As part of the national ALS Association, the DC/MD/VA Chapter provides help and hope to individuals living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their families, with a mission to help treat and cure ALS through research and advocacy. The chapter's staff works to help individuals and families establish communication systems, collaborate with health-care providers, and access resources for medical care and support.
Our Military Kids, Inc. provides grants of up to $500 for children of deployed National Guard and Reserve service members and Wounded Warriors. These grants pay for participation in sports, fine-arts, or academic programs to help reduce the children's stress within limited family budgets. Since its inception eight years ago, Our Military Kids has funded more than 34,000 grants for children's activities, totaling nearly $14 million, helping alleviate stress and anxiety for children in one of the most volatile periods of their lives.
Pyramid Atlantic is a non-profit contemporary arts center that promotes artistic excellence in the fields of hand-papermaking, printmaking, digital media, and bookmaking. Among impressive facilities and tools are an antique letterpress, materials for hand-binding books, and the art gallery, which has a new solo show each month and is DC’s source for fine art prints and artistic activities. Members enjoy once-a-month, hands-on tutorials (such as screen-printing, bookmaking, and paper UFO folding), once-a-month tours of the new exhibits with the director of the Washington Printmaker’s Gallery (which curates Pyramid Atlantic’s exhibits), 10% off at the community arts store in Silver Spring, and 10% off live music and theater events.
A-SPAN provides housing and case management for people who suffer from mental illness and substance-abuse problems through two permanent, supportive housing programs. As A-SPAN continues to expand these programs, the demand for new furniture for their clients continues to grow. Not only can a new bed help clients feel more at home, A-SPAN's staff has noticed it also can make them more appreciative of their new housing, giving them a greater incentive for staying there. Due to health concerns, A-SPAN buys new beds and cannot accept donated beds.
Founded in 1944 and accredited by the Humane Society in 1977, the private, nonprofit Animal Welfare League of Arlington has helped generations of stray and abandoned animals live out their days in loving, permanent homes. Hundreds of volunteers carry out services ranging from low-cost spaying and neutering for low-income families and individuals and humane education program to animal control. Within the shelter, scores of dogs, cats, and small critters such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and parakeets await new owners to take them home once the staff has ensured their full health and good behavior. The League also hosts several events throughout the year, from an annual springtime Walk for the Animals to classes that help parents prepare their existing pets for the arrival of a new baby with its swaddling blanket made of roast beef.
When searching for a new dentist, patients prize a light touch almost as much as they do extensive training or whiz-bang technology. Fortunately, Tarek Mogharbel, DDS—who worked in District of Columbia General Hospital’s oral-surgery department and is a certified Invisalign and Lumineers practitioner—and his partner, Sun Park, DDS, both describe themselves as gentle people. This character trait translates to each of their cosmetic and family dentistry services. The doctors take special care no matter the procedure, whether it’s an exam for an anxious youngster, a teeth-whitening treatment for an adult, or a new set of porcelain veneers for a ventriloquist’s dummy locked in an eternal, unfeeling grin.