A Day in the Community with The Walton Group of Companies

To offer donors an in-depth opportunity to learn about the local nonprofit community, The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County is hosting a series of site visits where donors can take a first-hand look at the important and exciting work the sector plays in meeting needs of some of the region’s most vulnerable residents.  The series will run throughout 2017 and will include an array of organizations including those providing education, safety-net, workforce training, and environmental and housing services.

The first visit was held on April 27th and was organized in conjunction with The Walton Group of Companies, a multinational, privately-owned real estate investment and development company that transitions land into sustainable communities where people live, work, and play.  The goal was to provide an opportunity for company executives to learn firsthand about the services that nonprofits provide in Prince George’s County with an aim of observing the results of the investments made by the company through its Walton Prince George’s Community Fund, which is housed at The Community Foundation. 

The team spent the day visiting First Generation College Bound, Prince George’s County Child Resource Center, and Promise Place – Sasha Bruce Youthwork. These nonprofits are part of a larger network of The Community Foundation’s grantees that work with communities daily, addressing some of the most pressing challenges such as homelessness, education, healthcare, workforce, and family dynamics.  As grantees of The Community Foundation’s Sharing Initiative, these organizations along with many more, can address and alleviate many of the issues that are commonly associated with poverty.  The Community Foundation’s robust grant-making process helps to identify opportunities for investing in social causes and work with competent nonprofits that demonstrate the potential for delivering effective and measurable results. It was apparent during the site visits that these nonprofits were undeniably delivering on their commitments.

For over 20 years, First Generation College Bound (FGCB) has been working with high school students who would be the first in their immediate family to attend college. Working in five schools in Prince George’s County, the organization helps students seek admission to college. Additionally, FGCB works with student’s parents to ensure they are engaged in the process of preparing and transitioning high school students to college. While the staff of First Generation College Bound encounter a wide range of challenges in this effort, the results of their hard work over the years are evident in their successful alumni who graduated from college and are now serving their communities in important roles. For example, Alonzo Washington, currently a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, spoke to participants during the site visit about his personal journey through the program and the significance of First Generation College Bound in transforming his life. He invests in the program by creating scholarship and internship opportunities and mentors students currently enrolled in the program.

Another example is the compassionate services provided by Prince George’s Child Resource Center.  This organization works with vulnerable families in Prince George’s County with children under the age of 4, providing them access to family support services, literacy, career preparedness, and positive nurturing parenting techniques. With a focus on nurturing healthy growth of children and helping parents gain access to community services, this nonprofit plays an important role in family integration efforts – a forward-looking approach to developing a “healthy next generation.”  The organization is facing significant challenges in addressing the needs of recent immigrants particularly with language barriers and insufficient resources needed to ensure that their services are culturally competent.  However, the staff of continuously solicits support from other communities with common languages and donors to help cover as many vulnerable families as possible.  

Similarly, Promise Place – Sasha Bruce Youthwork provides emergency shelter to homeless, abandoned, abused, or neglected youth as well as supports their reintegration with their families after offering intensive counseling services. The staff shared numerous examples of the success of their interventions resulting in successful transitioning of youth into healthy lifestyles. Interestingly, during these processes, this nonprofit identified highly talented youths with the potential to grow significantly when guided appropriately. For instance, one participant of the program, recovering from a nervous breakdown, voluntarily designed and organized a proposal to create a garden for the Promise Place offices.  She incorporated basic statistical analysis to substantiate her proposal which resulted in a convincing piece of work that the organization considered appropriate to include in their budget.

Our partnerships with individuals and organizations like The Walton Group of Companies have proven vital. Over the years, The Community Foundation has served as a unique platform for donors to give back to their communities and achieve their philanthropic goals while also connecting nonprofits to funding opportunities necessary to carry out the much-needed services. We continue to deliver on our commitments to our partners by effectively tailoring funding opportunities to specific social needs. Our primary goal is to help our donors achieve their philanthropic goals and expand the resources to provide shelter for more families, educate more children, offer healthcare for vulnerable families, and address other emergency needs of our communities.   

We invite you to join us on the amazing journey!  For more information, please contact Mustafa Rahin, Donor Services Officer at mrahin@cfncr.org.