Guide to Giving

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

Aspire! Afterschool Learning. Courtesy photo

Many thanks to the Arlington Community Foundation ( for its help in compiling this resource.

indicates the availability of college internships or student service learning opportunities for local schools


A-SPAN. Photo by Benjamin C. Tankersley

A-SPAN ( seeks to end homelessness in Arlington by helping to secure permanent housing and providing life-sustaining services for vulnerable individuals through outreach and relationships built on trust and respect.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $100 buys bedding for someone moving from homelessness to a home.
❱❱ $250 buys everything for the kitchen of a newly housed client.
❱❱ $750 fully stocks a kitchen, bathroom and laundry of someone moving from homelessness to a home.
Volunteer opportunities: Single-day, weekly and monthly opportunities available. Volunteers prepare and serve bagged or hot meals; serve as shelter assistants, clothing room or program monitors; assist with front desk and mail duties; and sort donations and toiletries.

AHC Inc.

AHC ( provides quality affordable housing communities for more than 2,500 low-income families. It also offers onsite educational programs, including after-school literacy activities, one-on-one teen tutoring, college and career readiness, and a summer camp.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $35 provides literacy-building activities for elementary students including phonics games, audiobooks, listening devices, vocabulary puzzles and more.
❱❱ $150 provides one deserving child with a full summer camp scholarship.
❱❱ $500 supports a college orientation field trip for high school juniors and seniors.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers tutor elementary and middle school students and mentor college-bound students. Strengths in English, Spanish, math, science and history are welcome. Volunteers also teach life skills and SAT preparation, and provide organizational support.

Animal Welfare League of Arlington

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington ( seeks to improve the lives of animals by creating a world where all companion animals find compassionate and permanent homes.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 buys insulin for a diabetic cat, physical therapy for a dog recovering from surgery or lime dip for ringworm treatment.
❱❱ $500 buys hernia repair surgery for a dog, dental care with extractions for a cat or one day of food for 100 shelter animals.
❱❱ $1,000 buys one month of lab work for shelter animals, hip surgery for a dog or X-rays for seven cats.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers educate future pet owners, match animals with adoptive families and keep animals happy during their shelter stay. 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 program allows children ages 10-17 to volunteer with a parent or legal guardian.

Arlington Community Foundation

The Arlington Community Foundation ( 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, ACF awarded close to $500,000 in college scholarships and provided grants totaling over $1 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 supports a small community grant (e.g., supplies for an after-school reading program).
❱❱ $1,000 provides one college scholarship or one “emergency” prompt-response grant (e.g., a replacement washer and dryer for a 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, community outreach and professional services, and serve on grant or scholarship review committees.

Arlington Food Assistance Center

The Arlington Food Assistance Center ( 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 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 organize food drives; help with re-bagging bulk purchases of produce; glean vegetables at local farms and 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. Photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography

Arlington Free Clinic ( works to provide 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 cannot be accessed for free. AFC dispenses 18,000 prescriptions annually.
Volunteer opportunities: Currently, there is a need for primary care providers, endocrinologists, ENTs, women’s health physicians/OB-GYNs and nephrologists; mental health counselors; pharmacy assistants; and fully bilingual Spanish speakers to serve as interpreters during medical appointments.

Arlington Neighborhood Village

Arlington Neighborhood Village ( is dedicated to helping older Arlington residents continue living in their own homes, safely and independently.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 covers six months of benefits for a low-income member, including up to 75 rides to the doctor, grocery store, etc.; access to social and wellness programs; friendly home visits; and assistance with household chores.
❱❱ $2,000 funds independent background checks on applicant volunteers.
❱❱ $10,000 would meet the expected demand on ANV’s 2018 Financial Aid Fund, which allows the most vulnerable and in-need seniors to have access to all services and programming.
Volunteer opportunities: Adult volunteers provide transportation and shopping assistance, home visits, access to social and cultural activities, health and wellness programs, simple home repairs and information on a host of professional and social services. Training provided. Volunteers also help with communications and marketing, fundraising, office support, event planning and special programs.

Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing

The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing ( is committed to developing innovative, attractive and safe apartment buildings. Today it provides 1,363 homes to lower-income individuals and families at 15 properties. APAH is working to integrate health, workforce success, education, community engagement and housing to achieve better outcomes for all.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County and the broader D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 funds a multi-week series of fitness classes at one property to improve the health and wellness of residents.
❱❱ $500 covers fees for nine residents to learn basic computer skills, expanding their employment opportunities.
❱❱ $1,000 buys three months of a daily after-school enrichment program at one property.
❱❱ $5,000 funds a financial literacy program for residents struggling to make or keep a budget or pay off debt.
Volunteer opportunities: Assistance is needed with child care, grocery distribution, literacy programming, affordable housing advocacy, and volunteer management and recruitment.

Arlington Pediatric Center

Arlington Pediatric Center ( 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.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $150 covers one acute-care visit for a sick child.
❱❱ $525 covers one year of well and acute health care for a child.
❱❱ $1,200 covers one year of well-child medical care for an infant.
Volunteer opportunities (21 and older): Licensed volunteer health care professionals (RN, MD, LPN, MA) provide direct patient care. Others 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 ( delivers same-day emergency funds to neighbors in crisis, so they can be secure in their jobs, health and homes. For more than 40 years, its innovative programs and services have provided 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 people who are homeless.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $10 pays for a prescription for a homeless individual in Arlington.
❱❱ $250 covers 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 20 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; organize social events and community volunteer activities; and raise funds via the annual Resolve to Run 10-mile or 5K race.

Categories: Community