Welcome to the 4th annual Nonprofit Wish Catalog!
This year's Catalog features many smaller-budget Arlington nonprofits, so we encourage you to use the Catalog to get to know them and financially support them if you are able.
Widespread inflation and the abrupt reduction in pandemic-era safety net programs have created an unprecedented surge in need within our community. Recent research by the Northern Virginia Community Foundation reveals that 51% of South Arlington residents are struggling to cover their basic needs and childcare expenses. This alarming situation is fueling a wave of evictions and placing unprecedented financial stress on more families than ever, leaving them in dire need of a financial lifeline. In light of these urgent circumstances we humbly request your support to bolster our emergency financial services.
SEEC will purchase hot meals from Latino restaurants in South Arlington to feed day laborers during winter months. During winter months, jobs are scarce for day laborers and Latino restaurants also suffer from dramatic drop in business. By purchasing hot meals from Latino restaurants, the businesses are helped economically, while the day laborers are provided with nourishment that they need and prefer.
The Community Scholarship Fund of Arlington Community Foundation offers one-year scholarships and provides the Foundation with opportunities to help our Arlington students. This Fund provides scholarships to high school seniors of merit and financial need whom may not be eligible for one of the named scholarships established by individual donors and businesses.
The Outdoor Lab welcomes 9,000 APS students each year to experience Nature first-hand and learn STEM curriculum with immersive activities. Students observe and document the flora and fauna of the world around them during their Outdoor Lab field trips and learn how they can improve the environment and bio-diversity in their world. For the Spring of 2024, we are removing invasive plants, including Stiltgrass, and replacing with native plants to improve habitat for wildlife and increase bio-diversity. Please help us improve our Natural Classroom and allow Arlington's students to experience more species in more habitats than can be found at home in Arlington. For more info, check-out https://outdoorlab.org/2023/10/bio-diversity-at-the-odl/
Your donation - in any amount – will ensure historically underserved students in South Arlington have access to robust reading, math, and academic support through our award-winning Learning ROCKS program. Your support today will help Aspire pilot two NEW school-based afterschool program sites at Randolph and Drew Elementary Schools, both Title 1 schools within the Arlington Public Schools (APS) system. These new sites further strengthen our connection to the local community and ensure our students have access to daily learning programs close to home and at no cost to their families. There are no other affordable or accessible programs in Arlington providing the robust, academic afterschool support Aspire provides, and this is only possible with your support!
CYFA provides the County's pre-petition youth diversion programming, which allows Arlington County Police Officers to directly refer eligible youth to CYFA for restorative justice programming to address the harm they have caused others and the community. CYFA has two restorative justice diversion programs: Promoting Empathy through Equitable Resolution (PEER) and Youth Peer Court (YPC). Both PEER and YPC are youth-led programs that create peer-to-peer experiential learning opportunities for high school youth trained through CYFA's PEER and YPC Ambassador Academies. CYFA seeks funding in the amount of $5,000.00 to host two Academies for local youth interested in advancing community-based, transformative justice efforts.
The Clothesline provides a full wardrobe of clothes twice per year free-of-charge to low-income Arlington school children. This winter we expect to dress 1,200 kids from head to toe - a nearly 20% increase from last year. A $100 donation allows us to provide a new coat and pair of shoes to two kids as part of their wardrobes - keeping them warm at the bus stop and on the playground.
EcoAction Arlington provides a wide variety of environmental education programs and service projects for Arlington students. These hands-on events emphasize stewardship of our planet's resources for our future community leaders. We are seeking $3,500 to fund 10 events reaching a total of 250 students. Participating students will explore global issues such as renewable energy and waste management with real-world examples that pertain to our Arlington community and how kids can make a difference.
Educational Theatre Company (ETC) seeks funding to expand our popular PreK in-school programming at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School in historic Green Valley. Just four weeks into a nine-week residency with the PreK classrooms in the spring of 2023, the Drew PreK teachers unanimously asked that the programming expand to be a full-year weekly class for their students, including expanding to two additional classrooms. All of the PreK classrooms are either part of the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), which is free to families that meet income eligibility guidelines, or Community Peer Pre-Kindergarten (CPP), providing children with and without disabilities the opportunity to participate in an inclusive preschool program. $5,000 funds one quarter of the academic year.
As one of the largest immigrant-led nonprofit organizations in Northern Virginia, the work of Edu-Futuro is focused on helping families break the cycle of poverty through education. Each year, our Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) provides hundreds of immigrant and Latino students with free, afterschool workshops that develop the academic and professional skills that will lead to high school graduation, college enrollment, and career success. In middle school, our students participate in our STEM and Robotics programs, while our high school youth improve their study habits, learn about the college admissions process, and participate in speech and essay competitions. We are very proud that, despite the disruption caused by the COVID crisis, the 175 outstanding high school seniors who graduated from our ELP program during the past three years were collectively offered $7,528,737 in scholarships and financial aid for their first year of college, and a remarkable $26,256,444 in four-year renewable scholarships and financial aid. After 25 years of service in Northern Virginia, Edu-Futuro's Two-Generation programs support the entire family -- providing youth with a path to first-generation college success, while helping their parents navigate the U.S. school system, improve family communication, and obtain better jobs through workforce development.
Encore Learning is seeking General Operating Support to fund our important work of making learning a lifelong pursuit. Trying new activities and building new skills throughout life helps reduce the risk of cognitive decline. We want lifelong learners to attend four- to 10-week classes and Special Events (talks and tours) and join clubs, either in person or virtually! Your contribution will support Encore Learning's efforts in Arlington to continue our 20 years of successfully reaching older adults, especially those experiencing social isolation. Your contributions will offset our operational expenses, allow for purchasing necessary technology to reach new members, and offer outreach to diverse populations who would benefit from our cost-effective offerings. We need your support to continue our ongoing outreach to potential lifelong learners and to develop compelling programs to keep seniors engaged. All in-person courses are offered in Arlington, primarily at the George Mason University Mason Square.
Liberty's Promise supports low-income, immigrant youth in Arlington County through our after-school program, Civics and Citizenship, at Wakefield High School. This program focuses on civic education, community engagement, college access, and career readiness. We engage students through a variety of activities, such as team games, bringing in guest speakers, providing opportunities to attend field trips, and participating in volunteer projects. We serve the social, emotional, and educational needs of our youth by providing access to hands-on programming to empower them, build up their self-confidence, become self-sufficient, and reach goals they have set for themselves. Through our programming, young immigrants learn how to be involved in their Arlington community while also obtaining skills to attain higher education and a meaningful profession.
Give the gifts of confidence, determination, new relationships, and a bike to a local middle or high school student! Phoenix Bikes teaches bike mechanics to 6th-12th grade students through semester-long afterschool bike clubs held in partnership with local public schools and other organizations. During these clubs, students will learn bike mechanics vocabulary, master basic mechanics skills, refurbish bikes to give to community members in need, and build a bike to keep for themselves—all for free. The $5,000 requested would cover the costs of running two bike clubs, each teaching 10 students over the course of 13 weeks. Support would cover costs of traveling to the offsite locations, purchasing supplies (such as inner tubes, cables, locks, and more), printing recruitment and in-class materials, and paying trained mechanics instructors to facilitate the clubs.
The brain's most critical period is during the first two years of life with talking, singing, and most importantly, reading to babies starting at birth to be the best predictors of academic success (Zero to Three, 2017). Without books in the home, though, reading to young children every day is nearly impossible; on average, low-income children receive 25 hours of 1-to-1 reading before school while middle-income children receive 1,500 hours, resulting in significant learning gaps in vocabulary, background knowledge, basic concepts, and pre-reading skills (Barnett, Carolan, Fitzgerald, & Squires, 2013). Based on brain research, READ developed READ With Me, delivering new, free, quality, culturally-relevant books with reading tips to our youngest and most vulnerable children in Arlington, beginning prenatally then each month until their fifth birthday. 100% of READ families surveyed state they spend more time reading with their baby because of our monthly book program READ With Me, with over half of families indicating READ is their only source of books. Currently 300 families are enrolled in READ With Me with another 1500 families eligible for our services. A $5000 grant would allow us to enroll 50 families into a full year of participation in READ With Me monthly book club, beginning prenatally with families receiving 17 new books in total. READ: A simple concept, a lifetime impact!
The Arlington Chorale has expanded its efforts to engage underserved communities in music making - both as listeners and as participants. This season, they are collaborating with Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area and planning an interactive musical event for refugee families in tandem with a winter coat drive. Children will get to try out different instruments, play various percussion instruments in the choral performances, and experience the talents of Hamid Zabib Zada, a local Afghan refugee, on tabla. In the spring, they will be collaborating with QuinTango, a professional tango ensemble, and working with students in Edu-Futuro, an organization that assists Latino immigrant families. The Chorale needs funding to support these community engagement activities that bring music to underserved populations.
AIM believes that Arlington's youth have incredibly important and valuable perspectives on the world that deserve to be heard. We're looking for a diverse, motivated group of high school students to help us build a brand-new program that will get teenagers out into our community, asking questions, making connections with the wider world, telling the stories that matter most to them, and publishing their work. Successful graduates of the Youth Journalism programs are invited to pitch stories to The Arlington Amp, AIM's new student-led multimedia hub for local news, and to be paid for their published work. AIM is looking for funding to help support this program.
With your support, audiences will enjoy a 20-piece pit orchestra and music conductor playing the classic songs of our summer show, The Sound of Music. Actors will experience the joy of singing with a live orchestra. Summer shows at Encore include actors of all ages which is a special intergenerational community experience. For over 50 years, Encore Stage & Studio has given hundreds of thousands of young people the opportunity to grow and discover themselves through theatre: onstage, backstage, in the classroom, and in the audience. Serving almost 15,000 children and families each season, we produce high-quality theatrical productions and offer a vibrant selection of classes and summer programs, including outreach to underserved children and youth with community partners.
MoCA Arlington needs a boost to its tuition assistance/field trip support program, which offers free classes to families that are economically-disadvantaged. In addition, this fund also covers costs for schools that want to take field trips to the museum, but are unable to cover the costs of transportation or art-making supplies and artist instructors for their classes. Finally, the museum partners with one of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing communities, Columbia Hills on Columbia Pike. We'd like to use some funding to provide a shuttle for the families to visit the museum to participate in our winter opening program in early 2024, when their artwork will be on view in our Jenkins Community Gallery. MoCA Arlington strives to make art-making accessible for all!
USS Arlington Community Alliance works to educate the sailors of the USS Arlington through visits to the ship by 9/11 first responders and 9/11 family members. In addition, when the ship is not deployed, the USS Arlington crew members visit Arlington and interact with our community at various events including the annual Arlington Police, Fire, Sheriff and ECC 9/11Memorial 5K. Grants to the Alliance will be used to support these visits to and from the ship.
Avant Bard Theatre (Washington Shakespeare Company) is dedicated to producing time-tested and contemporary classics; emphasizing a provocative, bold approach in an intimate setting; and training and showcasing the best emerging talent in the region, mentored by seasoned, professional theatre artists. Avant Bard's mission is expressed through its commitment to artistic excellence, collaboration, developing talent, and promoting educational and social outreach. We invite you to partner with us in bringing commitment to artistic excellence, fostering collaboration, developing talent, and promoting educational and social outreach in an effort to strengthen the culture of creativity and expression in Arlington County. Avant Bard is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The care packages contain six thoughtfully curated items, our "Self-Care Choice Board" which has small acts of self-care one can do each day and a DC area bereavement guide providing no cost support groups or 1:1 support options. These items and books have been chosen to help support birthing people and their families in those first days of grief and loss: fuzzy socks, aromatherapy candle, recovery tea, lip balm, facial sheet mask and lavender shower steamers. Each package also includes a book, or books, to help support after this form of loss. Aaliyah in Action has a choice of two books for the birthing person, a book more appropriate for miscarriage or a book more appropriate for stillbirth or infant death. Optional books, depending on the recipient's needs, are a support book for partners and/or a children's book for living siblings. In an effort to reach families who have experienced perinatal, neonatal or infant loss as soon as possible, Aaliyah in Action partners with hospitals who have our packages on hand to distribute when needed.
Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia reaches more than 3,600 3rd-8th graders each year with programming that fosters protective assets, promotes social-emotional learning and wellbeing, and equips our youth with the tools to face life's challenges - all while incorporating joyful motion. Each lesson in the 10-week program creates a positive, structured space for participants to learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy, strengthen connections, and develop life skills that will help them as they move through adolescence and beyond. This program is accessible to all wishing to participate, regardless of athletic ability or fitness level, and considers the range of ages and varied experiences of the participants. Each season culminates with the Girls on the Run 5K, which is the celebratory event that underscores the confidence, competence, connection, character and caring they've been developing in the program and gives them a tangible sense of goal-setting and achievement. In FY23, more than 200 low-income Arlington residents received financial assistance to participate, and a grant of $3,108 would subsidize the participation of 16 additional low-income students (a $163 scholarship covers the costs of: program supplies like shirts, water bottles, lesson materials, journals, etc.; training and background checking coaches; hosting the end-of-season 5K; and much more) as well as provide a modest stipend of $250 to two ACPS teachers who volunteer to coach for the season.
We have experienced an increase in the number of families that need access to items that will help them bring baby home safely. It is our goal to provide an additional 50 families with items such as car seats, pack and plays, and breast feeding starter kits. A donation of $30 will provide 1 breastfeeding kit, $50 will provide a pack and play, and $100 will provide a car seat.
Many women are impacted by price hikes that make it difficult to access hygiene and period products. Through our campaign to establish Period Pantries, the Junior League of Northern Virginia (JLNV) hopes to alleviate this burden for many women in Northern Virginia. According to the National Organization of Women, on average, customers will spend about $20 on period products per cycle, and if there's a family of multiple women, that can add up. By creating and running Period Pantries, JLNV will provide free period products to the community. JLNV would use this grant funding to stock a new period pantry in Arlington for a year.
Kitchen of Purpose celebrates its 10th anniversary by expanding our workforce development program. In response to our students' interest and the food industry's need for trained workers, Kitchen of Purpose has developed two new programs: Front of House Training and the Baking Training Program while continuing to offer our transformational Culinary Training Program. Your contribution makes it possible for front of house students to learn barista, bartending, and customer service in our on-site café. Your support provides our baking students the opportunity to learn from our professional baking instructor in our commercial training kitchen, achieving skills to make breads, croissants, creams, sauces, and cakes. Students' training culminates in paid internships with one of our local employer partners that lead to permanent positions paying family-sustaining wages.
Arlington Peer Recovery Center (APRC) supports adults with mental health, substance use, and homelessness issues by addressing immediate (e.g., food insecurity) and long-term (e.g., housing or employment) needs. To help our homeless participants make a great first impression when attending job interviews or meeting their new landlord while moving from homelessness to housing, APRC's wish is to secure financial support to provide these men and women with haircuts and grooming services. With these services, our participants will be more empowered and confident when interviewing or interacting with others because good hygiene is dignifying. We are also seeking funds to provide bus passes and tokens for participants for job interviews, medical appointments, and other life events. Wish funds will help neighbors like John, a formerly homeless gentleman who came to APRC to overcome substance use and depression and is now sober, currently employed as a security guard in Arlington, enjoying his new home, and living his best life.
Rock Recovery is a mental health nonprofit based in Arlington, VA that provides accessible therapy, support and educational programs to help clients heal from eating disorders and body image issues. In 2020, Rock Recovery experienced a 420% increase in inquiries for help, and the need for affordable mental health services continues to rise in our community, especially for youth. Last year, Rock piloted a new 8-week body image therapy group program for teens to help them find peace with food and their bodies amidst the unique pressures facing them at school and online called Teen Bridge to Life. Having this safe and supportive community has made all of the difference for the clients and families who have come to us for care. A recent cohort graduate shared, "Rock Recovery allowed me to relate to other people - I felt acknowledged and heard and the group brought me one step closer to freedom and myself." We are thrilled to offer this group again in January 2024 and are grateful for the support of our generous community to make this program a success!
Too many low-resource older adults in subsidized housing can't afford the dental care they need. Inability to afford care coupled with logistical access difficulties (lack of transportation, physical and cognitive disabilities, clinical challenges) present significant access impediments and result in no care. Project ADAPT utilizes mobile and portable dental models to bring the dentist to the patient living in long-term care facilities, senior housing complexes and community programs -- costing $5000 per clinic day to provide treatment. The need outweighs our current resources, and this funding will provide comprehensive treatment for a wide range of dental needs.
Many cancer patients struggle financially during treatment, leading to increased anxiety and depression during what is likely the most stressful time in their lives. The goal of our Rainy Day Gifts program is to alleviate cancer patients' financial stress so they can focus on what's most important--their treatment and recovery. Our Rainy Day Gifts provide $400 in financial assistance to each cancer patient to pay for non-medical living expenses including rent, utilities, and groceries. This support provides both practical and emotional benefits, as noted in the words of one of our Rainy Day Gift recipients, "This gift means that I am not alone in this battle with cancer, and I am really glad that this will help me to provide for my family."
Arlington Neighborhood Village is a vibrant, welcoming community of neighbors helping neighbors age in place. While our volunteers provide much needed practical support like transportation and errands, our village is more than just a service provider—every interaction is an opportunity for a meaningful connection to a senior living alone. We are committed to offering older adults of all backgrounds and economic means the opportunity to age well in a caring community. Your gift extends our mission to help more lower income seniors get the help they need to stay in their homes and community.
At APAH, we recognize that a stable, affordable home is just the first step to a productive and healthy life. The neighbors that APAH serves deserve access to resources and programming to help everyone thrive. To ensure that this happens, APAH's Resident Services program organizes a variety of activities to reach multiple generations and cultures and often provides individual assistance to our residents. Your support will provide emergency, educational, health, and enrichment programs to APAH households in Arlington.
Culpepper Garden, a community of care for older adults on fixed and low incomes, is seeking $5,000 in funding to stock our newly constructed food pantry with healthy and nutritious foods for our food insecure residents; funding is vital to ensure that we can maintain the pantry and keep it supplied with a variety of diet specific options including low sodium, low sugar and other nonperishable, staple items that are ready to serve. Items may include fruits and vegetables, canned protein, grains, cereal, soups, and more. A nutritious food selection is necessary as a large percentage of our aging residents have hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions that must be managed through proper diet. Please help us to ensure no older adult goes to bed hungry.
Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church provides critical home repairs at no charge to low-income homeowners who cannot afford basic maintenance or accessibility modifications. We accomplish this by mobilizing community volunteers and contractors to complete repairs, making homes safer and healthier while helping older adults age in place safely. Achieving our goal of a Safe and Healthy Home starts with a systematic assessment to identify health and safety hazards, a detailed statement of work, and high-quality repairs using the right methods and materials. Our repairs focus on falls reduction interventions (e.g., grab bars and railings), accessibility modifications (e.g., wheelchair ramps and stairlifts), fire prevention strategies (e.g., clothes dryer duct repairs), basic repairs (e.g., minor plumbing and electrical), and when funding is available, we undertake more extensive repairs (e.g., water heaters, HVAC repairs/replacements, and appliances). Your support will provide the critical home repairs needed for older adults and families in our community to stay safely in their own homes.
The Bar Foundation raises money to support the local community in fostering access to justice, supporting families and juveniles at risk, and advocating for those harmed by child and spousal abuse, In addition, the Bar Foundation organizes and implements community awareness events and legal education programs.
Just Neighbors offers expert immigration legal services to at-risk immigrants, refugees, and asylees in Virginia, Maryland and DC. Our work helps families obtain proper legal status and work authorization, allowing them to achieve their goals and dreams in their new county. We also provide legal counsel to unaccompanied youth and children who have recently been resettled in our area. Just Neighbors has provided immigration legal services to over 15,000 immigrants and refugees of all faiths and nationalities in the DMV for over 26 years. Through direct services, collaborative strategies and education, Just Neighbors empowers immigrants to build their capacity and resources to become stable and independent.
Our neighbors returning to the community from incarceration and their families look to OAR and the community for support. Your gift will provide food, clothing, transportation, assistance finding housing, help with monthly rent and utility bills, medical care, internet access, smartphones, laptops, debt repayment, assistance with childcare costs, and other necessities for OAR Reentry Program participants and their families. Help us journey with these individuals as they work to secure a safe and thriving reentry for themselves and make our community a better place for all to live.