The Arc of Northern Virginia was among the 26 organizations named as recipients of The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s 2018 Community Investment Grants today. The largest and most competitive discretionary grant cycle managed by the Community Foundation and one of the largest pools of funds supporting broad-based giving in the Northern Virginia region, the grants fund organizations which provide support in critical areas of need throughout Northern Virginia. These grants will further the organizations’ abilities to improve the health, education, and general wellbeing of neighbors, communities, and the entire region.
The Arc of Northern Virginia received an Education Grant for $7,500 to enhance and expand the Independent Living Apps program begun in 2014. Partnering with software developer ONEder, The Arc of Northern Virginia launched the award-winning TravelMate program, which provides virtual support to individuals with cognitive challenges to be more independent in using the bus, train, and other forms of transportation. Building upon the success of TravelMate, ONEder and The Arc of Northern Virginia developed EmployMate, which serves as a virtual “job coach in your pocket,” providing the tools needed to create personalized lessons and activities to support individuals with disabilities in the workplace.
“We live in an age when the workforce is rapidly evolving. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who have been shut out of the workforce for so long, are finally being recognized and recruited for the value they bring to a company,” said Howard Stregack, Director of Development for The Arc of Northern Virginia. “We are proud to introduce cutting-edge, technology-based applications that support those individuals. These apps help enable anyone to participate in the workforce, and to travel to and from a place of employment. We are so grateful to The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia for this grant to expand the impact of our EmployMate and TravelMate apps to a broader audience across our region.”
“The Community Investment grants are important for the continuance of many critical programs in this region,” said Community Foundation Board Member, Ken Huntsman, 2018 Community Investment Fund Grants Committee Chair. “This year’s grantees are serving the neediest in our community, and we are committed to continue to invest in the mission of these organizations.”
All told, The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia 2018 Community Investment Fund granted a total of $259,260 to 26 agencies, out of 123 applications.