Arlington Free Clinic's Hearing and Vision Program is this year’s recipient of the Benefit’s proceeds. The program is in its fourth month and started with a generous donation from a retired Arlington school teacher, combined with a partnership with the University of Maryland's Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. The hearing and vision program will be able to care for over 1500 patients annually, approximately 30% of whom are new to the clinic. Most patients never have enjoyed access to any hearing or vision services. Vision and hearing impairments are life-altering. They may seriously constrain an individual’s ability to secure employment, or to reside safely and independently in the community. Hearing loss can contribute to the onset of cognitive impairment and dementia. Diabetes, affecting 25% of the patients, introduces the risk for severe vision loss, including blindness. This result can be prevented with regular screening. For individuals living in poverty, it is nearly impossible to access affordable vision and hearing assessments, prescription eyeglasses, and hearing aids. Regular screenings and timely treatments are unavailable to these patients.
Our donation will be used for specific services such as vision exam - $140, hearing exam - $168, pair of prescription hearing aids - $600, pair of prescription eyeglasses - $400, language interpreter - $25, medications for glaucoma - $115, etc. A donation from AWCA will ensure the sustainability of this important program supporting prevention and treatment of vision and hearing loss through screening and subsequent treatment, along with free or very low cost prescription eyeglasses and hearing aids for years to come.
ARLINGTON FREE CLINIC DENTAL CARE
Arlington Free Clinic provides critical oral care to an average of 1,500 Low-income patients monthly. Many have serious infections impacting health and loss of teeth, and AFC needs our help to bridge the gap between costs, and the patient's ability to pay.
Community Support Grantees: We're pleased to announce that AWCA 2017 Fundraising will help to fund the following two organizations: Promoting
Awareness/Victim Empowerment (PAVE) and Bridges to Independence (B2i). Below is a description of the important projects our AWCA will help to fund for these worthy organizations.
1. Promoting Awareness/Victim Empowerment (PAVE) is the only national nonprofit that works both to shatter the silence and prevent sexual violence through social advocacy, education and survivor support. pavingtheway.net
Purpose:The purpose of the project is to prevent sexual and dating violence in Arlington high schools as well as help teen survivors heal from trauma. The project will build upon PAVE’s groundbreaking work in Arlington County high schools with our educational workshops, awareness campaigns, healing initiatives and the Healthy Relationship Task Force.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Prevention efforts have been focused in the college arena, but the research is telling us that the best way to prevent sexual assault and dating violence in college is to start the conversation younger in secondary education.
PAVE started working with Arlington Public Schools (APS) in 2016 by providing training and workshops for students, implementing PAVE’s Consent Is campaign during lunches and growing the membership of The Healthy Relationship Task Force (HRT). HRT is a coalition of students from high schools across Arlington County who are working to educate students about healthy dating relationships and to promote consent in those relationships.
Description: PAVE’s Shattering the Silence & Preventing Sexual Violence in Arlington HRT programs goal is to reach every high school student in Arlington public schools. PAVE will use educational assemblies, awareness campaigns, healing initiatives and the student-led Healthy Relationship Task Force (which includes student leaders from Arlington high schools).
Support from Arlington Women's Civic Alliance will help to fund:
Assemblies for all 11th and 12th graders in Arlington Public Schools will:
• Reach over 2000 students in Arlington County
• Include follow-up-workshops with small groups to provide more intimate settings and better engagement • Work with students doing Senior Experience with PAVE to facilitate smaller workshops
Survivor Love Letter Books
• 150 books to be included in self-care kits for Arlington teens in all high schools (PAVE already received a grant for the kits - but is seeking funding for the books)
• Letters from celebrities, survivors, and supporters
Professional Development for High School Administrators, Coaches and Teachers at APS
• Empathy training and appropriate reaction if a student discloses to you and the neurobiology of trauma
• Distribute videos with celebrities on supporting survivors for Arlington teens
• Create morning announcements with celebrities - can reach over 5,000 students
Student Community Action Kits
Printed materials and collateral for all Arlington High Schools to be used during tabling in places where students gather such as lunchrooms, sporting events and school fairs
This line item also includes the cost of PAVE’s Consent Is materials (including our new Spanish versions that will be created this spring)
Educational series for Parents
• Audio modules will be created with teens and their parents
• Printed materials including local Arlington resources will be created with a link to the audio modules and will be distributed in Arlington with our stakeholder partners including APS and Project Peace.
Number and Type of People Targeted: There are 6,722 students projected to enroll in APS high schools next fall and PAVE’s work aims to reach all of them through workshops, campaign outreach or survivor support. PAVE will also reach 75 teachers and coaches with the professional development training.
Timing of Project: The project will run from August 2017-June 2018.
BRIDGES TO INDEPENDENCE
2. Bridges to Independence: Home. A simple word that is the bedrock for our lives. Nevertheless, we at Bridges to Independence know this concept is not a given for everyone. A private, nonprofit organization, Bridges to Independence has been working with and for homeless families since 1985 when we were founded as the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless. Our mission is to help families experiencing homelessness rebuild their lives. We offer a continuum of aid and support for all family members, helping them attain stability and move forward into self- sufficiency. Prevention is our other priority—reaching out to at-risk families and helping them avoid homelessness in the first place. www.bridges2.org
Purpose: To assist Arlington families currently experiencing homelessness find housing stability and economic security.
Despite Arlington County’s vast affluence, according to the Census, over 7% of Arlingtonians are living in poverty. As our County’s most vulnerable families struggle to make ends meet, they turn to Bridges to Independence for the support services they need to build a better future. The men and women who come to Bridges to Independence are not seeking hand-outs—they are looking for a lift up. These are hardworking individuals with jobs: 70% of Arlington and the City of Alexandria’s homeless are employed. They are the 20% of the Arlington workforce currently earning less than $25,000 annually—resulting in their needing to work 112 hours a week to afford rent.
Description: Our rapid re-housing program provides critical support to families as they move from emergency shelter to an apartment of their own. Bridges does more than get families back on their feet; we are there for these men, women and children every day, empowering them with the tools and resources needed to take that crucial next step.
Support from the Arlington Women’s Civic Alliance will help provide:
A homecoming kit for each family: The homecoming kit contains all the items needed to make a new apartment live-in ready, including food, cookware, toiletries, and other basic household supplies.
Emergency fund: Crises arise on a regular basis for our families who are trying to become self- sufficient. The emergency fund covers expenses that are unavailable through our community partners and include dental, vision, clothing allowance, rental unit repairs, legal services, and document fees.
Transportation and/or childcare: Two of the biggest barriers to obtaining gainful employment for our clients are transportation and/or childcare. SmarTrip cards, auto maintenance/repairs and money for childcare will improve their chances of securing and maintaining employment.
Number and Type of People Targeted: The program will directly support four Arlington families currently experiencing homelessness, approximately 16-20 individuals.
Two thirds of those served by Bridges to Independence are under the age of 18. Nearly all program participants will fall below the very-low income level threshold. Many of our families (40%) are foreign-born with limited English language skills, education, and work experience. Some have been impacted by war, others by domestic violence. Over half the mothers who come to us have chronic health problems—serious conditions that further complicate their efforts to move their families out of poverty. Our families are financially insecure with significant debt and bad credit. They come to us traumatized by violence, instability, and the stigma of homelessness.
Timing of Program: Fiscal year 2018: July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018
2015 - 2016 Beneficiaries
Northern Virginia Family Services
NVFS has a long history of helping families under stress. NVFS will use our funds to organize new programs targeting recently arrived girls at Washington-Lee High School, and possibly another group at Kenmore Middle School. The programs would address through bi-weekly meetings issues of acculturation, family and peer relationships, past trauma, dangers of gangs and trafficking as well as positive skills for the future. NVFS has had recent notable success at W-L with programs for boys and hopes to serve at least 20 girls in the same way. There are volunteer opportunities for AWCA members, which you can check out at www.NVFS.org.
Communities in Schools
CIS will use our funds to pay for a staff person and material supplies for a year of academic and nonacademic help for 50 rising freshmen (25 girls and 25 boys about to enter Wakefield High School from Gunston Middle School) who are at risk of dropping out. The funds will also provide for on-going support for the 22 freshmen currently in the transition program. Lots of our memebers have volunteered for CIS tutoring, distributing food or handling clothing drives. CIS is eager for your continuing involvement. Check out the website at www.cisofnova.org for more information and other volunteer opportunities.