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 of Community Lodgings.
How long have you been involved with Community Lodgings?
I have probably contributed to them for 10 or 15 years. This past year, I joined the board. It has really been within the last five years that I have upped my involvement by doing sponsorships for their Spring Forward function.
I’m a big Nats fan, and I saw on their website that they took some of the kids to a Nats game.
I called Jasmin (Witcher, Development Director) and asked her if we could work out something that would be educational to the kids. I would contribute some money per strikeout and some per home run for the season, but the kids in the summer program had to do the math, study the statistics, and create an invoice for me. The kids that really liked the math part of the Nats challenge and would really engage, so I think it went pretty well. It just dawned on me I didn’t do that this year!
What attracted you to Community Lodgings?
I like the fact that they are teaching people to become self-sufficient.
Not just giving people money, but also giving them skills to be able to support themselves–
I think that’s so important. I come from a very modest background. At one time, I lived in public housing as a single parent, so I know just how important that kind of support is.
Who is your favorite Community Lodgings person and why?
The person I know the best is Jasmin. She’s so interested in her job, and I just like her upbeat attitude.
How has Community Lodgings made Alexandria extraordinary?
I think when you help the least in your community to become successful, whatever that definition is, you help everybody within the community. When they move on, they make space for other people to come up behind them. Because Community Lodgings has had success at this, people coming into the program feel like they also have a chance at succeeding. Success breeds success!