Serve with Us Locally

Being involved in the community is one way to share God's love. In working with and helping our neighbors, we share the love that’s been freely given to us.

Good Shepherd organizes opportunities to serve and partners with community organizations to be God’s hands the Alexandria community.

Learn more below about ways to serve with us locally.

Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC)

Do you love children and reading? ATC seeks dependable volunteers to be one-on-one tutors for Alexandria City Public School kindergarteners and first graders who need extra help with literacy skills.

Training, lesson plans and materials targeted at each child’s reading needs and support are provided.

One tutor remarked, “So little effort for the volunteer, yet so rewarding!”

For the children, learning to read makes a difference that lasts a lifetime. 85% of the 192 children tutored last year reached their spring grade level literacy benchmarks.

Tutor, and change two lives! Visit or call 703-549-6670 ext. 119 for more information or to register.


Good Shepherd is an active member of ALIVE! (Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically), a nonprofit of over 40 faith groups working together to help those in need in Alexandria:

  • During April and November, we collect food and cash contributions to stock the ALIVE! food pantry.
  • Twice a year, our volunteers help pick-up furniture from donors and deliver it directly to neighbors in need.
  • We’re a proud sponsor and participant in the annual ALIVE! Child Development Center Walk-a-Thon.

Visit the ALIVE! website for more ways to get involved.

Good Shepherd contact: Scott Ponsor

Carpenter's Shelter

GSLC members have found Carpenter's Shelter, provides housing and services for those dealing with homelessness, a meaningful place to volunteer and share the love of Christ, including:

  • Staffing the front desk and other administrative tasks
  • Helping with children’s programs and adult education
  • Cooking a meal for residents
  • Contributing to facilities maintenance

Visit the Carpenter's Shelter website to see how you can be involved.

Community Food Packing Event

An annual event since 2017, we host an amazing food packing event with friends from the Ezher Bloom Mosque and invite other community members to participate. Together, we pack 20,000 meals that are then given to local organizations to share with folks in our communities who need food assistance.

When our meal-packaging is done, participants gather to share refreshments or a picnic and socialize. This outreach effort helps those in need and brings people from many walks of life together to create community and build new connections.

Good Shepherd contact: Lori Strauss, evangelical outreach ministry chair

Gift of the Month

Each month, the community outreach committee identifies an organization or effort to help with monetary donations or wish-list items. Examples include school supplies for local children, items needed by refugee families, care packages for military personnel, food for the ALIVE! food bank, health kits for Lutheran World Relief disaster response, personal care products for Guest House residents , Thanksgiving meal fixings for a family, Christmas angel tree and others.

Good Shepherd contact: Denise Gray, community outreach ministry chair

God’s Work, Our Hands

God’s Work, Our Hands is an ELCA-wide annual day of service held in September when members and friends across the U.S. make a collective impact by planning or participating in community service projects. Good Shepherd has organized a variety of events:

  • 2018 and 2017: The Amazing Food Packing Event
  • 2016: Bone marrow donor registration
  • 2015: Host a BBQ for Guest House residents; visit elderly residents at Goodwin House; indoor and out facilities work at Carpenter Shelter; making blankets for Lutheran World Relief and Guest House; crocheting mats from plastic grocery bags for homeless people
  • 2014: Host a BBQ for Guest House residents; visit elderly residents at Goodwin House; stream clean-up; making blankets for Lutheran World Relief

Good Shepherd contact: Pastor Kate

Guest House

Virtual Friendraising

Even if you missed the Zoom discussion Monday evening, you can still watch the documentary through Friday.

Then, if you want to take action to accompany the women of Guest House who are breaking the systematic cycle of incarceration:

Watch the trailer. Guest House, released in 2020, follows three courageous women in the re-entry house as they acclimate to life after being released from incarceration while battling addiction. We experience the reality of their struggles and witness their journey to build back trust in their personal relationships and find new opportunities to support them as they move their lives forward.

* The documentary is available for viewing until Nov. 20, 2020.

Guest House

Our close neighbor and friend, Guest House, is an award-winning charity that provides short-term, live-in programs for women recently released from prison to help ensure a successful transition back into society and family life.

Though currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Good Shepherd has worked with Guest House on a variety of fronts to:

  • Cook a meal for the women on the 3rd Wednesday each month. Volunteers are needed to prepare the meal at the church and deliver it to Guest House.
  • Tie fleece blankets as gifts for women who successfully graduate from the Guest House program. We invite you to coordinate a blanket-tying event or just pick up a blanket kit and tie it to help ensure we have enough blankets ready.
  • Assist with yard work, life-skills training, furniture pick-up, and donate wish list items and business clothing.

Guest House needs volunteers to work directly with the women in various capacities and to help maintain the property. Visit the Guest House website to learn more about current needs.

Good Shepherd contact: Denise Gray, community outreach ministry chair

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Learn to make a prayer shawl! This group knits shawls for people bearing tragedy or celebrating. Completed shawls are prayed over and then blessed by Pastor Kate and the congregation. Shawls are given to those needing comfort or healing. No experience is necessary, and all are welcome, including crocheters

Typical schedule: Last Thursday of the month, 7-9 PM

Good Shepherd contact: Merrill Biesada

Refugee Family Support

Beginning in 2017, we partnered with two other Alexandria churches, First Christian and Old Presbyterian Meeting House, to help resettle a refugee family of seven who fled Syria. GSLC members and friends supported the effort through donations of money, food and time. Our volunteers played essential roles on various teams to:

    • Find furnishings and help settle the family in their new home.
    • Stock food and deliver meals.
    • Provide for transportation needs.
    • Help the family learn American household logistics like public transit and banking, and generally adjust to a new culture and life.

    Our time of official support has ended, but friendships and encouragement continue.

    Good Shepherd contacts: Denise Elfes, Denise Gray