Arlington, VA
Press Release

Local Nonprofit Arlington Thrive Launches a Challenge Campaign

November 12, 2014

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Local nonprofit Arlington Thrive launches a Challenge Campaign to raise funds after Fannie Mae ends Help the Homeless fundraising program.

Arlington Thrive is launching a Matching Challenge Campaign this fall with a goal of $200,000. The donations will be used to offset the loss of funding from the annual Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Program which ended last year. It had been Arlington Thrive’s largest fundraiser for several years. If supporters donate $100,000 by November 30, 2014, Arlington Thrive can leverage an additional $100,000 in matching funds pledged by a group of committed and generous donors. Every donation made to Arlington Thrive from now through November 30 will be matched dollar-for-dollar. We are grateful to this special group of Arlington Thrive supporters who have generously pledged the challenge funds to help us reach our fundraising goal. Supporters who want to make a gift to Arlington Thrive and double the impact of their donation, can visit www.arlingtonthrive.org or send a check to P.O. Box 7429 Arlington, VA 22207. All contributions to Arlington Thrive are tax-deductible.

Arlington Thrive, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to residents of Arlington, Virginia, who are in crisis and cannot pay for their basic needs. Since 1975, Arlington Thrive has been a front-line defense against homelessness and has provided a safety net for Arlington’s most needy and vulnerable residents. In the spring of 2013, the organization underwent a rebranding process and the name was changed from Arlingtonians Meeting Emergency Needs (AMEN) to Arlington Thrive which better reflects its mission and vision.

Arlington Thrive is the only organization in Arlington which provides same-day emergency financial assistance. Any Arlington County resident is eligible for assistance if referred by a social worker. The majority of Thrive’s clients are the working poor, the physically and mentally disabled, retired seniors on fixed incomes, and the unemployed. Families with children are given the highest priority. Arlington Thrive provides “just enough emergency financial assistance at just the right time” to Arlington residents who are in a financial crisis and by doing so, helps to prevent more serious consequences such as eviction from a home or job loss due to an untreated illness.

Last year, Arlington Thrive provided nearly $822,000 in direct emergency financial assistance to almost 3,000 households. We served over 5,600 individuals, including 1,900 children. Thrive prevented the eviction of 614 households and most of those were families with children. Arlington Thrive operates with four part-time staff and a dedicated group of approximately 25 volunteers who process assistance requests from social workers.

Arlington residents on fixed incomes and workers with low wages or reduced work hours continue to find that their incomes barely provide for their daily needs. The lingering effects of the recession coupled with Arlington’s high cost of living have resulted in an increase in the demand for emergency assistance to pay for basic needs. Arlington Thrive’s work is based on 39 years of successfully providing emergency financial assistance. Moreover, Arlington Thrive’s emergency financial assistance is a critical and necessary component of Arlington’s safety net programs and follows the field’s best practices and criteria for providing assistance. We offer an at-risk individual or family just enough assistance at just the right time to stop a crisis from becoming a catastrophe.

Arlington Thrive works in collaboration with government and private social service agencies and relies on them to provide both the assessment of true need for emergency assistance and case management of clients. There is no duplication of casework so the focus is on raising and disbursing needed funds. Through this collaboration, Thrive ensures that 88 cents of each dollar goes directly to financial assistance. The majority of referrals come from the Department of Human Services Community Assistance Bureau, however, Arlington Thrive also provides assistance to clients at Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) and The Alexandria-Arlington Coalition for the Homeless (AACH) among other area agencies.

Arlington Thrive was voted one of Washington DC’s best small charities by the Catalogue for Philanthropy, Greater Washington and is proud to have received the GuideStar Seal of Approval and multiple 5 Star Reviews from Great Nonprofits. Arlington Thrive will celebrate its 40th anniversary next fall with a special celebration. To learn more about Arlington Thrive, please visit, www.arlingtonthrive.org.

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