Archive for Year: 2016

October 28, 2020

100WomenStrong Continues to Help Nonprofits Meet Emergency Needs Created by COVID-19

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Margaret Brown
[email protected]
703-898-9443

In Sixth Round of Funding, the Group Donates $42,555 to Seven Organizations for initiatives ranging from Sober Living Housing Scholarships and Flu Vaccines to PPE and More

Leesburg, Va. (October 21, 2020) – 100WomenStrong has announced its sixth round of funding to help nonprofit organizations that provide services in Loudoun County to meet new and emerging requirements created by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this funding round, the group is donating $42,555 to seven nonprofits for urgent needs. These include the purchase of supplies to support distance learning, personal protection and deep cleaning. Other support is for the administration of flu vaccines, the expansion of a free diaper program and the delivery of housing scholarships for those experiencing substance use disorder.

100WomenStrong plans to continue their monthly assessment of requests through the end of 2020 and make distributions, as necessary.

“Area nonprofits must deliver services under new, challenging and changing constraints. There is no possible way they could have budgeted last year for what they have faced this year. For example, organizations that have offered in-person classes and support groups have had to change their delivery model to a virtual one,” said Karen G. Schaufeld, president and founder of 100WomenStrong. “Those that have started offering in-person services must adhere to stringent cleaning protocols that require supplies they may never have anticipated buying, such as PPE. They also must adhere to distancing requirements, which prompts the need for more desks, tables and other equipment.

“Demands such as these likely will continue to grow while, concurrently, no one can predict when things will go back to normal for nonprofits,” Schaufeld continued. “We plan to maintain the level of monitoring we have been conducting since March and offer support where we can.”

The sixth round of grants from 100WomenStrong is going to the following nonprofit organizations:

Since the pandemic started, 100WomenStrong has reviewed applications monthly for Loudoun County nonprofits in tremendous need. The group has disbursed 51 grants, totaling more than $403,000, to nonprofit organizations which serve Loudoun County. It also donated $50,000 to create the “Pay it Forward” Direct Assistance loan program (which has generated more than $90,000 in additional donations from the community), and $25,000 worth of PPE to first responders.

About 100WomenStrong

Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to non-profits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

For more information about 100WomenStrong, visit www.OneHundredWomenStrong.org or contact Pam Ray at [email protected]

 

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August 31, 2020

100WomenStrong Nearing $500,00 in Rapid-Response COVID-19 Funding

In Fifth Round Since March, Group Donates $58,500 to Seven Nonprofit Organizations

For more information contact:

 Margaret Brown  [email protected]  703-898-9443

Leesburg, Va. (August  2020) – 100WomenStrong is nearing the half-million mark in giving in 2020. After pivoting their annual grant funding to Emergency Covid-19 grants, the philanthropic group has announced its 5th round of COVID-19 relief funding of $58,500 to seven organizations. Since the pandemic hit in March, 100WomenStrong has reviewed applications monthly for Loudoun County nonprofits in tremendous need and has disbursed $360,900 in grants to 29 nonprofit organizations. It also donated $50,000 to create the “Pay it Forward” Direct Assistance loan program (which has generated more than $90,000 in additional donations from the community), and $25,000 worth of PPE to first responders.

The group will continue to assess area needs and make distributions, as necessary. They currently plan to continue with relief funding through the end of 2020 when they will reassess needs of area organizations. The group’s strategic approach of monitoring COVID-19 relief efforts to determine funding allows the group to continue to meet critical needs that may change month-to-month as the pandemic unfolds.

“We felt it was urgent and appropriate to change our grant-giving process, especially when we realized how quickly the number of people in dire need was growing, while nonprofits that support those people were suddenly losing funding sources,” said Pam Ray, managing director for 100WomenStrong. “When we send out our invitations to apply, we ask that those who are stable for the next 30-60 days kindly defer, so we can help those with immediate need and stretch our funds throughout the future of this crisis.  Despite the setbacks they have experienced, we have been so heartened to see the generosity and caring that our nonprofits have for one another. They are grateful for our new approach and we easily see that that their mission to serve Loudoun County residents collectively runs deep.”

The fifth round of grants from 100WomenStrong is going to the following nonprofit organizations:

About 100WomenStrong

Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to non-profits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

For more information about 100WomenStrong, visit www.OneHundredWomenStrong.org or contact Pam Ray at [email protected]

 

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July 21, 2020

100WomenStrong Continues COVID-19 Crisis Response Funding–Donates $81,500 to Seven Nonprofit Organizations, Bringing Total Giving to $377,400

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Margaret Brown
[email protected]
703-898-9443

Leesburg, Va. (July 20, 2020) – 100WomenStrong has earmarked $81,500 for seven nonprofits that provide services in Loudoun County in its fourth round of COVID-19 emergency relief funding. The philanthropic group continues to meet frequently to review and discuss needs across the county. Since the pandemic hit, 100WomenStrong has disbursed $302,400 in grants to 31 nonprofit organizations, $50,000 to create the Pay it Forward loan program (which has generated more than $80,000 in additional donations from the community), and $25,000 worth of PPE to first responders.

In this round, the largest grants are $25,000 to the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties for its Community Emergency Relief Fund, and $25,000 to the Loudoun Education Foundation for its Mental Health and Wellness initiative.

  • In March, the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties established the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) to strategically disburse funding to address COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts in Loudoun.  Since then, the CERF, along with Visit Loudoun Foundation’s Tourism and Hospitality Relief Fund, has distributed more than $205,000 to fund rental assistance through the COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Helpline, a program run in collaboration by Loudoun Cares and Catholic Charities of the Dioceses of Arlington. As of July, more than 227 families – 42% of which have incomes at or below the federal poverty line – have received rental assistance through the program.

Loudoun residents in need of rental assistance may call the COVID-19 Emergency Fund and Helpline at 703-669-5040.

  • The Loudoun Education Foundation’s Mental Health and Wellness initiative includes the implementation of Kognito, a software program that will help train teachers at Loudoun County Public Schools to recognize signs of emotional distress, anxiety and depression in their students. Along with helping them identify mental distress, the online training tool for educators will help them manage conversations with students and provide help or refer them to resources. This is an urgent need to help students, families, teachers and their families with mental health issues due to Covid-19.

To learn more about Kognito, please follow this link. If you would like to make a donation to support this initiative, please follow this link, and designate your gift as “Mental Health & Wellness.”

The fourth round of grants from 100WomenStrong is going to the following nonprofit organizations:

100WomenStrong will continue to assess area needs and make monthly distributions, as necessary. They will do this until early fall, when they will reassess needs of area organizations invited to apply. The group’s strategic approach of monitoring COVID-19 relief efforts to determine funding allows the group to continue to meet critical needs that may change month-to-month as the pandemic unfolds.

About 100WomenStrong

Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to non-profits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

 

For more information about 100WomenStrong, visit www.OneHundredWomenStrong.org or contact Pam Ray at [email protected]

 

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June 16, 2020

“Pay it Forward” Direct Assistance Loan Program, Powered by 100WomenStrong, Offers up to $2,000 to Loudoun County Residents Suffering Financial Hardship

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

 Margaret Brown  [email protected]   703-898-9443 

 

New loan program is model of community partnership that will be administered by Northern Virginia Family Service and includes support from Area Businesses, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and Others 

Leesburg, VA – June 16, 2020 – A new fund will make $2,000 emergency cash assistance available to Loudoun County residents unable to meet expenses, such as housing, utility, car payments, medical, childcare or other needs. The Pay It Forward Direct Assistance Loan Fund, powered by 100WomenStrong, is funded and spearheaded by the philanthropic group, and other funding comes from a combination of businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations, including the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. The short-term loans will be administered by Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and are designed to be flexible and responsive, with a low interest rate. Re-payment will go back into the fund to make it sustainable to assist others in need.

“COVID-19 has created extreme financial hardship for some of the most vulnerable in our community, who may be enticed by predatory lenders. Many of our neighbors may not be able to make ends meet and may not be eligible for other loan programs,” Karen G. Schaufeld, Founder and President of 100WomenStrong, said. “We wanted to help them while creating a way that they can, in return, help their neighbors. When recipients repay their loans, their money will go back into Pay It Forward, so another person can use those funds. We see this program lasting much longer than the COVID crisis and hope it becomes a sustainable, useful tool for hard-working families in our area experiencing temporary financial setbacks.”

Pay it Forward is designed to be a viable and desirable alternative to high-interest lending programs. These loans will be no interest for the first six months and then will bear a 2-percent simple interest rate. All distributions will be made by NVFS directly to vendors on behalf of the approved applicant, and NVFS will work with applicants to identify required documentation for Fund payment.

“We are proud to partner with 100WomenStrong to address the surge in financial hardship among our Loudoun County neighbors. 100WomenStrong’s leadership in recognizing the critical needs around us, coupled with dedicated investments from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and a network of community-minded supporters, is an incredible gift,” said Stephanie Berkowitz, President and CEO of Northern Virginia Family Service. “The creative partnership fueling this innovative, self-sustaining program will help ensure that our neighbors have the food, medications, and supplies they need to weather these unprecedented and challenging times.”

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a current Loudoun County
  • Distributions are made on behalf of individuals/families only.
  • Loan amounts are capped at $2,000, per loan.
  • Loans will be interest-free for the first 6 months. After 6 months, the simple interest rate will be 2% until the loan is fully re-paid.
  • Additional loans will be considered following full repayment of an existing loan.
  • The maximum duration of the loan will be 36 months.

The Pay it Forward Direct Assistance Loan Fund, powered by 100WomenStrong currently has $141,000 in available funding. This includes $50,000 from 100WomenStrong, $40,000 from Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and $20,000 from an anonymous donor. The Schaufeld Family Foundation, The Bosserman Family Fund, The McCall-Hellman Family Fund, Bobbi Schaufeld and John and Jessica Wood donated $2,500 each. Businesses that donated $2,500 include Custom Ink, Bank of Charles Town, Bank of Clarke County, MainStreet Bank, Sandy Spring Bank, Summit Bank and SWaN & Legend. Langhorne Custom Homes donated $1,000.

Funds from Community Foundation for Northern Virginia were given as part of Round 4 of its COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia program. The Fund has distributed more than $1.4 million in grants to 72 local nonprofit organizations providing much needed services to individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

“So many individuals and families in our region continue to suffer terribly under the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus and its fallout. Applications for unemployment benefits are at an all-time high, and local human service nonprofits now report a 3- to 5-fold increase in demand for their services,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President and CEO at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. “Direct financial assistance to individuals and families hardest hit by the crisis remains a top priority for our COVID-19 Response Fund.”

How to Get Help or Donate Funds

  • Requests for assistance from Pay It Forward, Powered by 100WomenStrong should be submitted to NVFS, per application guidance at nvfs.org/payitforward
  • Businesses or others who would like to contribute to the fund can contact Pam Ray at [email protected]

 

About 100WomenStrong

Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to nonprofits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

About Community Foundation for Northern Virginia 

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia grows philanthropy to respond to critical need, seed innovation and lead and convene the community. Comprised of donor advised funds, permanent funds, giving circles, and other charitable endowments, the Community Foundation connects donors to community and promotes a more equitable and inclusive prosperity that marries our economic strength with the full breadth of our diverse community. In 2019 the Community Foundation awarded more than $5.4 million in grants and scholarships and reported more than $72 million in managed philanthropic assets. For more information please visit us at www.cfnova.org, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS)

Northern Virginia Family Service’s (nvfs.org) breadth, depth and scope of services ensures that everyone in need, at every stage of life, maximizes their potential and fully contributes to a thriving community. We provide the essential building blocks for financial, emotional and physical well-being, serving as leaders and innovators for the Northern Virginia community. Every year, we empower 42,000 individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency. 

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June 9, 2020

Third Round of COVID-19 Crisis Response Funding from 100WomenStrong Awarded to Eight Area Nonprofit Organizations; Total Giving to Date is $247,000

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Margaret Brown [email protected] 703-898-9443

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Leesburg, Va. (June 9, 2020) – 100WomenStrong announced today that it will distribute $69,500 to eight nonprofits that provide services in Loudoun County in its third round of giving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The philanthropic group continues to meet frequently to review and discuss needs across the county and has dispersed more than $247,000 to 24 nonprofit organizations and first responders since the pandemic hit and disrupted the local and national economy.

100WomenStrong will continue to assess area needs and make monthly distributions, as needed. They will do this for the foreseeable future and will distribute funds in stages to organizations invited to apply. The group’s strategic approach of monitoring COVID-19 relief efforts to determine funding allows the group to continue to meet critical needs that may change month-to-month as the pandemic unfolds.

According to Karen Schaufeld, 100WomenStrong Founder and President, the monthly distributions are likely to continue through the summer as Northern Virginia slowly eases into reopening.

“We are so thankful for all of the nonprofit organizations across Loudoun County that have sustained their efforts during these difficult times,” Schaufeld said. “There are too many to name them all, but Loudoun County is better for the many nonprofits who do great work to support our community and residents.

“We are seeing signs of economic recovery, but we also know that many in Loudoun County find themselves in dire need of funding to stay afloat,” Schaufeld continued. “We plan to address as much of this need as possible to ensure that nonprofits are able to fulfill their missions and continue to support their clients.”

The third round of grants from 100WomenStrong is going to the following nonprofit organizations:

About 100WomenStrong

Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to non-profits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

For more information about 100WomenStrong, visit www.OneHundredWomenStrong.org or contact Pam Ray at [email protected]

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100WomenStrong Continues Focus on COVID-19 Crisis Response Second Round of Funding Totals $85,500 to 14 Area Nonprofit Organizations

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Margaret Brown [email protected] 703-898-9443

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First Delivery of PPEs for Loudoun County for first responders delivered

Leesburg, Va. (May 11, 2020) – 100WomenStrong continues to check the pulse of need in Loudoun County to help nonprofit organizations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its second round of funding, the group is distributing $85,500 to 14 area nonprofits and has made its first deliveries of critical personal protection equipment (PPE) to Loudoun County Fire and Rescue career and volunteer members. In its first two rounds, the philanthropic group’s COVID- 19 funding for area nonprofit organizations totals $204,500.

100WomenStrong will continue to assess area needs every month for the foreseeable future and will distribute funds in stages to nonprofits it has vetted and approved from past and current grant rounds. The group’s strategic approach of monitoring COVID-19 relief efforts to determine funding allows the group to continue to meet critical needs that may change month- to-month as the pandemic unfolds.

In the first round of funding, 100WomenStrong allocated $50,000 for PPEs for first responders, and recently delivered a portion of those. According to Karen Schaufeld, 100WomenStrong Founder and President, the group will continue to deliver PPEs while they have supplies to help ensure the safety of area residents.

“The inclusion of PPEs in 100WomenStrong’s COVID giving is important, as these supplies continue to be in great demand and short supply. I have been honored to be able to deliver the first round of PPEs to the Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System for the brave men and women, both volunteer and career, who are on the front lines of the Covid-19 fight,” said Schaufeld.

The second round of grants from 100WomenStrong is going to the following nonprofit organizations:

The group is only considering nonprofits it has vetted and approved from past and current grant rounds, as those groups are known to them and have been closely reviewed. They plan to allocate a third round of funding in June and will continue to provide funding on a monthly basis to organizations that are invited to submit applications.

About 100WomenStrong

Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to non-profits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

For more information about 100WomenStrong, visit www.OneHundredWomenStrong.org or contact Pam Ray at [email protected]

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100WomenStrong Responds to COVID-19 Crisis, Refocuses 2020 Giving on Groups Filling Immediate Essential Needs in Areas of Food, Shelter and Health

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Margaret Brown [email protected] 703-898-9443

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More than $119,000 initially allocated for nine Loudoun County nonprofits
and to purchase PPEs for first responders, additional grants to be made in coming months

Leesburg, Va. (April 14, 2020) – 100WomenStrong has changed its strategy for its 2020 competitive grant cycle in response to COVID-19 and is distributing $119,500 to nine area nonprofits, as well as to emergency responders, that are meeting the immediate essential and emergency needs of Loudoun County residents. The philanthropic group plans to continue to assess needs in the areas of food, shelter and health over the coming months. It will distribute funds in stages to nonprofits it has vetted and approved from past and current grant rounds.

The group will continue to monitor COVID-19 relief efforts on a monthly basis and invite some of its current or past grant recipients to apply for funding based on what is deemed necessary for the upcoming month. This strategic approach will allow them to support these efforts while preserving funds for the uncertainty of the months ahead, according to Karen Schaufeld, Founder and President of 100WomenStrong.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic not only has threatened lives, but also has forced businesses to close and threatened the livelihoods of millions. The people losing jobs and shuttering businesses are our next-door neighbors and friends, and the financial and emotional toll is very high,” said Schaufeld.

“As a group, 100WomenStrong knew that we had to react quickly to alleviate as much of the suffering as we possibly could. To that end, we will work to support the Loudoun County community now and in the near future by re-focusing our 2020 grants to those nonprofits and first responders that are directly responding to needs created by COVID-19,” said 100WomenStrong Member and Grant Chairwoman Stephanie Place.

The group plans to distribute funds in phases as long as there are needs and funds available. They chose the following recipients for the first round of grants:

 

Up to $50,000 also has been allocated for the purchase of personal protection equipment (PPEs) for area volunteer firefighters and EMTs.

100WomenStrong Member Kim Wagner said the decision to change focus wasn’t made hastily, but with great discussion and reflection.

“As this pandemic spread, we knew that we had to shift from considering the proposals submitted for our competitive grant cycle to using those grant funds to first support groups that are working so hard to fill needs created by the COVID-19 crisis,” Wagner said. “In our next round, we will continue to look at all of our past grantees and plan to expand our funding a bit to those that provide a safety net to help those most vulnerable in our community.”

The group is only considering nonprofits it has vetted and approved from past and current grant rounds, as those groups are known to them and have been closely vetted. They plan to allocate a second round of funding in early May and will continue to provide funding on a monthly basis to organizations that are invited to submit applications.

About 100WomenStrong

Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to non-profits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

For more information about 100WomenStrong, visit www.OneHundredWomenStrong.org or contact Pam Ray at [email protected]

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November 6, 2019

100WOMENSTRONG TAPS FIVE NONPROFITS FOR ADDICTION AND RECOVERY GRANTS, ADDS ADDITIONAL $10,040 TO FUNDING TO HELP SPUR PROGRAMS IN LOUDOUN COUNTY

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Margaret Brown [email protected] 703-898-9443

The philanthropic group plans to continue support of organizations focused on providing prevention, treatment or aftercare to those dealing with substance misuse or addiction

Leesburg, Va. – 100WomenStrong has earmarked more than $35,000 to support five programs that are bridging the gap for those in need of Addiction and Recovery services in Loudoun County. After realizing that – despite the growing need – they had not received requests for grants in these areas, the philanthropic group studied the issue of drug misuse, active addiction and recovery in Loudoun County and created the new grant program based on that research. Going forward, the group will include addiction and recovery in its focus on health-related grants during its regular grant-funding cycle.

“Research by the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Fauquier Counties showed a need for services that address the areas of drug misuse, active addiction and recovery, and we are more than pleased to support the vital work these programs are providing to Loudoun County residents,” said Judi Garlick, 100WomenStrong member who led the Addiction and Recovery project for the group. “We hope to bring attention to the lack of funding in our area and encourage private, public and governmental organizations to work together to come up with effective solutions and policies for our county. When clients have a place close-by to recover and prepare for a successful future, it takes strain off them and their families. The entire county will benefit.”

The five organizations chosen for 2019 Addiction and Recovery Grants are:

The Chris Atwood Foundation – $10,000

• Recovery Housing Scholarships for Loudoun County residents who have been accepted into a sober living home but need financial assistance to secure their place. These scholarships cover a one-time move-in fee and the first two weeks at sober living. Thesehomes are a proven and effective step in recovery, but many leaving treatment cannot afford them.

Youth for Tomorrow – $9,000

• Program expansion support for group’s addition of Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse Program for Adolescents in Loudoun County. Through the program, Youth for Tomorrow will provide licensed, highly skilled and compassionate substance abuse treatment to assist adolescents achieve their long-term sobriety goals and help them plan for a healthy and productive future.

Inova CATS Patient Assistance Fund – $6,040

Support for an individual and his / her family for Intensive Outpatient Program services for individuals transitioning from inpatient services for chemical dependency. At least 30 sessions of IOP therapy are needed to mitigate the chance of relapse, but, in some cases, insurance benefits will cover only the first 10 sessions. Many cannot afford to continue IOP services and dropping out significantly increases the risk of relapse.

Healthworks – $5,000

Support the expansion of identification and treatment of substance abuse in women seeking family planning services at Healthworks. Family planning services provide an opportunity to conduct screening, intervention and referral to therapy if it is determined the patient is at-risk or at higher risk and in need of counseling for substance abuse or the risk of substance abuse.

PRS – $5,000

• Expansion of SA Peer Services program, which offers recovery support by trained andcertified individuals who have lived the experience of substance abuse, in Loudoun County.

100WomenStrong announced the new initiative in June and solicited proposals from nonprofit organizations, government agencies or school systems who directly and specifically impact Loudoun County for programs and / or community awareness and outreach in the areas of:

  • prevention and / or treatment of substance misuse and addiction;
  • aftercare services, housing and / or therapies for those who have been in a substance misuse or addiction treatment program; and
  • programs above that apply evidence-based practices.

The group plans to continue to support organizations that provide addiction and recovery as part of their regular grant cycle’s health focus.

About 100WomenStrong

Formed in 2008, 100WomenStrong is a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents. They are committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, through strategic grants to non-profits working in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education. Members of 100WomenStrong connect and collaborate to leverage their philanthropic resources as a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

For more information about 100WomenStrong, visit www.onehundredwomenstrong.org or contact Pam Ray at [email protected]

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July 10, 2019
June 18, 2019
June 13, 2019
June 10, 2019
May 17, 2019
May 15, 2019

100WomenStrong Announces $297K in Grants

May 15, 2019  Loudoun Now

May 13, 2019

Telos gifts $25K to 100WomenStrong

May 13, 2019 Loudoun Times-Mirror

May 7, 2019
May 3, 2019
February 1, 2019
January 30, 2019
January 29, 2019
January 28, 2019
November 12, 2018
November 9, 2018
November 8, 2018

100WOMENSTRONG, SUNTRUST FOUNDATION CHALLENGING OTHERS TO DONATE TO EXPAND COMMUNITY SCHOOL INITIATIVE IN LOUDOUN

100WomenStrong has been working closely with Loudoun County Public Schools, Loudoun Education Fund, SunTrust Foundation, local nonprofits, educators, businesses and many others to change the face of education in Sterling, VA, through a pilot Community School Initiative (CSI) at Sterling Elementary School. Due to the rapid suburbanization of poverty, Title 1 schools like Sterling Elementary School need a wrap-around service approach that supports disadvantaged students and their families, helps improve educational outcomes, and increases parental engagement. Since 2015, 100WomenStrong has funded the salary of a Community School Coordinator who works with community partners to bring enrichment programs into the school.

The philanthropic group has created a $100,000 challenge grant to expand the program to the six other Title 1 elementary schools in Loudoun County. SunTrust Foundation immediately stepped up to the challenge with a $100,000 donation. Together, they are asking others in the community to match their contributions to help raise at least $400,000 to expand this vital initiative that is reaping benefits for children, families and the community.

Continue Reading…

SunTrust Foundation Grants $100,00 to Loudoun Education Foundation to Expand Its Community School Initiative

For Immediate Release

 

 Press contacts:   

Margaret Brown              Audria Belton–SunTrust Foundation

703.898.9443                    404.813.3664

[email protected]     [email protected] 

 

(Leesburg, Va.) Nov. 8, 2018 – SunTrust Foundation has granted $100,000 to Loudoun Education Foundation to expand its Community School Initiative (CSI) to Forest Grove, Sugarland, Guilford, Sterling, Sully and Rolling Ridge elementary schools in Loudoun County as 100WomenStrong celebrates 10 years of investing in children at Title 1 Schools. 100WomenStrong has issued a challenge grant of $100,000 for the expansion and encourages other businesses and community members to match the $200,000 raised so far.

“The Loudoun Education Foundation is incredibly grateful for the generosity of the SunTrust Foundation,” said Dawn Meyer, executive director of the Loudoun Education Foundation. “This funding will help our most vulnerable students achieve academic success in the classroom while providing needed resources for their families at school.”

Continue Reading…

October 3, 2018

100WomenStrong Accepting Grant Applications

October 3, 2018 Loudoun Now

October 1, 2018

100WomenStrong’s 10th Anniversary Grant Application Process Opens October 1st

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Margaret Brown

[email protected]

703-898-9443

100WOMENSTRONG ACCEPTING LETTERS OF INTENT FROM LOUDOUN COUNTY NONPROFITS FOR CONSIDERATION FOR 2019 GRANT FUNDING

Philanthropic group is celebrating 10th Anniversary of giving to Loudoun County nonprofits in areas of shelter, health, hunger and education.

Window for submitting initial letter opens on October 1

Leesburg, Va. – September 28, 2018 – Loudoun County-based 100WomenStrong, a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents, will begin accepting Letters of Intent from area nonprofits on October 1 for 2019 grants. Organizations that are headquartered or operate in Loudoun County and wish to receive 2019 grant funds from 100WomenStrong for programs in the areas of health, hunger, education and shelter, must file a preliminary Letter of Intent between 7 a.m. on Monday, October 1, 2018, and 5 p.m. on Friday, November 2, 2018.

According to 100WomenStrong member Stephanie Place, Letters of Intent should be no more than one page long, should be in 11-point font or larger and should include:

  • Name and purpose of nonprofit organization – must be based in or have programs in Loudoun County
  • Dollar amount of grant request
  • What the money will fund – outline how you would utilize the grant money
  • Why this project(s) is important to those you serve and to Loudoun County andits residents

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Letters should be emailed to [email protected] as a .pdf attachment with the name of the organization in the subject line of the email. Every applicant will receive an email confirming receipt of the Letter of Intent. If an email confirmation is not received, double check to ensure that your email was addressed correctly.

Continue Reading…

September 21, 2018

100WomenStrong Member Kristina Bouweiri Reaches New Heights

Congratulations to Kristina Bouweiri, a 100WomenStrong charter member, whose company – Reston Limousine – is the 8th largest fleet in the United States! Kristina founded the company in 1990 with just five vehicles. She makes a difference to Loudoun County every day through Reston Limousine and her many other endeavors, including 100WomenStrong, Sterling Women, the Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation, Northern Virginia Community CollegeLoudoun Education Foundation,  and more. Read about it here.

 

September 14, 2018

How Donor Advised Funds Create Opportunities to Give

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (Community Foundation) has deep expertise and knowledge not only of our community’s needs, but also of our nonprofit landscape. They also can help people who don’t have millions create donor advised funds or help them find an existing fund to which to contribute. If you want to give back, but don’t know where to start, take a moment to read a letter from Amy Owen, Community Foundation president and CEO, about how they can help you set up a nimble and flexible donor advised fund:

June 19, 2018

100WomenStrong Member Cate Magennnis Wyatt Named New Board Chair for Great Meadow Foundation

Congratulations to 100WomenStrong member Cate Magennis Wyatt on becoming the new Chair for the Great Meadow Foundation!

May 17, 2018

100WomenStrong Announces $279,550 in Funding For 27 Loudoun County Nonprofits

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Margaret Brown

[email protected]

703-898-9443

Leesburg, VA – May 2, 2018– Loudoun County-based 100WomenStrong, a group of concerned local residents seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programsthat enrich their county, is donating $279,550 to 27 area nonprofit organizations to help them initiate, complete or supplement programs in 2018. With this year’s funding, the philanthropic group has now given more than $1.5 million to Loudoun County nonprofits to support transformational change in the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education.

“In December 2008, 12 people passionate about finding ways to improve the quality of life for Loudoun County residents came together to learn the best ways to help make that happen. Almost 10 years later, 40 passionate people continue that mission,” said Karen G. Schaufeld, 100WomenStrong founder and president. “We strive to grant the right amount to the right non-profit at the right time. We will not rest until all residents of our county achieve their full potential as active, contributing members of our community. We encourage all those who are inspired by this mission to join us.”

Continue Reading…

May 2, 2018
March 6, 2018

100WomenStrong member, Sheila Johnson, Named a Virginia Influencer

Congratulations to 100WomenStrong member, Sheila Johnson, on being named one of Virginia Business’ 50 Most Influential Virginians!  Read more here.

February 8, 2018

Decent, Stable Housing Can Act as a ‘Vaccine’ Against Underdevelopment in Children

Housing subsidies can actually act like a vaccine for children in food-insecure households, because stable housing protects them from biologically being affected by their food insecurity. Stable, decent housing gives children some immunity and resilience against future threats to their health. In fact, children whose parents receive housing subsidies that free up available money for food are two times less likely to be underweight than similar kids who were food insecure and eligible for a food housing voucher but not receiving it. The researcher who made the connection, Dr. Megan T. Sandel is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health and development. She said that her “eureka” moment was when her 2-year-old patient, who had fallen way behind on the growth chart suddenly started sprouting after the child’s family moved from an overcrowded, unsuitable apartment to a better one. “The prescription that this child needed was a stable, decent, affordable home. They don’t stock those at the pharmacy.” Read the entire article here.

January 29, 2018

The Ryan Bartel Foundation Launches New Community Space

100WomenStrong grantee, The Ryan Bartel Foundation, has a new program, THE FORT, a community space where young people can connect with each other, share, have fun and grow strong together.  Read more here.

January 18, 2018

Loudoun Chamber Celebrates Nonprofits and Business Leaders for It’s 50th Anniversary

The Loudoun Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 50th year! At its upcoming gala, the Chamber will announce the winners of the 2018 Loudoun Community Leadership Awards. We are proud of 100WomenStrong member Sharon D. Virts for her nomination for the Executive Leader Award. We also are thrilled that leaders of several 100WomenStrong grant recipients – Inova Loudoun Hospital, Loudoun Voluntee rCaregivers and The Arc of Loudoun – are nominated for awards. The winner in each of the awards categories will have the opportunity to select one nonprofit organization to receive a $1,000 grant, courtesy of the esteemed Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.
http://business.loudounchamber.org/news/details/2018-loudoun-community-leadership-award-finalists-announced?utm_campaign=1.2.18%20eNews&utm_content=65351554&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

December 21, 2017

100WomenStrong Member Wins the Golden Helix Award

Congratulations to 100WomenStrong member, Teresa Wheeler, who was recently awarded the Golden Helix award for her dedication and Service to Inova Loudoun Hospital.  She is Vice Chair of the Foundation, a member of the Ladies Board, and a generous supporter of the hospital.

See more about her work here.  Congratulations, Teresa!

November 16, 2017

Educating Adults is the Key to Preventing Child Sexual Abuse

As Loudoun County’s population continues to grow, so does the need for services and support for children and families. For example, Child Protective Services caseloads within the county are some of the highest per caseworker in the Northern Virginia region. In FY16 alone, Loudoun County’s Child Protective Services assessed or investigated 1,209 valid referrals of child abuse and neglect and provided intensive ongoing services to 59 families. This was the fourth largest number of valid referrals received by a local department of social services in Virginia.

One of the many factors that contribute to the vulnerability of children is unstable housing and the combination of unrelated individuals in a household, which often occurs when low-income families face the high cost of living in Loudoun County. And, a Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) report highlighted the fact that children who live with a single parent with a live-in partner are at the highest risk and are 20 times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents. Continue Reading…

November 9, 2017

Girls On The Run Builds Confidence in School-Age Girls

Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia (GOTR NOVA) is an after-school program that helps girls in 3rd-5th and 6th-8th grades develop the confidence and character they need to become self-assured, active adults. The 10-week program uses a research-based curriculum that integrates running with lessons that focus on self-awareness and self-care, as well as healthy social relationships. They also teach girls the empowerment that comes from having a voice in their personal well-being and how it can affect the well-being of the larger community.

“We are creating a community of girls who are empowered to be their best, by teaching them the skills they need to be strong, confident and healthy women,” said Katey Comerford, executive director. “We focus on the girls building inner strength and confidence about themselves and their decisions in life. Through Girls on the Run, we have not only helped girls increase their physical activity levels, but also have helped them create and maintain healthy behaviors and improve self-esteem and body image.” Continue Reading…

October 30, 2017
October 24, 2017

100WomenStrong to Accept Letters of Intent for Consideration for 2018 Grant Funding

 

 

Local philanthropic group has donated more than $1.3 million to Loudoun County nonprofits focused on shelter, health, hunger and education.

Window for submitting initial letter opens on November 1

 

Leesburg, Va. – October 25, 2017 – Loudoun County-based 100WomenStrong, a group of concerned area residents and business people who strategically support organizations and programs that enhance the lives of Loudoun County residents will begin accepting Letters of Intent from area nonprofits on November 1 in advance of its 2018 grant cycle. Non-profit organizations that serve Loudoun County and wish to be considered for this grant cycle must submit a Letter of Intent between 8 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, and 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

 According to Lynn Rubin, Vice President of 100WomenStrong, Letters of Intent will be accepted from 501(c)(3) organizations serving Loudoun County residents and should include:

  • Name and purpose of organization
  • Dollar amount of grant request
  • Description of the proposed project(s) addressing needs of Loudoun County residents in one of 100WomenStrong’s areas of interest (below)
  • Explanation of importance of the proposed project(s) to those served and to Loudoun County and its residents

Continue Reading…

October 20, 2017

Just Neighbors Reducing Obstacles to Opportunity

Just Neighbors, a 100WomenStrong grant recipient, provides immigration legal services to low-income immigrant and refugee residents who have a legal pathway in the United States, but are unable to access it because of financial, social or physical challenges. Studies show that naturalized citizens earn more than non-citizens, are less likely to be unemployed and are better represented in highly skilled jobs. Not only does citizenship offer immigrants a sense of membership and participation in society, it also gives them access to many other tax and Social Security benefits.

For more than 20 years here in Northern Virginia, Just Neighbors has used a clinic model to leverage staff attorney time, minimize costs of support staff and efficiently assist clients from 127 countries in Central and South America, Africa, Asia and other areas of the world. The nonprofit organization has a 97-percent success rate for all of its filed cases and wanted to expand its work in Loudoun County. While they helped 48 Loudoun County families last year, they had to turn away many more due to a lack of available funding. Continue Reading…

October 13, 2017

New Phones Help LAWS Answer the Call For Help

For more than 30 years, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) has served adult and child victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse who live in Loudoun County. In 2016 alone, LAWS served more than 6,000 individuals through its shelter, crisis hotline, counseling services, support groups, case management services, advocacy programs, its Loudoun Parent-Child Nurturing Program and educational outreach efforts.

In recent years, it had become clear to the staff at LAWS that it was past time to purchase and install a complete phone system that would allow them to serve those individuals more effectively. Using funds supplied through a 100WomenStrong grant, LAWS recently replaced a 16-year-old system that not only was deteriorating and working improperly, but also was inefficient, outdated and missing important functions that the 24-hour hotline staff needed to serve callers safely and effectively.

“We desperately needed a better way take calls and serve our clients,” said Judy Hanley, LAWS’ interim executive director. “Beyond the fact that the system was so old, we couldn’t transfer calls or connect people between our Emergency Shelter and the Community Services Center. That meant that a caller couldn’t easily be patched to an advocate or a counselor, which didn’t always work well.”

Continue Reading…

October 9, 2017

Giving Vulnerable Children a Head Start With Vision Screening

The Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Head Start program, a division of the federal Head Start program, provides comprehensive services to 100 three- and four-year-old children who are living at or below the poverty level in Loudoun County. The purpose of the program, which includes preschool, is to promote social competence and enhance school readiness of low-income children.

During their time in Head Start, the children receive support for their cognitive, social and emotional development in a learning environment that supports growth in language and literacy, as well as math, science, art and physical skills. They also receive health, educational, nutritional, social and disabilities services, based on family needs and goals as well as their cultural and linguistic heritage. Continue Reading…

September 29, 2017

Resilient Strategy Improves Outcomes in Loudoun County

A new eight-week course, “Here, Now and Down the Road: Growing Resilience,” is helping parents learn how to foster resilience in children, enhance their ability to overcome adversity, and lead healthy, socially competent, successful lives. The class, created and offered by Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), has expanded into Loudoun County thanks to a grant from 100WomenStrong.

Resiliency is the ability to effectively deal with challenges of all kinds – from everyday problems to trauma, tragedy or personal crisis – and bounce back from them quickly and more capable to withstand the future. Continue Reading…

September 20, 2017

Updated Kitchen Helps Dulles South Food Pantry Expand Services, Reach More Families

The Dulles South Food Pantry (DSFP) is an emergency-relief pantry that provides nutritious food, personal supplies and other services to those in need in Dulles South and the surrounding area. DSFP works with Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and Feeding America to support its programs and distributed over 135,000 pounds of food in 2016. DSFP’s Friday Food Packs Program provide weekly bags of food for more than 125 students at 12 local schools so they won’t be hungry over the weekend.

Along with its impact on area youth and families, DSFP has recently expanded its boundaries to serve a wider area of Loudoun County, invested in additional freezer space and purchased a floor scale to lessen the burden on their volunteers and improve guest wait times. Continue Reading…

September 15, 2017

This Is My Brave Expands Storytelling Program Through NoVA

This Is My Brave, Inc. (Brave), which was founded in 2014 by two residents of Loudoun County, serves anyone who is or has been affected by mental illness in his or her lifetime.  This includes people who live with mental illness every day, as well as those who care for, work with, go to school with, or love someone dealing with mental health disorder(s).

 

To help eliminate the stigma that many impacted by mental illness feel, as well as to connect people with needed resources, Brave founders created This Is My Brave – The Show. The first show was held in Arlington, Va., in 2014, and Brave has since expanded to nine new and unique shows that take place across the country. All told, more than 243 stories have been shared on stage – and many more have been shared through the Brave blog and on its YouTube channel – since 2014. This year, a slate of 14-16 shows is planned, many in new cities with all new casts and production teams. Continue Reading…

September 7, 2017

Loudoun Hunger Relief Expands Its Efforts Through Key Partnerships

Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR) is in its 26th year of helping alleviate hunger in individuals and families in our county. Last year, LHR directly served more than 11,000 individuals – almost half of whom were children – and distributed more than 1.2 million pounds of food.

In addition to providing food to children, LHR provides food to families, senior citizens, the working poor and the homeless, all of whom suffer from hunger or food insecurity. This year, with help from 100WomenStrong and in collaboration with several area businesses and nonprofit organizations, LHR has begun expanding its efforts to meet its clients’ needs today and to prepare them for a better future through several innovative efforts, including: Continue Reading…

August 24, 2017

Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers Brings the Community to the Home

An army of more than 200 volunteers is out and about every week in Loudoun County helping frail elderly and disabled adults maintain independent living, as well as connection to our community.  Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers (Caregivers) offers support to adults who are unable to use public transportation services for everything from medical appointments, cancer treatments, grocery shopping and prescription pick up to food pickup from Loudoun Hunger Relief, errands, voting and non-medical needs. Continue Reading…

August 10, 2017

Friends of Loudoun Mental Health Keep Homelessness at Bay

Mental illness can create a dark time for those who suffer from it, as well as their family and friends, so the Friends of Loudoun Mental Health has worked hard for more than 60 years to “drive back the darkness afflicting so many of our fellow citizens in Loudoun County,” according to its website. The Friends, as they refer to themselves, have created a vital program for preventing homelessness, as well as meeting multiple needs of residents disabled by and recovering from persistent mental illness.
Continue Reading…

August 3, 2017

AART Makes Preschool Possible for At-Risk Children

Last year, 18 percent of kindergarteners in Loudoun County entered school without any preschool education. Publicly funded preschool programs here are full and have waiting lists, therefore many needy children are simply not served. In Sterling, Va., 59 percent of the Sterling Elementary kindergarten class did not attend preschool, 49 percent did not meet the fall school assessment and, following the first quarter, 43 percent required intervention services.

All Ages Read Together (AART), a 100WomenStrong grant recipient, is working hard to help children like these by offering free preschool programs to at-risk children between the ages of 4 and 5, most of whom are from non-English speaking homes and are from low- to moderate-income families. Research has shown that participation in high-quality early education programs not only improves early literacy and math skills, but also is associated with better academic performance in the primary grades and beyond. Continue Reading…

July 27, 2017

Loudoun Nonprofit Provides “Heeling” With Therapy Dogs

Heeling House, Inc., based in Sterling, Va., works to improve the lives of children with special needs through animal-assisted interactions. The nonprofit organization, a new 100WomenStrong grant recipient this year, provides animal-assisted therapy (AAT) to children with social, emotional or anxiety-driven challenges; children with physical disabilities; and children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

In 2015, its first full year of operation, Heeling House had eight Therapy Animal Teams that served more than 550 clients in Loudoun County Public Schools and local therapeutic centers. Last year, Heeling House grew to 15 Therapy Animal Teams that provided service to more than 800 across Loudoun County.

The 2017 grant from 100WomenStrong is designed to support the Heeling House’s Animal Assisted Social Skills program, which includes 10 weeks of instruction using therapy animals to help children between the ages of 4 and 14 improve their social skills. One of the biggest challenges that children with ASD face is around social skills; however, research has shown that exposure to social situations and the practice of social skills in a safe and familiar environment can alleviate anxiety.

By the end of June 2018, Heeling House hopes to be serving 80 students each week in its Animal Assisted Social Skills program.

“Heeling House is so grateful and honored to receive a grant from 100WomenStrong that will make it possible for us to offer this new and innovative animal assisted social skills program to children in our community,” said Kathy Benner, Executive Director. “With the number of children diagnosed with ASD rising every year, the need for social skills classes also has increased.

“Research has proven that AAT produces more results than traditional therapies alone, as children are more willing to participate when an animal is integrated into the program. The unconditional love, acceptance and tolerance that the children receive from the dogs in a fun, interactive environment allows them to improve their communication and social skills very quickly,” Benner explained. “We are thrilled that 100WomenStrong believes in and supports our mission, allowing us to bring this much-needed service to our community.”

July 20, 2017

Maternity Coordinator at HealthWorks to Support Healthy Pregnancies

Since 2007, HealthWorks has offered core health care services to primarily low-income underinsured and uninsured individuals, regardless of age or ability to pay in the Loudoun County area.  As a community health center, HealthWorks provides comprehensive quality care to thousands of area residents.
The 100WomenStrong grant recipient is supported by diverse funding sources, including local government, foundation and federal grants, as well as local companies and individuals. This year, 100WomenStrong’s 2017 grant will fund a nurse Maternity Coordinator for pre-natal, post-partum, well visits and family planning services.
The position, which will support women through every step of the journey of creating a family, fits well into HealthWorks’ comprehensive approach to health care. The nonprofit health center creates one complete medical record for each patient that is accessible to all the providers – from dentists to primary care physicians – at the facility in Leesburg.  Offering a wide range of supports in Leesburg makes it easier for patients who may not have transportation to see all their doctors and to have prescriptions filled.
“100WomenStrong has been a leader in the Loudoun community, supporting diverse and innovative programs that improve the health of our community,” said Carol Jameson, MSW, Chief Executive Officer of HealthWorks. “Our Maternity Care Coordination Program brings together a strong group of community partners, including HealthWorks, Inova Loudoun Hospital and the Loudoun County Health Department to ensure our vulnerable pregnant patients have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. We thank 100WomenStrong for its very generous support of this initiative.”
July 13, 2017

Loudoun Nonprofit Helping to Reduce Life’s Strain During Cancer Treatment

Approximately 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, according to Breastcancer.org. Think about how many women you know and consider that statistic. On a positive note, breast cancer rates have been decreasing since the year 2000.

A diagnosis alone can be devastating on many fronts, from emotional to financial. In Loudoun County, the Step Sisters serve breast cancer patients who have been identified by an oncology nurse navigator as those that are struggling in a particular area or areas which may impact or delay their treatment plan. Not all of these patients are financially disadvantaged – some simply do not have outside support (such as a friend to safely drive them to a doctor appointment). On the other hand, some of these patients have been hit hard financially by the disease and need a lot of assistance in a variety of areas.

100WomenStrong’s 2017 grant will allow the Step Sisters to start a crisis fund for cancer patients experiencing extreme financial strain. The group, which was founded in 2005, will use the grant to supplement the practical support services they provide to Northern Virginia patients as they battle the disease.

“Breast cancer hits every patient hard, but for some, the financial impact can be devastating,” according to Ashley Campolattaro, Step Sisters founder and co-executive director, “Some may be forced to make tough choices between medical expenses and basic life needs. The Step Sisters are delighted that this support from 100WomenStrong will allow us to establish a Breast Cancer Crisis Fund to keep patients on their feet, and most importantly, in treatment.”

July 6, 2017

Suicide Prevention Strengthened By Peer-to-Peer Programs

In Virginia, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 15-34 and the third leading cause of death for ages 10-14, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). On average, one person dies by suicide every eight hours in the state.

Here in Loudoun County, teen suicide has risen from an average of one every other year in 2013 to five in 2016 alone, making suicide the leading cause of death for teenagers in our county.  The Ryan Bartel Foundation, recipient of a recent grant from 100Women Strong, is working in Loudoun County Public Schools to try reverse that trend.

According to the Foundation’s founder, Suzie Bartel, research indicates that suicidal youth are less willing to seek help from adults than their non-suicidal peers and instead turn to their friends for help first. Therefore, the chance of success at prevention can be increased by training and encouraging teens to connect with their peers and support them before they reach a crisis.

The Ryan Bartel Foundation leads the We’re All Human committee in individual schools, providing ongoing youth-led, peer-to-peer efforts to promote awareness and support for those dealing with anxiety, depression and suicidal behaviors. Started at Woodgrove High School in 2015, the We’re All Human program is supported by an evidence-led, nationally recognized training program called Sources of Strength, in which students learn to develop resilience, coping skills and help-seeking behaviors that build protective norms. Trained peer leaders then help other students who are struggling, connecting them to the help they need and reducing the number of students in crisis.

The Foundation is currently working with six high schools where their active We’re All Human student groups range from 30-90 students who are empowered to engage with peers through their activities, campaigns and events. By working with these students, the Foundation expects to reach approximately 10,000 students in these schools.

With the recent 100WomenStrong grant, The Ryan Bartel Foundation is planning to expand its outreach to even more students in Loudoun County as they continue their work to prevent youth suicide. Their goal is to increase services to an additional two high schools and expand their reach to approximately 13,000 students in the coming year.

“The Ryan Bartel Foundation is truly honored and grateful to receive a grant from 100WomenStrong,” said Suzie Bartel. “This grant will help us in our goals to prevent youth suicide and enable us to expand into more schools with the We’re All Human Committee.”

June 29, 2017

EveryMind Supports Veterans With “Serving Together” Program

Approximately 30 percent of U.S. veterans return from service having experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI) during their deployment, and 20 percent experience symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after they return home. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 20 veterans die by suicide in the United States every day.

Here in Loudoun County, almost 20,000 veterans cope with these issues along with a lack of understanding of the trauma they experienced during deployment and the challenges they face as they return to civilian life.

A 2014 study of Northern Virginia’s veterans found that a lack of coordination between veteran support services organizations kept veterans from accessing those services. EveryMind, an organization that works to strengthen communities and empower individuals to reach optimal mental wellness through advocacy, direct service programs and community education, has been working to change that for veterans in Loudoun County.

To that end, the 2017 100WomenStrong grant recipient will expand upon its Serving Together program, which helps veterans, active duty service members and their families navigate family services, evaluate mental health needs and identify when someone is in crisis.

“We are grateful and deeply honored to receive this grant from 100WomenStrong,” said Serving Together Director Michael Ball, U.S. Air Force (Retired), MBA, “I am committed to reaching out to every veteran in Loudoun County who needs resources and helping connect them to our team of Veteran Peer Navigators to assist them in accessing the benefits and services they have earned.

“Serving Together will continue to work with its partners to create a network of support for county veterans in need, and we are committed to improving veterans’ access to resources for housing, employment, mental health, VA benefits assistance, transportation and much more,” Ball continued. “We are humbled by this opportunity, and deeply committed to serving our fellow veterans, service members and their families.”

June 23, 2017

Nonprofits Partner to Bring Mindfulness to At-Risk Children

Studies have shown that lack of food security or unstable domestic environments can cause stress that affects a child’s entire wellbeing, from education to health. Mindfulness can help children in those at-risk situations reduce stress, regulate emotions and focuths cognitively. First-time 100WomenStrong grant recipient Five Stones Wellness Institute is partnering with former grant recipient INMED Partnership for Children to bring mindfulness to area at-risk children to help them gain greater control of their lives.

Five Stones is a wellness and healing center that bases its methodology on healthful eating, balanced movement, integrative medicine, mindful stress management and interconnected living. Led by Dr. Martha Calihan, Five Stones includes mindfulness as one of its core practices, because the act of focusing on the present moment and accepting it can be critically important in times of stress.

Mindfulness also has been shown to improve physical and emotional symptoms. By bringing mindfulness training to INMED Partnership, Five Stones aims to teach children self-support mechanisms for times of crisis.

The children are learning ways to bring mindfulness into their daily lives through healthy menus and de-stressing techniques, and surveys conducted by INMED program staff show that 75% of the students who use mindfulness techniques demonstrate an ability to calm themselves and regulate their emotions. In addition to working with children in the afterschool program, Five Stones is planning summer mindfulness mini-camps at INMED. Bi-weekly mindfulness sessions will begin in September 2017 and continue through the 2017-2018 school year.

Dr. Calihan appreciates the ability to expand the program, saying, “The Five Stones Institute is thrilled to have been awarded a grant from 100WomenStrong to further our work in bringing the incredible tool of mindfulness to our community and, in particular, to the children at INMED. We believe passionately in the power of mindfulness as a foundational tool in the creation of a healthy lifestyle and in the mitigation of stress.”

 

June 14, 2017

Giving Circles Create a Sum That is Bigger than the Parts

Giving Circles like 100WomenStrong are a form of participatory philanthropy in which groups of individuals donate their own money or time to a pooled fund and decide together which charities or community projects will receive their time or funds. Preliminary results from an upcoming study identify at least 1,300 active giving circles in America, each with their own structure and mission. Some of the larger circles have small chapters or affiliate groups across the nation, taking that number up to more than 1,800, according to a recent news story widely reported across the country.  The study also is expected to show that the number of giving circles have doubled in the United States in the past eight years, and that these circles are more likely to make grants to small nonprofit organizations that are often ignored by traditional philanthropy.  Read the Washington Post article here.

June 9, 2017

New Ag School to Train Next Generation of Agribusiness Leaders

Loudoun County’s agriculture economy includes 1,400 farms and rural businesses, including breweries, wineries and niche farms that offer everything from beef, lamb and poultry to flowers, herbs and even alpaca products, and has an economic impact that exceeds $800 million, according to the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development.
To ensure that the county has experienced leaders to herald our valuable agricultural economy into the future, a group of farmers and rural development leaders has launched the New Ag School (NAS), which received a 2017 grant from 100WomenStrong.
NAS is a hands-on program dedicated to teaching leaders who understand, appreciate and can do the work needed to support agribusiness today and into the future in Loudoun County. NAS provides exposure to authentic farm industry, as well as an introduction of what it takes to run a business – whether a winery, bed and breakfast, or farm. Working side-by-side with a mentor, mentees learn a greater appreciation for all that farmers and rural business owners accomplish for themselves, their businesses and the larger community.
“There is a need for a better-educated pool of workers to support Loudoun’s rural small businesses and that education needs to encompass a variety of specializations,” according to Doug Fabbioli, NAS board member and owner of Fabbioli Cellars.  “The grant from 100WomenStrong will fund the development of educational materials that are unique to Loudoun, where farmers not only grow the crop, but in our direct-to-consumer environment, also must create and serve the fruit of their labor.
“We aim to train up a workforce of all ages and talents who understand our various growing, harvest and tourism seasons and are specifically trained to support agribusiness, from horticulture to management to sales,” he continued. “We can do that now thanks to the support of 100WomenStrong and many others who understand that education doesn’t always take place behind a desk.”
June 1, 2017

Volunteers of America Chesapeake Driving to Fill a Need

Loudoun County has a shuttle system designed to help area homeless to obtain and maintain both employment and housing opportunities that would not be available to them due to lack of reliable transportation. Provided by Volunteers of America Chesapeake (VOAC), a 2017 grant recipient, the goal of the Hope’s Chariot Transportation Program is to help homeless people to increase their stability and self-sufficiency.

VOAC provides health and human services, housing and support to homeless individuals, community organizations, veterans and many others throughout Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.  In 2016, VOAC provided those vital services to more than 4,100 people, including 2,134 homeless individuals and 204 veterans and their families.

Providing transportation services to those in homeless shelters can help not only decrease the length of their stay in shelters, but also can increase their chances for gaining employment and permanent housing.

According to Russell K. Snyder, VOAC President/CEO, “Volunteers of America Chesapeake Inc. is very happy to receive this award from 100WomenStrong. We really appreciate 100WomenStrong sharing our vision of creating more adequate transportation for the most vulnerable people in Loudoun County. This grant will help us continue to provide innovative transportation services to low-income residents of Loudoun County.”

Learn more about VOAC here.

 

May 18, 2017

Volunteer Youth Organization Takes Action in The Community

PASTASince 2013, Loudoun County’s Peers and Students Taking Action (PASTA) have shown that together they can do anything. In the past four years, the student-run volunteer organization has launched 94 projects, from collecting cereal and donations for Loudoun Hunger Relief to creating a “birthdays in a box” for families in need.

PASTA has proven its commitment to helping kids across the community through learning how to run volunteer programs and teaching other teens how to do so, researching the needs of their peers, and acting to fill those needs. This year, 100WomenStrong is proud to support PASTA’s newest project, “Nothing’s ImPASTAble,” a tutoring and mentoring program for 4th and 5th graders, with a $1,500 grant.

“Thanks to 100WomenStrong, we will be able to train and provide materials for our tutors to be used in our Nothing’s ImPASTAble program,” PASTA President Jenna Fortier said. “This tutoring/mentoring program matches high school students with 4th and 5th graders in Loudoun County to provide them with academic support, a boost in self-esteem, and a friendship with a high school mentor. We are so excited to be receiving this grant!”

There are several PASTA chapters, all of which have between 4-8 students who work together to help kids/teens in Loudoun County.  Current PASTA chapters include students from Rock Ridge High School, Stone Bridge High School, Briar Woods High School, Stone Hill Middle School, Trailside Middle School, Eagle Ridge Middle School, and Legacy Elementary School.

Read more at https://www.wearepasta.com.

 

May 4, 2017

Educating America During Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, and this year, Mental Health America is educating people about habits and behaviors that can increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or even could be signs of mental health problems themselves. Risk factors include risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, compulsive buying or excessive spending, marijuana use and excessive exercise. If you know of someone who engages in these risk factors, May might be a good time to let them know about Mental Health America and its Risky Business toolkit for help.

April 27, 2017

Preventing Child Abuse By Identifying Risk Factors

Age and poverty are two of the top risk factors for child abuse, according to long-time 100WomenStrong grant recipient, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS). The group, through its Healthy Families Program, works to halt child abuse and neglect, as well as to prevent its occurrence in the first place. To help you and others recognize and intervene, Healthy Families shared the following leading risk factors during National Child Abuse Prevention Month:
 

Age: In cases of neglect, younger children are more at risk because they are less likely to be able to defend themselves, speak up for themselves or remove themselves from harm’s way. In cases of sexual abuse, risk increases with the child’s age.

Learning disability, congenital anomaly, or chronic or recurrent illness: Challenges such as these make physical and emotional abuse and neglect more common.

Poverty and/or financial hardship: High stress takes a severe toll on parents’ ability to tolerate frustration. In addition, working long hours — a common result of working multiple jobs — can impede parents’ awareness of their child’s emotional well-being or whether there is abuse occurring when the child is under someone else’s care.

Another family member is experiencing domestic violence: In 30 to 60 percent of families where spousal abuse takes place, child maltreatment also occurs.

You can help children in your community:

  • Be a friendly face and a source of encouragement for children in your neighborhood.
  • Offer to babysit for a neighbor or friend, especially if they seem stressed. All parents need support.
  • Become a mentor— formally or informally — to a child or to another parent.

Reporting abuse when you suspect it is the primary way to combat child abuse.

April 20, 2017

100WomenStrong awards $193,700 to 20 local nonprofits

April 20, 2017 Loudoun Times-Mirror

100WomenStrong Earmarks $193,700 for 2017 Grant Funding for 20 Loudoun County Nonprofits

The rain held off Wednesday evening, April 19th, long enough for us to honor our 2017 grant recipients at Shoe’s Cup & Cork in Leesburg! We were thrilled to announce that 20 Loudoun County nonprofit organizations will share $193,700 to help support shelter, health, hunger and education programs. These grants take our donations to more than $1.3 million over the past nine years!

Read More:  Loudoun Times-Mirror, Loudoun Now, Loudoun Tribune

 

 

April 18, 2017

Working to Reduce the Stigma of Being Hungry

Children who are hungry during the school day have enough stress without fearing they will not receive lunch if they cannot pay for it or their parents have a debt with the cafeteria. Unfortunately, in many states, that is a real fear. In Colorado, a cafeteria worker was fired allegedly for feeding a first-grade student who didn’t have lunch money.  In Pennsylvania, a school worker quit after she said she had to take away hot meals from two students. Things are changing, however, in New Mexico, where a Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act recently became law. The Bill of Rights requires that all students have access to the same lunch, regardless of ability to pay. It was spearheaded by a legislator who wanted to end practices, such as throwing away lunches if a student can’t pay or requiring students to do chores to work off debt. This Bill of Rights was personal to him, because he grew up mopping cafeteria floors to earn his school lunch, as well as befriending cafeteria workers so he wouldn’t have to go hungry. Here in Loudoun County Schools, the number of students eligible for free or reduced lunch rose from 12,541 in 2013/2014 to 13,529 in 2016/2017. This is why programs like the Backpack Coalition, a 100WomenStrong long-term initiative, is important for our students. It helps support food insecure students by providing healthy weekend nutrition for them in a way that doesn’t stigmatize them. Read about the Bill of Rights here:http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/04/11/523312769/lawmakers-childhood-experience-drives-new-mexicos-lunch-shaming-ban

 

 

 

April 11, 2017

Loudoun County Agencies & Nonprofits Highlight Area Needs and Outline Recommendations for Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month, and area nonprofits and county agencies are putting the focus on ways to detect and intervene on behalf of area children. This is an important initiative, given that between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, there were 1,355 children involved in valid cases of child abuse and neglect in Loudoun County. A report spearheaded by 100WS grant recipient Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), highlighted dichotomies in Loudoun County – such as median household incomes that are more than double the national average, while one out of 25 school-age children in the country lives in poverty. Called Resilient Children, Resilient Loudoun!, the report was created by the Loudoun County Partnership for Resilient Children & Families Steering Committee, which includes 100WomenStrong grant recipients HealthWorks, INMED Partnerships for Children, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) Loudoun Child Advocacy Center, and county agencies and public service organizations. They explored the changes that have taken place that are impacting families and explored recommendations for how to:

  • Increase community outreach to underserved and isolated families in Loudoun County;
  • Make supports and services more accessible to parents;
  • Improve and increase reporting of children in danger of abuse or neglect; and
  • Increase funding and support for Loudoun County human service providers.

 

 

 

April 4, 2017

County’s Healthy Status May Mask Needs

Loudoun County is Virginia’s healthiest county, according to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s most recent annual rankings. Researchers looked at quality of life, including self-reported claims of poor health on state-based surveys, reports of low birthweight to a national registry and data on the rate of deaths prior to age 75. While this shines a light on another positive about our county, there are still many residents who experience hunger and homelessness, as we have learned from the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties’ Faces of Loudoun campaign. Luckily, many area nonprofits, including 100WS grantees HealthWorks and Loudoun Hunger Relief, are working hard to create better quality of life and health in Loudoun.
March 28, 2017

Children who experience hunger before age 4 lag behind their peers for years

A recent study on hunger shows that a hungry child suffers for years after experiencing the hunger. It also suggests that children who experience food insecurity early in life are more likely to lag behind in social, emotional and to some degree, cognitive skills when they begin kindergarten. In fact, the younger the children were when the family struggled with hunger, the stronger the effect on their performance once they started school. For example, children who suffer food insecurity at 9 months old were more likely to have lower reading and math scores in kindergarten than 9-month-olds who didn’t experience food insecurity. Published in the recent Child Development journal, the study reinforces prior research that has shown that children who enter kindergarten behind, stay behind and do not catch up. Food insecurity affects an estimated 13.1 million children live across the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The effect of food insecurity lasts a lifetime.

March 21, 2017

Homelessness A Reality for Many Community College Students

Homelessness and hunger among college students is widespread. It exists in all regions of the country and is not isolated to urban or high-poverty areas, according to a new study of more than 33,000 students at 70 community colleges across the country. The researchers found that 14 percent of respondents were homeless, and one in three were going hungry while pursuing a degree. To make it worse, they found that nearly a third of the students who were going without food or shelter did hold jobs and/or received financial aid. In tandem, many school administrators and policymakers presume that because community colleges cost a fraction of most four-year universities, the costs are easily covered.

March 7, 2017

Faces of Loudoun Campaign Seeks to Raise Awareness

The Community Foundation’s (CF) “Faces of Loudoun” campaign kicked off recently, and 100WomenStrong, a grantor to and partner of CF, is proud to support it. The idea came from a study that showed that Loudoun residents donate under 2 percent of their discretionary income to charity – less than in neighboring counties and the rest of the United States. This may seem surprising as Loudoun is one of our nation’s wealthiest counties, but often people who don’t regularly encounter those who are struggling may not understand the extent of need within their community or realize that local non-profits need help addressing those needs. Faces of Loudoun hopes to raise awareness of the real people who are experiencing real need while living and working in Loudoun County and to encourage our more fortunate residents to donate funds to, and volunteer with, our local non-profits.

February 7, 2017

Why Pre-K Education Could Be One of the Best Ways to Reduce Crime

The return on investment in high-quality early-childhood education has as much as a 13-percent return in terms of better education, health and social and economic outcomes for the children who receive it, according to the Heckman Equation’s Lifecyle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program study. According to their findings, the biggest “chunk of the return on investment” is a reduction in crime, especially for males. Learn more about the ROI of early childhood education here.

February 1, 2017

Robin Hood Restaurant Charges for Breakfast & Lunch to Feed the Needy Dinner for Free

In Madrid, the most sought-after lunch reservation is at the city’s Robin Hood restaurant, at which proceeds from both lunch and breakfast are used to serve dinner to more than 100 homeless people, free of charge, every night. It is so popular that lunches are fully booked for months in advance! In addition to feeling great about helping the dinner guests, who are still suffering from the country’s recent recession and high unemployment rates, those who pay for lunch and breakfast enjoy meals made by celebrity chefs, who contribute their culinary fare once each week. The restaurant was started by a priest, who opened it to give homeless in Madrid the opportunity to “… eat with the same dignity as any other customer and with the same quality, with glasses made of crystal, not plastic, and in an atmosphere of friendship and conversation.”  Read the full article here.

January 31, 2017

Impoverished Children Often Grow into Adulthood with Both Physical and Psychological Problems

Research shows that poor children grow up to have a host of physical and psychological problems as adults, according to research from Cornell University and others. Cornell’s study – which lasted for 15 years – showed that impoverished children in the study had more antisocial conduct such as aggression and bullying, and increased feeling of helplessness, than kids from middle-income backgrounds.   However, early intervention to prevent some issues associated with poverty could help. Read the full article, including some potential solutions from Cornell’s researchers, here.

January 17, 2017

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Needs Your Vote

Former 100WomenStrong grant recipient Blue Ridge Area Food Bank could use an assist from Loudoun County residents to win $100,000 (which equals 400,000 meals!). Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has been chosen as a recipient charity in the 2017 Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge by UVA Men’s Basketball Coach, Tony Bennett. If he gets the winning number of votes, our area food bank and residents win too! Vote for Coach Bennett at www.espn.com/Infiniti and help #solvehunger in Loudoun County!

January 10, 2017

NAMI Northern Virginia Creating Safe Places for Area Residents to Discuss Mental Health Conditions

According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 43.8 million adults in America experience mental illness in a given year. For many chronic sufferers, onset begins by the age of 14. Here in Loudoun County, mental illness and the resulting addictive behaviors and teen suicides has become an alarming, urgent and growing problem.

Despite the prevalence of mental illness, many sufferers feel uncomfortable discussing it and may fear seeking treatment because of stigma attached to it. The NAMI Northern Virginia chapter is working hard to change that through its peer-to-peer mental health education programs for youth and high-school aged children, as well as its Connection recovery support group and Ending the Silence presentations.

NAMI programs are designed to reach every resident of Loudoun who may be living with a mental health condition, according to NAMI Northern Virginia President & CEO Jeanne Comeau. The nonprofit received a 2016 grant from 100WomenStrong for a series of its 10-week-long peer-to-peer classes specifically for Loudoun County locations. The classes are led by presenters who are living with a mental health condition and/or have been through the experience of hospitalization. Attendees often are coming out of a hospitalization, and the sessions are a follow up to in-patient treatment. The 100WomenStrong grant also supported the training of additional leaders and expanding the program in Loudoun County.

“During the programs, our presenters share, ‘Here’s where I started. I was in a very dark place; maybe even in the hospital like you. I recognized my condition and got treatment, developed some coping strategies. Here are my successes, hopes and dreams,’” Comeau explained.

“For someone who lives with a mental health condition, it can be a hopeful and inspiring experience to hear from others. Honestly, many think, ‘I am never going to be able to do what I want to do,’ but they hear otherwise from our presenters.”

Comeau said that raising awareness is critical because so many have preconceived notions of what mental illness looks like.

“Our programs are designed to give people a window into someone’s life, to help normalize mental health conditions and help people feel more comfortable,” she explained. “We hope our participants come away realizing, ‘Oh, you can have live with a mental health condition and still be working or go to college.’ Wherever you are, you can move toward wellness.”

The power behind the NAMI programs is that people are sharing personal stories and there is an opportunity for the audience to ask questions afterward to feel like they understand that experience a little better.

“Peer-to-peer classes are very welcoming and feel like a safe space,” Comeau explained. “Participants call it a powerful experience, because during the 10-week session, they grow and bond with the group. People who were formerly very isolated and didn’t have a community at all suddenly have peer support, are learning real, tangible recovery skills, and have learned how to build a recovery plan /crisis plan.

“They then can build on their recovery,” she explained. “The grant is more powerful because when we identify new leaders, we train them and then they are able to reach another 20 people. This helps us reach more people in Loudoun County with education, ongoing engagement and support.”

Comeau also shared a testimony from a Peer-to-Peer leader who had experienced the program after a hospitalization.

“The leaders inspired me to believe again that it is possible to live a full and meaningful life while having a mental health diagnosis. I learned so much from the recovery process and found support from my peers, who also took the class.

“I became certified to lead group classes and have shared my story dozens of times, including at the high school I graduated from. My proudest moment was standing up and speaking at the same hospital where I was a victim inpatient. It’s hard to express what the experience meant for my own recovery and also to the patients who heard my story.”

NAMI Northern Virginia is a place where “individuals living with a mental health condition … and the Northern Virginia community find education, support and HOPE!”, Comeau says, adding that the 100WomenStrong grant helped them further these efforts and helped them to provide a “nice safety net” for Loudoun County residents.

December 12, 2016

100WomenStrong Member Receives SCAN’s 2016 Cleary Award

Congratulations to Leana Katz for her recent honor from SCAN, a 100WS grant recipient, at its 14th Annual Toast to Hope fundraiser. Leana received the 2016 Cleary Award for her volunteerism as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and her support of SCAN and its work in the community. Leana has been a CASA Volunteer for almost a decade and has advocated for 13 abused and neglected children in that time. She also serves on SCAN’s Board Development Committee and is a founding member of SCAN’s Council of Young Professionals. Read the article here.

 

 

December 5, 2016

Inova Loudoun Hospital Receives Generous Donation for Heart Center

Inova Loudoun Hospital, a past 100WomenStrong grant recipient, received the largest single gift in the hospital’s history, courtesy of Fred Schaufeld and 100WomenStrong members Karen and Bobbi Schaufeld. The gift is for expansion of the Schaufeld Family Heart Center, a top-tier cardiovascular facility that offers percutaneous coronary intervention, cardiac catheterization, stress testing, peripheral angioplasty, stenting and many other services. The expansion will include expanding their offerings to include vascular surgery, upgrading existing procedure rooms and adding procedure rooms, a new lab and a new nurse’s station. Leesburg family gives $5 million gift to Inova Loudoun Hospital

November 23, 2016

Loudoun Education Foundation and Backpack Coalition Thank Volunteers

This Thanksgiving, the LEF/LCPS Backpack Coalition, funded by 100WS, thanks the volunteers who help pack meals for 1094 food-insecure LCPS students every week. Volunteers include many retired teachers who unload the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank delivery truck every Tuesday and then pack family-style meals for students at 23 LCPS schools.  The volunteers celebrated with Barb Mendoza, who leads the Backpack Coalition program, on Tuesday with lunch at Shoe’s Cup and Cork in Leesburg.
November 10, 2016

Youth Sports Offer Multiple Benefits, But Many Kids Can’t Afford to Play. Learn How a Gaithersburg, MD, Volunteer Coach is Leveling the Playing Field

Research shows that participation in youth sports improves physical and mental health and lowers crime and teen pregnancy rates. However, increasing prices are keeping lower income children from participating in some leagues. To solve that problem for kids in Gaithersburg, Maryland, a volunteer baseball convinced Gaithersburg officials to amend their fee-waiver process by eliminating forms and creating a simple checkbox to request waiver of fees. The result? Participation by children who attend high-poverty schools shot up increased almost 80 percent.  Read the full article here.

November 2, 2016

Changing the Conversation about Poverty and Inequality:  It Starts With Compassion and Kindness

Excerpts from an opinion piece by Karen Weese (Salon)

Fifty-seven percent of the families below the poverty line in the United States are working families with jobs that just don’t pay enough. They are childcare workers, janitors, house cleaners, lawn-service workers, bus drivers, hospital aides, waitresses, nursing home employees, security guards, cafeteria workers and cashiers. They are the people who keep society humming along for everybody else.

In addition to low wages, they often don’t garner much respect and are treated as replaceable, invisible or both. For example, Princeton University researchers showed two groups the same video of a little girl answering questions about school subjects. They told the first group that her parents were affluent professionals and told the second group that she was the daughter of a meat packer and a seamstress. The girl performed at grade level, answering some questions correctly and missing others.  When asked about her performance, the group who believed she was wealthy felt she had performed above grade level.  The second group, which believed otherwise, felt she had performed below grade level.

Sometimes we see what we’re looking for …and what we’re looking for changes based on the context.  There are many prescriptions for combating poverty, but we can’t even get started unless we first examine our assumptions, and take the time to envision what the world feels like for families living in poverty every day.”

 

Compassion is a skill that we get better at with practice.”  Karen Armstrong, Theologian

October 27, 2016

Deputies Train to Spot Mental Disabilities to Avoid Tragedies

More than 60 percent of Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office employees – from dispatchers to deputies –have received Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to help them to spot a person with mental disabilities, from autism and post-traumatic stress disorder to traumatic brain injury. CIT helps them to better communicate and possibly de-escalate situations before they can become violent. Training included site visits to Inova Loudoun Behavioral Services, the homeless shelter,  past 100WomenStrong grant recipient Paxton Campus, and other locations.  Read the article here.

October 24, 2016

Living in America’s Wealthiest and Happiest County Can Create Additional Pressures For Teens

Along with living in one of the best areas in America comes very high expectations for residents, including the “peer pressure” to keep up with wealth and success of friends and neighbors. This push for perfection is creating additional stress for Loudoun teens, according to Loudoun County Public Schools’ supervisor of diagnostic and prevention services, and may be contributing to our county’s high teen suicide rate. Parents, teachers and administrators recently met to discuss strategies to mitigate this stress and help children and teens develop higher self-esteem and better coping skills. The school district is drafting a strategic plan for suicide prevention and overall student safety that will include school-based mental health services and will address suicide prevention, bullying prevention and behavior intervention.  Read more here.

October 18, 2016

100WomenStrong opens grant process

October 18, 2016 Loudoun Times-Mirror

October 11, 2016

Education Foundation Raises $100,000+ at Golf Tournament

The Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF), a 100WS partner and grant recipient, recently raised a record $105,000 at its annual Golf Classic. Close to 40% of the funds raised will go directly to teacher classroom grants,. The tournament is LEF’s biggest fundraiser and helps the nonprofit fulfill its mission to enhance the quality of education in Loudoun County Public Schools by supporting projects that stimulate students’ curiosity and create exceptional learning opportunities.  Read more here.

October 5, 2016

Musical Touring Loudoun County Schools Addresses Suicide Prevention

Former 100WS grant recipient A Place to Be has created a new rock opera, “A WILL to Survive,” to reach teenagers through relatable music and lyrics portraying everyday obstacles and pressures students face, as well as what it’s like to feel depressed and unable to fit in. The new opera is based upon a letter by the parents of Will Robinson, an LCPS student who died from suicide in early 2016. Robinson’s mother, Anne-Charlotte Robinson, is performing in the musical and does so to honor her son. The rock opera will be performed at every LCPS middle school and high school by Spring 2018 as part of A Place to Be’s Same Sky project.

October 3, 2016

Loudoun Board of Supervisors Looking to Ease Restrictive Affordable Housing Program

Loudoun County’s Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) program has conflicted with state and federal standards for years, effectively shutting area developers out of affordable housing grants that would make it easier for them to build more affordable housing for future residents. In fact, 100WS grant recipient Windy Hill Foundation research shows that it has received the only funding that Loudoun has been awarded in housing grants since 2006, and this was less than 5% of the total funds awarded to Northern Virginia/DC suburbs. Luckily for affordable housing proponents, the Board of Supervisors has agreed to look to amend county regulations to take advantage of millions of dollars offered by the Commonwealth and federal government programs.  Read more here.

September 26, 2016

Should the County Level the Playing Field for Grants?

The Board of Supervisors’ Finance Committee has recommended changes to the way the County awards grants to nonprofits.  Proposed changes include implementing a simplified process that would reward the highest scoring nonprofits in a given category, and eliminating both consideration of grants given in previous year and a cap on grants to first time applicants. The Board of Supervisors will vote on committee recommendations in November.  Read the full article here.

September 19, 2016

ARC of Loudoun’s Paxton Campus Offers Safe, Accepting Community Within a Community

by Margaret Brown

When most Loudoun County residents think of Paxton Manor in Leesburg, they think of “Shocktober”, which many describe as the best haunted house in Northern Virginia. The Manor and Shocktober may be the most well-known, but they are certainly not the only thing that Paxton Campus is home to on its 16.75 acres.

Rather, Shocktober is just the biggest of hundreds of events that take place at ARC dsc_0021of Loudoun, which calls the Paxton Campus home, throughout the year. From educating children in three different schools and helping people with disabilities create and launch new businesses or find jobs in the community to art classes, adaptive yoga classes and training about people with disabilities for local law enforcement, ARC of Loudoun provides daily support for the disabled in our community and the community as a whole.

Jennifer Lassiter, ARC Executive Director, who gave 100WomenStrong member Kim Wagner a tour of the facility recently, shared that there is so much going on at Paxton that it is hard to keep track of it all.

In fact, the ARC of Loudoun is the only full-service organization of its kind in Loudoun County that offers an integrated, innovative and safe environment for people with disabilities to learn and grow from childhood to adulthood, becoming contributing members of society. ARC moved to Paxton in 2009 and has continually worked to renovate the 11 buildings on campus.

The first renovation was the Aurora School, ARC’s largest program of the five they offer. Aurora School is licensed by the Virginia Departdsc_0011ment of Education and provides a caring and quality educational community for individuals with special needs from elementary school through high school. With nine board certified behavior analysts for the 35 students, including speech pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and music therapists, Lassiter was Aurora’s first volunteer director and was instrumental in its development and design.

The other 10 buildings at Paxton house include: the Open Doodsc_0009r Leaning Center preschool, an inclusive school for children of all abilities; the Paxton “Attraction,” a store run by adults with disabilities; Maggie’s Closet, a store run by adults with disabilities that offers free clothing to those in need; A Life Like Yours (ALLY) Advocacy Center, at which ongoing programs are made available for free to any member of the community to educate, inform and support those with disabilities and their families and caretakers; and STEP Up, ARC’s vocational training program for adults with disabilities.

ARC accomplishes its myriad programs through support from local neighborhoods fundraising drives, Shocktober and grants from local, regional and national funding sources. 100WomenStrong granted funds to ARC in 2010 and 2013 for its Next Chapter Book Club and for classroom and playground equipment for the schools on the property.

The Next Chapter Book Club provides adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to read, discuss books and make friends in a fun community setting, and, according to Lassiter, is the only one of its kind in Loudoun County.

Next Chapter is led by Jennifer Alves, receptionist at ARC administrative offices. Alves has survived brain cancer three times since her childhood and experiences visual and memory impairments as a result. She is a writer and artist and recently made a presentation in Chicago about Next Chapter to groups interested in replicating the book club’s success.

“We meet every other Monday night at Rust Library, and the library says that we are the strongest book club they have ever seen!” Alves shared. She said the group tries other locations, but have settled at Rust because it offers privacy.

“Our members enjoy Rust, because they have a private space where they can be goofy and not be watched,” Alves said, “where we can share stories and cry and laugh with each other.”

Next Chapter is three years old and has between eight to 15 members, “depending on whether members can get a ride to and from because a lot of us, including myself, are mobility challenged,” Alves continued.

The club used the Illustrated Classics because they are large print books with illustrations that allow non-readers to follow the story. “We have been on the high seas” for the past year and a half,” she said, “We love pirates, we love captains, we love Treasure Island.”

Lassiter and Alves said they have found that young men with disabilities are drawn to Next Chapter and other Paxton social clubs, because they offer a place to go, people to talk to and having a good time.

From Next Chapter, to Maggie’s Closet and dance, music and yoga therapy, ARC of Loudoun has a bustling community at Paxton that reaches way beyond its most popular landmark – Paxton Manor – and its boundaries into the greater Loudoun community.

Exploring the “Why?” of Nonprofit Collaboration

In theory, two or more nonprofits working together to achieve common goals is a good thing, right?  In practice, it can be much more complicated. Collaborative partnerships can produce an array of benefits, but they also take enormous effort. Senior Research Manager of La Piana Consulting, Melissa Mendes Campos asks the question “Why Collaborate?” in her blog on Philanthropy News Digest. The author explains what collaboration means and outlines how alliances and strategic restructuring fit into the mix.  “Knowing why you want to pursue a partnership is critical not only in terms of guiding you to the right what and how, but also for ensuring that the effort is worth everyone’s while.” Read the full article here.

September 18, 2016

KME.Digital Donates New Website to 100WomenStrong

by Margaret Brown

100WomenStrong has launched a newly designed, easier to navigate website, thanks to KME.Digital. The KME team, led by owner and co-founder, Kelly McLaughlan, has been working with our Outreach committee for several months to create a new look and structure for our website, the first new design for us since our launch in 2008.

Kelly McLaughlan

KME (Kelly McLaughlan Enterprises) was the first focused web design, marketing technology and digital media agency in Loudoun County. Since 2005, the agency has helped hundreds of local and regional businesses find customers and success on the Internet, while promoting and stewarding the County’s online brand presence for civic, nonprofit and economic development purposes.

“Raising four children in the Google and Facebook age led me to partner in a small business for computer and online safety training for kids – and thereafter to the need for marketing this business on the Internet,” McLaughlan said. “I became a Google-certified consultant in 2006, and now our agency is a fully-certified Google partner. My partner and I lead an agency of seven, and we specialize in helping organizations of all sizes find, reach and engage customers or constituents through digital media.”

Graphic designer, Krishna Jeyakumar was the design lead for the new 100WS website and came to KME.Digital as part of the internship program. She is a digital game design & technology student at George Mason University, as well as a lab mentor and teaching assistant in the Mason Game & Technology Institute.

Krishna Jeyakumar

According to McLaughlan, KME has a revolving pool of interns, mostly from George Mason University and the Mason Enterprise Center.

“These fantastic students are motivated, interested and adept digital natives, who learn a lot about business marketing, technologies and processes from both our leadership and daily customer interactions,” she said. “They’re also very creative with unique school experiences.”

KME.Digital has grown since its launch in 2005, but stays true to its roots in Northern Virginia.  “I find a lot of inspiration comes from the other small business owners I’m able to help,” she explained. “Every small business owner or nonprofit leader in Northern Virginia has a truly unique and inspiring story, as well as a heroic struggle to create something, find customers and make a living for themselves and their employees.”

100WomenStrong thanks KME.Digital, in particular Kelly and Krishna, for all the hours donated toward creating our fantastic new website.

September 13, 2016

Whirlpool Helps Clean up Chronic Absenteeism at 17 Schools in Missouri & California

Millions of American children miss at least 15 days of school a year because of sickness, lack of interest, family responsibilities or even drug abuse. But there’s another reason – cleanliness.  When kids don’t have clean clothes, they are often too embarrassed to attend school. Whirlpool helped lower chronic absenteeism by donating washers and dryers to 17 schools in two school districts in St. Louis, MO, and Fairfield, CA, through its Care Counts program. Students brought in any laundry they could fit into a single bag as often they needed, and parents or teachers washed & dried the clothes for them for free.

The result for those who used the service?

  • More than 90% of students attended more oftenthan they did before the program began
  • More than 89% of students participated more in class, 
  • 95% interacted with their peers more, and
  • Almost all of them were reported as being more motivated.

Maybe it’s time for washers & dryers in some of our Loudoun County Public Schools?  Read the full article here.

 

September 12, 2016

Did you know? More than 6 million kids are missing 15 days or more of school a year.

Chronic absenteeism rates are highest in high school: more than 2 million high school students are missing 15 days or more. The figures for minority students are even more alarming: More than 20 percent of black high school students are chronically absent. It’s 20 percent for Latino high school students and 27 percent for American Indians and Native Alaskans.

Source:  http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/06/10/480181439/more-than-6-million-u-s-students-are-chronically-absent

August 12, 2016

YMCA Set to Open First Loudoun Location in Sterling

After two decades in Loudoun County, the YMCA will finally have its own dedicated building.  The new Youth Day Center on West Church Road in Sterling will open on August 29.   For many years, the YMCA has been operating its programs and services for students at Loudoun County Public Schools’ locations. The new building offers the chance for the YMCA to provide daycare, preschool and Kindergarten enrichment programs, as well as health education and educational opportunities for families.  Along with these new programs, the YMCA will continue to offer after school programs in select Loudoun County Schools.

August 11, 2016

Record Fundraising Achieved In Drive For Charity

Traffic can be annoying, but during this year’s Dulles Greenway Drive for Charity held earlier this month, it proved very rewarding for some local charities and LCPS scholarship winners. The event raised a record $331,000 for six Loudoun charitable organizations, including 100WS grant recipients Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) and Loudoun Free Clinic. Thank you Loudoun County drivers for your generosity!

Hunger Gap Filled By LIR And R.O.C.K.

About 13,000 Loudoun County students qualify for free or reduced breakfast/lunch, but miss out on those meals during the summer. To fill that hunger gap while school is not in session, 100WS grant recipient Loudoun Interfaith Relief (LIR) has partnered with the Town of Leesburg’s R.O.C.K. (Recreation Outreach to Community Kids) program to take breakfast and snacks to children 18 and under in their neighborhoods through August 18.  Read more here.

August 10, 2016

HealthWorks For Northern Virginia: A Holistic Approach

By Margaret Brown

 

In May 2007, HealthWorks began offering core health care services to primarily low-income underinsured and uninsured individuals, regardless of age or ability to pay.  Since then, more than 20,800 patients have received comprehensive quality care at HealthWorks.  As a community health center, HealthWorks is supported by diverse funding sources, including local government, foundation and federal grants, as well as the generosity of the local community, accepting  donations from individuals and other private organizations.

HealthWorks has received multiple grants from 100WomenStrong since 2009.  These grants have fulfilled varying needs for the organization, including the purchase of a new pediatric ultrasound machine, specialized pediatric dental equipment and furniture and comprehensive dental care for low-income children and elderly who have no insurance.  In addition to its full-service dental facility, HealthWorks offers primary care, gynecology, nutrition and behavioral healthcare, including psychiatry, all  located on one site in Leesburg. While Medicare and Medicaid patients are accepted at HealthWorks, Medicare doesn’t cover dental care, creating a barrier for many elderly county residents.Carol Jameson, MSW, Chief Executive Officer of HealthWorks, explained that oral health is an integral part of primary healthcare.  There is a correlation between oral health disease and diabetes and other ailments, which makes access to quality dental care important to those who may have a compromised physical health status. HealthWorks takes a comprehensive approach to health care. The nonprofit community health center creates one complete medical record for each patient.“Each caregiver only has to access one record to understand the overall health of the patient, what medicines he or she is taking, etc.,” she said. “Integrated healthcare is especially important when you have patients who haven’t had experience with the American healthcare system or don’t speak English well. With one record accessible to all providers, they can see what others are doing and can tell if a patient has followed up with another area of care when it is recommended.”

Offering a wide range of support in its Leesburg location makes it easier for patients who may not have transportation to see other doctors or visit the dental program when it is prescribed. “A primary care physician may realize a patient is in a situation that is impacting his or her emotional health,” Jameson explained. “We try to make it easy for therapists see the patient in the exam room at that time. We take a holistic approach.”  HealthWorks is also proud to provide office space, at no charge, for one of Loudoun’s WIC (Women, Infants & Children) centers All Ages Read Together and Loudoun Literacy are able to offer their programs at Healthworks as well.

“It may not appear like it from Loudoun County neighborhoods, but there is a great deal of need here.  Grants from local funding sources, such as 100WomenStrong, are vital  for our ability to meet growing needs in our community. We strive to ensure that lack of financial resources  is not a barrier to care for our patients.”

HealthWorks serves community residents of all ages, and its top three diagnoses are diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.  “If you are working two or three jobs, the likelihood that you are going to have the time or energy to cook a lot of fresh vegetables may be slim,” Jameson explained. “We keep the financial picture – and the stresses it can create – in mind when we work with patients. We also keep the cultural picture in mind, because they may come from an area where there was no access to healthcare at all or where they took very different approaches.”

Jameson said that HealthWorks strives to work with other organizations such as Loudoun Free Clinic and Inova Loudoun Hospital to identify and remove barriers to better health for Loudoun County citizens.

“When we work with other groups, we can help create a holistic solution that will – hopefully – prepare individuals them for a better future,” she said. “What if we brought in English classes and job training? Then, over a few years, the patient improves his or her job status, goes from two jobs to one and has time for walking or cycling in the evening.

“Doing things like that, we can move beyond collaboration and have a collective impact that will better serve our community.”

100WomenStrong Surpasses $1.1 Million in Funding For Loudoun County Nonprofits With 2016 Grant Cycle

Loudoun County-based 100WomenStrong, which seeks to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents, has topped $1 million in giving toward food, housing, healthcare and education for thousands  in just seven years. With its 2016 announcement of $221,165 in funding for 15 organizations, 100WomenStrong will have donated $1,127,502.00 since its inception. Founded by Karen G. Schaufeld in late 2008, the group started with 13 members and granted $28,600 in 2009. According to Schaufeld, the group shared a passion for giving and recognized the significant difference they could make in the community by combining financial strength and leadership skills. She championed the idea of building a lasting charitable endeavor that would be well known and active in the community for years to come.Read the full press release here.

AART And LLC Utilize 100WS Grant To Empower Families

By Margaret Brown

 All Ages Read Together (AART) and Loudoun Literacy Council (LLC) have created a new program to improve the literacy of entire families in Loudoun County. Both organizations are repeat 100WomenStrong grant recipients due to their innovative approach to helping county residents solve problems in the areas of literacy and school readiness.

As the groups pointed out in their grant proposal, according to Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), 16% of the county’s school-aged children are economically disadvantaged, and a long-term impact of child poverty is lower educational attainment.
To alleviate some of the issues created by the impact of poverty on children and their families, the groups created a joint program, funded by 100Women Strong, that serve the families of children participating in AART’s free pre-school readiness program held at HealthWorks.

Sandra Shihadeh, AART president and co-founder, explained that teachers and volunteers noticed how often families, particularly mothers, were staying at a location and waiting while their children participated in AART activities.

“These families are so dedicated, they will walk in the snow or rain to be here,” Shihadeh said. “Some of them had to walk so far that if they tried to go home, they would just have to turn right back around to pick up their child. As a result, we had moms, as well as younger siblings, who would wait for the program to finish.

“One of our former teachers took note, and we discussed approaching them to see if they would be interested in learning better English skills while their children were in AART. There was an overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response,” Shihadeh said.
In stepped the LLC to provide these families with free Adult Literacy ESL classes that take place while their children participate in AART.

“Our ultimate goal is to improve the literacy of entire families, empowering them to reach their full potential within the Loudoun County community,” Leslie Mazeska, LLC Executive Director, shared. “To break the intergenerational cycle of illiteracy, it is important to serve not only the youngest children within the families, but to improve and increase literacy services for adult family members and older siblings of these children as well. Making classes as accessible as possible for parents to attend increases the likelihood that participants will stick with it and see positive results.”

The goals of the joint AART/LLC project include:

  1. Improving literacy skills for children and adult family members of the children in the AART program;
  2. Encouraging at least 60% of participants achieve at least one personal literacy related goal (e.g.  obtain a driver’s license, complete a job application, etc.);
  3. Accomplishing a 75% increase in time reading and other literacy activities for these families, and;
  4. Increasing book ownership for adults and children in the program.

Shihadeh feels that AART and LLC have created a winning strategy to help solve literacy problems in our community.  “We are making positive changes with our joint efforts thanks in large part to the funding support of 100WomenStrong” she said.

Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers Play Key Role In Community

by Margaret Brown

Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers (LVC) plays a vital role in the lives of those who are frail, elderly, sick or food insecure in our county by providing volunteers who take them to doctor’s appointments, visit with them or ensure they receive food on a regular basis. The four primary programs that LVC offers are free to those who receive their services. They include: 1. Food delivery – In conjunction with Loudoun Interfaith Relief, LVC helps identify those who are food insecure and need supplemental food, but cannot make it to the food pantry. Once Loudoun Interfaith Relief accepts the person(s) into the program, LVC assigns a volunteer who picks up and delivers food twice per month. From January 1 – June 30, 2015, LVC made 809 deliveries for Loudoun Interfaith Relief.
2. Grocery shopping – For those who are not food insecure, but are frail, elderly or disabled, LVC volunteers assist with grocery shopping. The volunteer either takes the care receiver shopping or does the shopping for him or her, depending on the situation.
3. Money management – LVC helps people who cannot manage their finances, primarily Social Security payments.
4. Other types of errands – From 60 to 65 percent of LVC services are transportation to and from  doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, chemotherapy, dialysis or other appointments.“The people we serve may be lonely or isolated, so a volunteer may take the care receiver to get a haircut or to lunch,” said Susan Mandel Giblin, executive director of LVC. “The grants, such as the one from 100WomenStrong are vital to helping us to meet that need.”This year, 100WomenStrong provided $15,000 to LVC to expand delivery of food and services. Mandel Giblin said that they have used the funds to help grow the number of people they support with services from 55 per month to 63 per month.

“Our mission is to help people stay in their own homes as long as possible,” she explained. “They may live in a senior living community, or have their own apartment or home, but cannot get to the doctor, get to the grocery store or get to Loudoun Interfaith Relief’s pantry by themselves.”

She explained that LVC tries to keep volunteer recruitment and growth at the same levels as growth in care receivers.  “We currently have approximately 260 volunteers with a core group of 170 who handle the bulk of the assignments,” Mandel Giblin said. “If we bring in five new care receivers, then we want to bring in five new volunteers so we can ensure ongoing support.”

She went on to explain that the population receiving LVC support is very mobile, meaning they are not necessarily “permanent” recipients of LVC support. As she explained, recipients move, they pass away, they become too frail to live on their own or they no longer are food insecure.

“We could easily support more people if we had more volunteers,” Mandel Giblin explained “For example, over the past six months, we have helped eight different people get to chemotherapy or dialysis treatments. Those visits are three days a week for four hours each treatment, so that amounts to a lot of volunteer hours, a lot of trips and a lot of volunteer miles. We were lucky enough to have 13 volunteers supporting those eight care receivers.”

Mandel Giblin said that LVC strives to get to anyone who has need in Loudoun County, and grants make it possible for them to continue to do so.

“We don’t charge anything for the errands and other services we provide, and we want to be available to anyone in Loudoun County who may need us,” she explained.

It Takes A Community To Educate A Child

By Lena Horn

Fall 2015

Affordable health care, ample food, pre-school, homework help, and transportation are givens for many families, but for those who do not have all these advantages, the children often pay the cost academically. Many schools do not have the financial resources to provide programs and services to tackle these needs. But without them, expect increased absenteeism, behavior issues, and lower grades. One Loudoun-based school principal, Jennifer Scott of Sterling Elementary, is well aware of these challenges and is looking for ways to address her student’s needs. Close to half of the children at Sterling Elementary are on the free or reduced lunch program, a general indicator of overall need. 100WomenStrong members recently met with Principal Scott, and parent liaison, Diana Dorman to discuss the school’s state. The main question: What are their most critical needs? Suzy Quinn, Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation’s executive director joined the meeting to see how Mobile Health could help. And Mary Frances Forcier, communications manager of Loudoun County Public Library came prepared to discuss literacy services. Principal Scott identified reducing the achievement gap as one of their most pressing needs.Having a full belly – which the free and reduced lunch program provides during the week – greatly improves energy and attentiveness of students. And thanks to the generosity of a local sponsor, PalmerCare Chiropractic, and a matching donation from 100WomenStrong, families at Sterling Elementary are getting food for the weekends through the LCPS Backpack Coalition. But there is much more needed for these children to catch up with other students. Early on, this means pre-school. Children who don’t attend pre-school tend to have distinct disadvantages as incoming kindergarteners. Many have not acquired necessary school readiness skills. In addition, some parents may not speak English or are illiterate and thus unable to help their children to read.Another problem is a lack of health insurance. While the school provides basic vision screenings for kindergarteners and 3rd graders, parents may not have the funds to follow up with an optometrist or pay for the required glasses. Vision can also change quickly in young children; ideally they should get their eyes checked annually. This further hinders children from keeping up academically as they may not be able to read the board, take accurate notes, or be able to read a book properly. At the critical age when children first learn to read, catching these issues early can have positive long term effects, resulting in a child being able to catch up. Otherwise, they can struggle academically for years. Typically, both parents of children who attend Sterling Elementary work. Once the school day ends, many children of these families walk home with a younger sibling in tow where they don’t have access to homework help. After school programs such as the YMCA and CASA (County After School Activities) provide a well-rounded agenda of homework help, a snack, physical activities, and reading time. While the YMCA offers an after-school program at Sterling Elementary, some parents cannot afford to send their child or children. Transportation can be an issue as children must be picked up by 6 pm each evening, when parents may be working a second job.

Is there a way to address all these issues facing schools like Sterling Elementary? What can our community do to close the achievement gap in schools that need help?

Working Toward Solutions


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To combat achievement gaps, some schools have adopted a “Community Schools” approach. A community school is a place and a set of partnerships between a school and community resources. Here, they take an integrated approach to academics, youth development, family support, health, and social services. The resources are concentrated at or near the school and can include family centers, health clinics, wraparound services, positive behavior intervention and support programs, parent engagement, pre-school and after-school programs.Earlier this year, 100WomenStrong and Principal Jennifer Scott visited Donegan Elementary School in Bethlehem, PA to learn how a community school works and how it can thrive. Donegan Elementary was named a Community School in 2012 and is located in an urban area with more than 90% of students on the free and reduced lunch program. Students here are involved in and assigned to groups that have certain tasks, such as Welcome Group, Physical Activity Group, and Recycle Group. Social workers are also available to guide students to other resources and agencies that are not at the school.Community schools have proven to reduce absenteeism, reduce behavior issues, and improve grades. PalmerCare Chiropractic has already taken initiative in serving our community by supporting Sterling Elementary, but for a community school to succeed it requires more local sponsors. We’d love to hear your thoughts on community schools and other ideas on how to improve our children’s lives. How can we implement a community school system in Loudoun County? What schools could benefit from this? What other challenges do we face? What organizations would be willing to help?

LCPS Backpack Coalition Hits Milestone

In just a little over a year, the LCPS Backpack Coalition has raised more than $100,000 in monetary and food donations to help feed students in Loudoun County who are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program, but do not receive food for the weekends. This donation brings to a close the $100,000 challenge grant that 100WomenStrong gave to the Coalition, comprised of Loudoun County Public Schools, the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, Loudoun Education Foundation, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Congratulations!

August 9, 2016

Grant Recipient Providing Over 40 Years Of Unique Therapy

August 9. 2016  Loudoun Times-Mirror

100WS grant recipient Loudoun Therapeutic Riding (LTR) has long partnered with Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) to ensure that students with special needs have therapeutic riding opportunities. LTR’s equine-assisted activities and therapies have helped LCPS students and area residents with disabilities or special needs build self-confidence, improve concentration and increase core strength, balance and joint mobility for more than 40 years. 

July 18, 2016

100WS Member Receives Leadership Award

July 18, 2016

Congratulations to 100WomenStrong member Sharon Virts, for her SmartCEO 2016 Brava Award for leadership! The Brava Award acknowledges recognizes high-impact female business leaders in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Virts, co-founder and chairman of FCi Federal, is one of 40 local winners that collectively generate more than $1.44 billion in annual revenue and manage more than 21,000 employees. Read more about her award here.

July 1, 2016

SunTrust Foundation Grants 100WomenStrong for Long-Term Initiatives

July 1, 2016 

We were very pleased to receive a grant from The SunTrust Foundation for our long-term initiatives to help children (and further a strong educational foundation for those) in need in Loudoun County. Thanks to SunTrust Executive Chris Hartman for his support of area children and families!  Read the press release here.

June 22, 2016

Community Foundations And Their Benefits Explained

What is a community foundation? The short answer: a not-for-profit, grant-making organization existing for the benefit of the residents in a given area.  Community foundations also obtain and share information about needs in the community and identify charitable organizations who might best help fulfill those needs. 100WS is a component fund of Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (CFLNFC), which also helps us conduct due diligence on grant applicants and more. 100WS donors also benefit from fully qualified tax deductions because of our relationship with CFLNFC.

June 16, 2016

Funds from NBCUniversal for Innovative Nonprofits

June 16,  2016

NBCUniversal Foundation is looking for non-profit organizations that challenge conventional thinking and bring innovative programs to life. Loudoun County 501(c)(3) organizations implementing programs related to Civic Engagement, Education, Environment, Jobs and Economic Empowerment, Media, and Technology for Good are encouraged to apply for funding through the Foundation’s 21st Century Solutions program.  Deadline for submitting grant applications is August 26. Click here for application information.

Inova Loudoun Is In The Top 5% Percent For Nursing Excellence

Congratulations to the nurses of 100WS grant recipient Inova Loudoun Hospital for earning Magnet status, the highest institutional honor awarded for nursing excellence, for the 3rd time! Approximately 5 percent of 6,000 hospitals in the U.S. earn the designation, which is a rigorous process involving accreditation, from the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center.

June 14, 2016

Free Summer Meals Available in Seven Schools

June 14, 2016

With the end of the school year upon us, many families who rely on free or reduced lunch begin to worry about how to keep their families fed. Loudoun County Public Schools is partnering with Arby’s and No Kid Hungry to alleviate that worry by offering free breakfast and lunch to kids under 18 at seven schools throughout the summer. Click here for the full list.

June 5, 2016

Decrease in Homeless Numbers Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

June 5, 2016  Loudoun Now
Loudoun County has fewer permanently homeless than it has in a decade, according to a recent “Point in Time” count. Many say it shows the County’s progress in the area of housing and shelter, much of it resulting from a coalition of area agencies working together to create “permanent supportive housing units” for chronically homeless. However, while permanent homelessness is down, Loudoun County Public Schools says the number of “precariously housed” in our county has grown.  

June 2, 2016

Loudoun Impact Fund Offering Grants In Loudoun County

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties have partnered to offer a funding opportunity to qualifying organizations serving Loudoun County through the Loudoun Impact Fund. An estimated $75,000 will be available for distribution.Applications must be submitted electronically to Amy Owen at [email protected] on or before September 1, 2016 at midnight. To learn more click here.

Visualizing Future Success

June 2, 2016  Loudoun Times-Mirror

Graduation can seem a really long way off for a fifth grader, and in at-risk neighborhoods, it may seem impossible. To help make graduation a concrete possibility for its students, Sterling Elementary School invited Park View High School graduates to parade through hallways in their caps and gowns to inspire younger students. Many schools across the nation have started these parades to encourage elementary school students to visualize their own success in school and stay positive about their educations.

June 1, 2016

Girls Beat Boys In 8th Grade Tests

June 1, 2016

About 21,500 eighth grade students from over 800 public and private schools participated in a technology and engineering test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The results highlighted a persistent educational gap between students in wealthier communities and suburban areas, who did better than those from poorer communities and cities. The test also showed that: 

  • For the first time, girls on average scored better than their male peers.
  • Students who participate in activities outside of school focused on design and systems, such as a robotics club, or tinker with design concepts on their own scored higher than those who did not.
  • In-school learning related to technology and societal issues was associated with higher scores.
  • Students who believed they had the abilities to do various technology- and engineer-related tasks did better than students who did not.
May 27, 2016

Six High School Seniors Awarded For Perseverance

May 27, 2016  Loudoun Times-Mirror
Six Loudoun County High School students who “Beat the Odds” recently were awarded a combined $22,500 from the Loudoun Bar Association. This is the 12th year that the Loudoun Bar has supported area youth who have  overcome major life obstacles and thrived. Since 2005, the group has awarded more than $130,000 to 49 students.

May 24, 2016

Karen Schaufeld Receives Community Champion Award

May 24, 2016

100WS Founder and President, Karen G. Schaufeld was recently honored as the Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) 2016 Community Champion for her many charitable and community outreach efforts and her dedication to enriching the quality of life for others. Karen attended the May 13 gala with her family and gave a moving speech to the 600 attendees about her commitment to helping others in Northern Virginia, especially families and children in need. She is pictured here with J. Hamilton Lambert, who was honored as the 2016 Legend of Northern Virginia by the NVFS that evening. 

May 7, 2016

Teens to Share Experiences with Mental Health 

May 7, 2016  

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Loudoun County Public Libraries (a 100WS grant recipient) is hosting events designed to encourage young people to share personal experiences and learn from one another. Read more about the programs here.  

April 28, 2016
April 26, 2016

Celebrate and Give Back

Women Giving Back (WGB) is holding its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration to raise funds to help clothe thousands of women and children in need each year. Women, who visit this 100WomenStrong grantee’s store, have access to clothes suitable for work and allow them to better move toward self-sufficiency. Join WGB on Thursday, May 5, to support this great cause!

April 19, 2016

Corks for a Cause

April 19, 2016

Interested in supporting a great cause while enjoying some beautiful scenery and award winning wines? 100WomenStrong Grant Recipient, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS), is hosting its 2nd annual Corks for a Cause on May 20 at Breaux Vineyards.  All proceeds help to support LAWS’ Loudoun Child Advocacy Center.  Hope to see you there!  Buy tickets here.

April 14, 2016

100WS Congratulates Amy Owen

100WS congratulates Amy Owen, Executive Director of Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, who was named as one of “16 to Watch in 2016” in the Loudoun Business Journal.  Amy states: “We are stepping into a role of leadership through partnerships.  Guided by a steering committee with representative from the business sector, charitable agencies, philanthropists, government voices, public education and faith-based leaders, we’ve set a new objective to increase local aware of community needs.”

April 13, 2016

Karen Schaufeld to Receive Champions Award

We are so proud of 100WS Founder and President, Karen G. Schaufeld, who has been named as the Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) 2016 Community Champion for her many charitable and community outreach efforts. According to NVFS, which is a 100WS grant recipient, Community Champions enrich the quality of life for others, especially families and children in need as they journey on their personal road to independence in Northern Virginia. Karen will receive the award at the NVFS Annual Gala on Friday, May 13. Congratulations, Karen! Visit the website here.

April 12, 2016

Middle Schoolers’ Innovation Helps Food Pantries

Three Loudoun County middle schoolers have come up with a way to raise as much as $500,000 for local food pantries through donations as small as a dime or two from the students who buy lunch at school. Food pantries rely on unpredictable cash and food donations, but these youngsters, who started the project as part of a lesson on the Great Depression, “did the math” and found that if students made regular 10-cent donations, the impact would be tremendous. Read more here.

Loudoun Literacy Council Upcoming Fundraiser

With Spring upon us, many of our grant recipients are planning their annual fundraisers. We will be sharing information about them as we get it – here’s information on a fun event scheduled by the Loudoun Literacy Council:
 
The 4th annual Reading Between the Wines event will combine wine tasting and lite fare at Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm on April 12, 2016. To enjoy the event and support literacy programming in Loudoun County, buy tickets here.

April 10, 2016

Thanking Volunteers During A Special Week

April 10, 2016
It takes the hard work and dedication of thousands of volunteers to make it possible for Loudoun County nonprofits to serve those in need. April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week – take a moment to thank your favorite volunteer this week!  Click here.

April 3, 2016

A Place To Be: The Same Sky Project

By Lena Horn, Outreach Coordinator

April 3, 2014

 

5516461When A Place to Be, a non-profit therapeutic arts center based in Middleburg, Virginia, had the idea of launching a pilot music theater production about acceptance and abilities they were thrilled to witness the dramatic impact it had on families and community. They decided to expand the production with the help of a 100WomenStrong grant. By touring Loudoun County schools they were able to reach thousands of students, families, and school faculty. Again they received amazing results! Not only had the twenty-five students (ranging in age from 11-17) gained leaps in self-advocacy, as observed by an independent evaluator, but the audience of mostly middle and high school students learned about people with disabilities. They learned that everyone has differences, everyone has challenges, but we are united by empathy. During the shows, the audience went dead silent, no giggles, no laughter, but there were plenty of tears. Statements like, “I won’t judge others by their label”, and “If I see someone who needs someone to talk to, I will talk to them” poured in. The teens became the voice of the thousands out there like them, truly making a difference in their community.And now the show is being requested all over Loudoun, Warrenton, and Fauquier County. A Place to Be is also finding that this is not only a great tool for students, but for teachers as well and are seeking to make it a continued education for faculty.

“This show was amazing! I cried the entire time.”
“This was one of the best things I’ve ever seen.”

A Place to Be plans to continue the productions in October after some more fundraising. Until then, the teen actors must return to school, where their outlook is much different now. Amidst compliments, gaining courage and leadership skills, and having a far more understanding student body, these amazing teens have a much better view of their future. Look forward to their Summer Music Theater Camp, Best Friend, about a boy and a dog who are very different but find each other, beginning June 16th, as well as the Spring Recital at Hickory Tree Farm on Saturday May 10th.

It’s also important to mention that two of our 100WS members, Wendy Thompson-Marquez and Teresa Wheeler  are collaborating to produce  a documentary film called High Notes that follows several of the young students at A Place to Be. This powerful film shows in a very real way how music therapy can heal and transform lives for those dealing with traumatic brain injuries and other special needs. Look for more information on this film soon or contact Wendy Thompson at [email protected].

Find out more at www.aplacetobeva.org

The production consists of two parts:

Behind the Label by Kim Tapper: is a powerful production inspired by the students she works with who are tired of being seen as a diagnostic label. This show reminds us to look inside people and ourselves, and recognize that we are more than just labels.

How Far I’ve Come by Amy Stone: is a musical journey into the heart of a teenage girl who sees her Cerebral Palsy not as a disability, but as a gift to teach others about acceptance. Amy takes us into her dreams where she is a fluid dancer and a graceful runner. Humorous and sincere, the show makes you question, think and laugh. Amy helps us understand that we are all different but we all live beneath the same sky.

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March 16, 2016

United Way Gives to Loudoun Nonprofits

March 16, 2018  

The United Way National Capital Area’s new Community Commitment project is a five year, $10-million investment to address education, financial stability and health of residents throughout the D.C. Metropolitan community. Nine Loudoun County nonprofits, including past100WS grantees, recently received portions of $100,000 earmarked for our county from  Community Commitment.  Read more here.

March 9, 2016

More Tax Dollars May Go to Nonprofits

March 9, 2016  Loudoun Now
Loudoun County is now accepting grant applications from local nonprofits in four areas: hunger and homelessness mitigation, emergency services, health and related services, and recreation and culture. With competition on the rise, some are hoping that funds will increase. Read more here.

Pediatricians Urged To Join War On Poverty

March 9, 2016  usnews.com
The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging doctors to “screen for poverty” by asking the parents of their patients if they are having trouble making ends meet and following up by asking if they have adequate food, housing and heat. Why? Because children are highly vulnerable to chronic stress that results from the emotional and economic burden created by poverty and can  resort to risky behaviors, including smoking, excessive drinking and substance abuse. Poverty also can alter brain function, affect immune and psychiatric disorders and has been linked to asthma and obesity. The aim with this more holistic approach is to improve public health outcomes in children. . . read more.

March 8, 2016

Fun Approach To Giving Back

Rebecca Pontius of Los Angeles wanted to “do good” but found it difficult to navigate the myriad choices available, especially in a large metro area.  She decided to convert an old school bus to take volunteers on 5-hour mystery service projects for “altruistic adventures”.  Read more here.

March 2, 2016

Collaboration In Philanthropy

The Top Five Most Promising Trends in Philanthropy include addressing the root causes of social problems, sharing of data/best practices and collaborative philanthropy.  Fortunately, many in this sector are beginning to move toward working together more regularly, including Loudoun County charities.  Read the full article here.

February 24, 2016

Sheila C. Johnson Honored At Gala

February 2016

100WS member, entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hospitality and co-founder of Black Entertainment Television was recently honored at the annual Wall Street Project gala. Other honorees included Microsoft Chair and CEO of Virtual Instruments, John W. Thompson and Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente.  Read more about the Wall Street Project here.

February 23, 2016

ELL Student Population Growing Quickly

February 23, 2016  Loudoun Now

Did you know that the number of resource-intensive students like English Language Learners and poorer students has grown much faster than the student population at large in Loudoun County? The number of “economically challenged” students, grew by 109 percent from 2008-2015, according to Loudoun County Public Schools. In comparison, during this same time frame the student population at large has grown 33 percent.  Read more here.

February 19, 2016

Vets Get New Housing

February 19, 2016   Loudoun Now
New homes for military veterans wounded in battle is the goal for Hero Homes in Loudoun County. The group, which aims to build five Hero Homes in the near future, was inspired by a national group that built a home for an Iraq War veteran in Lovettsville last year. Hero Homes plans to build in Purcellville. Read more here.

January 30, 2016

Collaboration To Create Housing Solutions

January 2016
More than 150,000 families in the Greater Washington region are currently in need of affordable homes, a number that is expected to double in less than 10 years. To find solutions that will put more people in affordable homes, dozens of  public and private sector leaders have been meeting since 2014 to examine the lack of affordable housing in the area and its effect on economic growth. Click here to read their findings.

January 28, 2016

​Community Foundation Adds 100WS Member To Board

100WomenStrong member Terri Minchew is a new board member of the Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, which is a vehicle for charitable giving and community investment. . . .read more.

January 25, 2016

Feeding Hungry Students Through The Storm

Area schools have taken extra steps to ensure that hungry students have something to eat even though schools are closed. LCPS schools distributed extra food to students who receive free or reduced lunches and other assistance ahead of the blizzard that hit our area on Friday…read more.

January 24, 2016

Supporting Affordable Housing

January 2016

Creating affordable housing in the Greater Washington region can help the entire economy, stabilize families and support growth in the area. You can get involved by investing in Our Region, Your Investment to support the production and preservation of affordable homes.  Read the brochure here.

January 21, 2016

Zoning Ordinance Supports Affordable Housing

January 21, 2016  Loudounchamber.org
Our Board of Supervisors and the Loudoun County Chamber understand how important affordable housing is for the future of Loudoun County. In December, Supervisors approved a zoning ordinance change – supported by the Chamber – that could make millions of dollars of state and Federal funding available for constructing more affordable housing here.  Read more here.

January 12, 2016

Collaboration To Create Housing Solutions

January 2016
More than 150,000 families in the Greater Washington region are currently in need of affordable homes, a number that is expected to double in less than 10 years. To find solutions that will put more people in affordable homes, dozens of  public and private sector leaders have been meeting since 2014 to examine the lack of affordable housing in the area and its effect on economic growth. Click here to read their findings.

January 7, 2016

Removing Barriers To Education

First Book, founded in DC over 20 years ago, is a nonprofit that combines the marketplace and philanthropy to get new books into the hands of poor children. The nonprofit operates an online book bank, which collects donated books from publishers and gives them away.  It has grown into a national enterprise that gave away more than 15 million new books to low-income children and teens in 2015. More than 215,000 teachers, libraries, health clinics, after-school programs, shelters, faith-based groups and others have “shopped” for kids on First Book.  The organization recently expanded its offerings to include other heavily discounted items such as food, clothing and school supplies. Any program is eligible to register with First Book if at least 70 percent of the children served come from low-income families.

$1M in Gifts Provided to Local Charitable Organizations

Claude Moore Charitable Foundation has announced that it is granting more than $1 million to Loudoun-based charitable organizations for 2016.  Congratulations to all recipients…. read more.

Supporting Affordable Housing

January 2016

Creating affordable housing in the Greater Washington region can help the entire economy, stabilize families and support growth in the area. You can get involved by investing in Our Region, Your Investment to support the production and preservation of affordable homes.  Read the brochure here.

January 1, 2016

Nonprofits Employ the Best

There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States.
Nonprofits employ more than 10% of the American workforce and represent roughly $1.65 trillion in annual revenues.
And they have an estimated 20 million individuals leading these organizations who are among the most influential, dedicated and connected leaders.
Source:  standforyourmission.org

December 31, 2015

The Bread Lady Brings Smiles And Nourishment

The Bread Lady is a dedicated volunteer who knows how to reduce waste and help the hungry at the same time.  As a supporter of 100WS grantee Loudoun Interfaith Relief (LIR), Vera Lewis gathers day-old bread from Food Lion and delivers it to her fellow residents at Madison House in Leesburg—and the rest to the food pantry. Along with the bread, which Vera knew the store would throw away, she brings a smile to the other volunteers at LIR.   

December 16, 2015

One to the World Project Celebrates Community


The concept of community and community helpers are a big part of the LCPS kindergarten first-semester social science objectives, and t Evergreen Mill Elementary, kindergartners learned that ‘community’ can be your home, school, town, state or even country. Students in Jane Stockton’s class decided to help their community by making and donating 25 blankets to Mobile Hope as part of the One to the World project.

December 9, 2015

After School Program Offered for Children

December 9, 2015

100WomenStrong grant recipient INMED has been getting great publicity for its new Family and Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling that offers a safe place for children of low-income families to go after school to work on homework, get tutoring and learn from mentors. Working with schools and social services to identify families in need, INMED engages the entire family in programs like job skills training, parenting classes, cooking classes, summer school, after-school care and computer classes.

December 4, 2015

Loudoun County Launches New Homeless Prevention Program


December 4, 2014
Funded through Virginia’s Department of House and Community Development, the program will be administered locally by the Dept. of Family Service. If eligible, assistance includes help paying security deposits, utilities, and rental arrears. Read more.

Full Day Kindergarten Discussions

December 4, 2015  Loudoun Times-Mirror

At a recent meeting of state legislators, school leaders and students, discussion surrounded creating ways to build students’ competencies in critical thinking, communication, creativity and the ability to use those skills in society as a whole rather than focusing on teaching to a test. Across the state, legislators are hearing that school districts want to have more control over designing standards and accountability to help prepare students.

December 1, 2015

Fundraiser’s Success Not Trivial

December 1, 2015

The first-ever Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (CF) Trivia Night was a resounding success! The brainchild of 100WS member and CF President Kirsten Langhorne raised money for local charities including past 100WS grant recipients All Ages Read Together, LAWS, HealthWorks and Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers, among others. A sizable contingent of 100WS joined the fun to test their knowledge of trivia while raising money for local charities and supporting the Community Foundation at this inaugural event!

November 30, 2015

Creating Homes For Vets

Virginia is the first in the nation to end homelessness for veterans.  How did the state, which has the 7th largest veteran population in the country, achieve this benchmark?  By using the Housing-First model,  a policy that provides homeless people with safe, supportive shelter as a prerequisite for attending to other underlying issues. In the past year, Virginia has provided permanent housing to more than 1,400 homeless veterans.  The benchmark also means that the state has the resources to take in any veterans who want housing in the future within 90 days.  Housing-First is proving to be a cost efficient and humane way to end homelessness.  Do you think it would make sense to extend this policy to nonveteran homeless people with the same focus in coming years?

November 12, 2015

A “Fine” Way To Reduce Hunger

A “Food for Fines” program is an innovative way to help hungry families in Lexington, Kentucky. For every 10 cans of food donated, $15 is taken off of parking tickets, and violators can donate to reduce multiple tickets and even past-due tickets. The city collected more than 6,200 cans last year, so it is expanding the program in an effort to support more area families. 

November 11, 2015

Healthy Challenge Against Diabetes

November 11, 2015

Former 100WS grant recipient Healthworks for Northern Virginia is holding a Challenge Grant to provide diabetic testing supplies to patients with limited financial resources. Coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of American Diabetes Month, the Healthworks challenge is designed to raise awareness about the disease, which affects millions of Americans. 

November 4, 2015

Fighting Absenteeism in Schools

November 4, 2015

Chronic absenteeism is a problem for many schools. Students who miss just two days a month will fall behind, which can eventually mean dropping out of school. One educator found combating chronic absenteeism, which can be a mix of truancy, illnesses and family problems, is easier when parents are involved in a child’s education.  

November 3, 2015

​Loudoun Interfaith Saving for the Future

December 3, 2015  Loudoun Times-Mirror

100WomenStrong grant recipient, Loudoun Interfaith Relief, has received rent abatement for its warehouse space on Miller Drive in exchange for the organization vacating the space in 2020 rather than 2023. LIR Executive Director Jennifer Montgomery thanked Loudoun Supervisors for the action and said it will allow the nonprofit to save money toward its future home. 

October 30, 2015

Loudoun Therapeutic Riding at Morven Park for the Long Haul

October 30, 2015  Leesburg Today

Thanks to the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, former past 100WS grant recipient Loudoun Therapeutic Riding has the opportunity to stay at Morven Park in Leesburg for up to 90 more years and even build new facilities. LTR offers riding lessons to people aged 3 years and older to help with a wide variety of diagnoses, such as autism, cognitive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, and traumatic brain injuries.  For more information on LTR, visit www.ltrf.org.

October 28, 2015

Real Food For Kids Held First ‘Food Day’ at Sully Elementary School

October 28, 2015 Loudoun Times Mirror

In an effort to bring more healthful food choices into school lunches and to address the link between physical activity, healthy eating and academic performance, Real Food for Kids partners with school nutrition services to create better food choices. At recent Food Day in Loudoun County, Sully Elementary students learned Zumba, watched a chef create a salad, and learned bike and helmet safety.

October 25, 2015

Windy Hill Coordinator Encouraging Self Sufficiency and Improvement

October 2015 Middleburg Times

The Windy Hill Family Programs Coordinator is focused on helping community residents, especially students, learn self-sufficiency and the value of effort. Thomas Garnett, who moved to the United States from Liberia, is working hard to develop strong educational programs for students who live there as well as creating a “family” environment for residents. Learn more about Garnett and his programs here. 

October 23, 2015

​Early Intervention for Food Insecure Children

October 23 2015

Children in food insecure households get sick more often, recover more slowly from illness, have poorer overall health and are hospitalized more frequently.  Pediatricians will start asking questions such as:  “Within the past 12 months, the food we bought didn’t last, and we didn’t have money to get more. Yes or No?” to identify and help those who are potentially struggling with malnutrition. Read the full article.

October 22, 2015

Crisis Intervention Team Created

More than 1700 people suffering a behavioral crisis have been assisted by Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies in recent years. The new Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Assessment Center increases immediate access to crisis psychiatric evaluations and minimizes the time law enforcement is pulled from community policing duties.  

October 12, 2015

100WomenStrong Member a Power Achiever

October 12, 2015  

Congratulations to 100WS member Kristina Bouweiri for being a Washington-area “Power 100”!  This group of connectors are executives who seem to know everyone in the region and make things happen, according to the Washington Business Journal. Bouweiri, who owns Reston Limousine and started Sterling Women definitely fits the bill! 

October 11, 2015

Boots, Beer, and BBQ Fundraiser


Get ready to do some “boot scootin’” at the Loudoun Free Clinic’s 4th Annual Boots, Beer & BBQ Fundraiser on November 20. The event will be held at the Stables at Bluemont Vineyard and include great food, beer, a silent auction, live music and a Best Boots contest! Come join in the festivities and help the Loudoun Free Clinic continue to provides high-quality medical care to low-income, uninsured adults in Loudoun County!

October 10, 2015

Service Challenge Begins


Northern Virginia Family Service, a past 100WS grant recipient, could use your help! Watch this very short video and then vote to help NVFS earn a chance to win $1,000,000 from the Super Service Challenge, a national movement that encourages teams of coworkers to serve a nonprofit of  their choice and then enter a video clip of their service into the Challenge. Turn up the volume on your computer to hear how NVFS and SRA International support those in need in our communities. (Don’t forget to vote after you watch the video.)

October 9, 2015

Early Head Start Program Ready to Expand in Loudoun


Past 100WS grant recipient, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) is expanding its reach in Loudoun County with the addition of a new Early Head Start program in Sterling.  A grant from the US Department of Health & Human Services for Children and Families will provide slots for children ages 0 -3 years old prepare for kindergarten.  The new Early Head Start classrooms will be housed at Galilee United Methodist Church and will offer multiple classrooms and an infant room.  For enrollment information, please contact [email protected].

October 2, 2015

Area Students Challenged To ‘Step Up’ To Help Loudoun County Resolve Issues

Tapping in to the creativity of Loudoun County middle and high school students, the 6th Annual Step Up Loudoun competition will award up to $2,500 in cash prizes for plans that identify an issue facing county residents and offer a plan of action to resolve it. Written proposals are due on December 18. For more information, visit www.steuploudoun.org or email Marianne Moore at [email protected]

 

Area Students Challenged to ‘Step Up’ to Help Loudoun County Resolve IssuesArea

September 26, 2015

Fifth Annual Horseshoe Hoedown on September 26th!

Come join All Ages Read Together (AART) for its 5th Annual Horseshoe Hoedown! Proceeds will go toward AART’s free kindergarten readiness program for at-risk children. The program prepares children for school and also provides them with free books to start an in-home library. AART is a 100WomenStrong grant recipient, and we hope to see you at the Hoedown on Saturday, Sept. 26 starting at 5 pm!  Sponsorships available. Buy tickets at www.allagesreadtogether.com

LAWS Fundraiser Held on September 26


Put on your “stable chic” and join the Leesburg Abused Women’s Shelter at its Stars and Stables 2015 fundraiser this Saturday! The event – which will include a Hunt Country barbecue, carriage rides and live music by the Ken Wenzel Trio – will be held at the Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg and proceeds will help LAWS provide help to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse in Loudoun County. 

September 17, 2015

LCPS Expands Full Day Kindergarten

September 17, 2015  Leesburg Today

Many are concerned about Loudoun being one of only three counties in the Commonwealth to not offer universal full day kindergarten (FDK).   It is now offered at 35 of the county’s 58 elementary schools (or 31% of the county’s 4,880 kindergartners).  While others are concerned about prioritizing FDK ahead of other programs or overall costs, political momentum in support of FDK is growing. 

September 14, 2015

Will Loudoun students do better in school when they start the day on a full stomach? 

Sugarland Elementary now offers free breakfast to the entire student population, as one step in reducing impediments to learning that are out of the school’s control.  While the program has already resulted in increased on-time attendance, the hope is that it will also contribute to higher achievement in the classroom.   State and local officials will be watching carefully to understand how programs like this will impact classroom performance. http://bit.ly/1OjvKL5

September 9, 2015

How can the Loudoun Business Community Support LCPS?

September 9, 2015
The Chamber is hosting Superintendent, Dr. Eric Williams and other education leaders for an in-depth look at the “State of Innovation in Education” on Friday, Sept 18, 2015. The discussion will include how the Loudoun business community can support LCPS’ efforts to transform its education model.

August 31, 2015

Redesigned Virginia School Aims To Help Kids Lose Weight

To combat childhood obesity, a school in rural Buckingham, VA, worked with architects to make the entire school more conducive to a healthy lifestyle. From school gardens, to a commercial kitchen allowing students to watch as their lunch is made, food labs and other innovative techniques, they are teaching healthy eating along with the core curriculum.  Read the full article.

August 28, 2015

Mobile Hope Provides School Supplies to 200+ Loudoun Students

August 28, 2015  

The nonprofit’s recent “Be Cool for School” event provided clothing, personal hygiene products, backpacks, notebooks and crayons to children who are homeless, precariously housed or whose family cannot afford to purchase back-to-school basics.  In addition, 50 students received vision screenings, and Mobile Hope volunteers distributed coupons for free haircuts.

August 21, 2015

Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers Receives Wibel Foundation Grant

August 21, 2015  Leesburg Today

LVC – a 2014 and 2015 100WomenStrong grant recipient – recently received $15,000 for its assisted transportation, support services and money management programs for elderly, frail, disabled or those who suffer from debilitating diseases in Loudoun County.  

August 19, 2015

Helping Loudoun County Schools Solve Problems

August 19, 2015

Have you heard about the Loudoun County Public Schools Challenge Event? Submit your solutions for LCPS’s most difficult-to-solve challenges by August 21. Those with the top 20 submissions will present to an audience and panel of judges in October.

LCPS Sets New Eligibility Thresholds for Free/Reduced Meals

August 19, 2015 Leesburg Today

New criteria should increase number of LCPS students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and families who qualify can get an application at school or at the LCPS main office in Ashburn. 

August 10, 2015

INMED Takes A Holistic Approach To Forge Links With The Community To Support Children And Families

By Margaret Brown

 

INMED Partnerships for Children, a 100WomenStrong grant recipient in 2014 and 2015, takes a holistic approach when serving families in Loudoun County. Its recently launched after-school program is one element of that holistic approach, involving schools, parents and children. The free program was partly funded by a $10,000 grant from 100WomenStrong and currently serves 23 children with seven in queue.

According to Maria Vasquez-Alvarez, executive director of the Family and Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling, INMED works closely with elementary schools in Loudoun County Public School District’s Sterling area to help identify students based on both economic and academic need. Children, ages 6-12, are identified by school counselors and teachers and attend the program from 4-6 p.m. every week day.

“Most days, we have a full class of children. If we don’t see a student we are expecting and that child doesn’t have an after-school sporting event or other activity, we will check in with the family,” said Vasquez-Alvarez. “We work very closely with the families to maintain consistency in the program and to make sure that everything is okay at home.”
The program is structured to help the students keep up with homework assignments while providing targeted support in areas of need.

“We start with a snack and then homework,” she said. “The children either do their homework independently or with a high school mentor/tutor who has volunteered to help them one-on-one. It’s this one-on-one time that can create greater support and is an example of the value of working with parents and teachers who let us know about areas of need.

“After homework and tutoring time, there is a structured activity, such as games or cooking or science projects,” she continued. “We also read stories to the children.”

According to Vasquez-Alvarez, the program is designed to serve 45 students at a time, and there are four targeted outcomes INMED desires:

  • Homework completion
  • Grade improvement
  • Self-esteem improvement
  • Self-efficacy

INMED recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and has been in Loudoun County for almost that entire time. The Family and Youth Opportunity Center in Sterling is the first time the nonprofit has had a standalone place for families and children to gather for support activities.

“Our main goal in all of our programs is to forge the links between parents and schools and make it a continuum for the kids,” said Linda Pfeiffer, PhD, president and CEO of INMED. “The Center in Sterling is something we have been planning and talking about for five years. Most existing services are concentrated in Leesburg, so there was a great need in the Sterling area.
“We had a great deal of support from partners and organizations such as 100WomenStrong to initiate the Center, which has allowed us to work even more closely with the community.

“While INMED is our original name, the ‘Partnerships for Children’ in our full name is more fitting as we have grown and changed over the years,” she continued. “It has been wonderful to have the community really embrace the center and our services. INMED has always worked toward creating wonderful things with great outcomes for families and children, and now we have a place for them to come and participate.”

For more information on INMED, please visit www.inmed.org

August 9, 2015

Loudoun Education Foundation Gives Away More Than $2.3 Million

Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) raises private funds to enhance the quality of education for Loudoun County Public Schools. Since its formation in 1991, LEF has given away more than $2,390,000 to Loudoun students. During the 2014-2015 school year, LEF gave away more than $390,000, including $54,156 to the Backpack Coalition (thanks to 100WomenStrong!). The majority of LEF’s funding over the years has come from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. To learn more about LEF visit http://lef-va.com/

August 8, 2015

To Learn What The Poor Need, Just Ask


Neighborhood Centers of Houston, TX, has succeeded in helping poor neighborhoods because they “go where they are invited and do what we’re asked to do.” Instead of seeing the disadvantaged as the “problem,” they see them as the asset and source of solutions. Learn how Neighborhood Centers puts people first and helps them move up the ladder and out of poverty. 

August 6, 2015

Innovative Ideas — Affordable Housing In Our Region

In May, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) and Enterprise Community Partners collaborated on an innovative new funding pool they are establishing for developers of affordable housing units. In their presentation to the Federal City Council, they said it will provide developers with access to low-interest bridge loans and will provide updates soon. Read more here.

July 31, 2015

Nonprofits Working Together

July 31, 2015

Loudoun Chamber’s Non-profit Initiative offers a strategic, collaborative environment to help nonprofits become stronger, learn from one another and build alliances that will help us all create a better Loudoun County.  Learn more here.

July 20, 2015

Teachers In Industry Project Brings Real Life Into School 

20 teachers from NoVA schools recently shadowed professionals in fields including agriculture, medicine, and transportation as part of the Teachers in Industry Project, run by GWU. The program helps to better equip students to prepare for life after high school. Read the full article here.

July 15, 2015

No Kid Hungry Donations Matched Dollar For Dollar By Arby’s Foundation

Many kids who rely on school meals struggle to get enough to eat during the summer months.  Arby’s Foundation, a core partner of No Kid Hungry, will match your donations dollar for dollar up to $150,000 this summer, doubling your impact to help feed hungry kids. Learn more about the program, which is part of Share our Strength by clicking here.

June 24, 2015

Expanding Full-Day Kindergarten in Loudoun County

June 2015  Leesburg Today

Loudoun County is one of only three school systems in Virginia that does not offer every kindergartner a full-day program. But, that is changing. Two more Loudoun elementary schools – Forest Grove and Sterling (both Title I schools) – will offer full-day kindergarten this fall, the latest in Loudoun’s gradual expansion of the program.  Read the full article here.

June 23, 2015

Supervisors Vote To Give More Than $1 Million To Nonprofits

June 23, 2015  Leesburg Today

Kudos to Loudoun County Supervisors for their vote to give $1 million to 33 area nonprofit organizations. We are excited see that the LCPS Backpack Coalition will receive $5,000 from the county. . . Read more

May 28, 2015

A Full-Time Minimum Wage Job Not Enough For 1 Bedroom Apartment Anywhere in US

May 28, 2015 Vox.com by Ezra Klein 

There is no state in the union where a full-time, minimum-wage worker can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment for less than 30 percent of his paycheck (which is a standard measure of housing affordability). . .Read more

May 22, 2015

Loudoun County Fastest Growing In the State, Again

May 22, 2015 Loudoun Times-Mirror

This just in from the Census Bureau’s American Community 5-year survey for 2010-2014: Loudoun County is experiencing extreme population growth. . .Full article here

April 23, 2015

100WomenStrong awards $113K in grants to local nonprofits

April 23, 2015 Loudoun Times-Mirror

February 17, 2015

Eliminate The Choice Between Food Or Medicine

66 percent of food insecure households that received food from Feeding America’s network of food banks must decide whether to purchase food or their medicine because they simply can’t afford both. How can we ensure that people get both the food and medicine they need? Read more.

February 12, 2015

Supporting Children in Poverty Through Literacy in Loudoun

February 12, 2015

Sadly, more than 15% of our nation’s children live in poverty. On average, these kids have one or two age appropriate books in their homes, yet a full sixty-one percent of the children in low-income families have no books at all. Recent studies confirm that the availability of reading material is the strongest predictor of a child’s ability to read and later academic achievement, yet millions of at-risk elementary school-aged children are without this basic resource. How can we support these children? Read more.

February 10, 2015

100WS Member Is New Community Foundation President: Seeks Gifts That Keep On Giving

The Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier recently named long-time 100WS member, Kirsten Langhorne, as their new president. As part of her strategic plan, Kirsten plans to spread the word about the importance of a community foundation, in particular “…what philanthropy can look like and why it’s so necessary”. Read more.

Study Shows Social Learning Just as Important as Cognitive Skills

Feb 10, 2015 American Journal of Public Health

Educators, take note!  A new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, finds a strong link between a child’s social and emotional competency in kindergarten to how well they will do in early adulthood. The comprehensive 20-year examination of 800 children in four different cities were tracked from kindergarten through their mid-20s.

January 15, 2015

Speak Up Magazine: Giving A Voice To Charlotte’s Homeless

An organization in Charlotte is trying to help the homeless in a different way. Speak Up Magazine is a group that gives people living on the streets not just a job, but a chance to tell their story. Read more.

January 9, 2015

New Study Finds Unexpected Source Of Giving: Young Women


Conventional wisdom says young Americans are not as generous as older generations, particularly if they’re not religious. That may hold true for most donors, says a new report, but younger women appear to be bucking the trend. Millennial and Generation X women who are single and unaffiliated with a religion give two-and-a-half times more money to charity than their older, similarly secular counterparts, according to the report, which looked exclusively at unmarried donors. Their giving also doubles that of peers who have loose ties to a religion.
Read more.

December 26, 2014

100Womenstrong accepting applications for 2015 grant proposals

December 26, 2014, Loudoun Times-Mirror

December 18, 2014

Why Are Some Children Still Going To An Empty House After School?

by Lena Horn, Outreach Coordinator
December 18, 2014

3424858Laura 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

 

413535CASA 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
CASA
YMCA Loudoun County

YMCA Upcoming Event
The 28th Annual Chocolates Galore & More
Friday, February 20, 2015, 7PM
Lansdowne Resort, Lansdowne, Virginia

December 3, 2014

Double Bucks


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.

December 2, 2014

Every 3 Seconds

December 2, 2014
We lose 30,000 people (mostly kids) every day to hunger and extreme poverty, one every three seconds. A new documentary explores the misconception that hunger and extreme poverty will always be with us. What can we do to help? Read more.

November 21, 2014

Donors Choose


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.

November 13, 2014

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.

November 5, 2014

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.

November 4, 2014

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.

November 3, 2014

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.

October 29, 2014

Rethink Homelessness


October 29, 2014
“Rethink Homelessness” asked homeless friends to write down a fact about themselves that other people wouldn’t know just by walking past them. Their answers may surprise you. Read more.

October 16, 2014

Feeding Minds and Bodies: The Backpack Coalition


October 16, 2014
A short, informative video about the LCPS Backpack Coalition.
Feeding Minds and Bodies: The Backpack Coalition from LCPS-TV on Vimeo.

Local businesses and community outlets come together to make sure needy Loudoun families don’t go hungry with the Backpack Coalition program.

October 10, 2014

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.

September 24, 2014

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

 

308683Despite 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]

 

The Old Playground                                   The New Playground

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September 18, 2014

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.

September 9, 2014

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.

September 4, 2014
September 1, 2014

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.

August 27, 2014

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. AssociatesRead more

August 20, 2014

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.

August 6, 2014

Book Buggy Keeps Sterling Kids Reading


August 6, 2014
Teachers at Sterling Elementary School operate the Book Buggy, which stops in five Sterling neighborhoods every Wednesday morning through Aug. 13 and allows children to pick out two free books to take home. Read more.

July 28, 2014

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.

July 16, 2014

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.

July 14, 2014

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.

July 10, 2014

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.

July 9, 2014

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.

July 8, 2014

Loudoun Board Approves Grants


July 8, 2014
On July 2, Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors approved several grants for area charities and community support nonprofits, totaling more than $1.2 million. Read more about which organizations received funding. Read more.

June 30, 2014

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.

June 26, 2014

Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter

By Lena Horn, Outreach Coordinator

June 26, 2014

 

7932331In 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.

The Generator
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

 

7347106LAWS 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.

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June 24, 2014

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.

June 23, 2014

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.

June 17, 2014

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.

June 13, 2014

PerformWell

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.

June 3, 2014

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.

May 29, 2014

Fundraising Questions Answered


The Chronicle of Philanthropy enlisted several experts to set up a great list of answers to fundraising questions. Pose your own question or browse through previous advice. Read more.

May 13, 2014

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.

May 9, 2014

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.

April 25, 2014
April 14, 2014
April 10, 2014

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
Read more.

March 27, 2014

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.

March 19, 2014

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.

March 4, 2014

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.

February 26, 2014

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.

February 24, 2014

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.

January 29, 2014

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.

January 17, 2014

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.

December 10, 2013

Virginia’s Mental Health System Stretched to Limit


December 10, 2013
Community Services Board (CSB), state-mandated agencies that provide public mental health services throughout the state of Virginia, are experiencing an unyielding shortage of inpatient psychiatric beds. Within the last fiscal year, Northern Virginia CSBs had to send 224 patients to other parts of the state because there were no available inpatient beds in the area. In some cases, some hospitals are not willing or able to take certain types of patients, including involuntary commitments or people with serious behavior issues. Anne Edgerton, executive director of the advocacy organization Mental Health America of Virginia, said Virginians should focus on programs and services aimed at getting people mental health care early, before the behavior turns toward crisis mode. Read more.

November 29, 2013

Loudoun Cares’ Andy Johnston named Times-Mirror’s 2013 Citizen of the Year


November 29, 2013
There’s no precise formula to compute how many people Johnston’s helped in his decade as executive director of Loudoun Cares, a nonprofit hub dedicated to assisting other nonprofits in the county. Johnston’s achievements can’t be measured in cold, hard figures; instead, they’re calculated in effort, conversations and endless hours ensuring local nonprofits are clicking. Read more.

November 22, 2013

Hospitals Try to Be Child-Friendly As They Face More Young Patients


November 22, 2013
Due to medical advances, hospitals are treating an ever larger population of children with medically complex diagnoses.  Many of these children become “frequent fliers” in the hospital system, experiencing pain and fear along the way. Studies show that these children may end up suffering from long term psychological trauma due to their experiences in the hospital. In an effort to reduce the distress of children, hospitals are adopting innovative ways to create positive outcomes. Read more about some of these successful new hospital initiatives.

You can also use Wall Street Journal’s public resources to read the article:
Part 1

Part 2

November 14, 2013

Investing in Pre-Schools


November 14, 2013
There is plenty of evidence supporting the idea that early childhood initiatives are one of the best ways to intervene and reduce the toll of crime, drugs, and educational failure. Read about the success of the Oklahoma Project, where they are investing in preschools now instead of prisons later.

October 31, 2013

Healing Through Humor

October 31, 2013
A new film, “Comedy Warriors, Healing through Humor”, was shown at a private screening at the inaugural Middleburg Film Festival last weekend. In the film, wounded soldiers show the audience how humor slowly helped them and their loved ones through the healing process. Loudoun County’s own Rob Jones, a Lovettsville native, is one of the stars of the film. Jones is a double amputee after losing both his legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010. Read more about the film and how humor can help heal.

September 12, 2013

Beamer Learns About Cancer

September 12, 2013
100WomenStrong member, Cindy Chambers, has published another children’s book in her Beamer Book Series! Cindy’s latest publication, Beamer Learns About Cancer, is a great resource for children and their families who are confronted with a cancer diagnosis. Ten year old, Gabriella Miller, who is fighting cancer, writes the introduction to this book.  Gabriella provides practical advice about what it’s like to be in a hospital and imparts hope for the future. The book is written in an encouraging and supportive style, using straightforward  language to help kids better understand cancer and its treatments. Gabriella’s mother says, “It is difficult enough for us as adults to understand cancer, but, for a child, it is near impossible. Thank you, Cindy, for writing this book that explains cancer in simple terms that empower us with knowledge and understanding.” For more information on the Beamer Book Series, please visit http://www.tellmetown.com/beamer-and-friends

September 7, 2013

Hunger Action Month


September 2013
September is Hunger Action Month, an annual effort to raise awareness to the issue of hunger across the nation and in our own backyard. The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks such as Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and food pantries such as Loudoun Interfaith Relief, unites to encourage individuals to take action in their communities. What can you do to help end hunger and help feed those in need in Loudoun County? Visit http://www.brafb.org and http://www.interfaithrelief.org to find out.

June 7, 2013

Loudoun County and the Uninsured

By Janet Lyman, 100WS Grantmaker
June 2013

In one of the states’ richest counties, when a family experiencing economic instability – low wages, unstable housing or lack of health insurance – needs routine care or encounters a medical emergency or debilitating illness, where can they turn? Fortunately, in Loudoun County, a set of concerned organizations, citizens, and volunteers have built options to address both primary and preventive healthcare and housing instability. This article explores how the Loudoun Free Clinic, Healthworks of Northern Virginia, and INOVA’s Mobile Hope (just three of the multiple services available) can help families in need.

For illustrative purposes, let’s look at a family comprised of adults, children, and seniors who lack health insurance and have housing challenges. We can explore how these organizations could help the family and, in addition, ensure their continued contributions to the economic health and wellbeing of the overall community. While not comprehensive of all services, the following illustrates the maturity, scope, and applicability of services.

Loudoun Free Clinic

For uninsured adults aged 18-64 in our family, the Loudoun Free Clinic, a non-profit volunteer based organization established in 2002, is a gateway to medical care. The Clinic provides a range of services as well as access to specialty services at no cost for families with income level that falls within the 200% of the Federal poverty level. Uninsured adults are more likely to postpone or forgo health care altogether, and are less able to afford prescriptions or follow through on recommended treatments. Without care, treatable conditions can escalate to complex and serious illnesses that jeopardize an individual’s wellbeing and the family’s economic security. In 2012, medical in-clinic visits numbered 3,793, a 31% year over year increase. In addition, the Free Clinic provided 13,938 prescriptions valued at $1.8M. In the contracting economy of 2012, the clinic saw a 57% increase in the number of patients.

Healthworks of Northern Virginia

For the children and seniors in the family lacking health insurance, they can turn to Healthworks of Northern Virginia. Many local health care providers no longer accept new Medicare and Medicaid patients. And, as we have all experienced, children need ready access to both preventive and primary care. Healthworks, a nonprofit Federal qualified health provider with centers in Leesburg, Sterling, and Herndon, provides medical, dental, and behavioral health care to anyone in need, regardless of age or ability to pay. Healthworks accepts all patients, regardless of income or insurance status – Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, no insurance or the underinsured. More than 90% of families at Healthworks are lower income (within 200% of the Federal poverty line) and 69% would be better served in languages other than English.

Mobile Hope

And what if housing is an issue for our family too? For homeless children, or those in precarious housing situations, there is Mobile Hope. INOVA Mobile Hope Services travels throughout Loudoun County and cares for precariously housed and at risk youth. Without any questions, for children 18 and under, Mobile Hope will provide food, clothes, blankets, and personal items. Recently, 658 children in our county were in homeless or in precarious housing arrangements. Some 40% of these students do not have a parent or guardian in their lives. They sleep in cars, the woods, abandoned buildings or “couch surf” with friends. And there may be a larger population at risk – some 700-800 children may also be precariously housed or at risk that have not been identified.

While we can hope our family can build future economic stability, services from these providers can go a long way to enabling them to be more capable to perform at work and school. And ongoing preventive care can keep small health crises from escalating into events which undermine family well-being and security. Kudos to the leaders and volunteers who make such services available in Loudoun County!

For more information about these services:

For a Free Clinic eligibility appointment, call 703-779-5424. More information at loudounfreeclinic.org.

To schedule an appointment for you or a family member at Healthworks, call 703-443-2000 and patient’s forms are available at hwnova.org.

Contact Mobile Hope at 703-858-8801. More information at INOVA.org.

May 7, 2013

Study Shows Widely Varying Prices at Area Hospitals for Treatment of Identical Conditions 

What if you suffer a major brain hemorrhage with complications? If you seek help in Olney, Maryland, you might visit MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, which will charge you $12,873 on average (in 2011) to stabilize your condition and bring you back to health.  But if you are in downtown DC, you may take an ambulance to George Washington University Hospital, which lists treatment for the exact same condition at $106,103. Why would George Washington University Hospital charge 86% more for treatment of the same condition? Read more.

April 30, 2013

A “New Normal” of Fewer Patients


Mark Stauder, President and COO of Inova Health System, identifies two leading trends creating a “new normal” for health care providers… Read more.

April 29, 2013

Home Visiting Programs: Preschool in its Earliest Form

Through programs across the country, nurses, social workers or trained mentors offer support to… Read more.

March 7, 2013

Homeless Youth in Loudoun County


By Ree McDermott, 100WS Donor-Advisor
March 2013

Touted as one of the richest counties in the country, it is easy to assume that Loudoun’s youth have secure housing situations. Yet during  the 2011-2012  school year Loudoun County Public Schools identified 785 children and youth as homeless or “precariously housed.” That number has tripled since the  2008-2009 school year.  It is likely there are many more precariously housed and at risk youth  living in Loudoun County who have not yet been identified.

How do we define homeless children and youth? Under the federally funded  McKinney-Vento Act, homeless children and youth are defined as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”  In other words, these kids sleep in cars, abandoned warehouses, bus stations, park benches or “couch surf” among their friends. Nearly one in four f these young people do not have a guardian or parent in their lives.

The causes of homelessness can be complex. The most common reasons for homelessness involve domestic violence, chronic substance abuse, chronic health problems and mental illness. The lack of affordable housing in Loudoun County also plays a role. Many families have to double-up in their living arrangements for financial reasons.

While there are no simple solutions to homelessness, organizations within Loudoun County are making a difference on multiple fronts. Loudoun’s Continuum of Care – a community coalition of public, non-profit, and faith-based organizations – provides a variety of shelter and support services to children and youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Continuum of Care’s overarching goal is to ensure that there is a continuum of services to meet the needs of homeless persons in the community. They do this by collaborating with established charitable organizations such as Volunteers of America, INMED, Good Shepherd, and LAWS.

December 13, 2012

100WomenStrong named as a Leadership Award Finalist

December 13, 2012
Loudoun’s Chamber of Commerce has named sixteen finalists for its 2013 Community Leadership Awards. The initiative honors those who “have demonstrated true leadership and commitment to support the needs of the Loudoun County community and its citizens,” the chamber said in a release. Winners will be announced Jan. 31 at the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Annual Meeting and Community Leadership Awards banquet.Read more.

December 7, 2012

Organization starts online grant application

December 7, 2012 Loudoun Times-Mirror

September 7, 2012

Mobile Hope Makes A Difference

Another organization making a difference with homeless youth is Inova’s Mobile Hope. Launched in 2011, it is the first and only emergency relief center in Loudoun County where children can get help without an adult present, no questions asked. Mobile Hope travels to various locations within Loudoun County several times a month, providing at risk youth with food, clothing, blankets, and personal items. Along with these basic supplies, staff and volunteers offer access to medical services and community support.

Homelessness is also being addressed through the County’s Department of Family Services. The Homeless Prevention Program (HPP), funded by the state, is designed to avert homelessness by providing targeted and limited assistance to those who, without this assistance, are likely to become homeless. Funding for rental arrears, security deposits, and utility assistance are available through HPP for eligible applicants. Mortgage assistance is also available on a very limited basis.

While it is difficult to predict the future of homelessness in Loudoun County, the sharp rise in the number of youth who are precariously housed is an indicator that the overall situation is worsening. Partnerships and collaboration between the state,  county and local nonprofits are key to addressing homelessness. 100WOMENSTRONG continues to be an avid supporter of many of the local nonprofits who provide shelter and assistance to at risk youth, making a difference in the lives of these young people.

For a list of organizations helping homeless youth, please visit:
http://www.inova.org/inova-in-the-community/index/mobilehealth/mobile-hope/web-sites

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100WomenStrong is a proud fund of Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties