Around Town: April 27-28

Looking for a great way to spend your weekend? CFP nonprofits have great events that you can not only attend, but volunteer at as well!! If you go to an event, tweet about it using hashtag #CFPCheers!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Race to End Poverty

A Wider Circle
Featuring a 4K run/walk and a tot trot! In 2012, A Wider Circle furnished 3,650 homes. This year, we hope to furnish 4,000 homes – 4K! Run or walk on April 27 and help us accomplish a 4K in service! Enter as an individual, as a team, or join the Bed Brigade.
When: Saturday April 27, 2013 (09:00 AM)
Where: Meadowbrook Park, 7901 Meadowbrook Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Fee? yes $33 for individual 4K entries; $20 for ages 11 – 20; free for 10 and under 4K participants and Tot Trot participants free; $33 for the Bed Brigade
Contact: Ann Marie Schaeffing, (301) 608-3504
For more information: click here

Living Well With Cancer One-Day Retreat For Caregivers

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
One-day Caregiver Retreats aim to help strengthen innate healing mechanisms through group support, yoga and stress reduction, creativity, and nutrition.
When: Saturday April 27, 2013 (09:00 AM – 4:00 PM)
Where: Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Fee? yes $40 per person
Contact: Smith Center, (202) 483-8600
For more information: click here

Grocery Deliveries to Low-Income Seniors in Columbia Heights

We Are Family Senior Outreach Network
We Are Family will be delivering free grocery bags to over 250 low-income seniors in the Columbia Heights, Petworth, and Adams Morgan neighborhoods.
When: Saturday April 27, 2013 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Kelsey Apartments, 3322 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20010
Fee? no
Volunteer Info: Volunteers will help assemble and deliver grocery bags. Although a car is not needed, it is helpful. Some of our delivery routes can be done on foot, while others require a car.
Contact: Mark Andersen, (202) 487-8698
For more information: click here

REVISION dance company

Dance Place
In JUST BE, Artistic Director Shannon Quinn leads REVISION dance company in exploring the raw emotions and personal experiences of working with people with disabilities. The evening length modern dance work invites the audience and dancers to focus on the abilities of individuals, instead of the challenges and stereotypes associated with disabilities.
When: Saturday April 27, 2013 (8:00 PM)
Where: Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017
Fee? yes $22 General Admission; $17 Members, Seniors, Teachers and Artists; $10 College Students; $8 Children (17 and under)
Contact: Carolyn Kamrath, (202) 269-1608
For more information: click here

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mass in B Minor featuring Agnes Zsigovics

Washington Bach Consort
Johann Sebastian Bach Mass in B Minor, BWV 232 We end our 35th Season with the monumental Mass in B Minor, a work Bach returned to again and again during his life. Although it draws upon Lutheran and Catholic traditions the B Minor Mass holds deep significance for people of all religious and cultural origins. Bach scholar Christoph Wolff describes the B Minor Mass as a summary of his writing for voice, not only in its variety of styles, compositional devices, and range of sonorities, but also in its high level of technical polish … Bach’s mighty setting preserved the musical and artistic creed of its creator for posterity. Pre-Concert Lecture: 2:00pm, Talking Bach is a series of free pre-concert lectures by noted Bach scholars one hour before performances at National Presbyterian Church. The lectures focus not only on the musical elements of the work that will be performed, but also on the historical context in which the music was created. Talks are designed to enhance the concertgoers’ appreciation and enjoyment of the music they are about to hear. The series is open to all ticket holders.
When: Sunday April 28, 2013 (3:00 PM)
Where: National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
Fee? yes Tickets $23-$65, Students 18 and younger $10, Pay Your Age 18-38
Volunteer Info: Usher, Sell Tickets, Direct Patrons, Clean up after Reception
Contact: Washington Bach Consort, (202) 429-2121
For more information: click here

The Two Sides of Hunger

Hunger and obesity may seem like far ends on the spectrum of food and nutrition, but both are symptoms of a near-epidemic problem in the US: food insecurity and malnutrition. Hunger’s victims suffer from the inability to provide sufficient food for themselves or their family; and a substantial group of the Americans now considered obese are either children, come from low-income families, or both. This week, at a panel discussion at the Center for American Progress, representatives from the private sector, public sector, and nonprofit sector shared thoughts on the challenges and opportunities of hunger in the US.

The statistics are staggering. After the “great recession” of 2008, the number of Americans living in food insecure households jumped to nearly 50 million, and over 16 million of those are children under age 18. In addition, one in three children is considered obese today, and that number increases to nearly half of all children living in poverty. On the other hand, programs that have proven to be effective on the front lines of ensuring food security for Americans falling into poverty (including school lunch programs, SNAP, and WIC) are facing intense scrutiny and potential cuts in upcoming budget discussions.

Fortunately, there are also some great examples of best practices and cross-sector collaborations making headway on not only alleviating hunger today, but attacking its root cause (poverty), of which malnutrition is only a symptom. Organizations like Share Our Strength are disproving the myth that healthy food is too expensive for lower-income families. This perception, and the all-too-real occurrence of food deserts across the county, highlight why children living in poverty are disproportionately like to be overweight or obese, as compared to children in middle- or higher-income families.

In the Greater Washington area, nonprofits like Brainfood and FRESHFARM Markets also work to make fresh, healthy, and nutritious food available to all – regardless of income. Brainfood is a non-profit youth development organization that uses food as a tool to build life skills and promotes healthy living in a fun and safe environment. A majority of the students involved with Brainfood struggle with poverty, violence, and a school system that fails to meet their needs. Through Brainfood’s programs, students gain practical cooking skills, an introduction to the food industry, a framework for nutritious eating, and leadership experience that prepares them to make a difference in their community.

FRESHFARM Markets is both a collection of farmer’s markets in the Chesapeake Bay region, as well as a voice advocating on behalf of farmers and the right to fresh, local food. They offer four different programs that help low-income people buy healthy foods in DC and Maryland markets — accepting SNAP (EBT/Foods Stamps), WIC, and SFMNP vouchers, and offering an incentive Matching Dollars program for those vouchers.

These are only two examples among the many organizations working to relieve hunger in our community — from Capital Area Food Bank, which distributes 33 million pounds of food every year, to local food pantries like Arlington Food Assistance Center, which serves 1,600 families a week. For more information on CFP charities addressing hunger and poverty in your community, check out the online catalogue here, and learn about ways that you can make a difference as a donor or volunteer.

Around Town: March 9-10

Where are you heading this weekend, friends? Might we suggest …

We Are Family Senior Outreach Network (at Metropolitan Community Church, 474 Ridge Street NW)

On Saturday at 10:00 AM, volunteers will receive a brief orientation and then go out in pairs or groups to visit with seniors in their homes. You can sign up right here.

Volunteer Fairfax (at The Greene Turtle Fairfax, 3950 University Drive #209 Fairfax, VA)

Compete for prizes at VolunTrivia this Saturday at 1:00 PM! Play solo, form a team, or join a team; sign up right this way.

Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington (St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church 4700 Whitehaven Parkway NW)

The Spring Gala, coming up on Saturday evening, features both a live and silent auction and will honor the legacy of the late Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon. All details right here.

Dance Place (3225 8th Street NE)

On Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 7:00 PM, ClancyWorks Dance Company will combine physically demanding, powerful movement with the sensitive portrayal of cultural nuances and personal emotions. You can nab tickets this way.

Washington Bach Consort (at National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue NW)

Rich sonority, sublime harmony, and complex instrumentation characterize this Sunday’s “Honor and Remembrance” program (3:00 PM), which features choral and orchestral music by Schutz and Bach. Buy tickets right here.

Hidden Issues

Yesterday, in The Daily Wrag (Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers), President Tamara Copeland explored “What sequestration means for philanthropy:”

I want to focus on the hidden issues. Much of the impact connected to sequestration will be far less overt. The social worker in me says that as already stressed individuals deal with this reality, mental health-related incidents will also increase. There may be increased incidences of domestic violence, more emergency room visits and falling school performance as home environments become tense. Consider this article about the recession’s impact on our region’s mental health, written when our local economy was actually faring better than the rest of the country.

“The Recession’s ‘Silent Mental Health Epidemic,’ the October 2011 Business Insider article to which Copeland points, discusses a Rutgers University study of “the long-term unemployed,” which found that “32 percent were experiencing a good deal of stress” and “at least 11 percent reported seeking professional help for depression.” Moreover, many more did not have the insurance benefits or financial resources to seek such help, despite potentially needing it.

As Copeland suggests, while our region’s funders should of course ensure that basic needs are met, “it is critical that we keep in mind the less obvious needs [as] a failure to support those, particularly mental health care, can lead to dire consequences.” She also points out that, as much or more so than sequestration, tax reforms could have a critical and perhaps longer-term effect on the national and local nonprofit community.

What are your thoughts? What might be the more “hidden” effects of sequestration?

In The News …

Plan to close VA institutions stokes worry for families of the developmentally disabled (Washington Post): “Virginia is among the last states to begin dismantling its large institutions for the developmentally disabled, a decision that was made as part of a year-old settlement agreement with the Justice Department [...] All but one of the commonwealth’s five training centers, as the state calls them, are to be shuttered by 2020.” Judith Korf, the mother of a resident of the Northern Virginia Training Center, points out that “I think the past has shown that [the training center] is the only thing that works.” While Virginia officials remain “confident that the training centers’ residents can be properly cared for in the community, [..] there is deep concern that the state is rushing the process to meet unrealistic, arbitrary closure deadlines.”

Leaders of metro counties urge Congress to act on budget (Gazette: Prince George’s): “Impending federal sequestration could damage the fiscal stability of Maryland’s metro counties and leaders of those counties are urging congressional action [...] county executives Isiah Leggett, Rushern L. Baker III and Kenneth S. Ulman gathered Tuesday to call on Congress to compromise and stop sequestration.” Montgomery County executive Leggett argued that “the the federal job loss piece alone could cost the county as much as $500,000 a day in local income tax revenue” for his county and Prince George’s county executive Baker “said about 10 percent of Prince George’s jobs are federal.”

Gates, Buffett push Giving Pledge international (Seattle Times): “British billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and his wife Joan are among the newest philanthropists who have pledged to give away half their wealth to charity.” This year, the Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett-initiated Giving Pledge, has grown to include “its first international members, including 12 wealthy individuals and couples from Russia, South Africa, Australia, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.” Since 2010, over 100 individuals and families have signed the Pledge.

Around Town: February 15-17

Happy day-after Valentine’s Day! We certainly heart our local nonprofits …

Dance Place (3225 8th Street NE)

SpeakeasyDC returns to Dance Place to celebrate Valentine’s Day though hilarious and moving true stories about romance, relationships, and sex. Nab “Sucker for Love” tickets right here; performances on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM.

We Are Family Senior Outreach Network (at Metropolitan Community Church, 474 Ridge Street NW)

Volunteers will help assemble and deliver grocery bags to low-income seniors near North Capitol Street and Shaw on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Sign up here (scroll down a bit).

Constellation Theatre Company (at Source, 1835 14th Street NW)

Final weekend! Zorro, the masked avenger, is born when quiet, bookish Diego must find a way to fight corruption and injustice. Catch performances on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM.

Washington Bach Consort (at National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue NW)

In honor of the 35th Season, and by popular demand, WBC presents “Bach for All Seasons,” all-Bach program built around the “Great Eighteen Chorales” on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Purchase tickets right here.

In The News …

DC, advocates at odds over homeless families; 900 people still in shelter (Washington Post): “This winter, the District’s shelter for homeless families at DC General Hospital is crammed full — 372 adults and nearly 600 children [...] City officials say that hard times and the lack of affordable housing in poor neighborhoods are to blame for the continuing crisis of family homelessnes.” Last year, the number of homeless families in the District jumped by 18 percent and advocates argue that DC “is not doing nearly enough to help the neediest residents find permanent housing at a time of budget surplus.” Learn more about CFP’s homelessness and housing nonprofits right here.

Class-Divided Cities: Washington, DC Edition (The Atlantic): “More than any other metro we’ve covered, greater Washington, DC is a creative class region [...] These are high-skilled, highly-educated, and high-paying positions where workers average $90,442 in wages and salaries, fourth highest in the nation [...] Still, the class divide in the region is pronounced. The creative class is concentrated in the center of the metro, as the map shows.” A map charting the geography of class in the region shows a concentration of the creative class to the west and service to the east, yet almost no clusters of working class residents, implying that “Greater Washington is a fully post-industrial region.” Explore the interactive maps right here.

Tech’s new entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy (USA Today): “The intersection of technology and philanthropy is creating “philanthrocapitalism,” borrowing ideas from venture capitalism to fund non-profits.” For example, “NFS [Not For Sale], a model of [eBay founder Pierre] Omidyars’ brand of philanthropy, is based loosely on a venture-capital firm’s approach. And it is quickly becoming a powerful agent for social change, as eBay was for commerce.” Says Suzanne DiBianca, the co-founder and president of the Salesforce.com Foundation, “Companies are beginning to understand their power in leveraging their assets to non-profits [...] It’s not just throwing a check over a wall.”

Around Town: February 8-10

Spend an hour or two with a CFP nonprofit, such as …

Dance Place (3225 8th Street NE)

Join the Dance Place Step Team for Step It Up DC on Friday at 8:00 PM — special step workshops and an informal performance, open to all ages. Buy tickets right here.

We Are Family Senior Outreach Network (474 Ridge Street NW)

Volunteers will receive a brief orientation and then go out in pairs or groups to visit isolated, low-income seniors in their homes on Saturday at 10:00 AM. Sign up this way!

Joy of Motion Dance Center (Jack Guidone Theater @ 5207 Wisconsin Avenue NW)

Youth Dance Project introduces creative and exciting new works from the region’s choreographers under the age of 18 this coming Saturday at 8:00 PM. Nab your tickets here.

Coming Soon:

Audubon Naturalist Society (Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave, McLean, VA)

Kevin Ambrose, photographer and blogger for the Capital Weather Gang, will discuss “Washington’s Winters” at an ANS Members’ Meeting on Tuesday at 7:00 PM. RSVP to shsprenke@gmail.com.

Iona Senior Services (4125 Albemarle Street NW)

Join Executive Director Sally White for a cup of coffee, thought-provoking conversation, and a tour of Iona’s Breckinridge Buildling on Wednesday at 9:00 AM.

Raise DC

From “In first annual report, Raise DC offers snapshot of DC youth” (Washington Post – Feb. 3):

Only four in 10 third-graders in the District can read proficiently, and only about four out of 10 young adults in the city have a full-time job.

Those sobering statistics are part of a snapshot of DC youths to be released Monday by Raise DC, a coalition of public, private and nonprofit groups Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) convened last year with the aim of improving the lives of the District?s neediest residents from birth through age 24.

Continue reading

In The News …

At rally, leaders promise action on affordable housing (Greater Greater Washington): “Over 300 people rallied for affordable housing this weekend with the Housing for All Campaign [...] The next few months will be critical for housing funding. The task force is scheduled to release its report in the next few weeks, and Mayor Gray will announce his housing plan.” Do you agree that affordable housing is poised to become “key political issue?”

Report: Current Approach To Strategic Philanthropy Is Limiting (The NonProfit Times): “The current top-down approach to strategic philanthropy limits its overall effectiveness,” according to a new study by the Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). Says NCRP Executive Director Aaron Dorfman, “All grantmakers want to maximize the impact of their grants [...] What they may not realize is that the missing piece in their grantmaking strategy is the social justice lens.” What do you think of the report’s central suggestions?

Free Tax Help Clinics Begin Friday (ARLnow): “Starting this Friday, Arlington County is holding free clinics to assist residents with tax preparation. The clinics are intended to serve residents with ‘low or moderate income.’” Several clinics list a maximum income for those interested in taking part; all clinics begin in February and run through April, with locations at public libraries, Department of Human Services, and ECDC Enterprise Development Group.