ANC to distribute $ 12,000 in aid to local community – The GW Hatchet

A local governing body plans to donate $ 12,000 to nonprofits around Foggy Bottom to reach out to local residents who have struggled financially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission special humanitarian grants committee is accepting grant applications until Wednesday to extend community assistance to residents of the neighborhood, committee members said. The commissioners said the grants would promote the work of nonprofit charities that work directly with vulnerable communities that have been affected by the effects of the pandemic, such as residents who have lost their jobs and other members of the community. community facing financial difficulties.

Nonprofits based in Foggy Bottom’s ANC can apply to receive grants to financially support members of their local community after they explain how they wish to spend the money, according to the ANC’s website. Commissioner Trupti Patel, co-founder of the committee, said she hopes the grants will help the DC government and welfare organizations help struggling residents who have been financially affected by the pandemic.

“We understand that there is a great need and not enough resources,” Patel said. “But with the limited resources we were allowed to save on our ANC allocation, we decided to call for nominations saying we would be more than happy to hand out any grants.”

The ANC’s Special Humanitarian Grants Committee was formed in March with initial plans to distribute up to $ 15,000 in community aid. Patel said committee members wanted nominees to create ideas for charitable work and include them in the nomination.

“The request has been published and we are waiting for the public utility organizations to submit their requests to tell us what projects they would like to do to alleviate the pain and suffering within ANC 2A,” she said.

Committee members did not disclose who applied for the grants.

“We have an app where they have to describe the specific use of funds,” Patel said. “The whole ANC commission will vote and once the commission clears the grantees to receive the grant, we will go ahead and cut the checks for those organizations.”

Patel said there is no formal process for community members to recommend organizations that receive grants, but she encourages individuals to publicize applications to nonprofits that interest them.

Commissioner Yannik Omictin, a former student and the other co-founder of the committee, said other NCAs – including those serving Brightwood Park and the wharf – have already started distributing financial reserves to vulnerable communities, this which inspired the idea of ​​the committee at Foggy Bottom. Omictin said commissioners were keen to help community members after district officials authorized NCAs to grant money to organizations that “replicate state services” during public health emergencies.

Omictin said the ANCs realized the change in regulations meant they could distribute money to residents suffering financially from the pandemic and that he wanted to lead the same activism within Foggy Bottom.

“I think they just saw this provision and decided to take action and use some of the money they had in the reserves to go to the people who need it most,” a- he declared. “We wanted to do it in 2A.

The ANC approved Marina Streznewski, former president of the Foggy Bottom Association, Christopher Brick, faculty member affiliated with the Department of History and local social worker Celina Chelala to sit on the committee alongside Omictine and Patel. Omictin said he appointed community members with Patel to ensure committee members are dedicated to attending meetings and are able to maintain the confidentiality of nominations and discussions.

Omictin said the application deadline, originally set for last Wednesday, has been extended until Wednesday to give organizations more opportunities to apply. Omictin believes the ANC will vote on the nominations at a public meeting in September and distribute the funds “quickly”.

Omictin said the committee will review how nonprofits wish to spend grant money and follow up with approved organizations to ensure that taxpayer money is used as intended.

“We will follow up after allocating the money to make sure the money has gotten where it needs to go for the sake of budget transparency and accountability,” Omictin said. “We are using taxpayers’ money and want to make sure that the money goes where it should go.”

Jeri Epstein, ANC president, said she wanted Omictine and Patel to lead the special committee because they have a history of philanthropy and volunteering at Foggy Bottom. She said she hoped ANC funds could reach people who could raise smaller donations, as opposed to larger charities like Miriam’s Kitchen.

“Miriam’s Kitchen gets donations from all over town – she doesn’t need $ 1,000 from us,” Epstein said. “But if we found someone distributing mittens and hats or wanting to buy mittens and hats for the homeless people living on the streets, well, we could make a little difference there, no doubt. . “

Zachary Blackburn contributed reporting.