Dear PoP

“I’m suggesting this as a question of the day for your blog…

It’s the time of year when we Feds get to make our charitable donations through the Combined Federal Campaign. I always want to include a couple of local organizations but I never really know which ones are most worthwhile. Maybe you could ask your readers which DC neighborhood charities they contribute to, and which (if any) they tend to avoid?”

This is a good question. Back in February, I unsuccessfully tried to match funds for a local charity. Here were the finalists. Well only one person donated and a number of folks told me that the winner, First Time Computers, was completely unresponsive. So let’s try this again. Anyone have a favorite local charity or know of ones that should be avoided?

17 Comment

  • Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

    It is a great organization providing legal services to the homeless and to low income people of DC. They have also been responsible for fighting many of the landlord-tenant atrocities occurring in many of our neighborhoods.

  • Here is the link to the CFC (DC Area) catalog listed all the CFC-registered charities.

    I always give to national charities because it’s easier to vet them. I too would be happy to see some local recommendations.


  • I have given in the past to N Street Village, which helps homeless and drug-addicted women find jobs and homes. I think they have a pretty good track record.

  • I really like (and–full disclosure–spent a summer interning at) Bread for the City. They have a legal clinic, medical clinic, food pantry, and social workers, and they’re planning a big expansion of medical services. They work in SE and NW (Shaw) and the employees are really dedicated and hard-working.

  • I occasionally volunteer for N Street Village and have watched some pretty amazing stuff take place there as a result of just a little extra time and money donated by the surrounding neighborhoods. The administration is incredibly accommodating, the women are a joy to work with, and although they could certainly use more they’ve managed to do some pretty great rehab work with the scant resources they have. I’d put my money behind them as an organization for positive change in the community.

  • I work at an organization that is part of the CFC. We are called Men Can Stop Rape and we do programming in all D.C public high schools, working with young men around masculinity and violence prevention, especially men’s violence against women. We are expanding into middle schools this year, and have a number of other great stuff coming up. Thanks for the shameless plug!

  • I really like Food and Friends – well-established and visible in the city.

  • I would recommend CAUSE–Comfort Items for America’s Uniformed Services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center…which is close to Petworth!

    Cause recreation and entertainment programs reach thousands of injured service men and women facing months of medical care and rehabilitation far from home and family. These programs are designed to bring a bit of relaxation and fun into what are, for many, very challenging circumstances. But they also serve a much more serious purpose: that of helping wounded warriors begin the normalization process and the re-entry to home and community as they take their long journey back to health.

  • House of Ruth: homeless shlter for abused women

  • saf

    Depends on what you want your dollars to do – feed and clothe people? Teach kids to read and write? Give musical instruments to schools? House people? Work on violnece prevention?

    So many place that need money – choose your passion, and narrowing the field becomes a practical endeavor.

  • I have to recommend Heads Up again. It is an awesome organization–providing afterschool programs for DC kids and inspiring local college students to contribute their skills and leadership in the community. They have a great video on the site explaining the program.

  • I work at DC Law Students in Court as a supervising attorney. Law Students’ mission is to provide free legal services to low-income residents of DC while training third-year law students. Hopefully, we are also teaching our students the importance of an on-going pro bono practice. Many of our alumni have gone on to work in public interest law. In the civil division, we work primarily in Landlord and Tenant Court representing tenants facing eviction and trying to prevent the abusive practices of some landlords. DC Law Students in Court is a very well-known legal services provider in DC. We just celebrated our 40th anniversary. Check us out at I know some of our alums frequent this site, so hi to all of you!

  • I’ve volunteered with Horton’s Dids. They provide extensive services for children in some of the worst parts of anacostia. Services include everything from volunteer tutoring to christmas presents to visits to the dentist. The staff is amazing and almost adopt these kids into a second family.

  • oops… Horton’s Kids…

  • College Bound… this is an organization that gives DC jr high and high school kids a 1-on-1 mentor as well as a cohesive after-school community with support and a vision that they can work hard, achieve good grades and leadership in school, and go to a 4-year college and move into a productive career.

  • The Capital Area Food Bank, which is the main source for food all over the National Capital Region . . . it includes innovative programming that feeds hungry children and teaches low income people how to find good food and cook it in healthy and inexpensive ways. CAFB serves mostly small, neighborhood based outlets like churches and aftercare programs, where often they are the sole source of food for seniors and kids. Definitely worth your money and a volunteer hour or two.

  • Hands on DC! It’s a service organization that rounds up thousands of volunteers for one day every year to beautify underprivileged DC public schools. We do lawn work, paint, clean, and pretty much whatever the school wants that is within our possibilities. Hands on DC also raises money for scholarships for DC public school students. As a coordinator in Hands on DC I have worked on over 10 schools, and its awesome to know I had a tangible impact on something important in my city. Every time I walk by Bruce Monroe on my way to work I can see murals that I designed using drawings done by the 6th graders. Definitely donate to HODC.

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