Guide to Giving 2020

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

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 a caring community where they are able to age in place with dignity. Amid the pandemic, its residents are looking for new ways to stay socially connected while physically distancing from family, friends and neighbors.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $100 provides equipment and cleaning supplies to sanitize as an ongoing precaution to protect residents from the threat of Covid-19.
❱❱ $250 provides a month of healthy, nutritious dinners delivered to residents’ rooms while sheltering-in-place.
❱❱ $350 provides an iPad lending library to virtually connect seniors with family, services and other virtual programming.
❱❱ $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 18 and older can serve as friendly callers to residents who may be isolated and in need of social connection. Culpepper Garden is also seeking volunteers to make and donate homemade fabric face masks for seniors in need.

Happy Baby And Mom

A Doorways client and her daughter. Courtesy photo


Every day in Arlington, thousands of families, youth and survivors live in unsafe and unstable environments. Founded in 1978, Doorways provides pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault, offering advocacy, shelter and housing with wraparound services, for as long as needed. Its mission is to help members of the community live safe, stable and empowered lives. School/day care closures and layoffs stemming from Covid-19 have created added hardship for clients in Doorways’ HomeStart Supportive Housing Program. More are needing help with essential expenses such as rent, groceries and baby care items. Doorways has moved clients from its shelters to hotels to allow for social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines and needs support to cover those unanticipated expenses.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $50 provides a fresh set of clothing and a welcome kit for a survivor of domestic or sexual violence.
❱❱ $120 provides an art- or play-based therapy session to a child or teen at the Family Home, which provides safe shelter for youth and families experiencing homelessness.
❱❱ $1,260 ($105 per month for 12 months) provides six months of financial counseling for a family building independence and self-sufficiency.
❱❱ $10,000 supports survivors of domestic violence by providing court advocacy for 25 petitions for protective orders, child custody and child support.
Volunteer opportunities: Once normal operations resume, volunteers who are 18 or older and have graduated high school can assist with shelter coverage, children’s activities, interpretation, administrative support and fundraising. Those working directly with clients must complete at least 40 hours of training and a background check. Community groups, including youth and children, can help by organizing collection drives and fundraisers.

Dream Project

Founded in 2011, the Dream Project empowers students whose immigration status creates barriers to education. The organization helps students gain access to and succeed in college through scholarships, mentoring, family engagement and advocacy. The Dream Project’s 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 nonprofit awarded 100 scholarships of $2,000 each, for a total of $200,000. It is currently seeking financial resources to cover essential needs, gift cards to grocery stores and financial aid for summer courses.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Virginia
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $50 covers the cost of a college visit for one student.
❱❱ $100 allows one Dream Scholar to attend the Dream Summit conference.
❱❱ $500 allows one student to participate in our mentoring program.
❱❱ $2,000 provides a Dream Scholarship to one student.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers serve as mentors to Dream Project students, serve on committees and assist with fundraising events such as the Annual Holiday Dinner.

EcoAction Arlington

EcoAction Arlington 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. During this time of pandemic, the group has developed a virtual process for coordinating socially distanced cleanups that help preserve the environment while eliminating the dangers of working in the same space.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: Arlington County
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $250 buys and plants one tree.
❱❱ $1,000 buys materials to improve the energy- and water-efficiency of the homes of 25 low-income families.
❱❱ $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 school groups and 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 students, ages 16 and up.

Categories: Community