Guide to Giving 2020

These local nonprofits are providing support to those hit hardest by the pandemic. Here's how you can support them.

Borromeo Housing Inc.

Borromeo Housing provides an education-first and safe transitional housing program for single homeless mothers (ages 16-22) and their children. BHI’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty two generations at a time by empowering residents to achieve self-sufficiency through education. Families living at BHI attend school and also take part in life skills training, parenting classes and counseling, with the goal of being able to live healthily and independently. The nonprofit is more than 93% privately funded, relying heavily on donations, and is bracing for a surge in need due to coronavirus-related hardships.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area with an emphasis on Arlington County residents
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $50 provides diapers for one child for one month.
❱❱ $100 provides groceries and toiletries not covered by federal assistance (WIC) for a family for a month.
❱❱ $250 provides educational supplies for two young mothers to attend school for one semester.
❱❱ $1,000 provides a month of shelter care for one family, including utilities and household goods.
❱❱ $10,000 pays the safe home’s residential mortgage for five months.
Volunteer opportunities: During normal operations, volunteers serve as guest chefs, infant care supply coordinators and skills presenters (weekly), and mentors. In this time of quarantine, BHI needs volunteers to do yard work (from a distance), and to provide meals or supply drop-offs. Individuals with skills that can be taught over Zoom can participate in one of BHI’s “Virtual Group Nights.” Grant writers and researchers are also needed to pursue additional funding opportunities.


A pre-pandemic lemonade stand fundraiser. (This year’s charity event will be a virtual art auction.) Courtesy photo

Bridges to Independence

Bridges to Independence leads individuals and families out of homelessness and into stable, independent futures. Founded in 1985 as the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Bridges renamed itself several years ago and now offers a continuum of support to help families attain housing, financial security and self-sufficiency. Bridges operates Sullivan House, Arlington County’s largest emergency family shelter. Through its rapid-rehousing program, Bridges works to find people safe, affordable and permanent housing. Supportive services programs focus on financial empowerment, workforce development and youth development. Bridges currently needs gift cards (for food and personal supplies), financial donations to cover utilities and rent, and job coaching support for those seeking employment opportunities.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $100 provides healthy snacks for 20 youths in after-school programming, including tutoring, mentoring and Bridges’ Kids Empowered programming.
❱❱ $250 provides appropriate attire, résumé preparation and transportation to job interviews for three adults experiencing homelessness.
❱❱ $500 funds partial stipends for two youths participating in the Youth Leadership Academy internship program.
❱❱ $1,000 covers three months of supplies for the shelter, housing approximately 45 parents and children.
Volunteer opportunities: Current virtual opportunities for volunteers 18 and older include creating anti-boredom bundles for youth, launching virtual food drives, helping with data entry and serving on event committees.

Capital Caring Health

As the region’s largest nonprofit provider of hospice and advanced illness care, Capital Caring Health is there for patients and families 24/7. The Covid-19 crisis has given rise to a whole new set of patient needs requiring immediate response.

Headquartered: Falls Church
Serves: Arlington County, as well as a broad swath of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $168 covers a week’s worth of meals (three per day) for a patient who is unable to leave home.
❱❱ $250 covers two registered-nurse virtual visits to a hospice patient.
❱❱ $1,000 provides personal protective gear for 75 nurses.
❱❱ $10,000 covers 25 days of acute hospice care for two patients at one of Capital Caring’s four inpatient centers.
❱❱ $50,000 buys a decontamination machine to throroughly clean patient rooms and 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 in Arlington.

Communities in Schools NOVA

Communities in Schools empowers students to stay in school and achieve in life. Under normal circumstances, school-based counselors bring resources into schools to remove barriers that put students at risk of dropping out. School closures stemming from Covid-19 have left at-risk students more vulnerable. CIS site coordinators are currently providing online mentoring, and checking in with students and their families via phone and video chats. The nonprofit is working with community partners to provide critical food assistance to 225 food-insecure students.

Headquartered: Alexandria
Serves: Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $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: When schools are open, 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.

Categories: Community