Alexandria Launches Community Service Program for Meetings November 9, 2012

Alexandria, VA Launches
"Alexandria Cares" Community Service Program
for Meetings and Conferences


Alexandria Cares Event


ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - The Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association (ACVA) is proud to launch the Alexandria Cares corporate community service program in partnership with Get Out and Give Back to offer corporate groups the opportunity to include service projects and events along with their business meetings and shopping, dining and sightseeing activities.

The ACVA sales team, which booked $3.8 million in Alexandria meetings and groups business in fiscal year 2012, sought to deliver a program to meet the increasing demand for service events that provide a meaningful teambuilding experience, joining a trend in the meetings industry that promotes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

ACVA created Alexandria Cares in collaboration with Alexandria-based Get Out and Give Back, a "nonprofit matchmaking" organization that pairs businesses with philanthropic opportunities. The program includes a wide variety of service project options, including bowling parties with nonprofit clients, holiday service events, and personalized project requests made by the business or service organization. Transportation, food and even commemorative T-shirts can be included as part of the package. The Alexandria Cares program could translate into dozens of groups and thousands of volunteers whose work will benefit the Alexandria community.

Lorraine Lloyd, ACVA Vice President of Sales, is excited to offer Alexandria Cares. "Corporate community service projects are in high demand in our business," she said. "We have wanted to offer this service for a long time, and are thrilled to include this as part of a visiting organization's agenda. It's a win-win for the Alexandria community to benefit as meeting attendees get an even richer experience from their visit."

Jane Hess Collins, founder of Get Out and Give Back, is equally happy with the new partnership. "This is a terrific opportunity to engage corporations with our community and needs," she said. "My hope is that they will return to Alexandria year after year to volunteer with the same nonprofit or city agency and build a deeper relationship. And if they don't, I hope they will take this Alexandria experience back with them to their home communities."

While corporations are charged a fee for the service event, the money goes right back into the community. "All post-expense proceeds that Get Out and Give Back receives from an ACVA-referred corporate service event will go into a donor-advised fund that we set up through our community foundation, ACT for Alexandria," Collins said. "It's my dream to give back by helping others give back."

Following a recent Alexandria Cares event coordinated for Coca-Cola Refreshments, the satisfied client said, "You have been great to work with and I told [my colleague] that any corporations looking for similar opportunities should come your way. The team had a wonderful evening! Thanks so much for all of your help."

Alexandria Cares was kicked off at ACVA's Bows, Baskets & Bikes service event on November 8 at historic Christ Church. DC-area event and meeting planners were invited to help build bicycles for needy families through Christ Church's holiday initiative, the Christ Child Project. The Christ Child Project includes a Christmas market for low-income families to purchase quality gifts at a fraction of retail value. Any bikes that are left after the market will be donated to the City of Alexandria's Department of Community and Human Services.

To find out more about ACVA's Alexandria Cares program, or to plan a meeting in Alexandria, call 703-652-5369 or visit

About Alexandria, VA: A Capital Location for Small to Mid-Size Meetings
Alexandria celebrates an award-winning year, ranked on Cvent's 2012 list of Top 50 Meetings Destinations in the US. Old Town Alexandria is the nation's third oldest national historic district and one of its most distinctive. Located just five miles south of Washington, DC, this charming waterfront city is recognized for its early-American architecture, thriving art scene, critically-acclaimed restaurants and historic significance. Just minutes from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and served by four Metrorail stations, the free King Street Trolley and water taxi service, Alexandria is a wonderfully accessible destination. It's also easily walkable, surprisingly sophisticated, eco-friendly and amazingly accommodating, making Alexandria "a capital location" for your event.

About Get Out and Give Back, LLC
Get Out and Give Back is an Alexandria-based organization which inspires people to "Connect. Contribute. Create a Legacy." by connecting business and people with nonprofits and philanthropy. Founder Jane Hess Collins is a social entrepreneur and a "nonprofit matchmaker," bringing workshops, training, placements and service projects to organizations in a way that makes it easy to make it easy to be involved in community outreach. A retired Air Force colonel, Jane has volunteered with, written about and promoted over 60 nonprofits located in greater Washington through social media, her website and her column in the online edition of Washington Life magazine. Jane coordinated 50 nonprofit and city service sites for Volunteer Alexandria's 2012 Community Service Day on May 4, 2012. Over 400 volunteers participated in this annual, community-building event.