Animal Welfare League of Alexandria wants you to ‘stuff the van’ for dogs in need

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is hoping to spread the Christmas cheer to dogs that need some extra help this holiday season.

The organization will host its second annual Stocking Stuff the Van on Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter at 4101 Eisenhower Ave.



To participate, sign up for a 10-minute window during which you and your “family group” can come by the AWLA to stuff the van with the help of an “AWLA elf” and meet an adoptable animal who will benefit from your donation.

The event will be held outside the AWLA in the parking lot, and everyone must wear masks. It will be held rain or shine under the tents in the parking lot.

Can’t make it in person? There’s still a way to help out.

You can have items delivered straight to the AWLA from one of its online wish lists.

In 2020, community members donated hundreds of pounds of pet supplies during the event, which meant every animal at the AWLA received a special holiday toy or treat, while dozens of Alexandria residents received much-needed pet food and other supplies through the AWLA’s Community Pet Pantry during a time when finances were tight.

“No one should have to make the difficult decision between feeding their pet or feeding themselves, especially during the holiday season,” said Joanna Fortin, AWLA’s director of community programs. “Community donations to the Pet Pantry mean that residents can receive critical pet supplies and focus their funds where they are needed most.”

In 2021, the AWLA provided more than 45,000 pounds of pet supplies to residents and other regional animal rescues.

“AWLA’s Pet Pantry is just another way for one neighbor to help another,” said Executive Director Stella Hanly. “Whether that neighbor is a person or a company, they know their support is going to help where it will be the most beneficial.

The organization will host a special “Pet Pantry Pawliday Delivery” event on Dec. 24, to deliver pet supplies to pre-registered families who could use a “helping paw” this season.

Amazon will be supporting with a $50,000 donation to assist with veterinary care for animals at the AWLA and pets across the city in 2022, making Amazon an AWLA Barknership partner.

“The holidays should be a special time for everyone, regardless of income,” said Hanly. “With the support of our community, hopefully we can make this season a little more magical for more of our neighbors.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up