Project Manger gets a new home

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Since 2008, Denny d'Alelio, a member of the Holy Spirit Knights of Columbus council in Annandale, has managed a crib distribution effort called Project Manger.

The project began when Dolores Wisecarver, director of A Woman's Choice, a Falls Church pro-life crisis pregnancy center, was trying to help a woman who told her she was going to have an abortion because she did not have a crib for the baby. Wisecarver placed ads in parish bulletins around the diocese asking for donations.

D'Alelio saw the ad in the Holy Spirit bulletin, called Wisecarver and said he'd like the Knights' council to help out.

In its first year of operation, the council was able to buy and deliver about 25 cribs and mattresses. It's grown every year since, with more than 1,500 cribs delivered by the end of 2015. Three other crisis pregnancy centers have joined the project: Hope of Northern Virginia in Falls Church, Assist Pregnancy Center in Annandale and AAA Women for Choice in Manassas.

Recently, D'Alelio's health forced him to relinquish control of the project, so he was concerned about its future.

"He wanted to make sure the project continued," said Wisecarver. "He didn't want this to fall through the cracks."

He and Wisecarver talked, and she agreed to take over the management of Project Manger, and they created a board of directors to manage the project.

D'Alelio said that the board was selected carefully to include people who have been involved with Project Manger during the last five years.

D'Alelio is the acting-president of the board, so is still involved.

He said the project is stable now, with about 200 cribs provided each year.

The transition was smooth, said Wisecarver. A Women's Choice is a 501c3 charity, so donations are still tax-deductible and cover the cost of purchasing cribs and mattresses.

Wisecarver said that major fundraising drives will be scheduled and run by diocesan parishes and that their primary crib distribution event will continue to be the Saturday before Fathers' Day.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016