MGM National Harbor: A Dedicated Philanthropic Partner

MGM National Harbor is well-known for its stunning views of the Potomac River and expansive resort, but it has also contributed to the local economy while working to make positive contributions that benefit its employees, its community and the environment. When it opened in late 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan called the entertainment destination “one of the most important economic development projects in Maryland history.” 

From the beginning, MGM set out to enhance its community by making meaningful investments in workforce development, economic inclusion, and community engagement. Soon after signing a community benefits agreement with the County, MGM chose the Greater Washington Community Foundation to manage its grantmaking through the MGM National Harbor Community Fund. 

“We bring to the process a long history in the County, our knowledge of community needs and a commitment to being transparent throughout the grantmaking process,” said Desiree Griffin-Moore, executive director of The Community Foundation’s local office in Prince George’s County. “In turn, MGM adds value to the community as a responsible corporate partner who is actively engaged in multiple ways. Over time, our relationship has truly blossomed.”

For instance, MGM Resorts International Regional Vice President of Community Engagement Danielle White serves on The Community Foundation’s Advisory Board in Prince George’s County, MGM National Harbor has hosted The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County’s Civic Leadership Awards for several years and Community Foundation staff have been invited to brief MGM’s internal grants council on pressing community needs. “It’s a tight-knit relationship,” says White.

MGM National Harbor employees volunteer at local nonprofit Food & Friends.

MGM National Harbor employees volunteer at local nonprofit Food & Friends.

Nowhere is that more evident than the confidence MGM has placed in The Community Foundation’s management and distribution of $150,000 in annual grants through Sharing Prince George’s. This funding goes to effective nonprofit organizations addressing the economic security needs of county residents by providing education, workforce development and safety-net services. “The bottom line is The Community Foundation makes sure Prince George’s County is successful by identifying funding opportunities that provide a direct impact to the people,” said White.

“Through the course of time The Community Foundation has developed strong partnerships with local nonprofit organizations.” says White. “When they make a recommendation, it involves a rigorous review of large and small institutions that may be unfamiliar to us.” For instance, White was recently introduced to Nick’s Place, a 20-year old organization with a mission to assist young men in their journey through the disease of addiction and alcoholism. 

“We are seeing so many young men who are desperate to have a sober and safe community,” said Rhea McVicker, founder of Nick’s Place, named for her son, Nicholas Cristarella, whose life ended at age 22 as a result of the disease of addiction and alcoholism. “We don’t receive funding from the government, so any grant we receive is meaningful, but the $20,000 grant from Sharing Prince George’s is especially meaningful,” said McVicker. The funding will support the organization’s relapse prevention education and weeknight dinner program. 

In addition to Nick’s Place, the full list of 2018 Sharing Prince George’s grantees is available here. You can learn more about Sharing Prince George’s here

The Community Foundation has a long history of helping businesses establish and manage their philanthropic investments to create benefits for communities throughout the Greater Washington region. The DC Convention Center and Jack Cooke Kent Stadium (now FedEx Field) are among many examples over our 46-year history. If you are interested in learning more about our philanthropic advisory services for businesses, including the facilitation and

execution of Community Benefit Agreements, please contact Desiree Griffin-Moore at

Bringing Community Voices to the Table

By Desiree Griffin-Moore, Executive Director, Prince George’s County

Desiree Griffin-Moore.jpg

Growing up in the DC area, I have seen the city transform from a small sleepy government town to become the principal city of a major metropolitan area comprised of more than 6 million people. As the seat of our nation’s government, this area has grown exponentially and is quickly being recognized as a bastion for economic growth by corporations and private markets.   

Throughout the city and its surrounding areas, new developments and increasing interest from corporations, including Amazon, are stimulating the region’s economic growth and prosperity and creating new jobs and new business endeavors for many. Still, questions arise such as: Who is benefiting from this growth? How do traditionally marginalized communities gain access to these opportunities? Can the field be leveled and if so, how?   

Our Voices of the Community survey of more than 3,400 local residents found that:

  • Nearly one in five residents has faced some form of housing or food insecurity in the past 12 months, and that increases to one in three people for our region’s black and Hispanic populations.

  • The cost of living, especially renting or owning a home, is one of the most challenging aspects of our region. Nearly a third of people knew someone in the region who had to move in the past two years for a reason other than their own choice, typically due to high housing costs or job loss.

  • Nearly a third of Prince George’s County and Montgomery County respondents rated access to education and training as a “major” barrier to finding a job.

The region’s explosive growth is now extending into Prince George’s County as corporations are seeing the County, its people and its land as valuable assets. As a native Washingtonian, and currently a Prince George’s County resident, I am seeing history repeating itself. While I am excited by the growth and celebrate the decisions of companies like MGM, National Harbor, Washington’s professional football team, and others, to relocate here, I also find myself worrying if the displacement of people that took place as a result of the growth in DC will now duplicate itself in Prince George’s County. Will families who have called Prince George’s County home for generations and contributed to its vitality suddenly find themselves fleeing because they can no longer afford to live here? Are there ways to thoughtfully encourage growth and, at the same time, ensure that the fabric of our communities remain intact? 

The racial and economic inequities that continue to plague our entire region could hinder our progress unless our area’s business, community and philanthropic leaders work together to address these challenges and advance racial equity and inclusion. 

The Greater Washington Community Foundation is tackling these issues by prioritizing strategic partnerships across sectors and developing new approaches to address the region’s most pressing challenges. With more than 45 years of community-based philanthropy experience, our knowledge of local needs and the most impactful nonprofits provides our corporate partners with important connections which are essential to their success. For example, you can read about how our partnership with MGM National Harbor expanded its ability to support and enhance the surrounding community in Prince George’s County.

We continue to play an important role by leveraging our relationships with businesses, nonprofits and local communities to help broker new partnerships that will ultimately provide necessary community input, diverse voices and broader perspectives as development continues to take place. In my years of service to this community and region, I have found that the relationships which emerge through these partnerships are essential .

Desiree Griffin-Moore joined The Community Foundation in September 1998 as executive director of The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County where she has provided leadership in strategic giving, development, and donor engagement activities. A committed advocate of civil rights and social justice, Desiree has extensive experience working with the nonprofit sector to advance low-income and marginalized communities.

Sharing Prince George’s Announces New Investments to Benefit Thousands of County Residents

The Greater Washington Community Foundation’s Sharing Prince George’s Fund is excited to announce $140,000 in new investments in seven local nonprofits serving County residents.

Sharing Prince George’s is a strategic funding effort representing a collection of philanthropic resources, including the Prince George’s Neighbor to Neighbor Fund and the MGM National Harbor Fund. It aims to increase economic security for residents of Prince George’s County by providing support for safety-net programs which help individuals in crisis to lift themselves out of poverty, educational activities that prepare young people for a successful transition to adulthood, and workforce development opportunities that will help residents earn a living wage. Since its inception, Sharing Prince George’s has awarded more than $1 million in grants to some of the best community-based nonprofit organizations serving Prince George’s County residents.

The seven nonprofits selected for funding in 2018 include:

Community Outreach and Development CDC’s Labor of Love Human Services Center will provide families with financial assistance subsidies to help avoid evictions or utility disconnections, and supply food and other gap-filling needs. 

“Thanks to the Sharing Prince George’s Fund, Community Outreach and Development was able to assist 260 families (747 individuals) each with Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday food baskets, provide upgrades to our clothing closet, and also ensure our food pantry stays stocked. We appreciate the opportunity to serve our most vulnerable residents.” – Sandy Washington, Executive Director

Food & Friends will prepare and deliver 258,432 medically-tailored meals to 810 people living in Prince George’s County—individuals who are living with HIV/AIDs, cancer, or another serious chronic illness, as well as their children and caregivers. 

“At Food & Friends, we are committed to bringing the community together to help our neighbors battling serious illnesses. We are proud to partner with the Sharing Prince George’s Fund: this grant will help 800 County residents in 2019, supporting costs associated with preparing and delivering our nutritionally-tailored meals.” – Carrie Stoltzfus, MPH, Executive Director

Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, Inc.’s Emergency Services program will help 1,500 Laurel residents who face financial crisis to meet basic needs for food, rent, utilities, prescriptions, clothing and furniture.

"Laurel Advocacy & Referral Services, Inc. (LARS) is grateful for the continued support of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. The Sharing Prince George’s grant fuels our daily efforts to not only meet the basic needs of our community, but also to empower people with the skills and habits to maintain financial stability." - Leah Paley, Executive Director

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area’s workforce development program will provide low-income immigrants who are refugees, asylees or victims of human trafficking with job readiness training, one-on-one job counseling, resume development, job placement and follow-up post placement.

“Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area has a long history of serving our newest neighbors through refugee resettlement. We are grateful for the award from the Sharing Prince George’s County Fund as it increases our ability to help our neighbors become active members of the Prince George's community.” – Christine Connell, CEO

Maryland Community Connection will create stable environments for County residents with developmental disabilities by providing support for basic needs and essential life services, such as hunger relief, eviction and utilities disconnection assistance, uninsured medical expenses, and employment placement and job retention services.

“Crisis isn’t expected. Planning for basic needs isn’t a luxury. Food and a place to call home is a necessity. And being asked for help isn’t an inconvenience. Maryland Community Connection is humbled and appreciative to provide basic needs/safety net services to individuals with disabilities, thanks to Sharing Prince George’s.” – André Coates, Executive Director

Nick’s Place Relapse Prevention Education Program will help homeless young men exiting in-patient drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities with housing, food, employment services and addiction recovery support for 6 months to a year. 

"It is a real privilege to have our 19 years of work in Prince George's County acknowledged with a grant that will help us continue to provide clean, safe, sober housing and life management programming to young men beginning recovery from the disease of addiction.” – Rhea McVicker, Executive Director

Prince George’s Child Resource Center, Inc. Healthy Families program will provide free, weekly in-home intervention services for 170 at-risk mothers to combat health disparities associated with poverty and promote children’s healthy development.

“It is an honor to be a grantee of Sharing Prince George's! This funding will make a difference for our Healthy Families Prince George's program. When offering home visiting services that provide new moms with much-needed support, this funding ensures that we can meet unique needs encountered by the families we serve.” – Jennifer Iverson, Executive Director

The Community Foundation’s Sharing Prince George's County Fund facilitates education and civic engagement around local issues and encourages more residents and businesses to collectively give where they live. The initiative helps donors strategically leverage their giving to create even greater impact in our communities by pooling resources to support nonprofits responding to the most critical needs. It also brings together donors and other stakeholders to learn first-hand about the challenges facing the area’s most vulnerable residents and engage in a peer-led grant review process, supported by The Community Foundation’s professional staff. 

If you would like to learn more about Sharing Prince George’s, please visit our website or contact Desiree Griffin-Moore at

New Investments in Preventing and Ending Homelessness to Impact Hundreds of DC Residents

The Greater Washington Community Foundation’s Sharing DC Fund has announced $160,000 in new investments in eight nonprofits working to address homelessness in DC. Sharing DC will award grants toward two separate funding priorities: offering flexible funding to programs that help people with costs related to obtaining and moving into permanent housing and providing support for youth homelessness prevention and intervention programs.

Sharing DC, established in 2013, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the District of Columbia’s most vulnerable residents. Stewarded by an Advisory Committee of donors, in collaboration with The Community Foundation’s staff, Sharing DC gives donors the opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges facing our community and identify nonprofits working to make a difference in the lives of children and families. The focus area is determined annually by the Sharing DC Advisory Committee.

Advisory Committee Chair, Laura Stone, explained the collaborative process that resulted in these grants: "This year, the Committee chose to focus on homelessness prevention and intervention in alignment with The Community Foundation’s broader impact initiative strategy for DC. As part of the planning process for a forthcoming partnership between The Community Foundation and The District of Columbia Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH), these funding priorities were identified as two areas where private philanthropy can augment the District Government's homelessness service delivery. Sharing DC released an RFP focused on these areas and conducted a thorough and collaborative grant review process. We are proud of our list of grantees."

Kristy Greenwalt, Director, DC Interagency Council on Homelessness, Executive Office of the Mayor, shared, “We are so excited to be working in partnership with the Greater Washington Community Foundation. We all have a role to play in ending homelessness — it is not something one agency, or even one sector, can do alone. Our efforts must be strategically aligned to have maximum impact, which is why we are so excited The Community Foundation is piloting this grants program which supports implementation of the District’s Homeward DC and Solid Foundations DC plans.”

Addressing Youth Homelessness in DC

Youth experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable to harm and exploitation. The trauma and instability that results from homelessness can impact a young person’s development and have long-lasting effects on their well-being.

Sharing DC’s youth homelessness program grant recipients include: the Latin American Youth Center, Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), Casa Ruby, and Sasha Bruce Youthwork. Funding will support street outreach, drop-in centers, hotline, prevention and stabilization services, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent housing solutions.

Lupi Quinteros-Grady, President and CEO at Latin American Youth Center, noted, “With support from Sharing DC, LAYC’s bilingual, culturally competent staff will provide 400 runaway and homeless youth in DC with comprehensive services, including emergency care and supplies, crisis intervention, coordinated entry assessment, referrals to housing and other supports, case management, family intervention, and aftercare support.”     


Sasha Bruce staff and clients at its emergency youth shelter, the Sasha Bruce House.

In DC, 17% of homeless youth self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning, while 7% self-identify as transgender. With this in mind, Sharing DC chose to invest in SMYAL and Casa Ruby, two of the District’s premier LGBTQ-led service providers. Ruby Corado, Executive Director at Casa Ruby, shared, “Casa Ruby is really happy and in need of the grant received from The Community Foundation. Our LGBTQ Respite Center and Housing Program will greatly benefit from the ability to purchase the most comfortable bedding we can provide our youth." SMYAL’s Executive Director Sultan Shakir expressed that they are “incredibly grateful to Sharing DC for partnering with us to change the lives of homeless LGBTQ youth. We know our youth face a number of challenges, and we’re working together to ensure young people can overcome whatever gets put in their way.” 

Flexible Funding

District government dollars cover the large, recurring costs of helping residents obtain and maintain housing, however, there are small expenses associated with helping clients return to stable housing that aren’t covered by existing federal and local government housing assistance programs.  

Sharing DC’s flexible funding program grant recipients include: Pathways to Housing, Community of Hope, Friendship Place, and Miriam’s Kitchen. These grants will allow providers to help single adults, families, and youth move to permanent housing by funding key needs which often present barriers to exiting homelessness. Funding will help with small costs related to obtaining and moving into permanent housing that are not otherwise covered by government funding sources — such as security deposits, rental application fees, transportation to see rental units, moving costs and household furnishings.

Catherine Mitchell, Director of Neighbors First Families at Friendship Place, noted that "This grant fills in a gap in DC's funding for our permanent supportive housing program for formerly homeless families. Some of our families are living in unsafe conditions, and now we will be able cover their costs to relocate to safer and more stable housing, where they can move ahead toward goals for recovery, health, wellness, financial stability and educational and career advancement."

The Community Foundation is excited by these investments and the opportunity to mobilize private funding to help expand services for people experiencing homelessness. If you are a funder or donor interested in learning more about our work to end homelessness in DC, or would like to learn about how to become engaged in Sharing DC, learn more on our website.

Corporate Philanthropy that Unites Communities

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is a New York-based law firm with offices in Washington, DC, Houston, Palo Alto and in the U.K. and Europe. About 15 years ago, Willkie’s DC office was looking for a way to give back to give back to the DC community that would complement the firm’s already-extensive pro bono efforts. Willkie’s goal was to enhance its impact on the community by concentrating its charitable giving on a key area of need in the DC region and harnessing the volunteer spirit of the entire office to serve a common cause, in a way that also would serve as a unifying force for the DC office.

In 2004, Willkie launched the Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Greater DC Community Foundation as a component fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. The Willkie Foundation’s mission is to support educational and enrichment programs for underserved youth in the region.


Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP attorneys and staff are actively engaged with Principal Grantees.

As the Willkie Foundation was launched, The Community Foundation provided an array of services to assist in the foundation’s organization and management. The Community Foundation’s professional staff helped Willkie develop its grantmaking program, including the strategy and identification of investment opportunities, facilitating meetings, and training on how to review proposals and make grants.

The partnership between Willkie and The Community Foundation led to a highly-customized foundation structure that is unique among law firms, but could provide a blueprint for other law firms and organizations looking to achieve similar goals. The key components of the Willkie Foundation model are:

  • Focused Mission: All efforts of the Willkie Foundation are directed toward organizations that provide educational and other enrichment programming for underserved youth in DC and neighboring jurisdictions.

  • Partnership Consensus: The Willkie Foundation’s mission statement was developed and endorsed by the Willkie DC partners and counsel, whose voluntary, individual contributions are the primary source of funding for the Foundation.

  • Office-Wide Advisory Committee: The Willkie Foundation is managed by a committee that includes partners, counsel, associates and staff across all practice groups.

  • Rotating Principal Grantees: Periodically, the Willkie Foundation selects an organization with which it partners, typically for a period of 5-6 years, making it the recipient of the majority of the Foundation’s annual giving, volunteer hours and other support.

  • Active Engagement with Grantees: Willkie attorneys and staff are actively engaged with grantees through events organized at Willkie DC for its grantees and through volunteer opportunities provided by grantee organizations.

  • Undirected (General Fund) Grants: The Willkie Foundation selects its grantee organizations carefully, but then allows the recipients of its grants to determine how best to use the awarded funds.

The Willkie Foundation awarded its first grants in 2005, and since then has awarded nearly $2.3 million in grants to about two dozen organizations providing educational enrichment and other related services to DC youth. Examples of the work of the Willkie Foundation include:

  • The Willkie Foundation’s first Principal Grantees, DC SCORES and Higher Achievement Program (HAP), received significant financial support that was instrumental in their growth and expansion. Along the way, Willkie attorneys and staff members participated in HAP’s mentoring program (a 26-week commitment), volunteered at their events, sat on their boards, organized school supply drives, and coordinated numerous activities for their students, including mock trials, shadow days and tours of Willkie’s offices.

  • The Willkie Foundation has provided over $100,000 in “rescue grants” to organizations finding themselves in unexpected or difficult situations, such as a $10,000 grant to Life Pieces to Masterpieces, to replace equipment lost due to vandalism of its facility, and $30,000 to DC Scores to cover an unexpected budget shortfall.

  • Willkie provided the lead gift in support of For Love of Children’s 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign, committing to a multi-year lead grant of $350,000. While FLOC was the Willkie Foundation’s Principal Grantee, Willkie lawyers and staff volunteered at FLOC, and Willkie organized events for FLOC’s students and volunteers at the firm, including a mock trial program, Scrabble and Uno tournaments, college fairs, resume reviews and mock interview and shadow days.

  • In 2017, a gift of $75,000 in seed funding from the Willkie Foundation enabled the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project to leverage a matching grant to fund its first-ever Social Worker. Having a full-time social worker has led to more collaboration with partner agencies, more children enrolled in early childhood programs, more parents learning skills to support their children, and more children getting their needs met in school and in the community.

  • The Willkie Foundation’s current principal grantee is Horton’s Kids. Aside from more than $200,000 in grants to date, Willkie has been an active participant in Horton’s Kids programming, including sending volunteers monthly to Horton Kids’ Homework Help sessions and participating in spring and end-of-year holiday celebrations and gift drives. And Willkie has hosted Horton’s Kids for resume and mock interview workshops, trivia night dinners and office tours.

As part of this continuing partnership, The Community Foundation shares its vast knowledge of and relationships with nonprofits across the region to help foster connections to organizations which share the Willkie Foundation’s charitable focus. This includes facilitating opportunities for Willkie employees to learn about the issues facing our region and the nonprofits who are working to address them.

“The Willkie Foundation has been so successful because it not only offers a vehicle to give back to the community by sharing our treasures, time and talent, but in the process brings together the entire Willkie DC community,” said Willkie partner Joseph G. Davis. “What excites people even more than the grantmaking is the fact that these groups and the youth they serve have become part of our extended Willkie family.”

Resilience Fund Dedicates $50,000 to Those Impacted By Shutdown

The Greater Washington Community Foundation announced it will dedicate $50,000 in funding for emergency cash and food relief for local workers, contractors and small business owners impacted by the partial Federal Government shutdown. These funds are being made available through the Resilience Fund, which supports the critical needs of nonprofits responding to changes in federal policy, and the climate of intolerance and hate, disproportionately impacting local people of color, and immigrant and refugee communities.

“Our hearts are with all the individuals and families affected by the partial government shutdown, which is estimated to impact 285,000 people in the DMV region alone according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments,” said Tonia Wellons, VP of Community Investment for the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “We know missing even one paycheck can mean members of our community, especially the region’s low-wage workers, struggle to pay rent, afford groceries, and otherwise provide for their families. Our nonprofit partners and other organizations have stepped in to fill gaps left by the government, but many have stretched themselves thin during a historically slow time of year for giving. The Resilience Fund will provide critical support so that these nonprofits have the resources they need to continue their work and meet the increase in demand for their services.”

You can help those affected by the shutdown, too. All donations made to the Resilience Fund from today through the end of the shutdown will be added to the $50,000 in funds set aside to support nonprofits providing aid or assistance to local residents. You may also elect to make a donation to one of the Resilience Fund’s other funding priorities, including immigration and deportation policies, justice reform and civil rights roll-backs, and efforts that expand access to citizenship and democracy.

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The Resilience Fund was created in early 2017 as a collaborative partnership of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and other foundation and individual contributors. Since the Fund’s inception, it has raised and leveraged more than $1 million and made grants to organizations supporting our neighbors affected by changes to immigration and deportation policies, as well as efforts to build community cohesion and combat anti-other sentiment. Grants have supported immigrant-serving organizations providing advocacy, legal or medical services, training on legal and civil rights, and assistance with reuniting families separated at the border and detained in Maryland or Virginia. The Fund has also responded to increases in incidents of hate and intolerance in the region by supporting grassroots community engagement, voter education services, and the expansion of educational programs in local schools that teach news literacy as well as tolerance, respect and inclusion.

Resources and Support for Furloughed Federal Government Employees

With the partial government shutdown affecting up to 285,000 people (according to an estimate of affected federal and contract workers provided by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments) in the DMV region alone, many of you have asked how you can help our neighbors who may be impacted or what resources are available to Federal Government employees or contractors in need of assistance. Several companies and local organizations have made resources available to local residents whose livelihoods may be affected, and we have compiled many of these resources into the list below.

If you are in a position to help our neighbors who may struggle to meet critical needs for food or other financial assistance during this period of uncertainty, please consider giving to our Resilience Fund. The shutdown is occurring during one of the driest seasons of giving, which puts an even greater strain on our nonprofit partners who are providing assistance to our neighbors in need. The Resilience Fund, with a mission to respond to changes in federal policy that negatively impact the most vulnerable in our communities, has set aside $50,000 in funding to help local nonprofits address the most critical needs. With your support, these organizations can increase capacity to do more during this time of uncertainty for our friends, families, and neighbors.


Pepco’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)/ Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) provides assistance to low-income customers with their home heating bills. Maryland residents can call 1-800-352-1446 or visit the Office of Home Energy Programs website. DC residents can call 311 or visit Pepco is also offering deferred payment plans and other assistance programs, DC residents can find info here and Maryland residents can find info here.

Washington Gas is offering DC, Maryland and Virginia residents flexible payment options for federal workers, including deferred payments and ways to spread the cost of winter heating. You can contact Washington Gas customer service representatives at 1-844-WASHGAS to discuss their individual situations. Washington Gas also offers assistance to customers facing disconnection with a grant of up to $500 once a year through the Washington Area Fuel Fund Partnership administered by the Salvation Army.

DC Water will assist furloughed government employees by offering flexibility for bill payment and making existing programs available to assist customers who are struggling with their bills. You can learn more about options by calling customer service at 202-354-3600 or visiting WSSC, serving Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, will waive late fees and work with customers to establish convenient payment plans.

Another resource is the Greater Washington Urban League, which provides up to $500 in assistance to families needing assistance with their electric and gas bills. For information on getting assistance, you can call the GWUL offices at 202.265.8200.

T-Mobile and Verizon have both announced flexible payment plan assistance.  Customers should contact the companies directly.

Banks and Mortgage:

Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, and other institutions have offered flexibility with deferred payments, interests and late fees for their customers. Democracy Federal Credit Union is offering a short-term emergency loan with 0% interest. Bankers are also referring customers with specific concerns to their in-house financial counseling service. Other institutions, like USAA Bank and Transportation Federal Credit Union, have said they'll provide low-interest loans to their customers.

The Hebrew Free Loan Association is also making available emergency loans ranging from $500 to $2,000 to current Federal employees affected by the shutdown.

Unemployment Resources:

Federal employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits by following the application process through the state in which you work. To find your state’s office, click here. The Office of Personnel Management has released a resource page with important Unemployment Insurance Information for Federal Workers.

Nonprofit Resources:

The Capital Area Food Bank has a goal to provide 300,000 extra meals in January. This includes launching five free Pop Up Markets on Saturday, January 12 from 9 AM to 12 PM for government employees and contractors affected by the furlough. More information can be found at You can also locate your local food bank using this online tool

Starting on Monday, January 14, Bread for the City will provide a five-day supply of groceries for furloughed DC federal employees or contractors and their families. A Federal Government employee ID is required, or contractors can bring a picture ID with supplemental information regarding your furloughed status. More information is available at

United Way of the National Capital Area announced the launch of its Emergency Assistance Fund, with an initial $50,000 in support to select nonprofit organizations providing vital food, rent and utility assistance which are facing an increased demand for services due to the government shutdown crisis. You can also use United Way NCA’s services to seek financial guidance and one-on-one counseling by visiting one of its four Financial Empowerment Centers located throughout the region. These centers offer direct access to high-quality financial services and guidance in a welcoming, professional environment at no cost to the client. United Way NCA also offers 2-1-1, a free, confidential helpline number that provides callers in need of social services with health and human service resources in their local community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Resources for DC Residents:

For District residents, DC’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) offers funding for locals facing eviction because of overdue rent. DC’s Department of Energy and the Environment provides various programs to assist with utility payments.

Resources for Prince George’s County Residents:

For residents in Prince George’s County, the county government has compiled a list of resources to help affected workers in the area.

Resources for Montgomery County Residents:

The Montgomery County government has compiled a list of resources to help affected workers who live in the county.

A Wider Circle, Interfaith Works and Manna Food Center are nonprofits offering food, household essentials and other resources for Montgomery County Residents.

2019 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year Nominations Now Open!

Nomination Guidelines

Purpose: To honor an individual who has made a positive impact in our community through giving, and whose philanthropic leadership sets an inspiring example for us all. 

Nomination Process:

Complete the official nomination form and a letter explaining why your nominee should be selected as the Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year. 

Please note that the cover form must be completed in its entirety in order for the nomination to be eligible. The Awards Committee will not accept nominations which rely solely on resumes, newspaper articles, annual reports or the like in substitution for concise responses to the criteria outlined below. Pending review by the Philanthropist of the Year Selection Committee, The Community Foundation staff may contact you for additional information. 

For inspiration, look no further than our past honorees.

Linda Youngentob and family..jpg

Our 2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year, Linda Youngentob, and her family at the Celebration of Giving on November 1, 2018.

Eligibility Criteria: 

All nominees must…

  • Be a resident of Montgomery County

  • Have a demonstrated track record of charitable giving to one or more nonprofit organizations based in and working in Montgomery County

  • Have made a positive impact in the lives of county residents through their giving

  • Encourage/motivate others to become philanthropic

Note: The level of charitable dollars given is secondary to its impact and potential to inspire others to follow suit. Creative approaches to philanthropy are welcome!  Nominees may be of any age.

In exceptional circumstances, the Award Committee may consider a former resident, a family unit, or a philanthropist who is deceased. 

Deadline: March 8, 2019

The nomination form and letter must be postmarked or emailed by close of business on Friday, March 8, 2019 to:

The Community Foundation in Montgomery County

Attn: Kevin Donnelly

8720 Georgia Avenue, Suite 202

Silver Spring, MD 20910

The Community Foundation in Montgomery County will contact the selected awardee and her/his nominator by the end of May. All other nominations will remain confidential.

Questions: Contact Kevin Donnelly at or 301-495-3036 x162.