News & Politics

How Your Donations to a Charity Make a Difference

What does your money actually buy? The Catalogue for Philanthropy of Greater Washington pointed us to these great local causes. Here’s what they can do with $100, $1,000, or $10,000.

What a $100 Donation Buys

What a $1,000 Donation Buys

What a $10,000 Donation Buys


A tutor’s stipend for a month through Reach Incorporated, in which DC teens who have had academic trouble train as tutors to help elementary-school kids with reading comprehension

Twenty college-application fees for students from Northern Virginia through Kids R First

Funding for a reading center for 40 students in one of 12 DC elementary schools for a year, through Reading Partners


Assistance for five eligible District families applying for food stamps through DC Hunger Solutions

Backpacks full of kid-friendly food—called Smart Sacks—for 250 children in Montgomery County through the Manna Food Center

Ten days’ worth of healthy dinners for the 4,000 chronically homeless people who rely on Miriam’s Kitchen in the District


Lunch for 25 homeless women through Rachael’s Women’s Center in the District’s Mount Vernon Square

Three “matching grants” for security deposits, through DC’s Jobs Have Priority

Scholarships for two mothers to return to school through Carpenter’s Shelter in Alexandria


Supplies to remove 7,500 pounds of trash from the Anacostia River banks through the Anacostia Watershed Society

Education for 40 area landowners about river-friendly landscaping, through Potomac Conservancy in Silver Spring

A school year’s worth of FreshFarm Markets’ FoodPrints classes, which serve 550 kids by creating edible gardens at DC schools and integrating them into the curriculum


Three heavy-duty bungees for tiger toys or four mirrors for the zebras at the National Zoo

Spaying/neutering and vaccines for four animals through the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation in Arlington

Support for one horse and one rider for a year through Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding, which uses horseback riding to encourage development in children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities

People in Crisis

Emergency foster-care bag for one abused DC child through Safe Shores, an advocacy center for District kids

Four months’ worth of food and supplies for a victim of human trafficking who is building a new life, through the DC-based Polaris Project

Financial aid for ten families adopting special-needs kids from foster care, through the Barker Foundation in Bethesda

Veterans’ Assistance

A day of grief camp for a fallen servicemember’s child through the Arlington-based Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors

Ten nights in a hotel for families visiting loved ones at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, through the Yellow Ribbon Fund

Ten days of operations for Fairfax’s Lamb Center, which provides the homeless, including veterans, a place to eat, shower, seek counseling for addiction, and pursue employment

Health and Wellness

Diapers for one child of a struggling family for one month through the DC Diaper Bank

Sixteen hepatitis A inoculations for underserved residents of Arlington County through the Arlington Free Clinic

120 hours of suicide-prevention hotline training for up to 40 volunteers through Arlington’s CrisisLink


Balls, cones, and jump ropes for three District schools through Playworks

Running shoes for 30 low-income Maryland girls through Girls on the Run

After-school programs that teach soccer and writing to ten elementary-school students for a year through DC Scores

The Arts

A year’s worth of art classes for one low-income DC child through Project Create

Sheet music for a year for two 45-student ensembles through the Children’s Chorus of Washington

A one-year, in-school playwriting program at a DC public school through Young Playwrights’ Theater

This article appears in the December 2013 issue of Washingtonian.