Archive for Year: 2016

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 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 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

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