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Thinking Of You

Good morning, Greater Washington. We very much hope that you all stayed safe and well over the past couple days!

As we mentioned on the Catalogue main page: if you see someone, or know someone, who is homeless and in need of help, call the DC Shelter Hotline at 1-800-535-7252. (Thanks to our friends at Friendship Place for this good tip.)

And for information on needs and activities of our local Human Service non-profits, you can follow them on our Twitter list right here.

Catalogue Milestones: 2008

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

As we approach our celebration of the 10th Catalogue for Philanthropy, we look back to see how the Catalogue has grown and evolved.

From year to year, the Catalogue’s base of donors and supporters has increased and strengthened. In 2008, the initial group of three Catalogue donors had increased to 30, including a variety of individual and foundation supporters.

This year also marked the first annual launch event held at the Harman Center for the Arts. In its first year at the Harman Center, the Catalogue’s annual event welcomed 500 guests to celebrate the sixth publication of the Catalogue for Philanthropy. Since then, Harman Center has hosted the Catalogue’s annual event every year.

The following charities were featured in the Catalogue for the first time in 2008, and are relisted again this year. Get to know them here:

In print:

Arlington Arts Center: Contemporary visual arts center featuring exhibitions, classes, and studios.
Center for Adoption Support and Education: Helping adoptive families overcome challenges and become “forever families.”
DC Youth Orchestra Program: Music education organization providing instruction and performance opportunities for youth.
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital: Film festival presenting 160 environmental-focused films to large citywide audiences.
FAIR Girls: Girls’ empowerment organization keeping girls safe from exploitation.
For Love of Children: Providing free educational services to low-income Washington, DC students.
Inner City-Inner Child: Early learning and book distribution program for at-risk preschool children.
Iona Senior Services: Community-based organization supporting people through the challenges of aging.
Latino Economic Development Center: Community-based, direct service, economic development organization for low- to moderate-income Latinos.
New Futures: Helping DC’s lowest income youth gain access to post-secondary education.
Red Wiggler Community Farm: Creating fertile ground to nourish a healthy and inclusive community.
San Miguel School: Private middle school for at-risk Latino boys.
Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL): Supporting metro DC area LGBTQ youth.
Synetic Theater: Washington, DC area’s premier physical theater.
Teen and Young Adult Health Connection: Providing high quality, low-cost reproductive health care to female youth and their partners.
A Wider Circle: Providing a unique, holistic approach to ending poverty.
Words Beats & Life: Transforming lives and communities through hip-hop.


AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly: Premier provider of legal services and advocacy for vulnerable seniors.
Audubon Naturalist Society: Local environmental education and conservation organization serving Washington, DC region.
Building Bridges Across the River THEARC: Founder and managing agency for arts and social service campus.
The Christ Child Society of Washington DC: Women’s organization meeting emotional, educational, and material needs of children.
DC Vote: Education and advocacy organization seeking full democracy for DC.
Rachael’s Women’s Center: Day shelter providing comprehensive services for homeless women in Washington, DC.

2012 Nonprofits Celebrate the Honor

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

What does it mean to be “one of the best” small nonprofits in Greater Washington? The 2012-13 class of Catalogue nonprofits got their first taste of that honor at the Catalogue’s Best Practices Workshop and Celebration last Wednesday. The workshop marked the beginning of the Catalogue’s 10th Anniversary celebration this fall. Over 140 representatives from 83 different nonprofits joined together to congratulate each other and learn more about how to make the most of the Catalogue honor.

The evening was marked by many highlights, starting with a spirited introduction by Catalogue Board Chair Don Neal. As Community Partnerships Coordinator for the Catalogue, I had the privilege of co-hosting a portion of the workshop with Catalogue President and Editor Barbara Harman. Together, we introduced the new Nonprofit Portal website — the home base for all Catalogue nonprofits online.

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Around Town: October 26-28

What are your plans for the weekend? We have some great ideas at Catalogue nonprofits …

Anacostia Watershed Society (38th Street, Hyattsville, MD) – Event Full

Build and install bird houses at the native meadow along the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River on Friday at 10:00 AM. Complete information right this way!

Audubon Naturalist Society (Woodend Sanctuary, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD)

On Friday at 6:00 PM, join ANS members for the annual meeting, featuring Patterson Clark, author and illustrator of the “Urban Jungle” column in The Washington Post. RSVP details and program schedule right here.

District of Columbia Arts Center (2438 18th Street NW, Washington DC)

Plenty happening at DCAC this weekend! A second edition of The Happy Buddha Brings Peace and Laughter is onstage on Friday & Saturday at 10:00 PM and Theatre Du Jour’s Nightmerica returns Friday through Sunday at 7:30 PM. Schedule right here.

Volunteer Fairfax (Numerous locations)

The 18th annual VolunteerFest Day of Service is coming up this Saturday. You can choose a project (perhaps with a Catalogue nonprofit) and sign up right here. So many great options!

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (1632 U Street NW Washington, DC)

On Saturday at 10:00 AM, join two culinary and nutrition experts and learn how to incorporate nourishing foods for healing and prevention of cancer; most of the workshop will be dedicated to hands-on cooking. Sign up here.

Homeless in Fairfax County

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

In Fairfax County, the very rich and the very poor live side by side. The Washington Post recently reported that the homeless student population in Fairfax County is on the verge of breaking 2,500 students — a record for the county, which is by some measures the second most affluent county in the US. Since 2005, the number of homeless students in Fairfax County has been on the rise — growing by 58% from 2005 to 2011. This trend echoes the observations made recently in Venture Philanthropy Partners’ Capital Kids report, which offers comprehensive data on the state of children and youth in the greater Washington area. (Read our review on the report here.)

Capital Kids focuses on “the poverty factor” as one of the four main issues involving children and youth in the National Capital Region: “The negative social, academic and health outcomes for children raised in poverty have been well documented. They include a greater incidence of chronic health conditions (such as asthma); mental disorders, including depression; and risky behaviors such as smoking, drugs, alcohol and early sexual activity. Childhood poverty is also associated with poor school attendance and decreased academic achievement, as well as behavioral problems such as delinquency.”

According to the Post, the recession and its after-effects have caused this explosion of homeless youth and students. Right now, more than 1 million students are experiencing homelessness across the country. Judith Dittman, executive director of Catalogue nonprofit Alternative House, was quoted in the Post, expressing her concern about this situation in Northern Virginia: “Nobody wants to see these kids sleeping on the street. No matter how bad the economy is, we don’t want to see 17-year-olds sleeping in the doorways at libraries.”

Working specifically with runaway, abused, and homeless youth, Alterative House “offers safe and accessible places where teens can get help” and has served thousands of youth over the past 40 years. Alternative House is one of many Catalogue nonprofits that serve the homeless population in Fairfax County. Here’s a brief look at several others, and you can find a complete list of nonprofits serving Fairfax County here.

= Doorways for Women and Families has worked for 30 years to break the intergenerational cycles of homelessness and domestic violence, providing a variety of support services to families who are working to move out of homelessness.

- For over three decades, Shelter House has provided a structured and supportive environment for homeless families in Fairfax County, through transitional housing programs, emergency shelters, and case management for newly-housed families.

- Main Street Child Development Center is one of the few nonprofit childcare centers in the area, ensuring that children from low-income households have the same educational start as their higher income peers.

- FACETS provides emergency services and supportive programs to prevent homelessness and assist those who are already homeless, working to ensure that every Fairfax family has a place to call home.

In The News …

Homeless student population to crest 2,500 in Fairfax County for first time (Washington Post): “The number of homeless students in Fairfax County public schools is likely to surpass 2,500 by the end of this school year, according to school officials, what would be a new record for one of the most affluent communities in the nation.” Over 15% of these are “unaccompanied youths,” or children who live without a parent or guardian. In DC, the total number of homeless public school students reached nearly 3,000 last year. Overall, “according to estimates from the Education Department, there are more than 1 million homeless students nationwide, an all-time high.”

Prince George’s leaders unite against domestic violence in new assessment program (Gazette): “By the end of the year, all Prince George’s County patrol officers and municipal law enforcement agencies will be equipped to better handle domestic violence incidents and provide immediate assistance to victims thanks to a state-led program. According to Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, “This calls for law enforcement to be trained to identify domestic violence situations so that they can help victims to take the steps to prevent it;” and according to Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, “the effort is focused on identifying abusive situations and preventing domestic violence cases from escalating to reduce the number of homicides.” (Learn about Catalogue nonprofits DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project today.)

MontCo health agency recommends healthy snacks, tracking student obesity (Washington Examiner): “Montgomery County’s Health Commission is recommending that the county track student obesity and put more nutritious snacks in vending machines, as part of officials’ latest efforts to make county residents healthier.” The Commission also suggested to the Montgomery County Council that it “should provide more opportunities for exercise for children and adults, and establish better accommodationsfor mothers who are breast-feeding.” Five years ago, the County “passed a ban on the use of artificial trans fats in chain restaurants and all food service facilities,” which include public schools. What are successful school-based health efforts that you have experienced?

Catalogue Milestones: 2007

As we approach our celebration of the 10th Catalogue for Philanthropy, we look back to see how the Catalogue has grown and evolved.

Currently, a diverse array of foundations, nonprofit organizations, corporations, institutions, and individuals review for the Catalogue. In our fifth year (2007), the review team jumped to 55. Last year (2011), the team was 120 strong. Check out the full list right here.

The following charities were featured for the first time in the print Catalogue in 2007, and are relisted this year. Get to know them here …

- Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
- Empowered Women International
- Passion for Learning
- Arlington Food Assistance Center

Unfold in the Dream

“Everybody is different — even writers. You have to learn how to use your energy and not squander it. In the writing process, the more a story cooks, the better. The brain works for you even when you are at rest. I find dreams particularly useful. I myself think a great deal before I go to sleep and the details sometimes unfold in the dream.”

– British novelist Doris Lessing, born today in 1919

Around Town: Coming Up

What’s coming up at Catalogue nonprofits? Glad you asked!

Anacostia Watershed Society (Lakewood Road, College Park, MD) — Cancelled

Join AWS, the Eyes of Paint Branch, and the DC Chapter of Surfrider for this annual cleanup on Saturday at 10:00 AM. Complete info right this way.

Our Daily Bread (field at 10515 School Street, Fairfax City, VA)

Take part in “Complete the Circle Event and FoodRaiser,” a meaningful and fun event to help needy families throughout the Fairfax County area, on Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 PM. You can register right here.

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (1632 U Street NW, Washington, DC ) –Postponed

This new series will begin with one hour of gentle yoga and create a safe, comfortable place for group members to share concerns and feelings, starting on Wednesday at 10:30 AM. Learn more this way.

Volunteer Fairfax (8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA)

On Thursday, this all-day conference, “Fairfax County Roundup: Whole Community Collaboration for Disaster,” will bring together the players that serve our community’s needs. Contact Matt Lyttle, Emergency Response Program Manager, at (703) 246-3553 with questions.

Brooklyn Castle

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Chess is not just a game of kings and pawns, queens and knights. For a group of middle schoolers from Brooklyn — and for thousands of other students here in DC and across the country — chess is a unique afterschool activity that impacts their lives both on and off the board. Catalogue nonprofit Chess Challenge in DC co-sponsored a sneak peek of the documentary film Brooklyn Castle last week, which profiles a student chess team from Brooklyn, New York, and invited Catalogue staff to have a look.

Brooklyn Castle tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school (Intermediate School/IS 318) that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories.

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