NOVA’S Social justice regular commitment PROJECTS
NOVA’s donations are part of the sustaining strength of the organization. On average every two months, AA ships medical supplies (mostly OTCs), which are purchased in the U.S. on deep discounts or donated from other sources, for medical outreach in some parts of West Africa. In Nigeria a strategic program shift was made, laying more emphasis on the microenterprise and educational programs. The free health clinics there are now “supporting” programs, rather than “lead” programs.In 2017, AA initiated a Food Security program in West Africa. Ebola slowed down, but the local workforce had become very fragile with thousands facing starvation. People in affected areas received financial assistance to plant and grow more food locally. In 2018, AA partnered with local community organizations, cooperative entities, farmers’ groups and others in an effort to be an effective catalyst in growing more food and providing nutrition to local populations. http://www.actionafrica.org/
AFAC: Arlington Food Assistance Center
NOVA members distribute food for AFAC (Arlington Food Assistance Center) at the Gunston site every week. Every Sunday NOVA members bring cereal to be distributed to families at Gunston and during the year conduct a reusable bag drive. The money is used by AFAC for purchasing food that isn’t donated and is nutritionally necessary: eggs, milk, protein (fish/chicken/hot dogs), rice. AFAC currently distributes groceries to more than 2,300 Arlington families. More than 35% of the people we serve are children. Additionally, the NOVA Food Project takes fresh produce twice a month to the Gunston site. https://afac.org
A-SPAN: Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network
A-SPAN continues to serve the needs of our homeless who live on Arlington streets. It provides daily bagged meals, a welcoming year-round shelter, employment assistance, housing support and health services at the year-round services center, including care from a full-time nurse practitioner and Georgetown nursing students, street outreach and other assistance. A-SPAN continues to have successful county audits of all programs and a positive financial audit for the organization.
NOVA has been a dependable source of support for many years and continues to be used as an example of small churches being able to make a difference! NOVA supports A-SPAN each November with a walk-a-thon at Kenmore. In October, A-SPAN was recognized by Bank of America for addressing issues fundamental to economic stability for our homeless friends.
Meg Tuccillo continues to serve on its Board of Directors and chairs the Development and Communications Committee. http://www.a-span.org
Bethany House of Northern Virginia provides temporary housing, counseling and training for women and their children who have suffered from domestic violence. It operates a Helpline for callers and provides ongoing support for clients for two years after they leave Bethany House. NOVA’s funding helps support the Helpline’s telephone translation service when a caller doesn’t speak English. In addition, our funds help clients who need help paying utility bills after they leave BHNV. Bethany House seeks volunteers for its Helpline and other programs. www.bhnv.org/
BRIDGES TO INDEPENDENCE
The one-time increase in NOVA’s funding support is requested to replace HUD reimbursements of rental subsidies that Bridges has not received during the government shutdown.
Provides transitional housing and support services to homeless families in Northern Virginia, primarily Arlington County and the City of Alexandria. B2I administers Sullivan House, a 50-bed shelter; Rapid Rehousing, for families moving into their own apartments; Bridge to Work, employment training; and a children’s program. NOVA members have been involved in the Safe at Home kickball tournament, in other fundraising events and in providing and delivering furniture and household items for families moving out of Sullivan House into their own apartments.
Some data from last year: Total individuals served 485.
-- Sullivan House: 43 households; 120 individuals; 91% transitioned into housing of their own; 23% of families were foreign-born; 21% of families were headed by a transition-age youth (18-24).
-- Rapid Rehousing: 76 households; 227 individuals; 80% of families remained in permanent housing with a lease in their own name; 63% of adults left the program employed; 36% of families were foreign-born; 36% of families fled domestic violence, precipitating their homelessness.
-- Youth: 86 youth served; 100% of seniors in B2I program graduated high school and started college this fall.
-- Bridge to Work: 126 adults served since the program began in early 2017.
Many grants from government agencies and from foundations are restricted to specific projects, but NOVA’s contribution is unrestricted so Bridges can use those funds where the need is greatest. https://bridges2.org
BRYANT ALTERNATIVE LEARNING CENTER FOOD PANTRY
Nan is Bill/Peggy Meyer’s daughter in law.
Bryant ALC consists of 9th and 10th grade students, 85% of whom are placed by the Hearings Office due to disciplinary issues and the remaining 15% electively placed by their parents. Minorities comprise 90% of the student population. 80% are eligible for Federal Free/Reduced/Lunch Program. 75% of students receive individualized services: special education (30%), ESOL (40%), 504 plans to provide equal educational access for students with disabilities (6%), and/or Speech and Language (3%). Many of the ESOL students are concurrently eligible for special ed services. 33% are enrolled in English remediation -- Language! The average entry assessment scores for reading and mathematics are at the fifth-grade level. Acute childhood experiences (emotional traumas) are common.
Many of my students are not being fed at home, and they are always hungry. I would like for them to leave on Friday with a package full of food so they could function and feel better. I have found an organization that is going to donate feminine hygiene products to us monthly, but I am also interested in getting toiletries donated as well. I want to build on the food pantry and eventually have some clothes to offer.
CO-PARTNERS OF CAMPESINAS
The goal of Co-partners is to help rural women and youth “learn, earn, and lead” and to provide opportunities for North Americans to know the people of Central America through volunteer work. In El Salvador, which has been called the murder capital of the world because of the high homicide rate, we support three training programs for rural women and youth that include transportation scholarships for completing high school; vocational and leadership training. In Guatemala, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, we support indigenous, rural, primary students with school supplies and community-level training for women on topics such as women’s and children’s rights, improving nutrition and others as proposed by members of the Women’s Network. The project provides training in income-generating skills that help our students to remain at home rather than immigrating. Whereas outsider professionals administer most development projects, Co-partners projects are administered by rural women themselves, who form organizations to administer the scholarships and classes. This experience is part of the leadership training that builds their capacity to be community and regional leaders.
Co-partners is a small organization, supported primarily by individual donors, with an annual budget in the $25,000-$30,000 range. NOVA donations pay for scholarships, as well as teachers’ salaries and other training costs for vocational and leadership classes. With the current crisis levels in El Salvador and Guatemala, the maintenance and expansion of this program remains important. I believe it is an appropriate program for NOVA to support, especially at this time of crisis in Central America. I ask that the funding level be maintained or increased. http://www.copartners.org/
The Dream Project is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2010 by a group of undocumented students, their parents and educators, including NOVA Catholic Community members. The Dream Project encourages and supports promising immigrant youth in their pursuit of higher education through weekly mentoring, scholarships, advocacy and community outreach. NOVA funds support the mentoring program and scholarship fund. The “Leading the Dream” weekly mentoring workshops help to make college a reality by helping students navigate the college admission process, college visits and scholarship application assistance. http://www.dreamproject-va.org
EDUCATE THE GIRLS
Our financial contribution to ETG, a 501(c)(3), enables girls in the rural village of Kanoni, Uganda, to obtain a primary and secondary education by providing for their school fees and school supplies, and helping them to overcome obstacles that would keep them from school. A year’s school fees in a Ugandan primary school are roughly between $350 US dollars and $750 US dollars depending on the exchange rate and the school the student chooses to attend. NOVA also supports ETG by participating in a basket sale at Christmas. https://www.facebook.com/EducateTheGirls/?fref=ts
The Greenwell Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing accessible and inclusive programs, services and facilities for all community members, with and without disabilities, in Southern Maryland. The Foundation operates in Greenwell State Park in Hollywood, Maryland, and has added providing “tiny” homes for veterans at the park, a peaceful nature setting that is good for vets with PTSD. Greenwell offers therapeutic and recreational riding, and other programs to meet community needs. http://greenwellfoundation.org/
HEC: Handicapped Encounter Christ
Develops retreats to enable adults with physical disabilities to have an opportunity to get away for a spiritually enriching, fun-filled weekend. NOVA’s financial support helps those who can’t pay the cost of the retreat. HEC’s needs have changed. http://www.metrohec.com
HOMELESS RETREAT PROJECT
A team of seven men (four of them NOVA members) gives retreats, at a Jesuit retreat center, for D.C.-area homeless men in recovery as part of the national Ignatian Spirituality Project. NOVA’s contribution covers the room board, and facilities (for the 12 retreatants and three team members) for one of the four retreats offered each year. www.ignatianspiritualityproject.org
MALAWI JESUIT SECONDARY SCHOOL- Peter Henriot, SJ
The mission for this school is to provide secondary education to young Malawian women and men that embodies preferential option for the less privileged, curriculum development that includes life-skills and character development, and community service responsibilities for all students and staff to meet needs in our surrounding environment. Pete Henriot, SJ (former NOVA Padre Cadre) states that Loyola Jesuit Secondary School is specifically designed to be co-educational because gender equity is essential for a sustainable future for Malawi and will demonstrate our option for the poor. He communicates his gratitude for our support and always tries to come to NOVA when in the states. He says each time: Please greet NOVA people with prayers! http://loyola-malawi.org/
MY FRIENDS HOUSE, INC.
For more than 20 years, “NOVA child” Eve Birch has served the needy in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Dependent on income only from her jobs and donations from NOVA and friends, she has provided housing, food, clothing, and protection to those unable to find it elsewhere. Like her clients, she has suffered theft, evictions, abuse, and worse. She refused to give up, and she’s determined to help others make a better life for themselves too.
Eighteen months ago, with the financial backing of a friend, Eve purchased a building in Martinsburg and founded My Friends House, Inc. She formalized her nonprofit status and now has a safe place where individuals can find skilled help and resources to cope with personal and family crises. Daily visitors receive a warm welcome, one-on-one or peer counseling, food, TP, diapers, detergent, and a hug. Eve and a neighbor provide hearty soup out their back doors to hungry individuals who come by. Pay-what-you-can workshops will focus on health and nutrition, women’s issues, job search, PTSD, budgeting, and realistic planning for the future. Clients also engage in hands-on projects, such as gardening, sewing, cooking, painting—practical and creative ways to make a difference. Currently, six client/volunteers are involved in such projects; some of them stay overnight. Eve defines success as a person having a “steely-eyed determination to make life better,” and she’s seen it happen.
Eve would like help to solicit foundations for support, and I will continue to bring regular donations of food, clothing and other supplies. Eve can be reached at: 304-240-7493 or firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.facebook.com/evebirch2112/
NETWORK LOBBY FOR CATHOLIC SOCIAL JUSTICE
NETWORK, a Catholic leader in the global movement for justice and peace, educates, organizes and lobbies for economic and social transformation. Founded by Catholic sisters in the progressive spirit of Vatican II, NETWORK works to create a society that promotes justice and dignity for all in the shared abundance of God’s creation. Believing in the power of community, this Spirit-filled network of justice-seekers works to shape federal policies to serve the needs and interests of those affected by poverty and inequality, addressing the federal budget and the tax system, jobs and healthcare, immigrant rights, affordable housing, food assistance, and safety-net programs. By supporting NETWORK, NOVA is present and positioned – on a daily basis – as part of the power that’s needed to transform our political system into one that supports the dignity of all people and creates an economy of inclusion. https://networklobby.org
NOVA FOOD PROJECT
This contribution will be used to purchase up to 10 fresh fruit/veggie items approximately every other week and in sufficient quantities that every family will receive a bag of these green groceries. NOVA’s package tends to be a fairly consistent package of items. About half of the purchased food goes to families at the AFAC’s Gunston distribution site where NOVA volunteers distribute AFAC food. The other half goes to two shelters in Arlington, and to other families that have been identified from time to time as being in need. I propose adding My Friends House in Martinsburg, WVA, as a recipient -- not every two weeks but as the need arises.
OAXACA SCHOOL PROJECT
Funds are to pay high school teachers and family learning about disability in a community in Oaxaca, Mexico, that is 96% poverty-stricken. The situation for children with disabilities in this remote mountain village and the surrounding communities is dire. There is little to no understanding that these children can or should thrive and their lives are full of violence. Grandmothers often counsel their daughters to stop feeding their babies, so that nature will take its course. Children are hidden or deprived as they are shameful or a curse. Moreover, the nearest medical experts are hours away and families have no money to pay for medicines or care. Teachers are receiving training to train families to detect disability and how to work with the children. Money from NOVA helped purchase a motor bike so the teachers can visit homes in the villages and help parents learn to value and care for their children. In the past year, they have been able to work with new communities. They are now trying to create group opportunities for parents to gather to support one another.
RENTAL ASSISTANCE TO PREVENT HOMELESSNESS
This fund is for families in crisis with children in Arlington Public Schools and with no other sources for help. School social workers fill out a request form describing the need. Rents in Arlington continue to increase, and salaries at minimum wage have made the need greater. During 2018, NOVA served 27 families. We provided a total of about $22,000. Social workers screen these families and work hard to get them all the services they need. NOVA is an organization that can respond immediately in a crisis. Additional funds are raised with second collections, donations, and Marie Pinho’s bequest. Social workers state often:
-- “The work of your group is such a blessing to so many.”
-- “This grace-filled intervention of your community will allow the family to remain in their home without the disruption of eviction and the destructive complication of having to resettle a new home. Your heart and that of your community is truly a testimony. Thank YOU ALL again for your great kindness.”
SALOMON KLEIN ORPHANAGE
Salomon Klein is a “HOGAR” home in Cochabamba, Bolivia, for newborns to 6-year-olds. About 150 children including 44 babies live in the “Hogar.” They also receive medical care and attend Montessori and pre-school classes. Funds help pay additional baby-sitters needed to take care of children. The Bolivian government support pays for only 40% of the budget needed to take care of the children. Donations from NOVA are matched by three families. www.SalomonKleinKidsFund.org
STREET SENSE MEDIA
Brian is the director of this organization, which offers men and women who are homeless economic opportunities and powerful means of self-expression through a newspaper, film, theater, performance art, photography, illustration and audio podcasts. Funds are used to support the provision of case management services to the most vulnerable members of our vendor/artist corps – helping them link with public benefits including housing, medical and mental health care and income supports. http://streetsensemedia.org/
UGANDA POST GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP PROJECT
The Uganda project needs continued funding to support scholarships for post graduate work of students from Central Buganda University. Only one student left, and when she graduates there will be no incoming new ones.
VOTF: Voice of the Faithful
VOTF is a worldwide organization of mainstream Catholics that has formed in response to the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. It aims to support those who have been abused, to support priests of integrity, and to shape structural change within the Church. Among its projects: restorative justice healing circles for victims of abuse and of hierarchical malfeasance in responding to abuse; support for the role of women as deacons and for ordination of married Catholic men; reforms to address clericalism, lay input in bishop selection, among others. http://votf.org/
WEEKEND FOOD PACKS 4 KIDS
Supports the work of Crossroads Connection service organization providing weekend food for 93 needy children in nine schools around Gainesville and Haymarket. The cost for one student for 42 weekends of a school year is $250. NOVA’s contribution supplies bags of nutritious snack food for eight children every weekend during the school year. The counselors and caregivers send notes of appreciation that these children, who would be hungry on the weekends due to poverty or neglect, are being ensured food. There is no overhead covered by donations.
WOMEN’S ORDINATION FUND
The Women’s Ordination Conference is a U.S.-based Catholic organization working locally and nationally in collaboration with the worldwide movement for women’s ordination. WOC works to renew church governance to be inclusive, accountable and transparent; bring about justice and equality for Catholic women; and incorporate women-centered theologies into everyday Catholicism. To stand more fully with this project, follow WOC on Facebook and to stay current on the gender equality movement within the Church as well as attend WOC-sponsored activities. https://www.womensordination.org
ANNUAL DONATIONS TO THESE ORGANIZATIONS FOR DUES, etc.
BREAD FOR THE WORLD
Bread for the World is a nationwide Christian citizens movement seeking justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying our nation's decision makers. BFW Institute seeks justice for hungry people by engaging in research and education on policies related to hunger and development. http://www.bread.org/
Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (V.O.I.C.E.) is a nonpartisan citizens’ organization of almost 50 faith and civic institutions in Northern Virginia. VOICE organizes to build power and do justice in middle- and low-income communities in Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington counties and Alexandria City. VOICE unites people in relationships across lines of race, class, religion, political party and geography to take action on key issues in our communities including, but not limited to, immigrant rights, foreclosure accountability, schools, criminal justice reform, affordable housing preservation/development, and youth investment. As part of VOICE we work with the people who want to transform the world -- from what it is to what we believe it should be. VOICE challenges us to imagine the change we can accomplish, connects individuals and organizations to multiply their power, and organizes by the hundreds and thousands to make their voices heard. We set bold goals, create effective strategies, and ACT, taking on the powerful interests that stand in the way.
CHRIST HOUSE EVENING MEAL
It opens the doors to serve an evening meal to those who are hungry. NOVA members prepare meatloaves and scalloped potatoes, which together with other items are served at Christ House by a team of NOVA volunteers on the 3rd Monday of every other month. NOVA is one of many churches and organizations in the diocese participating in this ministry. Thanks to the generosity of many NOVA folks, we serve one of the best and most popular meals of any organization. http://www.ccda.net/programs_christhouse.php
KEN CHAISON FAMILY EMERGENCY FUND
Social workers in Arlington public schools determine needs that cannot be met with any other funding. This designated fund is available to them. Examples of needs are medicines, dental emergencies, cab vouchers, bus passes, diapers, electric bills, summer school, grocery gift cards. The monies in this fund have been given monthly by a NOVA member. Ken Chaison died in August 2016 and he faithfully funded this important fund over the years. On his death NOVA renamed it for him and memorial contributions were welcomed into that fund in order to keep it going. In 2018 $8500.00 was distributed to 29 families. Examples of help were; cab vouchers, Giant cards, pool pass for disabled student, dental help, electric bill ....etc.
COMMUNITY MEMBER INVOLVEMENT:
GUNSTON FOOD DISTRIBUTION
Nova volunteers pick up perishable food at the AFAC warehouse on Nelson Street in South Arlington and take it to Gunston Middle School recreation center and distribute it to the families. NOVA provides these volunteers every Thursday and NOVA provides cereal every week for this distribution. We have been providing these volunteers for over 20 years! NOVA has provided reusable cloth bags with handles for the clients and organized food drives for AFAC.
ST. CLEMENT'S HYPOTHERMIA SHELTER
This overflow shelter is housed in the sanctuary at The Church of St. Clement, Episcopal, Alexandria VA. Nova volunteers participate in this program from January- March by spending the night with the guests every other week.
RAMADAN BASKETS OF KINDNESS – in collaboration with the Muslim Women’s Coalition
Nova members donate items to fill laundry size baskets to be delived to the families in the shelter in Arlington. 11 baskets were filled and donated for Ramadan 2017.
CENTRO VILLA CANDELARIA
A school in Cochabamba, Bolivia educating and supporting the child and family. 24 Nova members participate in this project. Each person contributes $120.00 a year for the educational support of students in the school who can't pay. The parents of the children contribute to the school a small amount and some cannot pay at all and are on scholarship. Emma visits when she goes, Mali visited when she went.
SCHOLARSHIP FOR UGANDA WOMAN
Nine NOVA members have funded the education of a young Uganda woman through undergraduate school and now in law school. Hopefully she will be a lawyer next year.