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Go Green in April with Catalogue Nonprofits

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Looking for direction on how participate in Earth Day celebrations all month long? Look no further. We have 6 local nonprofits and dozens of opportunities for you to volunteer and help Greater Washington become a greener community: one park, garden, and river at a time! In addition to the nonprofits listed below, be sure to check out our full listing of local charities serving the environment.

Alice Ferguson Foundation Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup

The Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup has become a decisive catalyst for progress that ignites people throughout the watershed with the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s community spirit. The largest regional event of its kind, the Cleanup provides a transforming experience that engages citizens and community leaders and generates momentum for change.

Date: 04/16/2016
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Event information:

Note: Potomac Conservancy, Potomac Riverkeeper, and Rock Creek Conservancy, also members of the Catalogue network, will be participating in this event as well.

Potomac Conservancy’s sites can be found here
Potomac Riverkeeper here.
Rock Creek Conservancy here

Anacostia Watershed Society – Earth Day Cleanup

Volunteer with the Anacostia Watershed Society in the area’s premiere annual Earth Day Cleanup. Join over 2,000 AWS volunteers cleaning up our neighborhoods, parks, streams, and the Anacostia River.

Date: April 23, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Thirty-one sites around the Anacostia Watershed in Washington DC, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland.
More information:

Common Good City Farm Season Opener

It’s time to officially kick-off the season at Common Good City Farm’s Season Opener! This free, family-friendly, community event will feature a seedling sale, cookout, farm tours, Spring herb walk, cooking demo, and fun farming activities for kids & adults. Come on out to the farm and help start the season off right!

When: Saturday, April 16th 11am-1pm
Where: Common Good City Farm, V Street NW, between 2nd & 4th Streets NW, next to The Park at LeDroit.
More Information:

Dumbarton Oaks Park – Come Enjoy the Return of Spring

April 9th: 9am -11:30am
April 23rd: 9am – 1:00pm
Meet: We meet at the top of Lovers Lane, approximately 3060 R St NW
Wear: Please wear long pants, long sleeved shirt, socks and closed-toe shoes for protection. Dumbarton Oaks will supply: Gloves, tools, training, snacks, water and fun!
RSVP/More information: /

Potomac Conservancy – Spring Family Tree Planting!

Spring has sprung! And what better way to celebrate, than by joining Potomac Conservancy and Stream Link Education as we plant native trees along streams in Frederick County, MD.

You and your family will learn by doing, helping get 750 trees in the ground in the second phase of this reforestation project. You will also learn about the essential link between trees and healthy rivers all while getting outside and enjoying the nice spring air!

When: Saturday, April 23, 9:00am – 11:00am
Where: 11308 Woodsboro Pike Keymar, MD, 21757
For more information and to register, visit:

Rock Creek Conservancy – 8th Annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup

Each spring, we organize and promote the Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup, with trash cleanups at over 75 locations along the 33-mile length of Rock Creek. Our goal is a total stream cleanup of Rock Creek and its tributaries, the parks connected to Rock Creek, and the neighborhoods near Rock Creek where trash originates. We work closely with the National Park Service and Montgomery County Parks.

The Extreme Cleanup is part of the Alice Ferguson Foundation s annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, which occurs in four states and the District of Columbia in April. We do our part for a trash-free Potomac River by cleaning up Rock Creek, which flows into the Potomac near the Watergate Complex and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

When: April 23rd, 9:00-12:00
More information:

Help VA Students Go Back to School!

NO TAXES….on back to school supplies this weekend (8/1 – 8/3) in Virginia! Help students in need get ready for school by adding an extra item to your cart — whether online or in-store — or find an opportunity to help sort & pack up donated supplies so backpacks are full and ready for the first day of school!
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Celebrating Moms with the Gift of Philanthropy

Today, the Catalogue for Philanthropy wants to share a very important public service announcement: Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away! Have you found the perfect gift for mom yet?

You’ve done the usual Mother’s Day “go-to” gifts: flowers, spa days, jewelry, handmade cards, breakfast in bed…all very nice and thoughtful, but what about trying something new this year?

What if you gave mom what she really wants for Mother’s Day: time with you!

Consider volunteering with your mom over the weekend, or attending an event together through one of our Catalogue charities. On Saturday, May 10th from 7:30pm – 10:30 pm, The Dwelling Place is hosting its 22nd Annual Carnival of Chocolates. The Carnival of Chocolates features all-you-can eat chocolate delicacies from local bakeries, restaurants, and caterers, savory hors d’oeuvres, a live & silent auction and great raffle items. What mom wouldn’t love that? Click here for tickets and more event information.

For those who can’t celebrate Mother’s Day in person, consider giving the gift of philanthropy. Did you know that, on average, consumers spend $162 on this holiday? Support the hard work of women everywhere by making a donation to Catalogue charities that provide resources to moms and families across Greater Washington, such as Borromeo Housing (VA), Pueblo a Pueblo (MD), and The Christ Child Society (DC). You can make a donation to these charities in your mother’s name, or even purchase a Catalogue gift card and let her decide which charities she would like to support.

The best part about the gift of philanthropy on Mother’s Day? It pairs well with breakfast in bed AND flowers (hint hint).

Dance Place Moves and Grooves in the Midst of Renovation

A big Catalogue “cheers!” to Dance Place, one of our 2012-2013 charities, on the exciting renovation to its Brookland space and accompanying coverage in today’s Washington Post (article below). Dance Place serves as a bustling dance school and neighborhood cultural center, offering performances and training in various types of dance, while also offering academic enrichment and dance classes, job training for teenagers, and a summer arts camp for at-risk youngsters.

Interested in supporting Dance Place through a donation or volunteer work?

For $150, you can sponsor a student for a 10-week scholarship to attend after-school dance classes; $500: 1 InReach performance for a local school; $1500: 1 full scholarship to Dance Place summer camp.

Dance Place is always looking for volunteers to serve as ushers for its weekend performances. No training necessary, see a great performance for free! Check out their nonprofit page for more details.

Jumping for joy in Brookland as Dance Place gets a much-needed facelift

By John Kelly,Published: March 25

“Once a dancer always a dancer. That’s what I thought as Carla Perlo showed me around her domain.

In 1980, the Washington area native founded Dance Place, a center for contemporary dance whose original home was in Adams Morgan. Forced from the building in 1986, Carla came to Brookland, where she turned a former welding company warehouse on Eighth Street NE into a performance space. That building is in the midst of a $4 million renovation. When it’s done this summer, it will reestablish Dance Place as an artsy anchor in a rapidly changing corner of the neighborhood.

Carla is a leader, and I mean that quite literally: She took me by the elbow as we crossed the street, guided me onto the sidewalk, brought me to a halt whenever she wanted to stop and point something out.

I was reminded of the ballroom dancing lessons I took with My Lovely Wife. As is common, students would swap partners you have to be able to foxtrot or samba with anyone and my wife would be amazed by her time with the male instructor.

A good partner can take the clumsiest dancer and ?through his carriage, through the firm pressure of his hands turn her into Ginger Rogers.

I was Ginger. Carla was Fred.

If I’d been born a boy, I’d probably have been an athlete, she said. I was a girl, so I became a dancer.

Her parents were Edith and Hyman Perlo. Hyman was a standout athlete at Roosevelt High in the District and an all-Met basketball player. He served during World War II as an Army paratrooper. The Perlos ran a clothing shop in Washington before Hyman went to work for Abe Pollin as director of community relations for the Baltimore Bullets, today’s Washington Wizards, and the Capital Centre.

Carla, 62, is a bit of community relations director herself.

When we moved here, this was nothing, she said as we walked on Eighth Street. The neighborhood could be dangerous at night back then.

The kids protected me, Carla said. They were no doubt curious about this crazy woman who had set up shop along an industrial strip by the railroad tracks.

Soon they were knocking on the door, asking to take classes, Carla said.

That effort continues today. Kids can study African dance, hip-hop, tumbling, tap and more. Adults come to move their feet, too.

Local troupes book performance time at Dance Place, which also hosts touring companies from around the world.

Eighth Street has changed a lot in the past 28 years heck, in the past 10 years. Next door to Dance Place is ArtSpace, an apartment building with studio and gallery space for artists and some nice, big wooden floors for dancers. On the other side of Lee?s auto body shop is a place that handles bodies of a different sort: Excel Pilates.

Dance Place has some temporary space in the Edgewood Arts Center, a multi-use space. It sits next to the Monroe Street Bridge, which has been yarn-bombed by fiber artists, some of whom have studios in the Monroe Street Market, the big red-brick buildings overlooking the Brookland-CUA Metro station. A brewpub, Brookland Pint, will open soon. A Barnes and Noble is coming. When the weather warms up (it will warm up, won’t it?), Art on 8th will start: dance, music and art Thursday through Saturday on a plaza.

Carla hopes the Dance Place construction will be finished by June, in time for the annual Dance Africa festival. The renovation will greatly improve things. There will be better tech booths for light and sound and more comfortable seating for the 144 audience members. The dancers are most excited that they’ll be able to get from one side of the theater to the other without having to scurry outside the building.

I had stopped by Dance Place to hear about what may be the most visible feature of the renovated building: Artist Christopher Janneuy is creating a light and sound installation that will soar from an outside corner of Dance Place. Called Touch My Building, it is a two-story tower of translucent glass that will make sounds when passersby touch it.

Won’t that be noisy, I asked.

The sound is quiet enough that it won’t be intrusive, Carla said. The light will be more like stained glass than neon. A soft light from within.

A soft light from within. I was going to say that described Carla Perlo, but I think she?s more of a spotlight: bright and focused.”

Age is Just a Number

Every now and then, and advertisement is so simple in its design that you can’t help but take notice. Amid the noise of a 24-7 media culture, a simple concept with a powerful message can leave an unexpected, lasting impression on the viewer. Though some Madison Avenue execs have perfected this art to promote consumer products (i.e. any iPhone ad you’ve ever seen. ever.), others have used this method to call attention to important social issues.

This week, Advertising Age featured a PSA by Age U.K., a British advocacy group for older people, as its “Ad of the Day.”

“The ad, titled “Love Later Life,” features a poem by English beat poet Roger McGough that was commissioned for the spot and is expertly read by 91-year-old Sir Christopher Lee. It’s the one inescapable element of the human condition that connects us all: nothing can stop us from growing older. But the ad’s simple visuals of people aging from childhood to age 102 let the message truly shine that age, in some ways, really is a state of mind.”

Testimonials on the Age U.K. website add depth to ad’s message by featuring audio and video of older individuals depicting the challenges of aging, which include issues such as financial challenges, health care and emotional support.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy has 10 charities that are passionately focused on the issue of aging, and each has ways that you can help whether by giving a donation or your time.

What can you do with $100?

Looking to volunteer?

Capitol Hill Village: Capitol Hill Village is just that: a virtual village in livable, walkable surroundings where volunteers unite to help older adults age safely and comfortably ? in their own homes and in their beloved neighborhood. Capitol Hill Village is a “volunteer first” organization, meaning that they use volunteers when we can to fill request from our members. Services request can range from gardening to rides to physicians appointments to friendly visiting and walks. CHV also relies greatly on volunteers to provide administrative duties, such as writing articles for our newsletter and working in the office.

Seabury Resources for the Aging seeks friendly visitors for isolated older adults; home repair and maintenance projects so that seniors can age in place more safely, meal delivery, office support, committees and councils to support our work in the community, work on public education efforts, website/IT support or building spruce up projects.

Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena Makes Skating Accessible to All

At the Catalogue for Philanthropy we’re always so excited when one of our charities’ programs is in the media, especially when that media is the front page of the Washington Post! Today, Post writer Jacqueline Kantor covered the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, a program which is housed in the Fort Dupont Ice Arena (the Catalogue is proud to have the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena as one of our Human Services charities).

Described as a “little-known secret” in Southeast D.C., the 36-year-old Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club (also known as the Fort Dupont Cannons) is the oldest club in a National Hockey League program that was designed to promote the sport in urban neighborhoods. Each week, children ages 8-18 hit the ice to not only practice the sport of hockey, but also to gain new experiences through travel, and learn important lessons such as the value of hard work and gratitude. While participation comes at no financial cost to players and their families, coaches do expect students to share their report cards with coaches and attend practice regularly. All of this seems to pay off, as the program boasts an impressive 95 percent high school graduation rate. To read the full article about the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club in the Washington Post, click here.

Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena

In 1996 the goal was simple: prevent the National Park Service’s scheduled closing of the only public indoor ice arena in DC. Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena succeeded, not only in saving the rink, but also in creating a vibrant community resource in Ward 7. Today, the Fort Dupont Ice Arena — an America’s Promise “Safe Place” for young people with structured activities during non-school hours — offers number of programs for young people to stay fit and learn valuable lessons about life.

One of those programs, Kids On Ice, is a community ice skating program for children ages 5 to 18 years old, offering free lessons with all equipment provided. Kids on Ice programs include basic skating skills, speed and figure skating, ice hockey (see above), and more. Since all of these programs are at no cost to participants, Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena relies on the community to help through volunteer work, material and financial contributions.

Volunteer opportunities: Are you a medium-advanced level skater willing to lend a hand for a few hours each week? Channel your inner Dorothy Hamill or Apollo Ohno as an instructor for a Kids on Ice class! All Kids on Ice classes are taught by volunteer instructors. Each of the five programs — Basic Skills, Advanced Figure Skating, Synchronized Skating, Ice Hockey, and Speed Skating — are managed by a qualified instructor who instructs volunteers how to teach each specific class.

In addition to helping on the rink, volunteers are also needed off the rink to help with general office assistance during the week, and concessions and skate shop assistance on Saturdays. Click the “volunteer” link on the Catalogue page for details.

To donate: You can also support the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena by donating equipment, offering scholarship support, or directly supporting the Kids on Ice Program through a donation to Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena. For $50, you can provide helmets and gloves for new ice skaters; $250: 8 weeks of Learn to Skate; $500: two skating lessons for a school group of 30 children.

Thinking Beyond Barbie: Empowering Girls in Greater Washington

Michelle Obama.

Sheryl Sandberg.

Oprah Winfrey.

Mrs. Potato Head?

This unlikely combination of women has more in common than meets the eye: Each plays a role (whether consciously or not) in inspiring confidence in young girls to pursue their career ambitions, no matter how big. There are dozens of other female leaders who do so much each day to empower young women, yet according to a recent study, one pop culture icon is not likely to make the cut: Barbie.

A recent study coming out of Oregon State University suggests that little girls playing with Barbie “believe there are more careers for boys than for themselves” — a contrast from girls playing with Mrs. Potato Head, who see an equal range of career opportunities for girls and boys.

Of course, more research on this topic is needed in order fully to understand the impact of dolls on girls’ aspirations, but one key takeaway is that we must inspire confidence in girls so they don’t hesitate to think “big” and think beyond the stereotypes that hold them back. We can do this not only through the toys we buy for our children, but also through the stories we tell, and the activities in which we participate.

For several Catalogue for Philanthropy charities, such as Girls on the Run (DC and Montgomery County) and The Washington School for Girls, inspiring confidence in girls is a central part of their mission. Find out below how you can show your support, and stay tuned to the Catalogue for Philanthropy blog this month as we celebrate Women’s History Month by highlighting other important women’s issues that are a key focus for some of our charities.

Girls on the Run

The Catalogue for Philanthropy is proud to have two local Girls on the Run Councils in our network of charities. Using the sport of running as basis for inspiration and motivation, GOTR program participants meet twice per week in small teams where they learn life skills while celebrating the joy of movement. At each season’s conclusion, participants complete a 5k running event, giving them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.

Girls on the Run — DC: GOTR-DC has a variety of volunteer opportunities available, from one-time volunteer opportunities to coaching for a 10-week season. GOTR-DC is currently looking for volunteers for the GW Classic 10 Miler on April 13th, and is also taking names for those interested in coaching for the Fall 2014 season.

Interested in supporting with a donation? For $185, you can cover a full scholarship for 1 runner; $750: running shoes for an entire team; $3,000: a full scholarship for a full team next season (great idea for a corporate fundraiser!)

Girls on the Run of Montgomery County is also looking for coaches and one-time volunteers. Check out the volunteer page for more detail on specific needs.

Interested in supporting with a donation? $100 will cover a full scholarship for 1 season; $500: running shoes for one team of 15 girls; $1000: race fees for 75 parents to run alongside their daughters. Also, don’t forget about SoleMates, which lets you run a marathon or a triathlon while raising money for MoCo’s Girls on the Run Council.

The Washington School for Girls

The Washington School for Girls is an all-girl, grades 4-8, Catholic school located in Anacostia. Its mission is to offer a solid and holistic education to young girls, and it is committed to believing in their gifts, talents and potential. WSG offers a range of volunteer opportunities: from one-time visits – where volunteers participate in a career fair, leadership series presentation or fundraising event – to weekly tutoring, hosting student clubs during Extended Day and office support.

Interested in supporting with a donation? $100 covers 10 books for the Reading Circle; $500: 1 laptop for a WMSG teacher; $1000: transportation for 3 field trips for 1 class.

We hope you’ll support these wonderful organizations and their missions to empower girls in our region!

Hunger Knows No Season: What will you do today?

According to a recent article by Tana Ganeva in AlterNet (“5 Worst States to be a Poor Kid”), “Last year, America placed next to last in a ranking of child well-being in 35 developed countries, barely beating out Romania.” This is a shocking statement — or perhaps not. It’s no secret that one in five American children lives in “relative” poverty, but what is striking is that “close to half of poverty-stricken kids live in extreme poverty, which means their families earn less than half the poverty level of $11,746 per year for a family of four.”

Despite the efforts of many terrific organizations hell bent on pulling people out of poverty — like DC-based Share Our Strength whose mission is to end childhood hunger, and the many charities in the Catalogue for Philanthropy — there has been, according to Ganeva, a 23 percent rise in child hunger. In some parts of the country, 1 child out 4 is poor. There is nothing acceptable about a 25 percent poverty rate for children. While children in poverty do benefit from safety net programs, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP/food stamps, as it is commonly known), and advocates such as D.C. Hunger Solutions (which works closely with the city government to make sure food policies are effective and ensures that those who serve needy families can connect with existing nutrition programs), there is no question that as individuals we must do more to aid our neighbors in need.

Nearly two hundred Catalogue charities are dedicated to supporting Human Services. Catalogue charities such as D.C. Hunger Solutions, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Food for Others, Manna Food Center and Our Daily Bread all have programs designed to help families in poverty, and each has very tangible ways for the community to help: at Arlington Food Assistance Center, $100 will supply 1 week’s food for 10 families, and at Manna Food Center, the same amount supplies Smart Sacks (backpacks full of kid-friendly food) for 25 school kids. Volunteers for Our Daily Bread can organize a drive to collect grocery cards, while at Food for Others, they can help the warehouse staff record incoming and outgoing food, pack emergency food and USDA boxes and sort and shelve products.

While it isn’t December, and the “giving season” is months away, the truth is that hunger knows no season. Yes, the number of children in poverty is staggering, and on some levels, even intimidating, but by taking simple steps and helping our neighbors in need throughout the year, we can make a real difference in ending child hunger in Greater Washington. What will you do today?

MLK Day of Service and Benefits of Volunteering

On Monday, January 20th, we celebrate not only Martin Luther King Jr. Day but also the official MLK Day of Service, a day to honor the legacy of Dr. King by moving us closer to his vision of creating a “Beloved Community” through Americans taking community action to help solve our nation’s social issues.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy’s community of charities has a number of opportunities for volunteers to participate in MLK Day of Service. We encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer, and keep us posted on social media how you decide to turn your “day off” into a “day on” by helping your community.

It’s widely known that volunteering has many intangible benefits such as a sense of belonging and achievement, but did you know that volunteering can also benefit you in other ways, too? The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) research suggests that volunteering can have a significant positive impact on employment prospects. For example, volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that volunteering can help build up the critical elements needed for success in the workplace: socialization (networking) and skill-building (including both soft skills such as time management or teamwork, and professional job skills).

In addition to employment benefits, volunteering is good for your health! A recent survey from UnitedHealth Group and Harris Interactive reports that volunteers have lower stress, better physical, mental and emotional health, and feel more connected to their communities. Another, more unique, perk is that volunteers tend to be more informed healthcare consumers as well, and therefore are more proactive in managing their own health.

So, on this MLK Day of Service, gather your family, friends or colleagues, and join a Catalogue charity to help create a “beloved community.” Whether you are an experienced volunteer or new to service, we can all benefit in unique and substantial ways when we come together as a community.

Around Town 11/1-11/7

Happy November! Catalogue nonprofits are kicking off the month right with lots of great events all around the area. Let us know if you are heading to one (and you never know, you might even see us there!). Don’t have time to get out to an event? Request a copy of our brand new catalogue (out on November 1st!) and get to know our new class of nonprofits!
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