100womenstrong grants $639,000 to 51 loudoun nonprofits in support of shelter, health, mental health, hunger, and education. Read more.




How Donor Advised Funds Create Opportunities to Give

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (Community Foundation) has deep expertise and knowledge not only of our community’s needs, but also of our nonprofit landscape. They also can help people who don’t have millions create donor advised funds or help them find an existing fund to which to contribute. If you want to give back, but don’t know where to start, take a moment to read a letter from Amy Owen, Community Foundation president and CEO, about how they can help you set up a nimble and flexible donor advised fund:

Decent, Stable Housing Can Act as a ‘Vaccine’ Against Underdevelopment in Children

Housing subsidies can actually act like a vaccine for children in food-insecure households, because stable housing protects them from biologically being affected by their food insecurity. Stable, decent housing gives children some immunity and resilience against future threats to their health. In fact, children whose parents receive housing subsidies that free up available money for food are two times less likely to be underweight than similar kids who were food insecure and eligible for a food housing voucher but not receiving it. The researcher who made the connection, Dr. Megan T. Sandel is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health and development. She said that her “eureka” moment was when her 2-year-old patient, who had fallen way behind on the growth chart suddenly started sprouting after the child’s family moved from an overcrowded, unsuitable apartment to a better one. “The prescription that this child needed was a stable, decent, affordable home. They don’t stock those at the pharmacy.” Read the entire article here.


Educating America During Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month, and this year, Mental Health America is educating people about habits and behaviors that can increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or even could be signs of mental health problems themselves. Risk factors include risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, compulsive buying or excessive spending, marijuana use and excessive exercise. If you know of someone who engages in these risk factors, May might be a good time to let them know about Mental Health America and its Risky Business toolkit for help.

Preventing Child Abuse By Identifying Risk Factors

Age and poverty are two of the top risk factors for child abuse, according to long-time 100WomenStrong grant recipient, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS). The group, through its Healthy Families Program, works to halt child abuse and neglect, as well as to prevent its occurrence in the first place. To help you and others recognize and intervene, Healthy Families shared the following leading risk factors during National Child Abuse Prevention Month:

Age: In cases of neglect, younger children are more at risk because they are less likely to be able to defend themselves, speak up for themselves or remove themselves from harm’s way. In cases of sexual abuse, risk increases with the child’s age.

Learning disability, congenital anomaly, or chronic or recurrent illness: Challenges such as these make physical and emotional abuse and neglect more common.

Poverty and/or financial hardship: High stress takes a severe toll on parents’ ability to tolerate frustration. In addition, working long hours — a common result of working multiple jobs — can impede parents’ awareness of their child’s emotional well-being or whether there is abuse occurring when the child is under someone else’s care.

Another family member is experiencing domestic violence: In 30 to 60 percent of families where spousal abuse takes place, child maltreatment also occurs.

You can help children in your community:

  • Be a friendly face and a source of encouragement for children in your neighborhood.
  • Offer to babysit for a neighbor or friend, especially if they seem stressed. All parents need support.
  • Become a mentor— formally or informally — to a child or to another parent.

Reporting abuse when you suspect it is the primary way to combat child abuse.

Loudoun County Agencies & Nonprofits Highlight Area Needs and Outline Recommendations for Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month, and area nonprofits and county agencies are putting the focus on ways to detect and intervene on behalf of area children. This is an important initiative, given that between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, there were 1,355 children involved in valid cases of child abuse and neglect in Loudoun County. A report spearheaded by 100WS grant recipient Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), highlighted dichotomies in Loudoun County – such as median household incomes that are more than double the national average, while one out of 25 school-age children in the country lives in poverty. Called Resilient Children, Resilient Loudoun!, the report was created by the Loudoun County Partnership for Resilient Children & Families Steering Committee, which includes 100WomenStrong grant recipients HealthWorks, INMED Partnerships for Children, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) Loudoun Child Advocacy Center, and county agencies and public service organizations. They explored the changes that have taken place that are impacting families and explored recommendations for how to:

  • Increase community outreach to underserved and isolated families in Loudoun County;
  • Make supports and services more accessible to parents;
  • Improve and increase reporting of children in danger of abuse or neglect; and
  • Increase funding and support for Loudoun County human service providers.




County’s Healthy Status May Mask Needs

Loudoun County is Virginia’s healthiest county, according to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s most recent annual rankings. Researchers looked at quality of life, including self-reported claims of poor health on state-based surveys, reports of low birthweight to a national registry and data on the rate of deaths prior to age 75. While this shines a light on another positive about our county, there are still many residents who experience hunger and homelessness, as we have learned from the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties’ Faces of Loudoun campaign. Luckily, many area nonprofits, including 100WS grantees HealthWorks and Loudoun Hunger Relief, are working hard to create better quality of life and health in Loudoun.

Children who experience hunger before age 4 lag behind their peers for years

A recent study on hunger shows that a hungry child suffers for years after experiencing the hunger. It also suggests that children who experience food insecurity early in life are more likely to lag behind in social, emotional and to some degree, cognitive skills when they begin kindergarten. In fact, the younger the children were when the family struggled with hunger, the stronger the effect on their performance once they started school. For example, children who suffer food insecurity at 9 months old were more likely to have lower reading and math scores in kindergarten than 9-month-olds who didn’t experience food insecurity. Published in the recent Child Development journal, the study reinforces prior research that has shown that children who enter kindergarten behind, stay behind and do not catch up. Food insecurity affects an estimated 13.1 million children live across the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The effect of food insecurity lasts a lifetime.

Homelessness A Reality for Many Community College Students

Homelessness and hunger among college students is widespread. It exists in all regions of the country and is not isolated to urban or high-poverty areas, according to a new study of more than 33,000 students at 70 community colleges across the country. The researchers found that 14 percent of respondents were homeless, and one in three were going hungry while pursuing a degree. To make it worse, they found that nearly a third of the students who were going without food or shelter did hold jobs and/or received financial aid. In tandem, many school administrators and policymakers presume that because community colleges cost a fraction of most four-year universities, the costs are easily covered.

Why Pre-K Education Could Be One of the Best Ways to Reduce Crime

The return on investment in high-quality early-childhood education has as much as a 13-percent return in terms of better education, health and social and economic outcomes for the children who receive it, according to the Heckman Equation’s Lifecyle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program study. According to their findings, the biggest “chunk of the return on investment” is a reduction in crime, especially for males. Learn more about the ROI of early childhood education here.

Impoverished Children Often Grow into Adulthood with Both Physical and Psychological Problems

Research shows that poor children grow up to have a host of physical and psychological problems as adults, according to research from Cornell University and others. Cornell’s study – which lasted for 15 years – showed that impoverished children in the study had more antisocial conduct such as aggression and bullying, and increased feeling of helplessness, than kids from middle-income backgrounds.   However, early intervention to prevent some issues associated with poverty could help. Read the full article, including some potential solutions from Cornell’s researchers, here.


Changing the Conversation about Poverty and Inequality:  It Starts With Compassion and Kindness

Excerpts from an opinion piece by Karen Weese (Salon)

Fifty-seven percent of the families below the poverty line in the United States are working families with jobs that just don’t pay enough. They are childcare workers, janitors, house cleaners, lawn-service workers, bus drivers, hospital aides, waitresses, nursing home employees, security guards, cafeteria workers and cashiers. They are the people who keep society humming along for everybody else.

In addition to low wages, they often don’t garner much respect and are treated as replaceable, invisible or both. For example, Princeton University researchers showed two groups the same video of a little girl answering questions about school subjects. They told the first group that her parents were affluent professionals and told the second group that she was the daughter of a meat packer and a seamstress. The girl performed at grade level, answering some questions correctly and missing others.  When asked about her performance, the group who believed she was wealthy felt she had performed above grade level.  The second group, which believed otherwise, felt she had performed below grade level.

Sometimes we see what we’re looking for …and what we’re looking for changes based on the context.  There are many prescriptions for combating poverty, but we can’t even get started unless we first examine our assumptions, and take the time to envision what the world feels like for families living in poverty every day.”


Compassion is a skill that we get better at with practice.”  Karen Armstrong, Theologian

Deputies Train to Spot Mental Disabilities to Avoid Tragedies

More than 60 percent of Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office employees – from dispatchers to deputies –have received Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to help them to spot a person with mental disabilities, from autism and post-traumatic stress disorder to traumatic brain injury. CIT helps them to better communicate and possibly de-escalate situations before they can become violent. Training included site visits to Inova Loudoun Behavioral Services, the homeless shelter,  past 100WomenStrong grant recipient Paxton Campus, and other locations.  Read the article here.

Living in America’s Wealthiest and Happiest County Can Create Additional Pressures For Teens

Along with living in one of the best areas in America comes very high expectations for residents, including the “peer pressure” to keep up with wealth and success of friends and neighbors. This push for perfection is creating additional stress for Loudoun teens, according to Loudoun County Public Schools’ supervisor of diagnostic and prevention services, and may be contributing to our county’s high teen suicide rate. Parents, teachers and administrators recently met to discuss strategies to mitigate this stress and help children and teens develop higher self-esteem and better coping skills. The school district is drafting a strategic plan for suicide prevention and overall student safety that will include school-based mental health services and will address suicide prevention, bullying prevention and behavior intervention.  Read more here.

Education Foundation Raises $100,000+ at Golf Tournament

The Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF), a 100WS partner and grant recipient, recently raised a record $105,000 at its annual Golf Classic. Close to 40% of the funds raised will go directly to teacher classroom grants,. The tournament is LEF’s biggest fundraiser and helps the nonprofit fulfill its mission to enhance the quality of education in Loudoun County Public Schools by supporting projects that stimulate students’ curiosity and create exceptional learning opportunities.  Read more here.

Loudoun Board of Supervisors Looking to Ease Restrictive Affordable Housing Program

Loudoun County’s Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) program has conflicted with state and federal standards for years, effectively shutting area developers out of affordable housing grants that would make it easier for them to build more affordable housing for future residents. In fact, 100WS grant recipient Windy Hill Foundation research shows that it has received the only funding that Loudoun has been awarded in housing grants since 2006, and this was less than 5% of the total funds awarded to Northern Virginia/DC suburbs. Luckily for affordable housing proponents, the Board of Supervisors has agreed to look to amend county regulations to take advantage of millions of dollars offered by the Commonwealth and federal government programs.  Read more here.

Did you know? More than 6 million kids are missing 15 days or more of school a year.

Chronic absenteeism rates are highest in high school: more than 2 million high school students are missing 15 days or more. The figures for minority students are even more alarming: More than 20 percent of black high school students are chronically absent. It’s 20 percent for Latino high school students and 27 percent for American Indians and Native Alaskans.

Source:  http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/06/10/480181439/more-than-6-million-u-s-students-are-chronically-absent

Grant Recipient Providing Over 40 Years Of Unique Therapy

August 9. 2016  Loudoun Times-Mirror

100WS grant recipient Loudoun Therapeutic Riding (LTR) has long partnered with Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) to ensure that students with special needs have therapeutic riding opportunities. LTR’s equine-assisted activities and therapies have helped LCPS students and area residents with disabilities or special needs build self-confidence, improve concentration and increase core strength, balance and joint mobility for more than 40 years. 

Community Foundations And Their Benefits Explained

What is a community foundation? The short answer: a not-for-profit, grant-making organization existing for the benefit of the residents in a given area.  Community foundations also obtain and share information about needs in the community and identify charitable organizations who might best help fulfill those needs. 100WS is a component fund of Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (CFLNFC), which also helps us conduct due diligence on grant applicants and more. 100WS donors also benefit from fully qualified tax deductions because of our relationship with CFLNFC.

Inova Loudoun Is In The Top 5% Percent For Nursing Excellence

Congratulations to the nurses of 100WS grant recipient Inova Loudoun Hospital for earning Magnet status, the highest institutional honor awarded for nursing excellence, for the 3rd time! Approximately 5 percent of 6,000 hospitals in the U.S. earn the designation, which is a rigorous process involving accreditation, from the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center.

Decrease in Homeless Numbers Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

June 5, 2016  Loudoun Now
Loudoun County has fewer permanently homeless than it has in a decade, according to a recent “Point in Time” count. Many say it shows the County’s progress in the area of housing and shelter, much of it resulting from a coalition of area agencies working together to create “permanent supportive housing units” for chronically homeless. However, while permanent homelessness is down, Loudoun County Public Schools says the number of “precariously housed” in our county has grown.  

Visualizing Future Success

June 2, 2016  Loudoun Times-Mirror

Graduation can seem a really long way off for a fifth grader, and in at-risk neighborhoods, it may seem impossible. To help make graduation a concrete possibility for its students, Sterling Elementary School invited Park View High School graduates to parade through hallways in their caps and gowns to inspire younger students. Many schools across the nation have started these parades to encourage elementary school students to visualize their own success in school and stay positive about their educations.

Girls Beat Boys In 8th Grade Tests

June 1, 2016

About 21,500 eighth grade students from over 800 public and private schools participated in a technology and engineering test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The results highlighted a persistent educational gap between students in wealthier communities and suburban areas, who did better than those from poorer communities and cities. The test also showed that: 

  • For the first time, girls on average scored better than their male peers.
  • Students who participate in activities outside of school focused on design and systems, such as a robotics club, or tinker with design concepts on their own scored higher than those who did not.
  • In-school learning related to technology and societal issues was associated with higher scores.
  • Students who believed they had the abilities to do various technology- and engineer-related tasks did better than students who did not.

Six High School Seniors Awarded For Perseverance

May 27, 2016  Loudoun Times-Mirror
Six Loudoun County High School students who “Beat the Odds” recently were awarded a combined $22,500 from the Loudoun Bar Association. This is the 12th year that the Loudoun Bar has supported area youth who have  overcome major life obstacles and thrived. Since 2005, the group has awarded more than $130,000 to 49 students.

Thanking Volunteers During A Special Week

April 10, 2016
It takes the hard work and dedication of thousands of volunteers to make it possible for Loudoun County nonprofits to serve those in need. April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week – take a moment to thank your favorite volunteer this week!  Click here.

More Tax Dollars May Go to Nonprofits

March 9, 2016  Loudoun Now
Loudoun County is now accepting grant applications from local nonprofits in four areas: hunger and homelessness mitigation, emergency services, health and related services, and recreation and culture. With competition on the rise, some are hoping that funds will increase. Read more here.

Pediatricians Urged To Join War On Poverty

March 9, 2016  usnews.com
The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging doctors to “screen for poverty” by asking the parents of their patients if they are having trouble making ends meet and following up by asking if they have adequate food, housing and heat. Why? Because children are highly vulnerable to chronic stress that results from the emotional and economic burden created by poverty and can  resort to risky behaviors, including smoking, excessive drinking and substance abuse. Poverty also can alter brain function, affect immune and psychiatric disorders and has been linked to asthma and obesity. The aim with this more holistic approach is to improve public health outcomes in children. . . read more.

ELL Student Population Growing Quickly

February 23, 2016  Loudoun Now

Did you know that the number of resource-intensive students like English Language Learners and poorer students has grown much faster than the student population at large in Loudoun County? The number of “economically challenged” students, grew by 109 percent from 2008-2015, according to Loudoun County Public Schools. In comparison, during this same time frame the student population at large has grown 33 percent.  Read more here.

Vets Get New Housing

February 19, 2016   Loudoun Now
New homes for military veterans wounded in battle is the goal for Hero Homes in Loudoun County. The group, which aims to build five Hero Homes in the near future, was inspired by a national group that built a home for an Iraq War veteran in Lovettsville last year. Hero Homes plans to build in Purcellville. Read more here.

Collaboration To Create Housing Solutions

January 2016
More than 150,000 families in the Greater Washington region are currently in need of affordable homes, a number that is expected to double in less than 10 years. To find solutions that will put more people in affordable homes, dozens of  public and private sector leaders have been meeting since 2014 to examine the lack of affordable housing in the area and its effect on economic growth. Click here to read their findings.

Supporting Affordable Housing

January 2016

Creating affordable housing in the Greater Washington region can help the entire economy, stabilize families and support growth in the area. You can get involved by investing in Our Region, Your Investment to support the production and preservation of affordable homes.  Read the brochure here.

Zoning Ordinance Supports Affordable Housing

January 21, 2016  Loudounchamber.org
Our Board of Supervisors and the Loudoun County Chamber understand how important affordable housing is for the future of Loudoun County. In December, Supervisors approved a zoning ordinance change – supported by the Chamber – that could make millions of dollars of state and Federal funding available for constructing more affordable housing here.  Read more here.

Collaboration To Create Housing Solutions

January 2016
More than 150,000 families in the Greater Washington region are currently in need of affordable homes, a number that is expected to double in less than 10 years. To find solutions that will put more people in affordable homes, dozens of  public and private sector leaders have been meeting since 2014 to examine the lack of affordable housing in the area and its effect on economic growth. Click here to read their findings.

Supporting Affordable Housing

January 2016

Creating affordable housing in the Greater Washington region can help the entire economy, stabilize families and support growth in the area. You can get involved by investing in Our Region, Your Investment to support the production and preservation of affordable homes.  Read the brochure here.

Nonprofits Employ the Best

There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States.
Nonprofits employ more than 10% of the American workforce and represent roughly $1.65 trillion in annual revenues.
And they have an estimated 20 million individuals leading these organizations who are among the most influential, dedicated and connected leaders.
Source:  standforyourmission.org


One to the World Project Celebrates Community

The concept of community and community helpers are a big part of the LCPS kindergarten first-semester social science objectives, and t Evergreen Mill Elementary, kindergartners learned that ‘community’ can be your home, school, town, state or even country. Students in Jane Stockton’s class decided to help their community by making and donating 25 blankets to Mobile Hope as part of the One to the World project.

Loudoun County Launches New Homeless Prevention Program

December 4, 2014
Funded through Virginia’s Department of House and Community Development, the program will be administered locally by the Dept. of Family Service. If eligible, assistance includes help paying security deposits, utilities, and rental arrears. Read more.

Full Day Kindergarten Discussions

December 4, 2015  Loudoun Times-Mirror

At a recent meeting of state legislators, school leaders and students, discussion surrounded creating ways to build students’ competencies in critical thinking, communication, creativity and the ability to use those skills in society as a whole rather than focusing on teaching to a test. Across the state, legislators are hearing that school districts want to have more control over designing standards and accountability to help prepare students.

Fundraiser’s Success Not Trivial

December 1, 2015

The first-ever Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (CF) Trivia Night was a resounding success! The brainchild of 100WS member and CF President Kirsten Langhorne raised money for local charities including past 100WS grant recipients All Ages Read Together, LAWS, HealthWorks and Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers, among others. A sizable contingent of 100WS joined the fun to test their knowledge of trivia while raising money for local charities and supporting the Community Foundation at this inaugural event!

Fighting Absenteeism in Schools

November 4, 2015

Chronic absenteeism is a problem for many schools. Students who miss just two days a month will fall behind, which can eventually mean dropping out of school. One educator found combating chronic absenteeism, which can be a mix of truancy, illnesses and family problems, is easier when parents are involved in a child’s education.  

​Loudoun Interfaith Saving for the Future

December 3, 2015  Loudoun Times-Mirror

100WomenStrong grant recipient, Loudoun Interfaith Relief, has received rent abatement for its warehouse space on Miller Drive in exchange for the organization vacating the space in 2020 rather than 2023. LIR Executive Director Jennifer Montgomery thanked Loudoun Supervisors for the action and said it will allow the nonprofit to save money toward its future home. 

Loudoun Therapeutic Riding at Morven Park for the Long Haul

October 30, 2015  Leesburg Today

Thanks to the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation, former past 100WS grant recipient Loudoun Therapeutic Riding has the opportunity to stay at Morven Park in Leesburg for up to 90 more years and even build new facilities. LTR offers riding lessons to people aged 3 years and older to help with a wide variety of diagnoses, such as autism, cognitive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, and traumatic brain injuries.  For more information on LTR, visit www.ltrf.org.

Real Food For Kids Held First ‘Food Day’ at Sully Elementary School

October 28, 2015 Loudoun Times Mirror

In an effort to bring more healthful food choices into school lunches and to address the link between physical activity, healthy eating and academic performance, Real Food for Kids partners with school nutrition services to create better food choices. At recent Food Day in Loudoun County, Sully Elementary students learned Zumba, watched a chef create a salad, and learned bike and helmet safety.

Windy Hill Coordinator Encouraging Self Sufficiency and Improvement

October 2015 Middleburg Times

The Windy Hill Family Programs Coordinator is focused on helping community residents, especially students, learn self-sufficiency and the value of effort. Thomas Garnett, who moved to the United States from Liberia, is working hard to develop strong educational programs for students who live there as well as creating a “family” environment for residents. Learn more about Garnett and his programs here. 

​Early Intervention for Food Insecure Children

October 23 2015

Children in food insecure households get sick more often, recover more slowly from illness, have poorer overall health and are hospitalized more frequently.  Pediatricians will start asking questions such as:  “Within the past 12 months, the food we bought didn’t last, and we didn’t have money to get more. Yes or No?” to identify and help those who are potentially struggling with malnutrition. Read the full article.

Crisis Intervention Team Created

More than 1700 people suffering a behavioral crisis have been assisted by Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies in recent years. The new Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Assessment Center increases immediate access to crisis psychiatric evaluations and minimizes the time law enforcement is pulled from community policing duties.  

LCPS Expands Full Day Kindergarten

September 17, 2015  Leesburg Today

Many are concerned about Loudoun being one of only three counties in the Commonwealth to not offer universal full day kindergarten (FDK).   It is now offered at 35 of the county’s 58 elementary schools (or 31% of the county’s 4,880 kindergartners).  While others are concerned about prioritizing FDK ahead of other programs or overall costs, political momentum in support of FDK is growing. 

Will Loudoun students do better in school when they start the day on a full stomach? 

Sugarland Elementary now offers free breakfast to the entire student population, as one step in reducing impediments to learning that are out of the school’s control.  While the program has already resulted in increased on-time attendance, the hope is that it will also contribute to higher achievement in the classroom.   State and local officials will be watching carefully to understand how programs like this will impact classroom performance. http://bit.ly/1OjvKL5

Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers Receives Wibel Foundation Grant

August 21, 2015  Leesburg Today

LVC – a 2014 and 2015 100WomenStrong grant recipient – recently received $15,000 for its assisted transportation, support services and money management programs for elderly, frail, disabled or those who suffer from debilitating diseases in Loudoun County.  

LCPS Sets New Eligibility Thresholds for Free/Reduced Meals

August 19, 2015 Leesburg Today

New criteria should increase number of LCPS students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and families who qualify can get an application at school or at the LCPS main office in Ashburn. 

Nonprofits Working Together

July 31, 2015

Loudoun Chamber’s Non-profit Initiative offers a strategic, collaborative environment to help nonprofits become stronger, learn from one another and build alliances that will help us all create a better Loudoun County.  Learn more here.

Expanding Full-Day Kindergarten in Loudoun County

June 2015  Leesburg Today

Loudoun County is one of only three school systems in Virginia that does not offer every kindergartner a full-day program. But, that is changing. Two more Loudoun elementary schools – Forest Grove and Sterling (both Title I schools) – will offer full-day kindergarten this fall, the latest in Loudoun’s gradual expansion of the program.  Read the full article here.

Supervisors Vote To Give More Than $1 Million To Nonprofits

June 23, 2015  Leesburg Today

Kudos to Loudoun County Supervisors for their vote to give $1 million to 33 area nonprofit organizations. We are excited see that the LCPS Backpack Coalition will receive $5,000 from the county. . . Read more

A Full-Time Minimum Wage Job Not Enough For 1 Bedroom Apartment Anywhere in US

May 28, 2015 Vox.com by Ezra Klein 

There is no state in the union where a full-time, minimum-wage worker can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment for less than 30 percent of his paycheck (which is a standard measure of housing affordability). . .Read more

Loudoun County Fastest Growing In the State, Again

May 22, 2015 Loudoun Times-Mirror

This just in from the Census Bureau’s American Community 5-year survey for 2010-2014: Loudoun County is experiencing extreme population growth. . .Full article here

Supporting Children in Poverty Through Literacy in Loudoun

February 12, 2015

Sadly, more than 15% of our nation’s children live in poverty. On average, these kids have one or two age appropriate books in their homes, yet a full sixty-one percent of the children in low-income families have no books at all. Recent studies confirm that the availability of reading material is the strongest predictor of a child’s ability to read and later academic achievement, yet millions of at-risk elementary school-aged children are without this basic resource. How can we support these children? Read more.

Study Shows Social Learning Just as Important as Cognitive Skills

Feb 10, 2015 American Journal of Public Health

Educators, take note!  A new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, finds a strong link between a child’s social and emotional competency in kindergarten to how well they will do in early adulthood. The comprehensive 20-year examination of 800 children in four different cities were tracked from kindergarten through their mid-20s.


Every 3 Seconds

December 2, 2014
We lose 30,000 people (mostly kids) every day to hunger and extreme poverty, one every three seconds. A new documentary explores the misconception that hunger and extreme poverty will always be with us. What can we do to help? Read more.

Why Is Wasted Food Not End Up With Those That Need It?

November 5, 2014
One-third of all the food produced in the US is thrown away; that’s about 133 billion pounds. 10% of this food is lost at the grocery stores, restaurants, and vendors that sell it. In addition, there are about 49 million Americans who don’t have access to enough food to stay healthy. So why does this wasted food not end up with those that need it? Read more.

Why Are Seniors Not Getting Enough to Eat?

November 3, 2014
A study published online on Aug. 12 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that more than half of the elderly patients who visited an emergency room were malnourished or at risk for malnutrition. Other studies have estimated that about 6 percent of elderly people living on their own are malnourished, but rates are as high as 85 percent in hospitals and long-term care facilities. Why are seniors not getting enough to eat? Read more.

Rethink Homelessness

October 29, 2014
“Rethink Homelessness” asked homeless friends to write down a fact about themselves that other people wouldn’t know just by walking past them. Their answers may surprise you. Read more.

Feeding Minds and Bodies: The Backpack Coalition

October 16, 2014
A short, informative video about the LCPS Backpack Coalition.
Feeding Minds and Bodies: The Backpack Coalition from LCPS-TV on Vimeo.

Local businesses and community outlets come together to make sure needy Loudoun families don’t go hungry with the Backpack Coalition program.

Nonprofits must take on the task of documenting their performance

September 24, 2014
Public and private funders are asking more from nonprofits these days.  Reductions in government discretionary spending, greater competition for fewer grants, and more sophisticated private funders have changed the landscape. These days, nonprofits are facing considerably more scrutiny of their programs and services. What type of information should nonprofits be reporting to effectively demonstrate that they are addressing community needs? Read more.

By the Numbers: Childhood Poverty in the U.S.

September 9, 2014
What does it mean to grow up poor in America? In “Poor Kids” FRONTLINE follows several of the more than 13 million children in poverty for a glimpse at what life is like for a child in need. There is the near-constant hunger, the stress that comes from watching a parent struggle, and oftentimes, days and weeks spent living in a shelter or bouncing from motel to motel. Read more.

Mental Health Panel Discusses ‘Streeting’ of Psychiatric Patients

September 1, 2014
More than three dozen people who posed a threat to themselves or others were released from emergency custody orders in the first four months of this year — six of them with no further evaluation or treatment — before Virginia law changed to stop a phenomenon known as “streeting.” Read more.

Brambleton Adds Affordable Housing

August 27, 2014
Nearly 100 workforce housing apartments were dedicated in Brambleton on July 22 to provide reduced-rent housing for working families. The units help fill a void in Loudoun County for low-cost housing for working families. The rental apartments were built by the Windy Hill Foundation and T.M. AssociatesRead more

Interfaith Relief Seeks Expanded Avenues For Food Distribution

August 20, 2014
Loudoun Interfaith Relief President Lisa Karl is hopeful the Loudoun food pantry will have a new leader by Sept. 1, following the resignation of longtime Executive Director Bonnie Inman earlier this year. LIR sees enhanced missions for food distribution systems, using creative ways to educate their customers about healthy nutrition as part of an overall wellness-focused lifestyle. LIR’s strategic plan aims at broadening partnerships and productive cooperation between food pantries and health delivery organizations. Read more.

Book Buggy Keeps Sterling Kids Reading

August 6, 2014
Teachers at Sterling Elementary School operate the Book Buggy, which stops in five Sterling neighborhoods every Wednesday morning through Aug. 13 and allows children to pick out two free books to take home. Read more.

Homeless teens find shelter in Alternative House

July 10, 2014
At 17 years old, Brian Gamboa walked for more than two hours to school each day. Turned out of his home and barely managing to pay rent on a basement apartment, Gamboa needed help, but he did not know where he could turn. Then, he found Alternative House. Read more.

Study: A third of Virginia kids live in or near poverty

July 9, 2014
A new study says about a third of Virginia children are living in or near poverty. The study says 13 percent of children lived in poverty in 2011, the most recent year of analysis. Another 18-and-a-half percent lived in near-poverty. According to the study, almost half of the children in or near poverty live with parents who are married. Read more.

Loudoun Board Approves Grants

July 8, 2014
On July 2, Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors approved several grants for area charities and community support nonprofits, totaling more than $1.2 million. Read more about which organizations received funding. Read more.

Reading Rainbow is Coming Back

June 30, 2014
LeVar Burton is bringing Reading Rainbow back with a massive Kickstarter campaign to bring it to schools in need for free. Right now, 1 in 4 kids in the U.S. will grow up illiterate and studies show that children who can’t read at grade level by the 4th grade are 400% more likely to drop out of high school. As of 2011, America was the only free-market country where the current generation was less well educated than the one before. Read more.

Northern Virginia Aging Report

June 23, 2014
The older population of northern Virginia, those age 65 or more, is more economically stable, better educated and more diverse than the older population in the United States and Virginia. Currently the region’s population is also younger and healthier, skewed toward the younger end — those 65 to 74 years of age. But in northern Virginia, as in the rest of the nation, a significant population shift is occurring. The portion of the population 65 years of age and older will increase steadily over the next two decades. This change, coupled with increased longevity will result in significant growth in older populations nationally, statewide and locally. Read more.

Do More 24

June 17, 2014
Do More 24 is just days away. On Thursday, June 19, thousands of people will join together to create positive change in our community. Powered by United Way of the National Capital Area, Do More 24 is a local movement that encourages donors to contribute to the causes and organizations closest to their hearts to solve our region’s most pressing challenges. Read more.

70% of Charities Expect Gains in 2014

May 13, 2014
A survey by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative reveals that 70% of nonprofits are expected to receive an increase in donations this year. In 2013, donations were stronger than any other year since the recession started, making charities optimistic. Part of the reason is attributed to charities setting up a system that allows their donors to see how their money is being used. Read more.

The 10 for 10 Campaign

May 9, 2014
The 10 for 10 Campaign is underway and they’re looking for businesses, civic & networking organizations, and individuals in Loudoun County to donate 10% of their sales for one hour, one day, one week, one month, or whatever you are comfortable with to Loudoun Interfaith Relief. The proceeds will provide food for kids in need in this summer. Read more.

County Grant Process Open for Nonprofits. Dead-line for submission is Fri, Apr 11.

The County’s FY15 budget available for nonprofits is $1.25 million and will be distributed as follows:
–  $753,317 (60%) goes to orgs that provide health related services;
–  $251,107 (20%) goes to orgs that provide emergency services;
–  $100,442 (8%) goes to groups that provide administrative services to other nonprofits;
–  $87,887 (7%) goes to orgs that work on hunger and homeless services;
–  $62,776 (5%) goes to orgs that focus on recreation and cultural
Read more.

Crime Odds Nearly Triple For Those With Disabilities

March 19, 2014
The number of violent crimes committed against people with disabilities is on the rise, new data from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates. There were 1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes against persons with disabilities in 2012, up from the roughly 1.1 million estimated for 2011. Read more.

The Business of Housing Loudoun’s Workforce

March 4, 2014
Prospective home buyers often have difficulty in Loudoun County where higher housing prices push them to live further out where they can find a bigger house and yard for the same price. The Affordable Dwelling Unit program seeks to change this by providing affordable housing to buyers with moderate incomes. Read more.

Criminalizing Mental Illness

February 24, 2014
In 1955, there was one bed in a psychiatric ward for every 300 Americans; now there is one bed for every 3,000 Americans. So, where are those with severe mental illness going? Jail houses have taken the place of long shuttered mental hospitals, an astronomically expensive way to… Read more.

The Arc of Loudoun Supports Gabriella and the ‘Cracking the Cure’ Gala

January 7, 2014
When she was nine years old, Gabriella Miller was diagnosed with a walnut-sized inoperable brain tumor. Gabriella’s family literally began smashing walnuts with a frying pan as a symbolic gesture to support her battle against her tumor. Unfortunately Gabriella passed away two months ago but her fight to end childhood brain cancer lives on! The Smashing Walnuts Foundation is pleased to announce the Inaugural ‘Cracking the Cure’ Gala that will take place on January 25th 2014 in Leesburg VA.

Please see the invitation or visit www.smashingwalnuts.org for more information. Tickets, Sponsorships and Donation Opportunities are available. With your help we can begin to make Gabriella’s dream of a world without childhood brain cancer a reality.


Virginia’s Mental Health System Stretched to Limit

December 10, 2013
Community Services Board (CSB), state-mandated agencies that provide public mental health services throughout the state of Virginia, are experiencing an unyielding shortage of inpatient psychiatric beds. Within the last fiscal year, Northern Virginia CSBs had to send 224 patients to other parts of the state because there were no available inpatient beds in the area. In some cases, some hospitals are not willing or able to take certain types of patients, including involuntary commitments or people with serious behavior issues. Anne Edgerton, executive director of the advocacy organization Mental Health America of Virginia, said Virginians should focus on programs and services aimed at getting people mental health care early, before the behavior turns toward crisis mode. Read more.

Loudoun Cares’ Andy Johnston named Times-Mirror’s 2013 Citizen of the Year

November 29, 2013
There’s no precise formula to compute how many people Johnston’s helped in his decade as executive director of Loudoun Cares, a nonprofit hub dedicated to assisting other nonprofits in the county. Johnston’s achievements can’t be measured in cold, hard figures; instead, they’re calculated in effort, conversations and endless hours ensuring local nonprofits are clicking. Read more.

Hospitals Try to Be Child-Friendly As They Face More Young Patients

November 22, 2013
Due to medical advances, hospitals are treating an ever larger population of children with medically complex diagnoses.  Many of these children become “frequent fliers” in the hospital system, experiencing pain and fear along the way. Studies show that these children may end up suffering from long term psychological trauma due to their experiences in the hospital. In an effort to reduce the distress of children, hospitals are adopting innovative ways to create positive outcomes. Read more about some of these successful new hospital initiatives.

You can also use Wall Street Journal’s public resources to read the article:
Part 1

Part 2

Investing in Pre-Schools

November 14, 2013
There is plenty of evidence supporting the idea that early childhood initiatives are one of the best ways to intervene and reduce the toll of crime, drugs, and educational failure. Read about the success of the Oklahoma Project, where they are investing in preschools now instead of prisons later.

Healing Through Humor

October 31, 2013
A new film, “Comedy Warriors, Healing through Humor”, was shown at a private screening at the inaugural Middleburg Film Festival last weekend. In the film, wounded soldiers show the audience how humor slowly helped them and their loved ones through the healing process. Loudoun County’s own Rob Jones, a Lovettsville native, is one of the stars of the film. Jones is a double amputee after losing both his legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010. Read more about the film and how humor can help heal.

Hunger Action Month

September 2013
September is Hunger Action Month, an annual effort to raise awareness to the issue of hunger across the nation and in our own backyard. The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks such as Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and food pantries such as Loudoun Interfaith Relief, unites to encourage individuals to take action in their communities. What can you do to help end hunger and help feed those in need in Loudoun County? Visit http://www.brafb.org and http://www.interfaithrelief.org to find out.

Loudoun County and the Uninsured

By Janet Lyman, 100WS Grantmaker
June 2013

In one of the states’ richest counties, when a family experiencing economic instability – low wages, unstable housing or lack of health insurance – needs routine care or encounters a medical emergency or debilitating illness, where can they turn? Fortunately, in Loudoun County, a set of concerned organizations, citizens, and volunteers have built options to address both primary and preventive healthcare and housing instability. This article explores how the Loudoun Free Clinic, Healthworks of Northern Virginia, and INOVA’s Mobile Hope (just three of the multiple services available) can help families in need.

For illustrative purposes, let’s look at a family comprised of adults, children, and seniors who lack health insurance and have housing challenges. We can explore how these organizations could help the family and, in addition, ensure their continued contributions to the economic health and wellbeing of the overall community. While not comprehensive of all services, the following illustrates the maturity, scope, and applicability of services.

Loudoun Free Clinic

For uninsured adults aged 18-64 in our family, the Loudoun Free Clinic, a non-profit volunteer based organization established in 2002, is a gateway to medical care. The Clinic provides a range of services as well as access to specialty services at no cost for families with income level that falls within the 200% of the Federal poverty level. Uninsured adults are more likely to postpone or forgo health care altogether, and are less able to afford prescriptions or follow through on recommended treatments. Without care, treatable conditions can escalate to complex and serious illnesses that jeopardize an individual’s wellbeing and the family’s economic security. In 2012, medical in-clinic visits numbered 3,793, a 31% year over year increase. In addition, the Free Clinic provided 13,938 prescriptions valued at $1.8M. In the contracting economy of 2012, the clinic saw a 57% increase in the number of patients.

Healthworks of Northern Virginia

For the children and seniors in the family lacking health insurance, they can turn to Healthworks of Northern Virginia. Many local health care providers no longer accept new Medicare and Medicaid patients. And, as we have all experienced, children need ready access to both preventive and primary care. Healthworks, a nonprofit Federal qualified health provider with centers in Leesburg, Sterling, and Herndon, provides medical, dental, and behavioral health care to anyone in need, regardless of age or ability to pay. Healthworks accepts all patients, regardless of income or insurance status – Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, no insurance or the underinsured. More than 90% of families at Healthworks are lower income (within 200% of the Federal poverty line) and 69% would be better served in languages other than English.

Mobile Hope

And what if housing is an issue for our family too? For homeless children, or those in precarious housing situations, there is Mobile Hope. INOVA Mobile Hope Services travels throughout Loudoun County and cares for precariously housed and at risk youth. Without any questions, for children 18 and under, Mobile Hope will provide food, clothes, blankets, and personal items. Recently, 658 children in our county were in homeless or in precarious housing arrangements. Some 40% of these students do not have a parent or guardian in their lives. They sleep in cars, the woods, abandoned buildings or “couch surf” with friends. And there may be a larger population at risk – some 700-800 children may also be precariously housed or at risk that have not been identified.

While we can hope our family can build future economic stability, services from these providers can go a long way to enabling them to be more capable to perform at work and school. And ongoing preventive care can keep small health crises from escalating into events which undermine family well-being and security. Kudos to the leaders and volunteers who make such services available in Loudoun County!

For more information about these services:

For a Free Clinic eligibility appointment, call 703-779-5424. More information at loudounfreeclinic.org.

To schedule an appointment for you or a family member at Healthworks, call 703-443-2000 and patient’s forms are available at hwnova.org.

Contact Mobile Hope at 703-858-8801. More information at INOVA.org.

Study Shows Widely Varying Prices at Area Hospitals for Treatment of Identical Conditions 

What if you suffer a major brain hemorrhage with complications? If you seek help in Olney, Maryland, you might visit MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, which will charge you $12,873 on average (in 2011) to stabilize your condition and bring you back to health.  But if you are in downtown DC, you may take an ambulance to George Washington University Hospital, which lists treatment for the exact same condition at $106,103. Why would George Washington University Hospital charge 86% more for treatment of the same condition? Read more.

A “New Normal” of Fewer Patients

Mark Stauder, President and COO of Inova Health System, identifies two leading trends creating a “new normal” for health care providers… Read more.

Home Visiting Programs: Preschool in its Earliest Form

Through programs across the country, nurses, social workers or trained mentors offer support to… Read more.

Homeless Youth in Loudoun County

By Ree McDermott, 100WS Donor-Advisor
March 2013

Touted as one of the richest counties in the country, it is easy to assume that Loudoun’s youth have secure housing situations. Yet during  the 2011-2012  school year Loudoun County Public Schools identified 785 children and youth as homeless or “precariously housed.” That number has tripled since the  2008-2009 school year.  It is likely there are many more precariously housed and at risk youth  living in Loudoun County who have not yet been identified.

How do we define homeless children and youth? Under the federally funded  McKinney-Vento Act, homeless children and youth are defined as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”  In other words, these kids sleep in cars, abandoned warehouses, bus stations, park benches or “couch surf” among their friends. Nearly one in four f these young people do not have a guardian or parent in their lives.

The causes of homelessness can be complex. The most common reasons for homelessness involve domestic violence, chronic substance abuse, chronic health problems and mental illness. The lack of affordable housing in Loudoun County also plays a role. Many families have to double-up in their living arrangements for financial reasons.

While there are no simple solutions to homelessness, organizations within Loudoun County are making a difference on multiple fronts. Loudoun’s Continuum of Care – a community coalition of public, non-profit, and faith-based organizations – provides a variety of shelter and support services to children and youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Continuum of Care’s overarching goal is to ensure that there is a continuum of services to meet the needs of homeless persons in the community. They do this by collaborating with established charitable organizations such as Volunteers of America, INMED, Good Shepherd, and LAWS.


Mobile Hope Makes A Difference

Another organization making a difference with homeless youth is Inova’s Mobile Hope. Launched in 2011, it is the first and only emergency relief center in Loudoun County where children can get help without an adult present, no questions asked. Mobile Hope travels to various locations within Loudoun County several times a month, providing at risk youth with food, clothing, blankets, and personal items. Along with these basic supplies, staff and volunteers offer access to medical services and community support.

Homelessness is also being addressed through the County’s Department of Family Services. The Homeless Prevention Program (HPP), funded by the state, is designed to avert homelessness by providing targeted and limited assistance to those who, without this assistance, are likely to become homeless. Funding for rental arrears, security deposits, and utility assistance are available through HPP for eligible applicants. Mortgage assistance is also available on a very limited basis.

While it is difficult to predict the future of homelessness in Loudoun County, the sharp rise in the number of youth who are precariously housed is an indicator that the overall situation is worsening. Partnerships and collaboration between the state,  county and local nonprofits are key to addressing homelessness. 100WOMENSTRONG continues to be an avid supporter of many of the local nonprofits who provide shelter and assistance to at risk youth, making a difference in the lives of these young people.

For a list of organizations helping homeless youth, please visit:


100WomenStrong is a proud fund of Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties