Since conditions are changing so rapidly, we suggest that you go directly to individual grantee websites to see how they are responding to COVID-19 and how you can help.

Grantee Connector Opportunities

How, When and Where to Connect

With our Grantees

A Wider Circle

awidercircle.org

 

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.  

Update during coronavirus outbreak

A Wider Circle is CLOSED, working remotely, continuing to employ all staff members. Please use this time to collect items to donate when they reopen. You can post pictures on #showuswhatyougot. Gift cards, nonperishable food, and any kind of financial support is needed.

 

The Race to End Poverty is being converted to a Virtual event.  Details to follow.

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 (pam@awidercircle.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 (kdschifrin@gmail.com or (301)520-6228 (c) or (301)365-0008 (h) and Pam Feinstein (pam@awidercircle.org or 301-332-7859). 

Aspire Counseling

www.we-aspire.org

 

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

They are most in need of the following items:

  • Diapers, especially newborn, 1, 2 and wipes

  • Infant and small sizes of clothes especially for baby boys

  • Gift cards for grocery stores (Giant, Safeway, etc.)

  • Gift cards for Target, Walmart, CVS, will be greatly appreciated

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 (ebbford@verizon.net)

Career Catchers

www.careercatchers.org

 

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak 

Clients are being encouraged to update their workplace skills through free educational online trainings.
GT members who are interested in helping from a distance, please contact Pam at feinstep@gmail.com
to get to get connected to the Career Catchers team. 

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 (feinstep@gmail.com

 

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

CASA needs financial support to support their clients during this time of health and economic crisis. Kindly donate at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/casa?refcode=3.16.2020   

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.

Interested in volunteering? Please refer to CASA's website or contact GT Liaison Leah Steinberg (leahgsteinberg@gmail.com).

Computer C.O.R.E.

computercore.org

 

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)

  • Teaching Assistants

  • Career Coaches

  • Tutoring (Saturday mornings)

 

Update during coronavirus outbreak

1) Please continue to make individual donations at this difficult time, so that they are ready to bounce back and deliver classes as soon as they reopen.
 
2) Reach out to any business you know that can donate computers in quantity. Computer CORE is a qualified refurbisher of donated computers. They will ensure donated machines are wiped clean and are loaded with Windows 10 and Microsoft Office Suite. They are seeking laptops in good working order with 8GB hard drives or better, power cords, and which can run Windows 10.
 
3) Donate Chromebooks or other web-only devices - they have curriculum for cloud-based solutions.
 

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.

Questions? Contact GT Liaison Lynn O'Connell (lynnoconnell.va@gmail.com).

Crossroads Community Food Network

crossroadscommunityfoodnetwork.org

 

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.

 

Update during coronavirus outbreak

Their food business entrepreneurs are strategizing alternative ways for them to earn income (making to-go meals, developing shelf-stable products, etc., rather than catering events). Kindly donate to help cover staff time and skilled expertise for increased technical assistance.  


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.

Want to volunteer? Check out the Volunteer Opportunities page, or contact GT liaison Christine Kessides (ckessides@gmail.com, 301-221-9544) to coordinate scheduling or for more details.

DC Volunteer Lawyers Project

www.dcvlp.org

 

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

They have their benefits. Therefore, domestic violence victims and at-risk children are facing new challenges — increased financial stress, social distancing from support networks, quarantine with an abuser, and restless children stuck inside a home that may not be safe.


They are asking you to consider making an important donation to ensure clients may continue to get the support they need during this unprecedented time. Click here to make your tax-deductible donation today. They need your support now more than ever.

 

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.

 

Interested in helping out? Fill out their volunteer registration form, or contact GT Liaison (temporary) Pam Feinstein (feinstep@gmail.com).

Food for Others

foodforothers.org

 

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

Food for Others remains committed to serving our neighbors in need. Last week they served 811 households at the warehouse and Annandale pop-up site, distributing over 51,000 lbs of food. (For comparison, last year during the same week they served 282 families at the warehouse.) Power Pack volunteers delivered packs to eight partner schools where children are able to receive meals from Fairfax County Public Schools.
Their biggest needs are:
 

  • Food- canned meats, chili, rice, pasta, pasta sauce, canned fruit, produce

  • Medium sized boxes (banker sized, printer paper sized)

 
Financial support is also always appreciated.

 

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 websiteFacebook, or Twitter pages, or contact Nikki Clifford (nclifford@foodforothers.org) or GT Liaison Lynn O'Connell (lynnoconnell.va@gmail.com) for more details. 

George B. Thomas Saturday School

www.saturdayschool.org

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

Most needed are:

  • Grocery gift cards in any amount - trying to give families $50-100.

  • Chrome books, at least one to each of five schools they serve. Raising funds to purchase new Chrome Books, and/or used Chromebooks in good working condition. 

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 (feinstep@gmail.com). 

Healthy Babies Project

healthybabiesproject.org

 

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)

Update during coronavirus outbreak

They are requesting:

  • Financial support

  • Safeway, Giant, CVS Gift Cards   

  • Lysol wipes and sprays

 

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.

Want to get involved? Email hbpvolunteers@healthybabiesproject.org for specific opportunities, or contact
GT Liaison (temporary) Pam Feinstein (
feinstep@gmail.com

Interfaith Works

iworksmc.org

 

Interfaith Works’ Mission is to join forces with the communities of Montgomery County to serve our neighbors in need and advocate for an end to poverty. Their programs provide services to help neighbors lift themselves out of poverty.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

The breakfast fundraiser has been canceled. With all of the adversity this public health crisis has brought on, the needs are staggering. See this link for list of items they need urgently to ensure the staff and those in their care remain safe and healthy, including:

 

  • Women's underwear

  • Face masks

  • Hand sanitizer, soap

  • Disinfectant spray, wipes, surface cleaners with bleach

  • Bath tissue, paper towels

  • Snack bars and water bottles

Interfaith Works runs several programs:

  • Women's Center (Rockville) - provides emergency shelter, meals, vocational services and case management to more than 250 women annually.

  • Interfaith Homes - houses 31 chronically homeless, disabled men and women annually in permanent supportive housing in several locations in Montgomery County.

  • Housing Initiative Program  - provides service coordination services to 66 formerly homeless individuals, including 30 families, who are now in permanent housing. 

  • Becky’s House (Rockville) and Priscilla's House (Gaithersburg) - provide permanent supportive housing in eight-bed homes for older women who previously have experienced homelessness. 

  • Interfaith Works Residences (Silver Spring) - provides individual residential units to 21 men and women who have experienced homelessness, and services to support their successful transition to housing. 

  • Interfaith Works Overflow - provides shelter for clients during extreme cold and hot weather.  

  • Interfaith Works Empowerment Center (Silver Spring) - runs a day program that engages over 800 individuals experiencing homelessness annually with services, meals and shelter, including shelter in weather extremes. 

 

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 Gail Dratch (gaildratch@gmail.com).

Nourish Now

nourishnow.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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

They have suspended their in-house food distribution programs to focus efforts on community distribution of emergency hunger relief kits, including to a number of emergency homeless shelters established by the county at area hotels. They are seeking non-perishable food donations such as canned vegetables/fruit, canned tuna/chicken, bread, peanut butter, jelly and jam, granola bars, shelf stable milk, canned beans.     

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.

Save the Date! 9th Annual Gala: A Night in Vegas

Saturday May 30, 2020, 7:00-11:00PM

Woodmont Country Club

  

For ticket sales, sponsorship opportunities, and more details,

call 301-330-0222 or email gala@nourishnow.org.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

  • 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 (susanalberts@gmail.com) or Lisa Shofnos (lshofnos@gmail.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 volunteer@nourishnow.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 volunteer@nourishnow.org. 

Location: 1111 Taft Street, Rockville 20850 

Tel. 301-330-0222

 

Want to help out? Visit Nourish Now's website, or contact GT Co-Liaisons Susan Alberts (susanalberts@gmail.com) or Lisa Shofnos (lshofnos@gmail.com)

Sasha Bruce

sashabruce.org

 

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

Their biggest need is funding. Areas of focus right now:

  • Keeping The Bruce House open to provide emergency shelter for minors. Most other organizations have closed.

  • Keeping their Drop-In Center open until they know that all homeless youth have a temporary place to stay and are fully prepared for a quarantine

  • Keeping their residences clean and open so youth in transitional living programs are not displaced during this outbreak.

  • Raising awareness about the needs of homeless youth, which have been largely left out of any response efforts.

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

Want to get involved? Contact GT Liaison (temporaryPam Feinstein (feinstep@gmail.com)

Urban Alliance

urbanalliance.org

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

Their students rely on their paychecks coming regularly. They have launched a Student Support Fund to help Urban Alliance youth navigate this new reality. 

  • 80% of interns contribute to household expenses.

  • 91% of interns qualify for free or reduced-priced meals, and with schools closed, may not be receiving three meals a day.

  • With colleges and universities closing their doors, some alumni are also losing access to on-campus jobs and housing.

  • Most interns come from low-income communities, those hardest-hit by the spread of COVID-19.  

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 premy@theurbanalliance.org.  

 

For other ways to get involved, contact GT Liaison (temporaryPam Feinstein (feinstep@gmail.com)

We Are Family

wearefamilydc.org

 

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.

Update during coronavirus outbreak

Last week they delivered 800 bags of food and supplies to seniors in the areas they serve. They need financial donations and cleaning supplies.   

 

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.

Interested in volunteering? Please visit the website or contact GT Liaison Harriet Shugerman (hshugerman08@gmail.com)
 

Giving Together Liaisons

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