The Southwest Community Foundation has announced the results of its first round of grants to local organizations. The Foundation awarded grants totaling $25,220 to eight organizations in its 2021–22 round of grantmaking.
The Foundation launched its grant program in 2021 with funds provided as a community benefit from Douglas Development. The amount and nature of the benefit package was negotiated by ANC 6D, which then requested the Southwest Community Foundation to hold the funds and distribute them for the benefit of the residents of Southwest DC (Zip code 20024). The Foundation advertised the program through a variety of media and requested proposals that met certain established criteria. A second round of grants is expected to begin with a call for proposals in September 2022.
We are pleased to announce the recipients of our first grant round.
5000 Food Pantry
The 5000 Food Pantry stives to combat and relieve food insecurity in Southwest DC. The program distributes staple food pantry packages each Saturday from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM (hours will change in the summer). The packages include paper goods such as paper towels and toilet paper. Food is delivered to people with disabilities. Since the program inception, the pantry feeds approximately 80 –110 families per month, With the upscaling of the waterfront, and new residents moving into Southwest, needs are sometimes obscured. Achievement: Food distribution helps with family stability. The grant will provide support for food storage
Capital Fringe, founded in 2005, will offer arts engagement opportunities for residents to have performance opportunities alongside professional artists. The goal is to bring neighbors from different backgrounds, classes, races, socio–economic status, and identities to a familiar space – The Southwest Duck Pond.
Friends of The SW Library
The grant will support a quilting program to encourage a new generation of small businesses in Southwest by using the sewing and quilting skills. Participants will be trained and gain mastery in the art of quilting.
Kadampa Meditation Center (KMC)
Kadampa Meditation Center Washington DC will provide free meditation classes to underserved residents enrolled in GOODProject’s Family Success Planning initiative (FSPPP). The target population are families of all ages located in the Southwest D.C. housing communities James Creek, Syphax Gardens, Greenleaf, and smaller surrounding properties. These communities were identified to GOODProjects by the District of Columbia Housing Authority. The families served by the FSPP are victims of age–old systemic racism and subsequent displacement and are again at risk from the harmful effects of gentrification. The economic and social conditions relative to food insecurity, housing, and unemployment must progress to improve the quality of life for these residents who are among the poorest in the city.
Kamdampa will provide instruction on meditation that is practical and easily integrated into daily life. Meditation is known to have many benefits including increased sense of wellbeing both emotionally and physically. Thus, through gaining knowledge and practical experience of meditation, families will be better able to reach their goals of personal wellbeing.
Richard Wright Public Charter School (RWPCS)
Richard Wright Public Charter School will offer high schoolers and their parents classes on how to apply for college. The process of applying for college is a daunting one for anyone but especially first–generation college applicants and lower income residents who have never dealt with filing a FAFSA. They successfully piloted such a program in the 2018 school year called “The Wright Path to College.” The school will offer an eight– week program to Southwest residents who are first time college applicants.
Southwest Community Gardens (SWCG)
This grant will support The Garden Spring Kickoff. SWCG strives to provide SW residents from all backgrounds a space to learn how to grow healthy food together. To achieve this, they have a communal section of 10 beds, two food fences, three herb beds, pollinator gardens, and an orchard that is for the community’s use. The garden provides fresh fruits and vegetables, which is not easy for some families to provide regularly. This past year, the program initiated the first Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) for five residents in Greenleaf Senior and James Creek. Each week, two volunteer farmhands, a high school and college student, delivered produce from the communal section to the five residents. Many volunteers are adults from the neighborhood who aren’t familiar with Greenleaf or Lansburgh Park. The garden has thus become one of the few places where people from different races, backgrounds, and incomes learn about each other and work together toward one common goal – growing sustainable, healthy food for each other. It is this community building that keeps bringing people back to the garden and helps foster mutual understanding between SW residents.
SWNA Scholarship Fund
The SWNA Scholarship Fund will address the need for a single point of collection for materials (including photographs, videos, audio, articles, brochures, fundraising records, operational records, documents, testimonials, annual reports). The Scholarship Program started as a grass–roots community group in 1974 and, every year has awarded scholarships to SWDC students. The building of an archive will enable the SWNA Scholarship program to preserve its long involvement in the community and help further its mission through the development of the digital infrastructure needed for outreach and fundraising – attracting more donors and expanding the scholarship funding potential.
Washington DC Police Foundation (WDCPF)
The grant will support the WDCPF safety program that will be managed by the MPD Harbor Patrol Unit. The goal of this initiative is to engage Southwest DC residents, who may be less familiar and comfortable with law enforcement, and support safety education in a fun way. Officers will teach youth to fish, while teaching them about safety and general well–being, and leadership. A curriculum will be provided by the MPD School Safety Division. Older residents will also have the opportunity to fish with the officers, but will learn about water safety and general safety around the neighborhood they live in. The program goal for the aging population is for residents to become more familiar with this branch of MPD, as well as build positive police–community relationships. In addition to the monthly sessions, the Washington DC Police Foundation and Harbor Patrol will host two festivals where residents can meet all units from MPD.