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Stocking Stuffer Alternative: Support a Charity, Community Group

by Borderstan.com — December 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm 0

Connecticut Avenue NW, Dupont Circle, Luis Gomez Photos, One Photograph A Day

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk. You can email her at [email protected].

Fact: The average person makes 24% of their annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and despite a deep recession, charitable giving was up more than 3% in 2010 (Source: Charity Navigator).

Here at Borderstan we want to help you make the decision to give locally this year. That’s why we’re providing you with an easy way to make contributions to charities that provide support for our neighbors in Borderstan and DC. From health care to social services and the arts, philanthropies in our neighborhood make an impact on our community.

Consider adding one of these charities or organizations to your holiday list. Then ask friends and family to make a donation in your name. Or make a donation for someone else. If we missed an organization, please leave a comment with details!

Following are 14 programs, organizations, charities and schools you can support that provide important services to our community, in the following six categories: Help Those in Need, Local Schools, HIV/AIDS Support, Senior Citizens, LGBT Community and The Arts.

Help Those in Need

Bread for the City, 1525 7th Street NW. The mission of Bread for the City is to provide vulnerable residents of Washington, DC with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, legal and social services and medical care. This season for $28.85 you can provide a single low-income family with a complete holiday meal through the Holiday Helpings program. In addition to cash donations that sustain ongoing programs like the rooftop garden, you can customize your gift by contributing an item from the Bread for the City Wishlist. The list contains items needed for programs and clients and includes needed items like Adobe InDesign software, toaster ovens and gift cards to Walmart, CVS and Target.

Central Union Mission, 1350 R Street NW. Although this long time shelter just moved from its home on 14th Street NW, you can still support the mission this holiday season. In addition to cash donations through their website, you can provide presents for a needy child through Operation Christmas Miracle or even volunteer at their food depot or kitchen. The mission also offers you a chance to customize your donation by purchasing items needed for the residents through their Christmas Catalog — you choose if your dollars buy hygiene clothing, toys or even meals.

Charlie’s Place, 1830 Connecticut Avenue NW. In Northwest DC there can be the misconception that everyone is financially stable. But Charlie’s Place provides an important service for those people who are not. This non-denominational, anti-hunger, homeless ministry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church provides morning meal, case management, lunch go-go, HIV testing and counseling and clothing distribution. This holiday season and all year long donations can be made online through their Network for Good site.

Martha’s Table, 2114 14th Street NW. The vision for Martha’s Table is to find solutions to poverty in the short term with food and clothing programs, and in the long term by breaking the cycle of poverty with education and family strengthening programs. This season you can browse their holiday catalog for a customized gift in honor of a family member or friend. Choose from a variety of programs to support including debate classes, college preparation courses or wellness and nutrition activities. You can also make unrestricted cash gifts, donations of clothing or food, or contribute an item from the Martha’s Table Wishlist. If you’re looking for a bigger way to support Martha’s Table into the new year consider attending their Sips and Suppers events in early January where for $100 you have a chance to enjoy drinks with Jose Andres, Alice Waters and Joan Nathan.

N Street Village, 1333 N Street NW. Few people know that many of the homeless services in DC focus specifically on men. Services provided by N Street Village focus on empowerment and recovery for homeless and low-income women. They strive to address issues around income, housing, employment and health. To volunteer or make a donation, in-kind or financial, visit their donation site.

Local Schools

Garrison Elementary School, 1200 S Street NW. Garrison is the in-boundary school for most of Logan Circle and the U Street Corridor, serving more than 250 students from preschool through 5th Grade. The school also has three autism classrooms.You can support the Garrison PTA with a donation; make a check to Garrison PTA, 1200 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (donations to Garrison PTA are not tax deductible at this time). You can also support the school by collecting Box Tops for Education, Labels for Education, linking your Safeway Card to Garrison and just by volunteering! Email [email protected] to join the email list or to get more information.

Ross Elementary School1730 R Street NW. There is something so meta about supporting an organization that supports other organizations and Ross Elementary School does just that. In addition to being a local school, through Ross Elementary PTA you can provide donations to Books for America, Children’s Hospital and Charlie’s Place. In addition, you can choose to make a donation to Ross’ programs by bringing your recyclable materials to the school, clipping box top for education labels or selecting Ross as the recipient of the school rewards programs at Giant, Safeway and Harris Teeter.

School for Friends, 2201 P Street NW. One of the ways you can contribute to the School for Friends (Quaker) is through their Fund for Friends Campaign. The fund provides financial aid to students, which allows the school to support their commitment to diversity. One of the great thing about SFF is the diversity of the families, all of varying economic, racial, ethnic and sexual orientation backgrounds. SFF is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

HIV/AIDS Support

Whitman Walker Health, 1701 14th Street NW. If you ever needed to believe a small donation could mean a lot, Whitman Walker Health proves it: just $25 helps their health team distribute 50 safer sex kits. Make a donation to WWH this season and your dollars will go to provide high quality health services to individuals who face barriers to accessing care. You also have the opportunity to make a donation in honor or memory of someone, or even make the gift anonymously.

Senior Citizens

Dupont Circle Village, 9 Dupont Circle NW. It’s hard to imagine being inside most of the time when all of DC is just outside your door, but for many older resident of the District their world is what they see through their window. That’s why Dupont Village is dedicated to linking older residents to not only social/cultural activities, but to also provide health-related and reliable home-maintenance services. Consider serving as a volunteer to an elderly person in the community by agreeing to provide transportation to and from appointments or provide a pick-up after a medical procedure. Get started with the volunteer application on the Dupont Village site.

LGBT Community

The DC Center for the LGBT Community, 1318 U Street NW. The DC Center’s mission is to celebrate and support LGBT residents in the District, and based on the number of programs, activities and communities on their site, they are succeeding. Although the Center accepts cash donations throughout the year, you may want to consider buying a ticket to the Glamour, Glitter, Gold Oscar event held in February each year. Proceeds support the Center and you get to dress up for a fun night out.

Trevor Project, DC Ambassadors Committee. The Washington, DC Ambassadors Committee is group of volunteers dedicated to helping raise awareness of The Trevor Project‘s mission of ending suicide among LGBTQ youth. The committee works with schools in the DC area to reach out to kids directly and raise awareness of the issue, as well as raising support through volunteerism and fundraising, to help The Trevor Project carry on their life-saving efforts. In its first year, the local committee raised nearly $100,000 for the Trevor Project and engaged over 1,000 DC area supporters.

The Arts

Mid City Artists. The Mid City Artists is “a diverse and talented group of professional artists who have come together for the purpose of promoting their art and the Dupont/Logan neighborhoods of Washington DC that they call home. Twice each year, the private studios of select member artists are open for visitors. Discover painting, photography, sculpture, glass, mixed media, prints and much more.” With a current roster of 42 artists, you can support MCA’s general fund by sending a check to the organization’s treasurer: MCA, c/o Chuck Baxter, 914 Westminster Street NW, Washington, DC  20001. (Donations are not tax deductible.)

The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW. The artwork in the Phillips Collection is mighty in its scope — the museum features more than 3,000 works of art by Renoir, van Gogh, Picasso, Rothko, Diebenkorn, and other modern masters. Caring for so many historic pieces calls for community support and this holiday it’s easy to do that with a donation to the museum. You can become a member and gain reciprocal special admission at more than 300 partner museums. Unrestricted dollars are welcome, but you can also choose to dedicate your gift to the musical program or the onsite library and archives.

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