Reflections from 30 Community Lodgings Ambassadors

Ambassador Reflections: 5 questions with Jesse Strauss

Five Questions with Jesse Medalia Strauss

Jesse Medalia Strauss is the co-founder of Forward Frame Media, a full-service videography company that advocates for progressive social change through visual storytelling. He has produced Community Lodgings’ videos since 2015.

What attracted you to Community Lodgings?

I was just starting out as a freelance videographer and I saw a post about them needing a videographer. I looked up the organization and loved it – my whole goal is to be a freelance videographer for socially progressive causes. Everything they did was amazing and I saw how they helped a lot of people and I thought it would be a great organization to be involved with.

Why do you continue to be involved with them?

Because it has been such a great working relationship that we have had together. I really enjoy making the videos and contributing in that way.

What is important to you about their work?

It is important to me that they have a transitional housing program, but they have thought of everything. They provide homes for families, classes, a place for kids to go after school, and really a foundation – a home and the means to become independent. Everything is taken into account – life skills classes, places for kids. They really uplift the entire family.

What has your involvement w/Community Lodgings done for you?

I have produced two amazing videos that you can view on my website. I have been able to meet lots of amazing people and hear their stories and I get to know that have helped this great organization get funded and prosper and help even more people.

What is your favorite Community Lodgings story/memory/experience?

I am a very political person and do a lot of political work. When I interviewed Jenny (McDaniel, for the 2016 video) and she mentioned how proud that she, as an ex-offender, could now vote, thanks to Governor McAuliffe. It was really touching to me to see how much that meant for her. It was one of the best moments in shooting both Community Lodgings videos that I have done. Jenny really wants to give back and vote, and that was really meaningful to her. And to me.


Ambassador Reflections: The Power of Literature… and Generosity

Community Lodgings’ Love of Literature   By Jennifer Kenealy Co-Creator, InspireLit Building bridges between resources and needs to inspire and support kids   Alexandria should be proud to have a place like Community Lodgings in their neighborhood. It represents what can happen when dedicated people collaborate to solve problems. Community Lodgings not only addresses housing… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections: “Giving Back is a Principle We Live By”

Investing in Community Lodgings It is nearly impossible to attend a nonprofit event in Alexandria that is not sponsored or supported by Caudron Megary Blackburn Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors (formerly known as Speck – Caudron). The investment firm believes in investing in people and Alexandria, as well as on behalf of their… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections – Helping Where We Can

When Marissa Wilson and her friends from Restoration City Church (RCC) wanted to partner with a nonprofit, Community Lodgings was the perfect fit. “What got us was the mission of overcoming homelessness by helping the whole family,” Marissa recalled. “And we were especially excited to partner with an organization so close to where our church… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections – Shaping My Goals through Community Lodgings

My name is Glancy Rosales and I am originally from Guatemala. I was eleven years old when I migrated to the United States, partly because my parents thought we (myself, my brother and my older sister) would have better educational opportunities in this country. I was first enrolled at George Mason Elementary school, and my… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections – Why One Home Makes a Difference

  When Community Lodgings re-opens six affordable housing apartments after an extensive renovation, they added a bonus: The renovation included adding one additional two-bedroom unit at their 607 Notabene Drive property. In a city where 14,000 households qualify for but are unable to attain affordable housing what difference does one more apartment make? Plenty, said… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections – Six Questions with Councilman Justin Wilson

City Council member Justin Wilson has served on Alexandria’s city council for seven years – first in 2007, then continuously since 2012. He and his family live in Alexandria, where he also works for Amtrak. Justin recently answered six questions about Community Lodgings: What attracted you to Community Lodgings?  The longevity of the commitment to… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections – From a Volunteer’s View

By Holly Herman My name is Holly Herman.  I’ve been a periodic speaker/trainer for the last four years, sharing my experience as an Executive Coach. I was attracted to Community Lodgings by the work they do.  Community Lodgings is doing work that directly meets the needs of the community.  The afterschool programs for the children… Continue Reading

Ambassador Reflections – Getting to Know Donna Cramer

by Joy Loving, Volunteer Donna Cramer is an Alexandria-based realtor with McEnearney Associates, Inc., who has supported Community Lodgings, privately and through McEnearney Associates, for nearly two decades. Donna has sponsored several of Community Lodgings’ “Spring Forward” functions and even found a way to creatively incorporate the Washington Nationals into her giving. We asked Donna some questions about her continuing support… Continue Reading

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