Guide to Giving 2020

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


Edu-Futuro empowers disadvantaged Latino and other immigrant children, youth, first-generation college students and families to succeed and fully contribute to their community. Founded in 1998, the nonprofit emphasizes education, leadership development, parent engagement and workforce development to break the cycle of poverty and overcome the achievement gap. Edu-Futuro is currently providing individual case management to program participants who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis. That includes coordinating assistance with rent, utilities, food and other emergency needs.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $100 provides one month of internet access for a student whose parents lost their jobs due to Covid-19.
❱❱ $150 covers the registration fees for 10 middle school students to participate in a regional Robotics LEGO League competition.
❱❱ $300 covers the cost of a Chromebook for a student who does not have a computer at home and needs it to access distance learning and research.
❱❱ $500 covers a stipend for a low-income high school student to hold an internship (currently remotely) before beginning his or her college studies.
❱❱ $1,000 provides two first-semester
(fall 2020) college scholarships for underserved students.
❱❱ $1,500 covers the rental fees of two buses, enabling 90 underserved students to tour a college campus in fall (travel restrictions permitting).
❱❱ $5,000 covers the monthly rent of three low-income families where the parents lost their jobs due to Covid-19, allowing their children to study from home.

Encore Learning

Encore Learning is dedicated to providing high-quality lifelong learning and social opportunities at a reasonable cost. The nonprofit offers daytime, college-level courses, clubs and special events for anyone over 50 in the D.C. metro area. Courses are taught by working and retired scholars and business professionals. Donations and member fees provide fiscal support. With the Covid-19 outbreak, Encore has seen an increase in demand for virtual activities, and correspondingly, a greater need for technical expertise among staff, volunteers and members. The pivot to virtual learning has increased expenses due to acquisition of supporting technology and the cancellation of in-person classes, which led to a short-term revenue loss.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: People 50 and older in the D.C. metro area
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $175 provides a scholarship for an annual membership and one class per semester for a limited-income student.
❱❱ $850 provides a laptop for part-time staff.
❱❱ $5,000 covers the cost of one semester’s catalog production: graphic design, printing and postage.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers run the organization, with administrative support from part-time staff. Volunteers serve as course instructors who develop, then teach semester-long courses over a 4- to 10-week period in weekly sessions of 1½ to 2 hours. Volunteers also recruit new instructors; seek exhibits, speakers and performances for special events; write and edit course catalogs; initiate and maintain clubs; advise on office technology; organize social functions; and recruit, train and support class aides.


Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Homestretch empowers homeless families to secure permanent housing and attain the skills, knowledge and hope they need to achieve self-sufficiency. The nonprofit’s most pressing needs at this time are food gift cards (Aldi, Giant, Safeway), diapers, baby wipes, laundry detergent and toilet paper.

Headquartered: Falls Church
Serves: Falls Church City and Fairfax County
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $250 buys shoes for 15 children or 10 gas cards or Metro cards ($25 each) for working parents in the program.
❱❱ $300 buys groceries for three Homestretch families for one week.
❱❱ $1,000 funds much-needed dental work for two or three homeless adults, or car repairs for parents who need their cars to get to work.
❱❱ $15,000 covers nearly all of one family’s housing costs for one year.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers tutor adults or children, teach life skills classes, prepare apartments for incoming families, organize donation drives, assist with property landscaping and other service projects, help in the preschool or nursery, cook meals for the after-school teen program and provide pro bono expertise in their given professional fields. Service projects can be adapted to fit school community service commitments or learning credits.

La Cocina VA

La Cocina VA trains, certifies and places low-income immigrants in meaningful jobs in the food-service industry. Most clients are women who have suffered from domestic violence, human trafficking or chronic unemployment. The program has an 85% job placement rate. During the pandemic, however, 90% of program graduates have lost their jobs in restaurants and hotels and are in dire need of economic support. La Cocina VA is building an emergency fund to help its clients pay for rent, utilities and food. It is also creating recovery programs to support them once the sheltering-in-place period is over.

Headquartered: Arlington
Serves: D.C. metro area
What a donation provides:
❱❱ $250 provides the necessary ingredients for program participants to prepare 50 healthy meals, which are then donated to local families in need.
❱❱ $750 pays for a full month of incubator services for a low-income entrepreneur (access to commercial kitchen, equipment and capacity building training).
❱❱ $3,500 provides culinary training, food certification and job placement for one student.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers currently drive and distribute meals daily to affordable housing units and shelters in South Arlington.

Categories: Community