Hero Dogs, Inc. improves quality of life for our nation’s heroes by raising, training, and placing service dogs and other highly skilled canines, free of charge. Forrester Team Member Mike Melhorn has a personal connection to Hero Dogs, and was thrilled to be able to sponsor the hero dog in training, Sandy, through his Thank You for 30 nomination.
The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County cultivates and supports excellence in the arts and humanities, expands access to cultural expression, and contributes to economic vitality in the region. Eleanor Choi of Bell Architects, nominated this organization and is excited to help build a lasting partnership between the council and Forrester Construction.
The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project provides children experiencing homelessness with the chance to be kids. They partner with shelters throughout the District, sending their dedicated force of volunteers to provide safe and stimulating opportunities for fun. Through art projects, field trips, story time, and physical play, kids are able to have a break from the stress of homelessness for a few hours a week. The organization is small and local, which felt like a perfect fit for our Thank You for 30 initiative! Lisa Tenley, Forrester’s Director of Corporate and Community Development, nominated the organization for a donation because their mission is similar to one she volunteered with in college. We hope others will be inspired to get engaged with their mission by volunteering, donating items on their wishlist, or seeking other opportunities to have personal impact.
Warrior Canine Connection helps Veterans recovering from the stress of combat reconnect with their families, communities, and lives by training service dogs for other wounded Veterans. The Veterans doing the training get a tremendous benefit from interacting with the animals as they develop from puppies into fully trained service dogs; research demonstrates they are positively impacted both physiologically and psychologically by the animal-human connection. They are able to feel the satisfaction of knowing that as a result of their efforts, Veterans with disabilities receive a trained service dog that can enrich their lives and facilitate healing. This mutually beneficial model taps into the mission-driven spirit of Veterans and broadens the impact of the program.
Team Member Karel Visscher nominated Warrior Canine Connection for a Thank You for 30 donation. She is a dog lover who knows from experience the power of the human-canine connection and has been a fan of the organization for years. We are so excited to help such an impactful organization continue their work!
The 21st Century School Fund is dedicated to building the public will and capacity to modernize public school facilities so they support high quality education and community revitalization. Their vision is a country where every child learns in an educationally appropriate, healthy and safe school that serves as a community anchor and is built and maintained in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner. James Wilson, of JFW Project Management, nominated this charity and is excited to see how Forrester and the 21st Century School Fund will work together to bring better schools to our area.
Leveling the Playing Field collects sporting equipment to provide to programs and schools serving under resourced communities. Their donations allow programs to allocate their funds in ways that expand access to sports for more kids by lowering registration fees, expanding scholarship programs, enhancing existing athletic programs and developing new ones. In just 5 years, they have donated more than $2M worth of equipment, enabling hundreds of kids to have access to the health, wellness, social, and educational benefits of sports.
Mara Fitzgerald, a Forrester Team Member, nominated Leveling the Playing Field for our Thank You for 30 campaign. Sports have always played an important role in her life and she wants kids who may not have the resources she did growing up to get the same opportunities. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with a local nonprofit that works hard to provide kids with the joy of sports!
Phoenix Bikes’ mission is to educate youth, promote bicycling, and build community. Since 2007, they have provided a safe and nurturing environment that teaches teamwork, hard work, and entrepreneurship through bike maintenance education programs. Young people participate in bike refurbishment and retail operations as they contribute to the daily operations of the Phoenix Bikes shop, while learning valuable mechanic, business management, and life skills that will enrich them throughout their lives.
Forrester Team Member Taylor Sweeney shared her enthusiasm for Phoenix Bikes’ mission and inspired us to select the organization as a beneficiary of our Thank You for 30 campaign. We applaud their commitment to providing young people with experiences and inspiration they can carry with them throughout their lives.
The Lourie Center for Children's Social & Emotional Wellness aims to improve the social and emotional health of young children and their families through prevention, early intervention, education, research and training. The Center was founded in 1983 by the late Dr. Reginald S. Lourie, a world-wide leader in the fields of pediatric child psychiatry and infant mental health, and his colleagues, including Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and Dr. Stanley Greenspan. Serving more than 4,000 children and families in the Washington metropolitan area, regardless of ability to pay, the Center is a pioneer and leader in the field of infant and child mental health. Forrester Team Member Trish Henderson is a longtime admirer of the Lourie Center and was honored to nominate them for all of their hard work in the community.
The Tree House Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County works to reduce the trauma experienced by child victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Through an innovative, collaborative process, professionals from both the private and public sectors work together to provide early intervention to promote healing for the children they serve. The organization’s work is premised on the belief that the cycle of child abuse can be broken, and abuse and neglect are preventable. The Tree House provides a range of supportive services for the families they serve, including individual therapy, training to mental health practitioners, and advocacy work.
Forrester Team Member Dan Baker nominated The Tree House for our Thank You for 30 celebration. Dan’s wife Amanda is a dedicated volunteer with the organization and their family is deeply engaged in the Tree House and their mission. We are grateful for the opportunity to support The Tree House and hope this donation is just the beginning of a meaningful partnership.
Stepping Stones Shelter provides a continuum of services -- emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, and post-shelter support -- to homeless families with children to move them from crisis to a stable home environment. They offer food, shelter and supportive services in a spirit of dignity and respect, working to provide a sense of hope, strengthen families, and promote self-sufficiency. The range of services they provide includes cases management, job coaching, tutoring for both kids and adults, and support for families as they transition out of the shelter into stable housing.
Several Forrester Team Members have supported the shelter through our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program, which provides four hours of paid time off to our team to volunteer at a nonprofit of their choice. Donna Rizkallah, one of the Team Members who used her VTO to prepare a meal at the shelter, was inspired by her service to nominate Stepping Stones for our Thank You for 30 campaign. We are thrilled to support a local nonprofit that works tirelessly on behalf of families seeking a way out of homelessness.
For over 25 years, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County has impacted over 2,000 households, improving the lives of families, people with disabilities, veterans, and the elderly. They bring volunteers and communities together to improve the homes of low-income homeowners in Montgomery County by facilitating major and minor home repairs, making homes accessible for people who have disabilities and mobility issues, and improving energy efficiency. They provide this support at no cost to the people they serve, and their work allows many of Montgomery County’s most vulnerable residents to continue to live safely, securely and independently in their own homes.
Desiree Bray, one of Forrester’s Team Members, nominated Rebuilding Together for our Thank You for 30 campaign because of her own volunteer work with the organization. We are grateful for the nomination and excited to seek other ways to support their work!
The Arlington Food Assistance Center is a community-based non-profit providing supplemental groceries to residents of Arlington County who cannot afford enough food to meet their needs. Since their founding in 1988, they have focused on distributing groceries, directly and free of charge, to those who need it. While many assume that hunger is not an issue in a wealthy county like Arlington, a range of economic and social factors combine to make it challenging for many families to make ends meet. The groceries AFAC provides helps families use their resources in other critical ways, lessening the pressure of budgeting enough for food and ensuring that their health and nutrition needs are met.
Chris Muldowney, a Senior Project Manager at Forrester, nominated AFAC for a donation for our Thank You for 30 anniversary campaign and we are pleased to help support an organization that works to meet the health and nutrition needs of neighbors who are food insecure in Arlington.