Guide to Giving 2015

Want to make a difference? Consider donating your time or money to one of these local nonprofits.

Giving is good for the community, but it’s also not an entirely selfless act. Research suggests that charitable giving and volunteering make us happier people. When we donate our time and money, the regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust are activated, according to a 2006 National Institutes of Health study. In this same vein, scientists at the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont Graduate University have found that philanthropic behavior releases oxytocin, a substance that’s linked to feelings of euphoria and social connectivity.

Want to give back to your community and experience the benefits of giving firsthand? Here are some local organizations that need your help this holiday season and beyond.

A-SPAN (formerly the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network)

A-SPAN (www.a-span.org) seeks to end homelessness in Arlington by helping to secure permanent housing and by providing life-sustaining services for Arlington’s most vulnerable individuals through outreach and relationships built on trust and respect.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 buys a new bed for someone moving from homelessness to a home.
❱❱    $1,000 fully stocks a kitchen and bathroom for someone moving from homelessness to a home.
❱❱    $10,000 covers 40 dental fillings, 54 tooth extractions or eight root canals for homeless people who receive medical services at A-SPAN’s new Homeless Services Center in Courthouse.
Volunteer opportunities:
A-SPAN offers single-day, weekly and monthly volunteer opportunities for both individuals and groups. Volunteers can prepare or serve bagged meals daily at two county park locations as well as the daily hot meal at the Homeless Services Center; serve as daytime or evening shelter, clothing room or program monitors; assist with front desk and mail duties; or help to sort donations and toiletries.

AHC

AHC (ahcinc.org) preserves and builds affordable rental housing for 3,200 low-income families in Arlington. It also offers on-site afterschool and summer camp programs for more than 200 children and teens living at eight AHC properties.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 covers afterschool reading books and math games for 20 children from ages 6 to 11.
❱❱    $1,000 provides 16 afterschool theater workshops to help 100 children better understand and speak English.
❱❱    $10,000 pays for two reading specialists to tutor 25 elementary children in the afterschool program, one on one, for 30 weeks.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers are needed to tutor middle and high school students one night a week for 1.5 hours.


Animal Welfare League of Arlington

Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA)

AWLA (www.awla.org) seeks to create a world where all companion animals find compassionate and permanent homes.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 buys vaccines, a microchip and spay or neuter surgery for one dog before adoption.
❱❱    $1,000 buys supplies and treatments for six kittens with ringworm.
❱❱    $1,000 buys specialized orthopedic surgery for five animals.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers help educate future pet owners, match available animals with adoptive families and make sure animals are happy during their stay in the shelter. Some train to work with dogs, cats or small companion animals, while others may foster animals in their homes. Commitment is at least four hours per month and one year of service. A junior volunteer program allows children ages 10-17 to volunteer with a parent or legal guardian (this program does not qualify for SSL credits).

Arlington Community Foundation

The Arlington Community Foundation (www.arlcf.org) seeks to promote, protect and improve the quality of life of those who live or work in Arlington. The foundation provides philanthropic leadership and raises capital for grants and scholarships that address community needs. Last year, the foundation awarded $389,000 in college scholarships and provided grants totaling $1.4 million to more than 100 local nonprofits and schools. Individuals, families, nonprofits and corporations may also work with the foundation to establish their own charitable funds.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington and the broader D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 helps support a small community grant (e.g., supplies for an afterschool reading program).
❱❱    $1,000 provides one college scholarship or one “emergency” prompt-response grant (e.g., a replacement washer and dryer for the winter emergency homeless shelter).
❱❱    $10,000 or more can start a permanent scholarship fund or charitable giving fund (to be named by the donor) to support the donor’s charitable interests.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers assist with fundraising events (gala, golf tournament etc.), community outreach and professional services and serve on grant or scholarship review committees.

Arlington Food Assistance Center

The Arlington Food Assistance Center (www.afac.org) provides low-income families with dignified access to nutritious, supplemental groceries. More than 36 percent of AFAC’s clients are children, and its fastest-growing client population is elderly residents on fixed incomes. AFAC distributes more than 80,000 pounds of healthy food (including fresh chicken, fish, milk, eggs, bread, rice, beans and produce) to 2,200 Arlington families each week.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides one week of food for approximately 10 families.
❱❱    $1,000 provides one week of fresh eggs for 800 families.
❱❱    $10,000 supplies six months of food for AFAC’s Backpack Buddies program, which provides weekend and holiday meal packs to needy children in Arlington Public Schools.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers are needed to organize food drives at schools, community centers, offices and places of worship; help with rebagging bulk purchases of produce at AFAC’s food distribution center; glean vegetables at local farms and help AFAC collect donated produce; and plant vegetable seedlings for AFAC to distribute to clients and its “Plot Against Hunger” gardeners.

Arlington Free Clinic

Arlington Free Clinic (www.arlingtonfreeclinic.org) provides free, high-quality medical care for low-income, uninsured Arlington County adults. Since 1994, the clinic has been filling the gap in health care access for the community’s most vulnerable residents.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 pays for two weeks of telephone language interpretation services. AFC patients speak more than 25 different languages.
❱❱    $1,000 covers 10 months of diabetic testing supplies for one patient with diabetes. Roughly 20 percent of AFC patients have diabetes.
❱❱    $10,000 covers three months of generic medications. Most medications (about $3 million worth each year) are donated, but some medications cannot be accessed for free. AFC dispenses 18,000 prescriptions annually.
 Volunteer opportunities:
More than 570 volunteers support all aspects of AFC’s clinical and administrative functions. Volunteers range in age from 14 to 92, speak more than 25 languages and include working professionals, homemakers, students and retired individuals. Clinic positions include doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and pharmacists. Nonmedical positions include receptionists, referral and appointment schedulers, interpreters and administrative assistants. Volunteer application, interview and training required. Time commitments vary, but most volunteers provide two to four hours of service per month.

Arlington Pediatric Center

Arlington Pediatric Center (www.arlpedcen.org) offers comprehensive, affordable health care to infants, children and youth (through age 18) whose family income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Care is provided regardless of a family’s ability to pay for services.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $150 covers one doctor’s visit for one uninsured child.
❱❱    $250 covers supplies (syringes, gowns, gloves etc.) for 158 clinical visits.
❱❱    $500 covers five counseling sessions for a child in need of mental health services.
❱❱    $1,000 nearly covers a noninvasive pulse oximeter to reduce painful needle sticks for children and time-consuming blood draws for staff.
❱❱    $5,000 pays for well-child care for five infants in their first year of life (visits at 2 weeks and 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months).
❱❱    $10,000 covers the unreimbursed costs for 117 clinical visits, or the average cost of care for 26 children for one year.
Volunteer opportunities (21 and older):
Licensed volunteer health care professionals (RN, MD, LPN, MA) provide direct patient care, while other volunteers serve as medical interpreters (Spanish primarily), assist with fundraising and perform administrative duties. Commitment is at least one month, four hours per week.


Arlington Thrive

Arlington Thrive (formerly Arlingtonians Meeting Emergency Needs)

Arlington Thrive (www.arlingtonthrive.org) provides emergency financial assistance to residents who are unable to pay bills for basic needs such as rent. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the nonprofit offers a “safety net” for individuals and families working to get back on firmer financial footing. Thrive’s clients include the working poor, elderly and disabled persons on fixed incomes and the homeless.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 pays for emergency dental work for an uninsured Arlington resident.
❱❱    $1,000 restores utility service for six families who, due to temporary unemployment, are unable to pay for their heat and/or electricity.
❱❱    $10,000 covers the rent for 10 Arlington families facing eviction so they do not become homeless.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers serve on the board of directors and its committees; field requests for assistance from social workers on behalf of their clients (this commitment is one or two weekdays per month from 1-5 p.m., and training is provided); serve on the Young Professionals Steering Committee, which supports Thrive through social events and community volunteer activities; and raise funds by running in the annual Resolve to Run 10-mile or 5K race (race training is every Saturday morning for 12 weeks, from late January to April).

Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment

Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (www.arlingtonenvironment.org) protects water and open air by promoting stewardship of our natural resources and by connecting citizens to practical solutions to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle. The work is community-based and designed to empower individuals with resources, training and collaboration.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 buys and plants one tree.
❱❱    $1,000 buys kits for 25 at-risk Arlington families to make energy- and water-efficiency improvements in their homes.
❱❱    $10,000 provides hands-on environmental education programs for 4,000 Arlington students.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Single-day projects for individuals, families or student groups include stream cleanups, invasive plant removal and storm-drain marking projects. Service projects can be customized for business and community groups, including scout troops. The Energy Masters program trains volunteers to improve energy efficiency and water conservation through community outreach and building improvements in affordable-housing complexes. This program requires a one-year commitment and is available to both community volunteers and high school or college apprentices, ages 16 and up.

Bridges to Independence (formerly Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless)

Bridges to Independence (bridges2.org) provides rapid rehousing and support services to homeless women and families. It runs Sullivan House, a shelter with 10 units (50 beds) where clients may reside for three to five months while receiving counseling and referral services. The Adopt-A-Family program helps families find and maintain housing with leases in their own names. Bridges to Independence also provides youth programs, financial literacy training, career and employment services and microbusiness training.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County and the City of Alexandria
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides career and job-interview coaching for one client.
❱❱    $1,000 provides one week of summer camp for three children.
❱❱    $5,000 provides 4-H Leadership Congress activities for five high-school-age youth.
Volunteer opportunities (18 and over):
Volunteers are needed to teach English as a second language or help adult clients prepare for GED exams and job searches; help children (ages 5-13) with homework Monday-Thursday evenings; mentor people who wish to launch home-based businesses (expertise needed in business management, sales, marketing and finance); organize drives for food or supplies; host and/or help organize teams for fundraising events; help with pantry organization, gardening and other types of maintenance; assist with office/administrative projects; and move furniture from donors’ homes to clients’ new apartments.

Buyers and Renters Arlington Voice (BRAVO)

BRAVO (www.bravotenants.org) empowers tenants to have a voice in housing decisions; advocates for decent, affordable housing; and promotes cultural/economic diversity and community engagement. Apartment tenants make up 58 percent of Arlington’s population but are sparsely represented in local civic and neighborhood associations.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 pays for 150 vegetable plants for community gardening.
❱❱    $50 helps establish crucial apartment-building-based online communities (listservs) linking disconnected neighbors and promoting civic engagement.
❱❱    $1,000 covers outreach efforts to a moderately sized apartment complex to educate, engage and empower tenants in the fight for better and more affordable housing.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers are needed to conduct outreach to faith communities (to connect BRAVO with tenants who are members of congregations); provide Spanish translation; assist with door-to-door outreach efforts; and expand BRAVO’s social-media presence and website content.


Culpepper Garden

Culpepper Garden

Culpepper Garden (www.culpeppergarden.org) provides affordable, safe housing and assisted-living services for low- and moderate-income elderly. It supports 267 seniors who reside independently and 73 who live in its assisted-living center.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $300 provides three days of supportive services for one frail, low-income assisted-living resident.
❱❱    $600 provides seven days of supportive services for one frail, low-income assisted-living resident.
❱❱    $1,200 provides two weeks of supportive services for one frail, low-income assisted-living resident.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers lead workshops on a weekly or monthly basis in creative arts, music, art, sewing, knitting, crafts, decorating, hymn singing, Bible study, bingo or bridge. They also organize events for residents, such as choral groups, poetry readings or piano concerts, and help with garden and grounds maintenance.

Doorways for Women and Families

Founded in 1978, Doorways for Women and Families (www.doorwaysva.org) envisions a community where all people live in safe and stable housing, free of domestic and sexual violence. The nonprofit provides safe shelter and housing, life-changing support services and community advocacy for thousands of parents and their children. Last year alone, Doorways served 2,700 women, men and children affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides three hours of mental health therapy to help a child heal from trauma.
❱❱    $1,000 provides a full year of one-on-one financial counseling for a family building independence and self-sufficiency.
❱❱    $10,000 provides 43 survivors of domestic violence with one-on-one court advocacy and the legal protections they need to ensure their safety.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers who are 18 and older may assist with shelter coverage, children’s activities, interpretation, administrative support and fundraising (minimum one-year commitment, involving two shifts per month, required). Those working directly with clients must complete at least 40 hours of training and a background check. Community groups including children can help by organizing collection drives and third-party fundraisers.

Educacion Para Nuestra Futuro (Edu-Futuro)

Edu-Futuro (www.edu-futuro.org) empowers Latino and other immigrant children, youth and families to succeed and contribute to their community. Founded in 1998, the nonprofit emphasizes education and leadership development to overcome the achievement gap in Northern Virginia.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 covers one photo shoot to produce 50 headshots of immigrant youth for professional development purposes.
❱❱    $500 covers one field trip to a local university for 25 immigrant youth who will be the first in their families to attend college.
❱❱    $1,000 funds one college scholarship for a high-achieving, low-income student.
❱❱    $10,000 allows 25 Latino youth to participate in one semester of the Emerging Leaders Program, which includes college field trips, college prep workshops, community service activities, career and college panel discussions, a graduation ceremony, a computer lab and meals for workshops, plus 10 refurbished laptops for high-achieving high school seniors.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers serve as mentors or teaching assistants for Spanish enrichment classes on Saturday mornings. They also provide monitoring support for the website, photography during graduation ceremonies and help with office work. Bilingual college-student interns needed.

Encore Learning

Encore Learning (encorelearning.net) provides exam-free, noncredit college-level courses for community members age 50 and older. Classes are taught by local professors and business professionals, while clubs and special events augment the academic program. Encore is affiliated with George Mason University, Arlington Public Schools and Arlington County.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Ages 50 and older in the D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides a scholarship for an annual membership and two classes per semester for one local resident who is 50 or older.
❱❱    $1,000 provides a laptop for staff use.
❱❱    $10,000 would allow the nonprofit to upgrade its membership/course registration software system.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers are needed to serve on standing committees and to serve as instructors and class aides. Instructors carry an intense load, developing semester-long courses that are taught over a 4- to 10-week period in weekly sessions of 1½ to 2 hours. Committee volunteers recruit new instructors and develop courses each semester; seek exhibits, speakers and performances for special events; write, edit and distribute Encore’s course catalogs; recruit new members; organize annual social functions; and recruit, train and support class aides.

Greenbrier Learning Center

Greenbrier Learning Center (greenbrierlearning.org) provides year-round academic and social/emotional support to children from low-income households via afterschool and summer learning programs.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: South Arlington
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 funds 2½ months of tuition for a child from a low-income family.
❱❱    $1,000 funds one field trip for all GLC students.
❱❱    $10,000 funds a hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) afterschool program for an entire school year.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers provide reading and homework assistance year-round.

Homestretch

Homestretch (homestretchva.org) empowers homeless families to secure permanent housing and attain the skills, knowledge and hope they need to achieve self-sufficiency.
Headquartered: Falls Church
Serves: Falls Church City and Fairfax County
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 buys shoes for 25 children or 10 $25 gas cards for working parents in the program.
❱❱    $1,000 funds much-needed dental work for two or three homeless adults or car repairs for parents who need their cars to get to work.
❱❱    $10,000 covers nearly all of one family’s housing costs for one year.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers are needed to tutor adults or children; teach life-skills classes; prepare apartments for incoming families; organize donation drives; assist with property landscaping and other service projects; help in the day care or nursery; cook meals for the afterschool teen program; or provide pro bono expertise in their given professional fields. Service projects can be adapted to fit school community service commitments or learning credits.


Jill’s House

Jill’s House

Jill’s House (jillshouse.org) is a full-service, overnight respite center that provides a safe, fun environment for children ages 6 to 17 with disabilities and their siblings. These overnights create an opportunity for rest and renewal for parents who need a break. Since 2010, Jill’s House has provided more than 500,000 hours of rest and relief to 500 families of all faiths.
Headquartered: McLean
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 covers one professionally trained child care specialist to care for a child with special needs during a weekend at Jill’s House.
❱❱    $1,000 provides everything a child needs for a full weekend at Jill’s House (professional child care, medical oversight, meals, lodging, activities).
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and commit to serving at least two shifts per month (approximately three hours per shift) for at least one year. Students can use their volunteer hours at Jill’s House for school service requirements, but they are still expected to make the one-year commitment. Volunteers serve as group buddies and pool helpers and provide assistance with kitchen, administrative and event duties.

Just Neighbors

Just Neighbors (www.justneighbors.org) provides immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees of all faiths and nationalities—particularly those who are most vulnerable. Many clients come from countries such as El Salvador, Mexico, Liberia, Bolivia and Peru.
Headquartered: Falls Church
Serves: Northern Virginia
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 helps fund one application for a work permit.
❱❱    $1,000 helps one asylum seeker or refugee family apply for lawful permanent residency (green cards).
❱❱    $10,000 sponsors a community legal clinic, during which staff attorneys and volunteers interview up to 12 clients and assess the types of immigration benefits for which they may qualify.
Volunteer opportunities (18 and older):
Clinic volunteers (once a month, evenings) help clients fill out documents and prepare their immigration applications. Office volunteers (Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) help with casework and administrative tasks. Because cases require written translation of client statements, translators are occasionally needed. Just Neighbors also relies on volunteer attorneys and law students to provide face-to-face counsel for low-income immigrants and refugees.

Linden Resources

Linden Resources (www.linden.org) provides workforce development support services to adults with disabilities. Each year, Linden helps more than 400 people with intellectual, developmental, mental health and physical disabilities obtain and sustain employment, either in the local community or within Linden’s own commercial services, which include printing, secure document and media destruction, records information management, warehousing and distribution, and federal contracts. The Vets Ready2Work program provides employment support to veterans with disabilities who are experiencing significant workforce barriers.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $75 provides a mock interview and job coaching for one person with disabilities.
❱❱    $300 provides a personalized job search and interview scheduling for one person with disabilities.
❱❱    $1,200 assists one wounded warrior with job assessment, résumé writing, interview coaching and practice, job search, interview scheduling and one month of follow-up.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers teach classes (computer skills, budgeting, English as a second language, social skills, etc.) to people with disabilities and provide administrative assistance year-round. Confidentiality statement and background check required for certain roles.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (www.lcnv.org) teaches adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking and understanding English so they can participate more fully and confidently in their communities. LCNV operates with the help of some 700 volunteers.
Headquartered: Falls Church
Serves: Northern Virginia
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides training for four new volunteers.
❱❱    $1,000 sponsors a class of 16 adult learners.
❱❱    $10,000 purchases all the books needed for parents and children in LCNV’s Family Learning Program.
Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteer teachers lead classroom instruction twice a week per three-month semester. Class aides support learners in the classroom once or twice a week per semester. Tutors provide supplemental instruction at least once a week. Student assessment specialists assess learners for appropriate program placement and measure their progress on a monthly or bimonthly basis. Registration assistants help with class registration, which takes place three times a year. Trainers train volunteers to serve as reading instructors. Outreach volunteers contribute to LCNV’s student, volunteer and public relations efforts. Office and special project volunteers are also needed. Some student projects may count toward SSL credits.

New Hope Housing

New Hope Housing (www.newhopehousing.org) provides shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, support services and outreach programs for homeless families and individuals. The nonprofit serves more than 1,600 people each year, including more than 300 children. It operates 16 unique programs including two housing programs in Arlington and a hypothermia shelter in Falls Church.
Headquartered: Alexandria
Serves: Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church City and Fairfax
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides a hot meal for 100 homeless people staying in shelters.
❱❱    $1,000 provides one night of emergency accommodations for 10 families.
❱❱    $10,000 supports the operations of a winter hypothermia shelter for homeless men and women.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers help with tutoring (adults and children), résumé writing, job search assistance, meal preparation, event planning, building repairs and maintenance, landscaping, yard work and office tasks. Commitments can be short- or long-term. Internships are offered to students focusing on careers in social services or communications and marketing.


NOVA ScriptsCentral

NOVA ScriptsCentral

NOVA ScriptsCentral (www.novascriptscentral.org) provides lifesaving, quality integrated pharmaceutical care and medication access to low-income uninsured children and adults.
Headquartered: Falls Church
Serves: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties as well as all independent cities within those counties
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 covers the cost of filling nine prescriptions.
❱❱    $1,000 covers 36 oral prescriptions or injectable medications.
❱❱    $10,000 would allow NOVA ScriptsCentral to expand its medication therapy management efforts to counsel patients with chronic health conditions. MTM focuses not only on medication but on education and lifestyle modifications to reduce patient risk and improve long-term health.
Volunteer opportunities:
Medical volunteers serve as pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians and are asked to commit to a regular schedule (e.g., two days a month for at least six months). Other licensed medical volunteers serve as liaisons and aides between the NOVA Scripts pharmacy and the 13 free clinics it serves in 19 locations throughout Northern Virginia. Nonmedical administrative volunteers (commitment is a minimum of one day per week for three months during normal office hours) help with research projects, social media development and patient registration into prescription assistance programs. Community groups can volunteer for day-of-service events that focus on future programming and rebranding initiatives.

Offender Aid and Restoration of Arlington (OAR)

OAR (oaronline.org) is a restorative-justice organization that blends compassion and accountability to help offenders lead productive and responsible lives. OAR offers classes inside the Arlington County Detention Facility, provides reentry services to individuals coming home after incarceration and manages the community service program for Arlington and Falls Church courts.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides IDs for six clients, which are needed to secure housing and employment.
❱❱    $1,000 provides a month’s worth of transportation for 15 clients to travel to job interviews.
❱❱    $10,000 covers the cost of one part-time employment specialist for one year.
Volunteer opportunities (18 and older):
Volunteers are needed to teach inside the Arlington County Detention Facility (curricula can be developed based on each volunteer’s skills/interests); provide office/administrative support; cultivate relationships with local businesses; oversee clients engaged in community service projects on weekends (8-16 hours per month in spring, summer and fall); organize toy drives that collect holiday gifts for children of incarcerated parents; and assist reentry clients with résumé building, interviewing skills and applying for jobs (weeknight evenings, one to two nights a week for two to three hours).

Phoenix Bikes

Phoenix Bikes (www.phoenixbikes.org) educates youth and promotes bicycling through its full-service community bike shop in Arlington’s Barcroft Park. The year-round Earn-A-Bike program teaches bike repair basics to young people ages 12-17.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 buys 60 replacement inner tubes for refurbished bicycles built and ridden by underserved youth.
❱❱    $1,000 provides 60 bike helmets for youth graduating from Phoenix Bikes’ Earn-A-Bike program.
❱❱    $10,000 funds 12 semester-long afterschool clubs teaching the basics of bike repair to underserved youth.
Volunteer opportunities:
Shop mentors help youth mechanics with bike projects and shop tasks (three to four hours weekly or every other week). Ride partners join Team Phoenix on Saturday bike rides that range from three to more than 20 miles and often include an educational or service component (up to four hours on Saturdays). Shop Nights on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. allow mechanics of all skill levels to lead and/or learn the nuts and bolts of bike building.

Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic

Over the past 50 years, Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic (www.phoenixhouse.org/locations/virginia), formerly Vanguard Services Unlimited, has helped more than 40,000 adults and adolescents reclaim their lives from the ravages of substance abuse and addiction. Locally, the nonprofit has five locations that house 17 programs, including classes, outpatient counseling, day treatment and residential care. Demeter House treats women, including pregnant women and moms with young children. Nuevo Dia serves Spanish-speaking men. The Girls and Boys Recovery Lodges provide residential substance-abuse treatment for adolescents.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides meals for a residential client for 31 days.
❱❱    $1,000 provides 28 sessions of treatment for an adolescent client.
❱❱    $10,000 provides 20 days of treatment for two clients.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers serve on PHMA’s board and committees, help with administrative duties and provide reading and financial literacy instruction or job-readiness training. Orientation, background check, TB test and fingerprinting required along with training in CPR, first aid and Facing Emergencies and Reacting (FEAR) crisis intervention. PHMA offers unpaid internships for students interested in counseling careers.

Postpartum Support Virginia (PSVa)

Postpartum Support Virginia (www.postpartumva.org) helps women overcome postpartum depression and anxiety. These illnesses are the No. 1 complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting as many as 1 in 5 childbearing women. PSVa is the only organization in Virginia focused specifically on maternal mental health.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: All of Virginia, with 15 support groups statewide
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 pays for one month of free support group meetings.
❱❱    $1,000 provides an eight-hour training session for 10 volunteers.
❱❱    $10,000 funds a one-year hospital program that includes a twice-monthly support group, educational sessions for hospital staff and information cards in maternity discharge packets.
 Volunteer opportunities:
Volunteers offer social support to new moms by running twice-monthly support groups and returning individual phone calls/emails. They also organize fundraising and special events; provide administrative support; help with social media campaigns; and engage in outreach to mothers’ groups. Internship opportunities are available for high school and college students.

PRS CrisisLink

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services CrisisLink (www.prsinc.org) is dedicated to helping individuals living with mental illness, substance use disorders, mild intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, or anyone in crisis to achieve safety, personal wellness, recovery and community integration. Services include Recovery Academy day programs; the CrisisLink hotline and text line; employment and community support services and supported housing.
Headquartered: McLean (Tysons Corner)
Serves: Northern Virginia and the greater D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 sponsors training for one PRS CrisisLink hotline volunteer who can answer 450 calls per year.
❱❱    $1,000 funds scholarships for four PRS Recovery Academy clients to take an adult education course or class at a community college to complete their GED or undergraduate degree.
❱❱    $10,000  funds approximately 100 hours of clinical staff services to help clients choose, secure and keep jobs.
 Volunteer opportunities:
PRS CrisisLink trains 60-80 crisis workers each year to operate and answer its hotline and text line. Crisis workers receive 55 hours of initial training, after which all volunteers must commit to a minimum of 150 hours. A training fee of $100 is required to cover materials. Application and interview required.


The Reading Connection

The Reading Connection

The Reading Connection (www.thereadingconnection.org) improves the lives of at-risk children and families by helping to create literacy-rich home environments and motivation for reading. TRC provides reading experiences for more than 1,000 at-risk kids in the D.C. metro area, distributing more than 13,000 books every year. It also facilitates workshops for parents and training for family-support workers and education professionals. TRC volunteers spend more than 3,000 hours reading to kids each year.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves:  D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 supports recruitment, training and ongoing volunteer support.
❱❱    $1,000 purchases 200 children’s books.
❱❱    $10,000  sponsors one year of TRC’s Read-Aloud program (which reaches over 550 children annually) at one Arlington site.
Volunteer opportunities (18 and older):
Volunteers are needed to read aloud to children at shelters and affordable apartment complexes (commitment is one weekday evening a month for one year); prepare and mail books to families in TRC’s Book Club program one morning a month; provide photography, videography and photo/video editing support; and organize book drives (for new books on TRC’s wish list) at local offices, schools and places of worship.

SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia

SCAN’s (www.scanva.org) vision is for every child to grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family. The nonprofit provides parenting classes and education, court-appointed special advocates for children, campaigns (such as Operation Safe Babies), fact sheets and policy advocacy to support children throughout the region.
Headquartered: Alexandria
Serves: Arlington County; the City of Alexandria; and Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, including independent cities (e.g., Falls Church City) located within these areas
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $350 provides snacks and craft supplies for children’s programs at parent support groups.
❱❱    $1,000 covers the tuition for one parent to attend an eight-week parenting class.
❱❱    $8,000  funds 32 hours of training for 10-12 new volunteers.
Volunteer opportunities:
SCAN needs research aides, parenting class facilitators, administrative/technical volunteers, Child Abuse Prevention Month (April) volunteers, special-event and fundraising coordinators and Council of Young Professionals participants.

Study Buddy

Study Buddy (www.studybuddyhelp.org) provides free online homework assistance and tutoring (primarily in math but also in other STEM disciplines) for struggling middle and high school students. Tutors are peer volunteer honor students.
Headquartered: McLean
Serves: The program began in Northern Virginia and has expanded nationally, but its largest constituency is the D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 pays for 50 hours of tutoring (goal is to reduce overhead expenses to $5 per hour).
❱❱ $1,000 pays for 200 hours of tutoring.
❱❱    $10,000 pays for 2,000 hours of tutoring.
Volunteer opportunities:
Study Buddy relies on honor students (last year there were more than 1,000) to volunteer as peer tutors. Students connect online through a shared whiteboard, and tutors schedule sessions at their own convenience. Tutoring times begin after school and run until midnight.

Virginia Hospital Center Foundation

A not-for-profit teaching hospital, Virginia Hospital Center (www.virginiahospitalcenter.com) is a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network with 14 Centers of Excellence, including Bariatric Surgery, the Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health, Cardiology/Cardiovascular Surgery, Advanced Inpatient Diabetes Program, Emergency Services, Lung Cancer Screening, Neuroscience/Primary Stroke, Orthopedics/Total Joint Replacement Services, the Hitt Family Center for Radiation Oncology, Palliative Care, Inpatient Rehabilitation, Urology, Women & Infant Health and Wound Healing/Hyperbaric Medicine.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱    $250 provides support-group services for a patient undergoing cancer treatment.
❱❱    $1,000 provides social services for a family in need.
❱❱    $10,000 supports eight community health education events. (Donors of $10,000 or more become members of the hospital’s Galen Society, which recognizes leadership giving.)
 olunteer opportunities (16 and older):
The hospital’s volunteer program offers opportunities in more than 40 areas. Minimum commitment is four hours per week for at least six months. Auxiliary members organize fundraising efforts and help with wheelchair transportation, gift shops, bookmobile, reception desks and the outpatient clinic. Student and adult volunteers with the Volunteer Services Group provide various kinds of support to patient representative services, inpatient hospital units, outpatient services and specialized services.

Many thanks to the Arlington Community Foundation (www.arlcf.org) for its helpin compiling this resource.

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