Active local mission work has been a hallmark of the Meeting House for many decades. Several of the city’s best known mission programs were founded at the Meeting House, and members continue to donate hundreds of hours of time and talent to local causes each year.
At the heart of our local mission work is the Family-to-Family Ministry, which provides emergency financial assistance to those in our community. Through the Family-to-Family ministry, the Meeting House works collaboratively with area social workers to help meet emergency financial and health care needs among the working poor. Working through the social workers, Family to Family is able to provide assistance of up to $150 every four months. Recent examples: help with an electric bill so the client could have dentures repaired; paid for college transcripts for an ex-offender so she could qualify for a job; helped with money to buy uniforms so the client could begin working.
We also partner with numerous other organizations and faith communities in the local area, addressing issues of hunger, healthcare, housing, and education. Many of these organizations welcome volunteer support. Please contact us if you’d like to be involved!
Open Table is the Meeting House hands-on program to provide a weekly breakfast and warm welcome for anyone who is homeless, low-income, or in need of a little extra help. Since August 2013, we have opened the Heritage Hall door every week to welcome all who come. We know many by name, and they have become important in our lives.
Every Thursday morning from 6–8 a.m., 15-20 volunteers show up to help prepare, welcome and serve 25–60 women, men, and children, and clean up. Volunteers also come by when they can to share a few minutes with guests. Many others drop off food during the week. We have no set hours or jobs, and all contributions are important.
Every person who is part of this ministry represents the commitment of our church. If you are interested in learning more, leave your contact information with the church office, and a volunteer will reach out to you. Open Table is hard to describe, and the best way to see what this ministry does is to come and explore how your faith is leading you.
Alexandria Tutoring Consortium provides one-on-one tutoring for struggling readers at Alexandria City Public Schools. Once or twice each week from October–May, tutors help kindergarten and first-grade students learn to read using personalized lesson plans in 30–40 minute sessions twice a week. The Meeting House also provides office space for ATC.
Neighborhood Health’s mission is to improve health and to advance health equity in the area by providing affordable primary health care. More than half of Neighborhood Health patients do not have health insurance, and most have chronic conditions. The Meeting House provides support through annual donations and Service Sunday Projects.
AA groups meet six days a week in our Flounder House building’s Westminster Hall. To learn more about meeting times and types of meetings held, please visit the Washington Area Integroup Association website.
Carpenter’s Shelter volunteers provide and serve resident dinners on the fourth Sunday of even months each year. We deliver a ready-to-serve evening meal and stay to serve and cleanup.
Rebuilding Together—Alexandria creates healthy neighborhoods for residents by maintaining affordable housing and creating home ownership opportunities. Meeting House volunteers participate in a range of projects.
ALIVE! Inc. is a private social-safety net providing assistance with food, shelter, emergency help, and education. Opportunities include working at food banks and with homebound or disabled residents, participating in students’ food backpack program, and picking up and delivering furniture.
ALIVE! helps the city’s needy, children, disabled, and others by providing emergency shelter, financial assistance, and food deliveries; distributing donated housewares and furniture; and operating an accredited early childhood education center. The Meeting House provides direct financial support to the program, holds food-collection drives, helps deliver furniture, and participates in other volunteer efforts, as well.
The Meeting House supports the following additional missions related to poverty and hunger:
- Bag Lunch Program provides lunches for 35–70 individuals each weekday at Meade Memorial Church in Old Town. We prepare sandwiches, make cookies, and pack/serve the lunches. Lunches are delivered to Meade Memorial on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Meals on Wheels is a national program offering two meals to homebound people, primarily seniors. We deliver meals on eight routes the fourth Friday of each month.
- Christ House welcomes 50–80 homeless persons daily for a hot cooked dinner. The Meeting House takes turns six times a year to buy groceries, cook, plate and serve dinners, and set and clear tables for two evening seatings.
- Carpenter’s Shelter Dinners volunteers provide and serve resident dinners on the fourth Sunday of even months each year. We deliver a ready-to-serve evening meal and stay to serve and cleanup.
- Our Holiday Sharing Program allows us to share Christmas joy every year with many in need through the City of Alexandria by donating grocery gift cards and shopping from wish lists. Last year, more than 100 Meeting House members provided gifts for 160 children and adults.
- Friends of Guest House—Alexandria help women newly released from prison integrate into the community by providing housing, job skills training, and the support they need to move to independent living. We work with Guest House on Service Sunday and provide shared meals with our Meeting House youth.
- Our Inmate Family Video Visitation Program connects prison inmates with loved ones by teleconference visits. We partner with the Virginia Department of Corrections; our volunteers host friends and families every Saturday in a confidential visitation room for pre-scheduled teleconferencing.
- The Refugee Family Ministry represents the Meeting House’s long history of engagement in refugee issues, beginning with resettlement support in the 1980s for an Afghan family. We have successfully helped resettle a seven-member Syrian refugee family in Northern Virginia. This recent experience has given us a wealth of understanding about complex challenges arising from the refugee issue. We welcome anyone to join us as we prayerfully ask how we are called to address these challenges.
- VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, independent, and nonpartisan coalition of almost 50 faith communities and civic organizations in Northern Virginia working together to build power in middle and low-income communities since its founding in 2008. We organize in Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington counties and the City of Alexandria, uniting people across lines of race, class, religion, political party and geography to act on key issues in our community, including but not limited to affordable housing, education, criminal justice, and immigrant rights.
“And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”