Guide to Giving

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

Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment

Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment ( protects water and open air by promoting stewardship of our natural resources and by connecting citizens to sustainable lifestyle solutions. 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 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.

Aspire! Afterschool Learning

Aspire! ( helps at-risk children in Arlington improve their reading, and provides overall academic support and social-emotional development through daily afterschool and summer learning programs.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: South Arlington
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $130 covers a year’s worth of field trips for one at-risk child.
❱❱ $500 covers an entire month’s afterschool participation for one at-risk child.
❱❱ $1,200 pays for six weeks of full-day summer camp for one at-risk child.
❱❱ $5,200 provides an entire year of field trips for all children in the program.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers provide reading and homework assistance year-round.

Borromeo Housing

Borromeo Housing ( provides education and safe transitional housing for single homeless mothers (ages 16-22) and their children. A two-year education, housing and life skills development program helps young women create a self-sustaining future.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area with an emphasis on Arlington County residents
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 provides educational supplies for four young mothers to attend school for one semester.
❱❱ $1,000 provides a month of shelter care for one family, including household goods and infant care supplies.
❱❱ $10,000 pays the safe home’s residential mortgage for five months.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers serve as guest chefs, infant care supply coordinators and skills presenters (weekly), as well as grant writers, researchers and mentors. Assistance also needed with planning and execution of annual fundraiser.

Bridges to Independence

Bridges to Independence ( leads individuals and families out of homelessness and into stable, independent futures. Since 1985, Bridges has offered a continuum of support to help families attain financial security and self-sufficiency. Bridges runs Sullivan House, Arlington County’s largest emergency shelter. Through its rapid rehousing program, Bridges works to find people safe, affordable and permanent housing. Supportive services include financial literacy training, employment counseling and youth development programming.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County and the City of Alexandria
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $100 provides healthy snacks for 20 youth for after-school tutoring sessions.
❱❱ $250 provides appropriate attire, résumé preparation and transportation to job interviews for three adults experiencing homelessness.
❱❱ $500 funds internships for five at-risk youth.
❱❱ $1,000 helps two families move out of the shelter and establish a home of their own.
Volunteer opportunities (18 and over): Volunteers help people experiencing homelessness to improve their language skills, boost fitness and well-being, prepare for employment and excel at academics.

Capital Caring

Founded in Arlington 40 years ago, Capital Caring ( provides compassionate hospice and palliative care to all who need it, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Its nurses, social workers, counselors, physicians and aides visit private homes and interact with nearly 1,400 moms, dads and kids every day. Capital Caring cared for nearly 7,000 hospice patients in 2016.
Headquartered: Falls Church
Serves: Arlington County, as well as a broad swath of Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 covers two registered nurse visits to a home hospice patient.
❱❱ $1,000 provides one and a half days of continuous hospice home care.
❱❱ $10,000 covers 25 days of acute hospice care for two patients at one of Capital Caring’s four regional inpatient centers.
Volunteer opportunities: Essential services include comfort and companionship for individuals facing advanced illness; respite support for family members; art or music therapy; and counseling for those facing the loss of a loved one. Volunteers also maintain the gardens at the Capital Caring Halquist Center in Arlington (the longest-running inpatient hospice center in the country), and sort, price and sell donated items in the nonprofit’s thrift store and Twice As Nice store.

Communities in Schools NOVA

Communities in Schools ( empowers students to stay in school and achieve in life. School-based counselors bring community resources into schools to remove barriers that put students at risk of dropping out. “It’s relationships, not programs, that change children.”
Headquartered: Alexandria
Serves: Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 provides school supplies for 10 students.
❱❱ $1,000 provides supplies and snacks for an after-school program for 50 students.
❱❱ $2,500 provides summer learning and enrichment opportunities for 50 students.
❱❱ $5,000 funds a Saturday Academy tutoring program for 500 students.
❱❱ $10,000 funds the coordination of dental, hearing and vision exams for 500+ vulnerable families.
Volunteer opportunities: Tutor and homework buddies work with students at partner schools. Volunteers also serve as guest speakers at career events and assist with outreach, marketing and development.

Culpepper Garden

Culpepper Garden ( provides quality, affordable housing, assisted-living services and programs to lower-income older persons. It currently serves 267 independent-living residents and 73 assisted-living residents in an active, caring community where they are able to age in place with dignity.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $100 provides one day of supportive services for one frail, low-income assisted-living resident who can no longer afford the cost of care.
❱❱ $250 provides a month of healthy, nutritious dinners in the dining room for one independent-living resident.
❱❱ $700 provides seven days of supportive services for one frail, low-income assisted-living resident who can no longer afford the cost of care.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers of all ages lead or assist with programs that provide entertainment, build community and encourage wellness. Examples include concerts, games and bingo, Bible study, and garden and grounds maintenance on the property.

Doorways for Women and Families

Founded in 1978, Doorways for Women and Families ( envisions a community where all people live in safe and stable housing, free of domestic and sexual violence. The nonprofit provides an immediate, safe response, including Arlington County’s only 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881); safe shelter and housing; life-changing, comprehensive support services; and community advocacy. Last year alone, Doorways served more than 3,500 women, men and children affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and homelessness.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 provides five hours of mental health therapy to help a child heal from trauma.
❱❱ $1,000 provides six months of one-on-one financial counseling for a family building independence and self-sufficiency.
❱❱ $10,000 provides 70 survivors of domestic violence with one-on-one court advocacy and support in seeking the legal protections they need to ensure their safety.
Volunteer opportunities: Doorways welcomes volunteers who are 18 or older and have graduated high school to 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.

Dream Project

Founded in 2011, the Dream Project ( empowers students whose immigration status creates barriers to education. Its mentoring program focuses on the college application process, financial aid, scholarships, and building habits and skills that promote success. Each year, the Dream Project Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, community involvement and perseverance in the face of adversity. This year the Dream Project awarded 77 scholarships of $1,200 each, for a total of $92,400.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Virginia
What a donation buys: 
❱❱ $50 covers the cost of a college visit for one student.
❱❱ $100 allows one parent to participate in the Parents in Action Program.
❱❱ $500 allows one student to participate in the comprehensive mentoring program.
❱❱ $1,500 provides a named scholarship to one student.
Volunteer opportunities: During fundraising events such as the annual Scholarship Benefit Concert, volunteers assist with event set-up, greeting guests, taking donations, registration and more. Volunteers also serve as mentors and on committees.


Edu-Futuro ( 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.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $25 supports a cash award recognizing the winner of the Emerging Leaders Program’s annual speech competition.
❱❱ $150 pays the registration fees for 10 middle school students in a regional Robotics LEGO League competition.
❱❱ $250 covers a transportation stipend, enabling a low-income high school graduate to hold a summer internship before beginning his or her college studies.
❱❱ $500 provides a college scholarship for an underserved high school senior.
❱❱ $1,500 covers the rental fees of two buses, enabling 90 underserved students to tour a college campus.
❱❱ $10,000 allows 25 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 for high school students or teaching assistants for Spanish enrichment classes on Saturday mornings. They also provide website, photography and office support. Bilingual college-student interns needed.

Categories: Community