Grantee Connector Opportunities
How, When and Where to Connect
With our Grantees
The mission of A Wider Circle is simple: to help one individual and one family after another rise out of poverty. A Wider Circle works in partnership with those they serve and with those seeking to help to ensure that every child and adult has the chance to succeed and the opportunity to live well. A Wider Circle is based in Silver Spring and serves the entire DC Area.
You can drop off donations at the Center for Community Service 9159 Brookville Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20910. If you have furniture or larger items to donate, contact Pam (firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-332-7859) to help with the arrangements.
There are many volunteer opportunities, including: sorting and distributing furniture, household items, toys, etc; organizing professional clothing and helping clients selecting items for job interviews, etc; teaching computer skills, helping with mock interviews, being a job coach. Help is welcome for their Holiday drives at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and for their North Pole in December, when clients choose gifts for their families, which we gift-wrap!
GT Co-Liaisons: Kim Schifrin (email@example.com or (301)520-6228 (c) or (301)365-0008 (h) and Pam Feinstein (firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-332-7859).
Aspire Counseling is a mental health nonprofit based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, providing mental health and wellness services to Montgomery County's diverse residents.
Giving Together funded Aspire's Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program, which provides in-home therapy to low-income, uninsured and underinsured pregnant women and new mothers.
Volunteer opportunities include helping with annual springtime projects such as a Mother's Day Spa for their "Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies" clients, and their Market for Moms.
Want to get involved? Contact GT Liaison Nancy Ebb (email@example.com)
Career Catchers, based in Montgomery County (Silver Spring and Gaithersburg), works to promote career stability and self-sufficiency for every client through individualized counseling, training and support. Since 2007, CareerCatchers has provided one-on-one sustained guidance for some 2,000 low-income and otherwise disadvantaged local residents. Services are provided through the efforts of staff, board of directors, volunteers and partners.
Volunteers are needed to offer tutoring support for English, Math and certification classes, to teach classes on computer basics, research government and non-profit resources, and to research grants and grant writing.
Interested in helping out? Contact GT Liaison GT Liaison (temporary) Pam Feinstein (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Casa works to create a just society by building power and improving the quality of life in working class and immigrant communities. They work to organize, advocate for, and expand opportunities for Latino and the immigrant population in the state of Maryland.
Volunteer opportunities include helping in the ESOL Department with administrative tasks in the office and reminder phone calls to potential students. Volunteers for the reminder phone calls need to be bilingual. Casa also needs one or two volunteers in their legal department helping with administrative tasks. Casa also seeks potential volunteers for tutoring high school students after school at 3:00 p.m.
Citizenship Clinics: Casa's team of 13 AmeriCorps members, together with dozens of community volunteers helps more than 1,000 people on the path to U.S. citizenship every year through this program. In addition to regular business hours, Casa provides weekend services at our monthly Citizenship Clinics. Casa counts on volunteers like us to help manage the flow of 40-60 applicants or more. They have offices in Hyattsville, Rockville and Baltimore that host events routinely. Other clinics are held occasionally in Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland. Their clinics are generally held on Saturdays, beginning at 9:30 a.m., with a mandatory 8:30 a.m. training session for new volunteers. Please expect to be at the clinic until about 3:00 p.m.
Computer C.O.R.E. is a 501 c(3) nonprofit, community-based organization located in northern Virginia whose mission is to help low-income adults acquire the technological and life skills they need to pursue their career aspirations. CORE is about jobs and self-sufficiency for their clients and their families. Six-month workforce development training programs at six sites are offered throughout northern Virginia: Alexandria, Falls Church, western Fairfax, Herndon, Reston and down the Route 1 corridor in Fairfax County.
Computer C.O.R.E. also offers on-site shorter six-week training programs to clients at Carpenter’s Shelter (homeless shelter), Guest House (serving female ex-offenders), and Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque (serving women).
Want to volunteer? They have a particular need for:
Lead Computer Instructors (Microsoft Office)
Tutoring (Saturday mornings)
They also have an ongoing need for used computers (desktops or laptops, which they refurbish and give to their students to keep), binders, and flash drives. They welcome help with organizing computer equipment.
CCFN is dedicated to promoting healthy food choices, food access, and food entrepreneurship in Maryland’s Takoma/Langley Park area with high immigrant population and 20% poverty.
Key programs are the weekly Farmers Market (three-quarters of producers and vendors are immigrants), Fresh Checks (matching SNAP benefits up to $20/week), Healthy Eating Program (cooking and nutrition lessons for students and families), Microenterprisetraining, and the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Community Kitchen, which GT helped furnish.
GT members participated in 2018 and 2019 volunteer opportunities with the Healthy Eating Program, by assisting the coordinator of these classroom nutrition sessions at Piney Branch Elementary School. With the theme “Rethink your Drink,” students learned to brew teas using natural low-sugar ingredients including fruit and mint. In 2018, Marea Hatziolos and Christine Kessides joined the instructor helping a 5th grade class and an after-school group at Rolling Terrace ES to make hummus from scratch, and eat it (enthusiastically!) with fresh vegetables. Additional opportunities to participate in the program may include visits to the farmers market and local farms during the summer with students and their families.
More ways to support CCFN:
Patronize the Farmers Market in Takoma Park on Wednesdays 11-3, mid-April through November (Anne Street between University Blvd. & Hammond Avenue).
Help community kitchen applicants with obtaining food management licenses, making business plans, or otherwise mentoring their start-up food businesses.
For more information, subscribe to CCFN’s quarterly newsletter through their website.
DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project was founded in 2008 to create, support and utilize a network of volunteer lawyers to provide high-quality, pro bono legal services to domestic violence victims and at-risk children in DC. Today, volunteers help victims obtain civil protection orders against their abusers as well as child custody and financial support. With the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) and My Sister's Place, DCVLP sponsors a weekly Domestic Violence Resource Clinic where victims easily access legal advice, housing assistance and counseling in a community-based location. Their court-appointed volunteer lawyers also represent the best interests of children who are living with abuse, neglect, domestic violence, parental substance abuse and mental illness. To help ensure that each client has the tools necessary to start a new life, their Clients Advocate provides crisis intervention, safety planning and access to comprehensive social services.
There are opportunities for individual lawyers to volunteer in the areas of Civil Protection Orders, Family Law (Custody & Divorce), ad Child Advocacy (Guardians ad litem). DCVLP provides training, guidance and support to volunteer lawyers.
The mission of Food for Others is to distribute free food to our neighbors in need, in partnership with their Northern Virginia community, and to provide opportunities for people to volunteer their resources. Food for Others is the largest provider of free groceries directly to people in need in our area, operating as a safety net for those needing food in an emergency, and for the growing number of working poor struggling to make ends meet.
The food insecurity rate in Fairfax County is 5.3% with nearly 60,000 people facing uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life. Nationally, 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger while 376,000 live in poverty in Northern Virginia. 1 in 17 Fairfax County residents live in poverty, including 1 in 14 children. Lacking an adequate income, families are often forced to choose between spending money for food, or on other basic needs such as housing, utilities, health care, and transportation. Food for Others is dedicated to fighting hunger and food insecurity in our community through four key program areas:
Emergency Food operations at their warehouse provide 3-5 days’ worth of non-perishables as well as milk, eggs and other fresh food to individuals and families referred to Food for Others by Fairfax County CSP and various social service providers.
Clients who qualify based on income eligibility may also receive monthly food supplements via the USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Neighborhood Site distributions provide food to individuals and families via volunteers who pick up food at their warehouse and deliver groceries to low-income neighborhoods. This occurs every evening, Monday through Friday, serving 17 sites in Fairfax County.
The Community Partners program provides bulk food items to 14 community partners on a regular basis. This includes faith-based organizations, homeless shelters and other groups serving at-risk residents facing food insecurity in Northern Virginia.
The Power Pack Program (P3) provides weekend backpack food to Fairfax County public elementary school students identified by school social workers and teachers as in need of supplemental food. Food for Others received the 2017 FCPS Community Partner of the Year Award in recognition of this effort.
They welcome help with conducting a food drive, assembling power packs, helping in the warehouse stocking shelves, bagging food for distribution, etc.
Interested in volunteering? Visit their website, Facebook, or Twitter pages, or contact Nikki Clifford (email@example.com) or GT Liaison Lynn O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.
George B. Thomas Saturday School
Saturday School provides affordable academic support and tutoring for students Grades K-12 in Montgomery County, Maryland. Extra help is offered to help children stay on track with their schoolwork. Specialized programs and SAT/ACT preparation are also available to help accelerate and encourage learning for all students.
Volunteers are needed to help support staff and teachers in a variety of tasks or in mentoring students in specific subjects.
To Volunteer: Check out their Volunteer Opportunities page or contact GT Liaison Pam Feinstein (email@example.com).
Healthy Babies Project, Inc. (HBP) is a 2017 Giving Together Grant recipient. HBP is located in Washington DC to connect high-risk, underserved pregnant D.C. women and families to health care, social services, and educational opportunities. Some of these mothers and babies are in residence. They are provided up to two years of support because HBP understands that changing behaviors takes time and nurturing. See this Washington Post article (published Jan. 1, 2019)
Opportunities to lend support for a few hours a day, week or month can be accessed by submitting a volunteer profile. Volunteers are needed for: redecorating rooms in transitional housing; providing Welcome Bags for new residents; creating basic baby care packages, emergency food baskets, and emergency clothes (e.g. underclothes, pjs); collecting cleaning supplies and paper goods. Volunteers are invited to adopt a family for the Holidays or at Easter.
Interfaith Works programs provide services to help neighbors lift themselves out of poverty. There are numerous ways to volunteer, including by sorting and organizing donated clothes at the clothing center, hosting a drive for travel-size toiletries, providing bagged lunches, and donating items on their wish list.
Volunteers are needed to prepare and serve food to groups of 8-35 at their facilities; organize and lead activities with guests, such as bingo, board games, arts & crafts, knitting, afternoon tea, a "spa day." They also welcome help sorting and organizing donated clothes and household goods.
Interested in volunteering? Contact GT Liaison Carolyn Johnson (CJohnson@iworksmc.org).
Nourish Now's mission is to solve two major social issues: food waste and hunger. Fresh food is recovered from area restaurants, caterers, bakeries, grocers, farms and other food donor partners throughout the Montgomery County and DC metropolitan area. Food is then distributed directly to families in need, and to partner organizations to help support their food distribution efforts.
Over two million pounds of food has been recovered and donated since 2011.
To further combat hunger, Nourish Now also collects and donates non-perishable healthy snacks for at-risk youth at Montgomery County Public Schools, and dried and canned goods for families in need.
GT has an ongoing, monthly volunteer day at Nourish Now on the second Monday of each month to help the staff sort, package and re-distribute donations of fresh food. Up to ten volunteers may sign up to volunteer 10:30 AM-12:30 PM. Please contact Susan Alberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lisa Shofnos (email@example.com) if you plan to attend.
HEALTHY SNACK DRIVE: Nourish Now provides healthy snacks during the school day to reduce hunger and benefit underserved students in Montgomery County Public Schools. Please donate individualized items that are low in salt/sugar, unsweetened, whole grain/wheat, and overall good for learning minds! Examples include: granola/snack bars, applesauce/fruit cups, baked snacks (no nuts please). Click here for details. If interested in hosting a snack drive, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CANNED FOOD DRIVE: Please consider hosting a canned food drive for Nourish Now. While they collect a variety of perishable and non-perishables items from their food recovery partners, they are in need of canned and dry goods to fill the gap. It is important that families receive ready-to-eat prepared meals and fresh produce, as well as food items that will last much longer. Click here for a list of recommended food items to donate. If interested in hosting a canned food drive, please contact email@example.com.
Location: 1111 Taft Street, Rockville 20850
The mission of Sasha Bruce Youthwork is to improve the lives of runaway, homeless, abused, and neglected at-risk youth and their families in the Washington area. They achieve this by providing shelter, counseling, life skills training and positive youth development activities to approximately 1,500 youth and 5,000 family members each year.
Volunteering at Sasha Bruce provides groups and individuals the opportunity to have a powerful and positive impact on the lives of young people and families in the District. Both one-time experiences and ongoing positions are available. Examples include gardening, helping with holiday drives, and facilitating group discussions about career planning strategies. For more information about volunteering with Sasha Bruce, visit their website.
Urban Alliance serves high school youth from under-resourced communities who are at risk of disconnecting from pathways to economic self-sufficiency and lack the skills, experience, and networks needed for success. Urban Alliance provides professional or “soft” skills training, access and exposure to direct work experience, and meaningful adult relationships to help young people connect to pathways leading to self-sufficiency.
One of our most popular annual community service activities takes place during the summer, when we volunteer as judges for a culminating "Urban Alliance Public Speaking Challenge" for 150 high school interns. These students from Washington DC, Montgomery County and Prince George's County make presentations to showcase the skills that they have gained during their internships.
In addition, volunteers are invited to help with their spring Career Day, Networking Day, and Mock Interviews.
Become a Job Partner - Hosting a high school intern allows you to observe how much potential a young person has while concurrently developing their skills. You can evaluate skills and work ethic while helping to build company loyalty for your future employees. The program allows you to invest in a young person, your community, and your business all at once. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other ways to get involved, contact GT Liaison (temporary) Pam Feinstein (email@example.com)
Grounded in grassroots senior leadership, We Are Family mobilizes a committed corps of volunteers to reach out to isolated inner-city seniors with free services, advocacy, and companionship, building a network of caring eyes and ears that enables at-risk seniors to age in place. More than simply a social service provider, We Are Family is a bold experiment in building a caring, just and inclusive community.
Their services currently include:
Free monthly grocery delivery
Friendly visits in the senior’s home
Regular telephone reassurance
Emergency cleaning assistance
Transportation to stores or appointments
Referrals to other agencies or services
We Are Family provides organizing and leadership training assistance, bringing seniors to participate in community meetings, protests, and city council hearings.
Their model is grounded in the power of volunteers – especially their senior leaders – in their work. They rely on volunteers to provide services, advocacy and beyond. They also purposefully draw on a diverse range of such workers to achieve their deeper aim of building a caring, just, and inclusive community, to help them get to know one another past boundaries like race, class, religion, sexual orientation and language.
Volunteer opportunities (in North Capitol, Shaw, Columbia Heights) include Saturday morning/Wednesday afternoon grocery bag assembly and delivery. Help is welcome anytime with grocery shopping, transportation, and friendly visits.