Guide to Giving

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

Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic

Over the past 55 years, Phoenix House (, 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: D.C. metro area
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

Postpartum Support VA ( helps women overcome postpartum depression and anxiety by providing support groups and training sessions for hospital staff. Postpartum depression is the No. 1 complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting as many as one in five childbearing women. PSVA is the only Virginia nonprofit 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 fundraisers 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 (Formerly PRS CrisisLink)

PRS ( 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 the CrisisLink hotline and text line, Recovery Academy day programs, 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, get and keep jobs.
Volunteer opportunities: PRS trains 60 to 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.

SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)

SCAN. Courtesy photo

SCAN’s ( 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.
Headquartered: Alexandria
Serves: Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax, as well as Loudoun and Prince William counties
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 victim advocates—especially those with diverse backgrounds or language skills—along with 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.

Shirlington Employment and Education Center

SEEC ( provides a safe venue for day laborers, primarily immigrants, who await employers in need of short-term workers. Laborers come to the center, hoping to be selected for the six to 10 jobs that become available each day. SEEC staff provide coffee in the mornings and distribute bag lunches provided by local churches three or four times a week.
Headquartered: Arlington (Shirlington)
Serves: Day laborers from South Arlington and Alexandria who are seeking employment.
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 provides 50 sets of gloves and caps for day laborers in the winter.
❱❱ $500 provides 40 shovels to loan workers during snow season.
❱❱ $3,000 covers a class on how to use green housecleaning products.
❱❱ $5,000 hires a paralegal to help workers collect unpaid wages from employers.
Volunteer opportunities: Bilingual volunteers are needed to tutor workers in English.

Study Buddy

Study Buddy ( 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. It’s now national, but its largest constituency is the D.C. metro area.
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $250 pays for 50 hours of tutoring.
❱❱ $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.

Touching Heart

Touching Heart ( inspires children to find joy in giving back. Through its Kids on a Mission program, children and teens team up with a coach to plan and host a fundraising event, developing practical skills such as budgeting, marketing, public speaking and leadership, while raising money for other children in need. After-school programs empower students in grades 1-12 to turn their compassion into action with hands-on service projects, such as packing lunches for a local shelter.
Headquartered: Herndon
Serves: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties in Virginia; Montgomery County, Maryland; and New York City
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $100 sponsors an Art of Giving workshop for up to 30 kids.
❱❱ $500 sponsors a Kids on a Mission workshop in which kids plan and lead a fundraising event for children in need.
❱❱ $1,500 sponsors an eight-week elementary after-school program.
❱❱ $5,000 sponsors a yearlong after-school club in which high school students manage and implement a project designed to address global or local needs (such as solar panels, biogas, water wells, security walls or building of new classrooms).
❱❱ $10,000 sponsors an inspirational leadership conference for kids.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers help with graphic design, event planning, marketing, administrative and office needs, and serve on the funding committee.

Virginia Hospital Center Foundation

A not-for-profit, independent teaching hospital, Virginia Hospital Center ( is recognized nationally for its outstanding clinical outcomes, quality and safety. The hospital is a clinical partner of Mayo Clinic and has 14 Centers of Excellence, including the Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health; Cardiology/Cardiovascular Surgery; Orthopedics/Total Joint Replacement; the Hitt Family Center for Radiation Oncology; Urology; and Obstetrics. In addition, the hospital operates the Arlington Pediatric Center, which provides primary, preventive and mental health care to thousands of low-income and uninsured children in Arlington.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $150 pays for one hour of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation for a patient recovering from a heart attack.
❱❱ $250 provides support-group services for a patient undergoing cancer treatment.
❱❱ $500 supports well visits at Arlington Pediatric Center for an infant without health insurance.
❱❱ $1,500 purchases a “crash cart” used to resuscitate patients in respiratory failure.
❱❱ $5,000 supports 10 nurses receiving advanced clinical training in order to bring the latest medical advances directly to the patient at the bedside.
Volunteer opportunities (16 and older):The hospital’s volunteer program offers opportunities in more than 40 areas. 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. In addition, the Virginia Hospital Center Auxiliary members help with wheelchair transportation, gift shops, bookmobile, and reception desks.

YMCA Arlington

YMCA Arlington ( serves more than 3,500 Arlington youth annually with child care, summer camp, sports, aquatics and other family programs. The Y also offers wellness programs for all ages, and scholarships and financial assistance to those in need.
Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington
What a donation buys:
❱❱ $1,000 covers five weeks of camp for one child.
❱❱ $2,500 provides nine months of before- and after-school care for a working parent.
❱❱ $5,000 provides one year of healthy living classes and activities for seven senior couples.
❱❱ $10,000 allows 25 teens to participate in the Model General Assembly program for one year.
❱❱ $25,000 provides affordable housing for 12 children at The Shelton, including after-school programs.
Volunteer opportunities: In 2016, 150 volunteers contributed more than 3,000 hours of support for the branch and the surrounding community. Volunteers assist with birthday party set up, activities and clean-up; after-school programs (in areas such as art, theater, sports, homework or cooking); and community wellness programming. Individuals with 1-2 years of tennis teaching experience are needed to help tennis pros run the after-school junior tennis program.

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