The Neighbors in Need Fund, which was introduced in the latter part of 2008 during the thick of this nation’s recession, provides grants to nonprofit groups and services serving the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Montgomery as well as Prince George’s County in Maryland. Among the recipients are food banks, shelters, medical clinics, foreclosure-prevention programs and numerous mental health care providers. The Community Foundation has approximated some 100,000 people throughout the Washington area have received assistance from Neighbors in Need Fund supported programs.
The Fund itself thrives from the contributions of individuals, families, corporations and foundations. Two of the Fund’s newest contributors are quite large: Bank of America and Kaiser Permanente. BoA recently contributed $500,000 and Kaiser, $150,000.
BoA and Kaiser join other heavy contributors such as The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The World Bank, the MARPAT Foundation and others. Since its introduction, over $3.6 million has been raised. They are presently roughly $1.4 million away from meeting The Foundation’s goal of $5 million by the end of this year.
The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region recently reported it awarded $973,000 in new grants to 51 Washington-area nonprofits. The new grants raise the sum awarded by the Fund to over $2.8 million. “These new grants could not come at a better time,” said Terri Lee Freeman, President of The Community Foundation. She added, “while the recession may be subsiding in some neighborhoods, it’s actually getting worse in others. For example, some parts of Washington, DC are experiencing 30% unemployment. And in some sections of Prince William County, VA, which is generally considered to be affluent, unemployment stands as high as 7%. In this time of crisis, The Neighbors in Need Fund is supporting basic human needs and critical social services.”
“The recession hasn’t taken a toll just on people`s jobs, bank accounts and mortgages, we can’t overlook the psychological impact that losing one’s livelihood or home has on people and their families,” said Freeman. “In addition to putting food on their table and making sure they have a bed to sleep in at night, The Neighbors in Need Fund is helping vulnerable residents deal with pain and loss on a very personal level so that they can move forward.”