Opinion: Editorial: Give Locally in Arlington

Opinion: Editorial: Give Locally in Arlington

For tens of thousands of families in our area, uncertainty and need are distant from the celebrations and plenty that so many of us associate with this holiday period.

The holidays are about giving, and giving thanks. The holidays are about children and family. The holidays are about sharing, about joy. The holidays are about being thankful and about faith and appreciation. The holidays are about alleviating suffering for others.

Northern Virginia is among the wealthiest areas in the country. Many if not most of us go through our daily and seasonal routines without encountering evidence of the needy families among us.

Almost 8,000 of Arlington’s 27,300 students, or 29.25 percent, are poor enough to qualify for subsidized meals. More than 9 percent of children in Arlington live below the poverty line.

Many are children living in families who may be on the brink of homelessness, families who must choose between medical bills, car repair, heat and food. Some of these are children who may not be sure that they will have a meal between the meals they get in school.

School holidays can bring uncertainty and hunger, a far cry from the celebrations, gifts and plenty that we associate with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Hundreds of homeless students attend the public schools, and their needs are greater.

Many nonprofits in the county need your help to provide a holiday meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas, to provide children with gifts.

There are literally hundreds, probably thousands, of ways to give locally this season. Here are a few ideas. Please let us know what we have missed.

— Mary Kimm, mkimm@connectionnewspapers.com

Give Locally in Arlington

  • Arlington Free Clinic provides free, high-quality health care to low-income, uninsured Arlington County adults through the generosity of donors and volunteers. www.arlingtonfreeclinic.org 2921 11th St. South, Arlington, VA 22204, 703-979-1425

  • Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, 703-525-7177, www.aachhomeless.org

  • A-SPAN provides services for Arlington’s street homeless. Its mission is to secure permanent housing for one of Arlington’s most vulnerable populations. P.O. Box 100731 Arlington, VA 22210, 703-820-4357,www.a-span.org/ and www.facebook.com/aspan.org/

  • Arlington Thrive provides one-time, same-day emergency financial assistance to Arlington residents facing a financial crisis, and also has programs to help prevent homelessness. 703-558-0035, www.arlingtonthrive.org

  • Doorways for Women and Families provides services to help women out of domestic violence and homelessness toward safe and stable lives, Arlington, www.doorwaysva.org, 703-504-9400.

  • The Arlington Food Assistance Center provides supplemental food assistance to Arlington County residents, distributes groceries to over 2,300 families every week. More than 35 percent are children. 2708 South Nelson Street, Arlington, VA 22206, www.afac.org/, 703-845-8486.

  • Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, Arlington, 703-521-9890.

  • Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, collecting toys and gifts for children ages newborn-18 who call an APAH community home. These gifts will make up a holiday gift shop where parents can choose a gift for each of their children. A donation will ensure children receive a gift during the holiday season. apah.org

  • Shirlington Employment and Education Center (SEEC) an employment and education center in Arlington. In addition to facilitating employment for workers, SEEC offers vocational, English and job-related courses to build the skillsets of the worker pool. The center consists of two facilities; employers are able to visit either to find a worker for jobs to be performed. The center has staff at both sites, ready and willing to coordinate the pairing of workers and employers. Main Office: 2706 South Nelson Street, Arlington, VA 22006 Daily 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Pavilion (corner of Shirlington Road and 27th Street) Daily 7 a.m.- 4 p.m. Phone: 703-933-1101 Email: atobar@seecjobs.org; http://www.seecjobs.org/

  • AHC Inc.’s mission is to produce and preserve affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families and to build strong futures for our residents through onsite educational programs. Supporting the work of AHC means providing award-winning educational programs and services to neighbors who need help most. AHC Inc., 2230 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22201 703-486-0626 www.ahcinc.org

  • Culpepper Garden, Affordable Senior Living. A gift to Arlington Retirement Housing Corporation, nonprofit owner of Culpepper Garden, helps achieve its mission of providing and advocating for high-quality, affordable housing, services and programs that allow lower-income older persons to thrive. No assisted living resident has ever had to leave their home here due to inability to pay. Volunteers of all ages provide activities, programs and entertainment that build community and encourage wellness. 4435 North Pershing Drive, Arlington VA 22203, 703-528-0162 culpeppergarden.org

  • Northern Virginia Family Services, 571-748-2500, www.nvfs.org, Employment and job training, healthcare, housing, mental health, foster care and Healthy Families.

  • OAR rebuilds lives and breaks the cycle of crime with opportunities, alternatives, and resources for offenders and their families to create a safer community. 10640 Page Ave., Suite 250, Fairfax, VA 22030, 703-246-3033. OAR needs volunteers and financial donations. oarnova.org/christmas

  • Second Story — Abused and Homeless Children's Refuge, 2100 Gallows Road, Vienna, VA 22182. 703-506-9191, second-story.org. Second Story (formerly Alternative House) provides shelter and services for homeless, runaway or abused teenagers, unaccompanied youth, and young mothers and their children.

  • Comfort for America's Uniformed Services (CAUSE) ensures that recuperating service members have opportunities for recreation and social interaction and receive concrete signs of appreciation for all that they have done. Mailing address: 4201 Wilson Blvd., #110-284, Arlington, VA 22203, CFC #33011, Phone 703-591-4965, cause-usa.org

  • Neighborhood Health Clinics www.neighborhoodhealthva.org, Improving health and advance health equity in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax by providing access to high quality care regardless of ability to pay.

  • Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, 703-237-0866,www.lcnv.org, Teaches adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking and understanding English.

  • The Community Foundation of Northern Virginia works to respond to critical need and seed innovation in our region. Consider a 2018 year-end gift to its Community Investment Fund to support its signature grant cycle responding to critical need in the region. www.cfnova.org/for-donors/donate-now

  • Friends of Guest House Northern Virginia offers structure, supervision, support and assistance to female ex-offenders who want to improve their lives and break the cycle of incarceration. Friends of Guest House offers the only program for women of its kind in Northern Virginia. One East Luray Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301-2025, 703-549-8072, info@friendsofguesthouse.org, friendsofguesthouse.org/

  • Shelter House provides crisis intervention, safe housing and supportive services to promote self-sufficiency for homeless families and victims of domestic violence in Fairfax County. Its mission is to get families back into stable housing to provide them the opportunity to continue their journey to self-sufficiency. www.shelterhouse.org

  • NAMI Northern Virginia (National Alliance on Mental Illness) works to raise awareness and provide education, advocacy, and support programs for people living with mental illness, families, students, educators, law enforcement, and the public throughout our neighborhoods. Many excellent programs. NAMI Northern Virginia serves Fairfax, Falls Church, Arlington, Alexandria, and Loudoun www.nami-northernvirginia.org/ HelpLine: 571-458.7310, Email: info@nami-nova.org

  • PRS, Inc. exists so that individuals living with mental illness, substance use disorders, mild intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and anyone who faces life crises can achieve safety, personal wellness, recovery and community integration. PRS also provides crisis counseling and CRISISLINK, 24/7 hotline service. Call 800-273-TALK [8255]. Text "CONNECT" to 85511

  • New Hope Housing, founded in 1977, is a non-profit agency in Northern Virginia committed to finding creative and lasting solutions to end the cycle of homelessness by offering homeless men, women and children the services they need to change their lives and succeed. 8407E Richmond Hwy., Alexandria, VA 22309 www.newhopehousing.org/how-to-help/donate/

  • Potomac Riverkeeper Network works to protect the public’s right to clean water in rivers and streams; to stop pollution to promote safe drinking water; to protect healthy river habitats; and to enhance public use and enjoyment. 3070 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007. 202-888-2037 www.potomacriverkeepernetwork.org

  • Potomac River Conservancy, 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 805, Silver Spring, MD 20910, 301-608-1188 potomac.org, seeks to improve the Potomac River’s water quality by building an impassioned base of river advocates to impart change at the local level.