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In the News…

SNAP faces $5 billion cut Friday: A temporary boost to the SNAP program expires on Friday, which will affect the nearly 48 million Americans who receive food assistance benefits. What does that mean for SNAP recipients, 87 percent of whom are in households with children, seniors or those with disabilities? A report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has some startling statistics:

– A household of three, such as a mother with two children, will lose $29 a month.

– The cut is equivalent to about 16 meals a month for a family of three (based on the cost of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s “Thrifty Food Plan.”)

– Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits in fiscal year 2014 will average less than $1.40 per person per meal.

More DC families will be homeless this winter: According to an article in the Washington Post, DC officials predict a 10 percent increase in the number of families who will be homeless this winter. The City’s shelters are nearly full already, but an estimated 509 new families will need housing this winter. This is in addition to a number of unaccompanied homeless youth who are not included in the winter shelter plan. The Rapid Rehousing program, designed to quickly move families from shelters and into affordable housing, continues to face challenges in finding housing that also passes a safety inspection. Officials will meet Tuesday to discuss plans for managing the expected increase in homeless clients.

73 percent of DC students re-enrolled after school closure: After 13 schools closed due to under enrollment this fall, 2,000 students had to move to another school. At the beginning of the school year, only 44 percent of students had re-enrolled. That’s close to what the District saw in 2008 when it closed 23 schools. The current 73 percent rate is a marked improvement over 2008 but still short of the 80 percent goal. Read the article at WAMU here.

Montgomery County School Chief proposes investment to address overcrowding: Montgomery County is Maryland’s fastest growing school district; the County’s enrollment has grown by 14,000 students since 2007 and is projected to add another 11,000 within six years. In a Washington Post article, Superintendent Starr says the schools are “bursting at the seams,” and proposed a $1.55 billion dollar investment to build five schools and finance 22 classroom-addition projects to address overcrowding in the next six years. He plans to delay 20 school revitalization projects by a year or two due to budget constraints, however he has placed an emphasis on HVAC projects for existing schools. The proposal will be considered starting November 7th. Read the full story here.

Guest Post: Girls on the Run

Today’s post comes from Girls on the Run – DC whose program teaches over 2,000 girls in DC’s eight wards about self-esteem and healthy living through running.

by Kelsey Lyle, Program Coordinator GOTR-DC

“My daughter, who usually complains about walking even a few blocks, came home last week after running almost 2 miles and was so energized and proud of herself that she asked to run around our block a few times. Running a 5K seemed impossible to her when she started, but now she’s figured out that she can run further and longer than she ever knew. I’m looking forward to an improved outlook on fitness, which I hope will serve her throughout her life.” – Dawn, GOTR-DC Parent of 3rd Grader

This is one of many stories that parents of Girls on the Run DC participants can tell. Girls on the Run DC is an afterschool program that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. The program takes place over the course of 10 weeks and concludes with a 5k event to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of the girls in the program.

Our volunteer coaches are the key ingredient to our success as an organization. Volunteer coaches empower girls to appreciate who they are and encourage them to take on a healthy lifestyle. They are what make the program happen- a role that is a blend of teacher, mentor, and friend. Each practice session offers a lesson on topics that include peer pressure, self-esteem, cooperation, and more. In addition to running during practice, the girls are asked to give a thoughtful reflection to the topic of the day. At the end of the program, each team creates and completes a community service project.

This Fall season Girls on the Run DC is in more than 50 schools and has over 70 Girls on the Run teams. Each year we serve over 2,000 girls in the DC metropolitan area. Approximately 60% of our sites receive scholarships, and we, as an organization, fundraise on their behalf.

We rely on volunteers to assist with many different aspects of our organization. We need over 200 volunteers to make our November 24th race day possible. If you would like to help out with Girls on the Run 5K as a race day volunteer please sign up on our website:

Find out more about Girls on the Run DC at our website, or Like us on Facebook!

photo: Emily Weiss (

Around Town 10/25-10/31

We are in the final stretch of October (can you believe it?)! See what these great nonprofits are doing to help October go out with a bang! Continue reading

Guest Post: Playworks

October is Bullying Prevention Month. Today we’re excited to welcome Susan Comfort, Executive Director of Playworks, DC to share how their program’s strategies help create a safe, healthy environment for kids to play and be active every day!

by Susan Comfort

October is the time of year that Playworks DC Coaches at our 15 schools choose the 4th and 5th graders who are going to serve as “Junior Coaches” for the rest of the year. And we don’t always choose the star students. We purposely choose the shy kids, too, and even the bullies, who use their leadership talents in the wrong direction. Continue reading

Guest Post: DC Diaper Bank

Today’s post comes from the DC Diaper Bank, whose mission is to strengthen families by providing a reliable and adequate supply of free diapers to families in need living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Begun in 2010, DC Diaper Bank works with a network of 17 social service agencies to provide diapers to more than 1,700 babies and families a month. Continue reading

Around Town: 10/18-10/24

With Fall in full swing, our nonprofits are getting busy! See what great events you can head to in the upcoming week. Are you a current Catalogue nonprofit with an event to promote? Make sure to put it in your portal so you can see your event in an upcoming Around Town! Continue reading

World Food Day

Today is World Food Day where organizations of all sizes mobilize to end hunger. In that spirit, here are a few food-related items to consider:

1. An estimated 870 million people in the world are chronically hungry. About 60 percent of those are women. In the U.S., more than 16 million kids live in food-insecure households. In DC, 15.7% of households suffer from food insecurity; in Maryland, 15.6% of Prince George’s County households risk going hungry food compared to the state’s average of 13.4%. (from Feeding America)

2. Programs that work to provide kids with free lunches & breakfasts reach over 9.6 million kids each year, but an equal number of eligible students are not enrolled. Hear one story about a 12 year-old student going to school hungry and its impact from an “Education Nation” broadcast here.

3. While the SNAP and WIC programs are currently funded through the end of the month, some local food banks are gearing up for a crunch, due to delayed benefits and the lingering government shutdown. Federal assistance aside, area food banks have seen a 25% increase in demand since 2006.

In greater Washington, there are so many organizations working tirelessly to combat hunger every day. Consider getting involved — by volunteering, making a donation, starting a food drive — with one of our partners today, including: Arlington Food Assistance Center, DC Hunger Solutions, Food for Others, Manna Food Center, Miriam’s Kitchen, Our Daily Bread



Guest Post: Global Kids

Today we welcome Global Kids to Goodworks! Global Kids works to ensure that urban youth have the knowledge, skills, experiences and values they need to succeed in school, participate effectively in the democratic process, and achieve leadership in their communities and on the global stage. A nationally known educational nonprofit, Global Kids combines global learning, youth development, and experiential learning strategies to work closely with underserved, at-risk youth, to improve their academics, prepare them for college and careers, and to cultivate the next generation of leaders.

Tshala Pajibo is a senior at McKinley Technology High School who plans to study literature next year in college. She joined Global Kids this summer for the Global Gateways Summer Institute and was selected to be one of the eight students who travelled to Costa Rica for a week-long service-learning trip. Tshala is a long-time resident of Columbia Heights who is active in her community and at church.

Complexities of Development: An Account by Tshala Pajibo

Here in Costa Rica we have been learning about development and some of the complexities that come with it. It really resonated with me and my experience in DC.

You see, the house that I live in- my grandma’s house – is really, really old. They have been in Columbia Heights since the Great Migration. The house, which used to be painted pink to keep it cool in the DC heat, is the family center- from family meetings to cookouts to graduation parties. Everything is held there.

It used to be in a shady neighborhood where you couldn’t go out after dark. Then it started getting better, when neighbors started looking after one another. Then the local stores started to leave. The carry-out that my brothers frequented moved because they weren’t getting business. Now there’s a strip of chain stores like Sprint, 7/11, and Target. Meanwhile, the empty houses on the block started getting fixed up, so they didn’t look weird.

That’s when my family got a letter from the DC government saying that we would have to paint our house. My grandma has always had the house painted pink to keep it cool. Now the letter said that the house was too different and was impacting the property values of other houses. It’s already hard to meet the changing prices of things, so we painted the house brown and burgundy to avoid fines.

With the increases in property tax and the cost of living, poor people are forced to move from their homes. My neighbors have changed from being families who have been here forever to people that stay for just a few years.

It’s these changes that make gentrification hard. It may not seem significant that my family had to paint over the pink paint that my grandmother loved so much, but it’s an example of how sometimes I feel like I am being made invisible in my own neighborhood. It makes me understand how some of the people in Puerto Viejo feel now that they are being move from their land for development.


To learn more about Global Kids, please visit:


Around Town: 10/11-10/17

No matter what type of event you are looking to head to this weekend, the events featured below will all help you make a difference in your community. See what you can do to give back to great nonprofits in your own backyard. Continue reading

In the News…

It’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, and DC’s Mayor Gray is hosting a city-wide conversation on mental health on Saturday October 12th. The forum, entitled “Creating Community Solutions DC,” aims to engage hundreds of residents to “develop strategies to reduce the stigma associated with, and increase openness to, mental-health care,” according to the City’s website. This conversation will be the starting point for a community action plan to be developed by government officials, nonprofit and private sector leaders.
Continue reading