Archive for Year: 2014
Why Are Some Children Still Going To An Empty House After School?
by Lena Horn, Outreach Coordinator
December 18, 2014
Laura fears It’s been more than a quarter century since we first learned the term “latch-key kid.” Children returned home after a long day at school to an empty house. Why? Both parents were busy working or a single parent was laboring as the sole breadwinner. After-school programs started taking shape to address this troubling and growing trend of latch-key kids. County After-School Activities (CASA) and the YMCA began offering after-school programs to help children with homework, provide active time, snack time and creative activities. For many working families, the programs were a welcomed and affordable alternative to leaving their children home alone. Today, Loudoun County boasts over 2,000 kids who participate in after-school programs. But, with these programs firmly in place, why are some children still going home to an empty house after school? In November 2014, 100WomenStrong hosted an informational session with the YMCA and CASA to learn more about Loudoun County’s after-school programs. What were the benefits of these programs, where were their needs and why were some kids still going home to an empty house? Below is an overview of the two main after-care programs based in Loudoun County.
A look at two after-school programs in Loudoun County
Studies have shown that after-school programs increase school attendance and engagement in learning, improve test scores and grades, and enhance social and behavioral outcomes. In addition, the Communities That Care study revealed that students who participated in after-care programs were 25% less likely to have initiated delinquent behavior, 32% less likely to have initiated the use of alcohol, and 33% less likely to have initiated cigarette use. To create a well-rounded use of time, after-school programs tackle a variety of areas and subjects, including music & drama, arts & crafts, physical activities, learning new skills, homework, reading, educational time, and community service projects. The programs foster strong core values of honesty, respect, caring, and responsibility and strive to develop greater confidence and self-esteem.
YMCA Loudoun County
The YMCA (“Y”) program in Loudoun currently serves about 378 children. The program locations are based in 17 schools around the county, many in high need areas. The current cost per month for this state-licensed after-school program is $325 but the Y does not turn anyone away, regardless of inability to pay. They are an all-inclusive provider that works off a sliding scale. To raise funds, the Y acquires grants, receives donations, and holds events such as their annual Chocolates Galore event, Golf Tournaments, and 5k/20k Races. The Y gives away 100% of the money they raise, sometimes exceeding their program budget, having to take from their operations budget. In addition to finding funding sources, other obstacles reaching kids are language barriers and lack of transportation.Currently, the Y does not have a bricks and mortar facility in Loudoun County. Nonetheless, they are looking to expand to more schools, as well as expand the actual programs to include seniors and preschoolers. The Y also offers a popular summer camp with about 350 kids participating each day. The Y’s goal is to eventually participate in all Loudoun County public elementary schools, provide more outreach to the community, and build partnerships with the community.
CASA was started in 1983 with a pilot program to address the issue of latch-key children and still has the same mission today. Initially, CASA served 4 locations and had 63 participants; today, they operate in 44 locations (42 elementary schools and 2 community centers) and have an average enrollment of approximately 1,900 participants. CASA is a popular program which serves kids from kindergarten to 5th grade at a cost of $325 per month. The state-licensed program has a lengthy waiting list which prevents some children from participating in CASA’s programs. In 2014, CASA’s Division Manager, Dan Bureau, identified schools with high rates of free and reduced lunch programs and compared those same schools with CASA enrollment. It was noted that schools which have the highest rates of free and reduced lunch programs (primarily located in the Sterling area) have the lowest CASA enrollment numbers. The conclusion from this comparison analysis: the cost of the CASA program is a barrier for these families. While they qualify for free and reduced lunches, these families may not qualify for after-school subsidies from the Department of Family Services. Also, some families may have multiple elementary aged children which can double and triple the cost.Presently, CASA does not offer direct subsidies to families who could benefit from sending their children to after-school care. The idea of a sliding scale payment was introduced to the Board of Supervisors in 2014 but was not adopted. CASA continues to look for private sources of funding so that they may offer a sliding scale payment alternative to families in need.Both the Y and CASA offer a vital service to Loudoun County families. Each organization provides a safe, healthy after-school environment for children, each are Virginia State Licensed, and have dedicated staff. Yet, each organization is dealing with barriers which prevent them from reaching at risk families who may be most in need of after-school programs. If you are interested in donating funds, and/or volunteering your time or services to either of these deserving organizations, please see below.
For More Information
YMCA Loudoun County
YMCA Upcoming Event
The 28th Annual Chocolates Galore & More
Friday, February 20, 2015, 7PM
Lansdowne Resort, Lansdowne, Virginia
In order to incentivize food stamp recipients to purchase healthier foods, the federal government passed the farm bill earlier this year to put $100 million into doubling the value of SNAP benefits when people use them to buy local fruits and vegetables. The idea has spread across the country and is expanding rapidly. When can we see these extra SNAP benefits in our grocery stores? Read more.
A site for teachers to directly raise money to fund projects in their classrooms. Teachers can post projects (a request for technology, supplies, books, etc.) that need funding and people can directly give (by-passing the need for approval from school administrators or other gatekeepers). The site has been around since 2000 and has raised $286 million for 210,000+ teachers’ projects around the country. Donors can plug in local zip codes to see what is needed in their respective area(s). Read more.
How To Donate Food?
How do you donate food so it doesn’t go to waste? Have a look at the suggestions from someone who’s been there. For a quick rundown: Don’t give outlandish things; do give no-cook foods; leave food in the original packaging; think simple; label special dietary needs, make it easy to open, and ask what’s needed! Read more.
Why Is Wasted Food Not End Up With Those That Need It?
November 5, 2014
One-third of all the food produced in the US is thrown away; that’s about 133 billion pounds. 10% of this food is lost at the grocery stores, restaurants, and vendors that sell it. In addition, there are about 49 million Americans who don’t have access to enough food to stay healthy. So why does this wasted food not end up with those that need it? Read more.
Factors For Success In Philanthropy’s Work With Cities
Public-private partnerships may just hold the key to alleviate poverty in America’s cities. Living Cities, a New York-Washington based organization, seeks to improve the economic wellbeing of low-income people. In a recent blog post on their website, Ronda Jackson recounts some insights from a roundtable discussion. So how can philanthropies successfully work with cities? Read more.
Why Are Seniors Not Getting Enough to Eat?
November 3, 2014
A study published online on Aug. 12 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that more than half of the elderly patients who visited an emergency room were malnourished or at risk for malnutrition. Other studies have estimated that about 6 percent of elderly people living on their own are malnourished, but rates are as high as 85 percent in hospitals and long-term care facilities. Why are seniors not getting enough to eat? Read more.
Feeding Minds and Bodies: The Backpack Coalition
October 16, 2014
A short, informative video about the LCPS Backpack Coalition.
Congratulations Wendy Thompson Marquez!
Wendy will receive the prestigious Bridge Builder Impacto Award, for her “Harvest of Empire” documentary on Friday, October 17th at the 11th annual Hispanic Gala.
Wendy Thompson Marquez, of the Greater Washington D.C. area, is the President and CEO of the Onyx Media Group and EVS Communications, Inc. Previously, she was Vice President and General Manager of ZGS Broadcast Holdings. Her latest film, “Harvest of Empire,” opened to great reviews in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post and was the winner of the prestigious International Documentary Association award, Golden Eagle Cine Awards and the IMAGEN Awards. She is a board member of the Middleburg Film Festival, The Community Foundation for the Capital Region and 100 Women Strong.
Past Bridge Builder award recipients include John Quiñones, sitting President of Mexico Vicente Fox, Secretary of the Treasury Ana Cabral, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, among many others.
The Hispanic Gala is the culmination of Hispanic Heritage Month in Virginia, this year at Dover Hall Estate near Richmond, Virginia, on Friday, October 17, 2014. The event hosts leaders from throughout Virginia’s Hispanic community. For more information and tickets, visit https://vahcc.com/page/TheHispanicGala.
Nonprofits must take on the task of documenting their performance
September 24, 2014
Public and private funders are asking more from nonprofits these days. Reductions in government discretionary spending, greater competition for fewer grants, and more sophisticated private funders have changed the landscape. These days, nonprofits are facing considerably more scrutiny of their programs and services. What type of information should nonprofits be reporting to effectively demonstrate that they are addressing community needs? Read more.
Windy Hill Foundation Builds New Playground
By Lena Horn, Outreach Coordinator
September 24, 2014
Despite several weeks of rain which delayed installation, Windy Hill Foundation finished building their new playground in June 2014. This playground will last the community over 15 years and provide a greater sense of connection among families, help children learn the value of friendship and sharing, and give children a fun place to exercise and stay fit.Windy Hill’s mission is to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing to low income families in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Clarke Counties, while encouraging self-improvement and self-sufficiently among their residents. They currently house 90 adults and 40 children in 67 rental housing units in the Middleburg community. Fundraising is always a challenge, especially as operational support from grants is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Windy Hill looks for local donations to fund their rent subsidies, Family Services Programs, and operational costs, amounting to about $450,000 a year. With 100WomenStrong’s $26,000 grant they were able to build a new playground for the children and it’s already proving a great success for their Family Services Programs. Parents were strong advocates for the playground and over the past several months, there has been an enthusiastic increase in parental involvement in community gatherings, field trips, interactive time on the playground, as well as encouraging responses to youth programming. In addition, it’s great for the community to see that their voices asking for a new playground were heard. It builds trust, increases parental engagement, and empowers the residents.Much of their programming has been for elementary school children, and now their focus is shifting slightly to middle and high school children. They are anxious to build on new programming for these children as they have now been able to increase program staffing to include a full-time Children and Family Programs Coordinator and a Senior Services Coordinator. New programming will include SAT prep and career and college exploration, including site visits. Windy Hill would also like to start a Resident Scholarship Program to allow children to attend college without putting strain on the family’s income.Windy Hill is always appreciative of monetary donations as no funding from Federal, State, or local governments is provided. In the fall, they look for school supplies for children; during winter they need gently used or new warm coats, hats, and gloves; in December they try to provide the young kids with a book and a toy, and the older children with a book and a gift card; in spring and summer, they need outdoor sporting goods. For more information on the Windy Hill Foundation, please visit http://www.windyhillfoundation.org
Volunteer Opportunities at Windy Hill
- Tutoring/mentoring elementary school children – contact Thomas Garnett, Windy Hill Community’s Family Programs Coordinator at (540) 687-8679, or [email protected]
- Social Programming for Seniors including Weekly Bingo, contact Erin Nesbitt, Windy Hill Community’s Senior Services Coordinator at (540) 687-3273, or [email protected]
- Or visit windyhillfoundation.org for more information
The Old Playground The New Playground
Give Millions While You’re Young: A Plea To The Wealthy
Wealthy people often wait until middle age or even retirement to begin thinking in earnest about giving. Of course, this is sometimes necessary—it often takes time to earn wealth before one can consider investing it in worthy causes. But age should not be the determining factor, and philanthropy, no matter when one starts, will yield successes and failures that offer lessons for one’s future giving. Effective philanthropy is not an easy undertaking, and postponing one’s engagement can mean postponing effective giving. Read more.
By the Numbers: Childhood Poverty in the U.S.
September 9, 2014
What does it mean to grow up poor in America? In “Poor Kids” FRONTLINE follows several of the more than 13 million children in poverty for a glimpse at what life is like for a child in need. There is the near-constant hunger, the stress that comes from watching a parent struggle, and oftentimes, days and weeks spent living in a shelter or bouncing from motel to motel. Read more.
Mental Health Panel Discusses ‘Streeting’ of Psychiatric Patients
September 1, 2014
More than three dozen people who posed a threat to themselves or others were released from emergency custody orders in the first four months of this year — six of them with no further evaluation or treatment — before Virginia law changed to stop a phenomenon known as “streeting.” Read more.
Brambleton Adds Affordable Housing
August 27, 2014
Nearly 100 workforce housing apartments were dedicated in Brambleton on July 22 to provide reduced-rent housing for working families. The units help fill a void in Loudoun County for low-cost housing for working families. The rental apartments were built by the Windy Hill Foundation and T.M. Associates. Read more
Interfaith Relief Seeks Expanded Avenues For Food Distribution
August 20, 2014
Loudoun Interfaith Relief President Lisa Karl is hopeful the Loudoun food pantry will have a new leader by Sept. 1, following the resignation of longtime Executive Director Bonnie Inman earlier this year. LIR sees enhanced missions for food distribution systems, using creative ways to educate their customers about healthy nutrition as part of an overall wellness-focused lifestyle. LIR’s strategic plan aims at broadening partnerships and productive cooperation between food pantries and health delivery organizations. Read more.
Leaders Discuss The Rationale For High Performance
“If you care about the result, if you care about what happens to kids, if you care about solving problems, that means you have to care about evidence and data.” Read more.
Investing In The World
Corporate responsibility is no longer about how you give money away; it’s about the way you make money – about the culture and the values that inform your operating practices. Social impact investing enables investors to align their investment strategies with their values. Those values can range from supporting healthy environments, sustaining communities or promoting diverse workforces and humane working environments. Unlike traditional financial investments, the returns in impact investing aren’t measured solely in dollars. They are measured by changes in social or environmental policies and outcomes. While the degree of change can be difficult to measure, there are signs that the increasing flows of investment dollars into impact investing are indeed making a difference. Read more.
Are community foundations changing enough?
July 14, 2014
Community foundations today operate in an environment that is very different from the one in which their current systems and approaches were developed. Their ability to adapt to a rapidly changing context will have serious implications for all of philanthropy. Foundation staff members work as community organizers to train and mentor residents, foster relationships, conduct research, and work with policy makers on local and regional issues. But is it enough? Read more.
Homeless teens find shelter in Alternative House
July 10, 2014
At 17 years old, Brian Gamboa walked for more than two hours to school each day. Turned out of his home and barely managing to pay rent on a basement apartment, Gamboa needed help, but he did not know where he could turn. Then, he found Alternative House. Read more.
Study: A third of Virginia kids live in or near poverty
July 9, 2014
A new study says about a third of Virginia children are living in or near poverty. The study says 13 percent of children lived in poverty in 2011, the most recent year of analysis. Another 18-and-a-half percent lived in near-poverty. According to the study, almost half of the children in or near poverty live with parents who are married. Read more.
Reading Rainbow is Coming Back
June 30, 2014
LeVar Burton is bringing Reading Rainbow back with a massive Kickstarter campaign to bring it to schools in need for free. Right now, 1 in 4 kids in the U.S. will grow up illiterate and studies show that children who can’t read at grade level by the 4th grade are 400% more likely to drop out of high school. As of 2011, America was the only free-market country where the current generation was less well educated than the one before. Read more.
Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter
By Lena Horn, Outreach Coordinator
June 26, 2014
In 1984, three Loudoun County women came together to form Loudoun Citizens for Social Justice (LCSJ) and do business as Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) . The private, non-profit organization serves adults and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by empowering, informing, and advocating for them. All of their services are provided free of charge, including emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, legal services from their two full time attorneys, counseling and support groups, various parenting and violence prevention classes, and they operate the Loudoun Child Advocacy Center.
The shelter is a 12-bed house that, in 2013, provided shelter for 36 woman and 47 children. Earlier this year, they received a 100WomenStrong grant to help transform the shelter by providing new beds that are specially designed to last longer and minimize damage. Because housing is expensive in Loudoun County, the shelter is often at capacity, but LAWS doesn’t turn someone down in need and will provide accommodations at a hotel. Other times, clients may not need emergency shelter but still be in need of specialized legal services such as protective orders. In 2013, LAWS provided 524 adult victims of domestic violence with walk-in crisis services, support groups, advocacy, financial assistance, and counseling.
On June 29th 2012, the derecho left millions of homes without power for several days. One of these houses was the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS). With temperatures reaching well above 90°, no power meant no air-conditioning, running water, lights, or a fridge to keep food from spoiling. Fallen trees blocked roads and the staff couldn’t get out to the shelter to offer fresh food or assistance. Oftentimes, the women and children at the shelter don’t have their own transportation either. A power outage, such as the one the derecho caused, also means that precious time is lost for case management. This prompted LAWS to take matters into their own hands and apply for a grant from 100WomenStrong for an emergency generator. In 2013 the grant was approved and right on time, as the past winter was a harsh one for Loudoun County with several power outages. But this time, the shelter’s new generator jumped into action, powering heat, lights, well-water, and a fridge.
National Children’s Alliance Accreditation
LAWS currently has between 60 and 70 volunteers, including former clients who now seek to give back by donating or even serving on the board. Volunteers receive thirty hours of training in order to help with the wide array of opportunities, such as answering the hot lines, accompanying clients to court, teaching parenting classes, picking up groceries for the shelter, and providing transportation. They also operate a thrift shop called The Resourceful Woman in Leesburg. The thrift shop offers a selection of quality clothing, baby items, toys, books, jewelry, house wares, and light furniture. Clients of LAWS obtain necessary clothing and items free at the shop, and the remaining merchandise is sold and proceeds support LAWS programs.For volunteer opportunities call 703-771-3398.
The 24-hour crisis hotline can be reached at 703-777-6552.
Visit www.lcsj.org for more information.
Nonprofit Collaboration Database
Search the Nonprofit Collaboration Database to find real-world examples of how nonprofits are working together. Explore different collaboration models, what prompted organizations to collaborate, challenges encountered, and the outcomes experienced by partner agencies and the community. Read more.
Northern Virginia Aging Report
June 23, 2014
The older population of northern Virginia, those age 65 or more, is more economically stable, better educated and more diverse than the older population in the United States and Virginia. Currently the region’s population is also younger and healthier, skewed toward the younger end — those 65 to 74 years of age. But in northern Virginia, as in the rest of the nation, a significant population shift is occurring. The portion of the population 65 years of age and older will increase steadily over the next two decades. This change, coupled with increased longevity will result in significant growth in older populations nationally, statewide and locally. Read more.
Do More 24
June 17, 2014
Do More 24 is just days away. On Thursday, June 19, thousands of people will join together to create positive change in our community. Powered by United Way of the National Capital Area, Do More 24 is a local movement that encourages donors to contribute to the causes and organizations closest to their hearts to solve our region’s most pressing challenges. Read more.
PerformWell is a collaborative effort initiated by Urban Institute, Child Trends, and Social Solutions. PerformWell provides measurement tools and practical knowledge that human services professionals can use to manage their programs’ day-to-day performance. Information in PerformWell leverages research-based findings that have been synthesized and simplified by experts in the field. By providing information and tools to measure program quality and outcomes, PerformWell helps human services practitioners deliver more effective social programs. Read more.
Do More Than Give
More than $300 billion in the U.S. alone is donated annually to nonprofits, and the number of private foundations has doubled in the last two decades as community foundation numbers have tripled. But experts question whether the billions backed by good intentions have made the most possible difference or effectively solved problems. If donors want to achieve more, they need to do more than give. Do More Than Give, a highly regarded book authored by Leslie Crutchfield, is about how high-impact donors catalyze change in the world. Read more.
70% of Charities Expect Gains in 2014
May 13, 2014
A survey by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative reveals that 70% of nonprofits are expected to receive an increase in donations this year. In 2013, donations were stronger than any other year since the recession started, making charities optimistic. Part of the reason is attributed to charities setting up a system that allows their donors to see how their money is being used. Read more.
The 10 for 10 Campaign
May 9, 2014
The 10 for 10 Campaign is underway and they’re looking for businesses, civic & networking organizations, and individuals in Loudoun County to donate 10% of their sales for one hour, one day, one week, one month, or whatever you are comfortable with to Loudoun Interfaith Relief. The proceeds will provide food for kids in need in this summer. Read more.
County Grant Process Open for Nonprofits. Dead-line for submission is Fri, Apr 11.
The County’s FY15 budget available for nonprofits is $1.25 million and will be distributed as follows:
– $753,317 (60%) goes to orgs that provide health related services;
– $251,107 (20%) goes to orgs that provide emergency services;
– $100,442 (8%) goes to groups that provide administrative services to other nonprofits;
– $87,887 (7%) goes to orgs that work on hunger and homeless services;
– $62,776 (5%) goes to orgs that focus on recreation and cultural
An Argument For Radically Rethinking Your Charitable Donations
When is it a good idea to donate money to a for-profit organization? When that organization is leading the way to innovation, so says Google CEO, Larry Page. Ultimately, he thinks that one of the best ways to improve the human experience for future generations is by investing in the elite innovators who will leave the largest positive impact on humankind. What do you think? Read more.
Crime Odds Nearly Triple For Those With Disabilities
March 19, 2014
The number of violent crimes committed against people with disabilities is on the rise, new data from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates. There were 1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes against persons with disabilities in 2012, up from the roughly 1.1 million estimated for 2011. Read more.
The Business of Housing Loudoun’s Workforce
March 4, 2014
Prospective home buyers often have difficulty in Loudoun County where higher housing prices push them to live further out where they can find a bigger house and yard for the same price. The Affordable Dwelling Unit program seeks to change this by providing affordable housing to buyers with moderate incomes. Read more.
Was Carnegie Right About Philanthropy?
Does philanthropy by the most affluent among us make up for the negative consequences of inequality? At the center of this debate is how to quantify the positive impact of philanthropy by the world’s wealthiest people on the world’s poorest, along with the negative impact of inequality—both tasks that are difficult, and perhaps impossible. Read more.
Criminalizing Mental Illness
February 24, 2014
In 1955, there was one bed in a psychiatric ward for every 300 Americans; now there is one bed for every 3,000 Americans. So, where are those with severe mental illness going? Jail houses have taken the place of long shuttered mental hospitals, an astronomically expensive way to… Read more.
100WomenStrong Seeks Grant Applications Before Jan. 31
Karen Schaufeld, founder of 100WomenStrong, reflects on Loudoun County’s growth, its current needs, and what we can do to help. Focusing on health, hunger, shelter, education, and informing ourselves of what is falling through the “cracks”, we’re strategically giving in order to be a part of the leadership that helps those in need and without a safety net in our county.
The Arc of Loudoun Supports Gabriella and the ‘Cracking the Cure’ Gala
January 7, 2014
When she was nine years old, Gabriella Miller was diagnosed with a walnut-sized inoperable brain tumor. Gabriella’s family literally began smashing walnuts with a frying pan as a symbolic gesture to support her battle against her tumor. Unfortunately Gabriella passed away two months ago but her fight to end childhood brain cancer lives on! The Smashing Walnuts Foundation is pleased to announce the Inaugural ‘Cracking the Cure’ Gala that will take place on January 25th 2014 in Leesburg VA.
Please see the invitation or visit www.smashingwalnuts.org for more information. Tickets, Sponsorships and Donation Opportunities are available. With your help we can begin to make Gabriella’s dream of a world without childhood brain cancer a reality.