video about second chances here at the shelter and then were taken on a tour of the building. Tours are an integral part of connecting the local community with life inside the shelter. Seeing how residents live illuminates how effective contributions really are for the shelter.
During the tour, families had the opportunity to meet a previous client who is now living successfully on his own. Patrick Owens has been gone from the shelter since June 2013 and now lives in Arlington, Va. He works two jobs, one at Virginia Hospital Center and one at The Smithsonian.
Patrick Owens in our library.
Mr. Owens’ story is unusual because he used to volunteer at Carpenter’s Shelter back when we were located on Duke Street. It wasn’t until many years later that Mr. Owens came to Carpenter’s looking for shelter and assistance.
Once here, Mr. Owens worked with case management and our volunteer physician on his personal health. Thanks to Dr. Rogers, our case management, and Mr. Owens’ hard work, he was able to move out of the shelter in just a few months.
To wrap-up the open house, guests were treated to refreshments and conversation.
Any family or individual who cares about ending homelessness is encouraged to join! Membership is established by a $250 contribution per calendar year, which directly supports Carpenter’s Shelter operations and programs. Join today!