Thank you Excella! Read more below.

Dear Friends,

What a wonderful time of year it is. Each year, we celebrate the achievements of Blacks and African Americans across all facets of life in February. The creation of a specific time period to recognize and celebrate the contributions and presence of Blacks and African Americans was the idea of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian, who launched Negro History Week in February 1926. His acknowledgement of pioneers such as Frederick Douglas have given American's today an entire month to celebrate and honor our accomplishments and history.

Dr. Woodson's goal was two-fold: 1) to inspire and instill pride of self and community among young Black people, 2) and to help each country confront the problem of racial discrimination through greater understanding by making the history of Blacks and African Americans accessible and meaningful to others.

I would like to take a moment to express my unwavering appreciation to the ancestors of Blacks and African Americans, who endured immense struggle and hardship for me to be the person I am today.

I implore you to remember the contributions of Blacks and African Americans year round. In addition, it is important to highlight and support Black and African American leaders within our community for their achievements.

We’ve come a long way on this road to equality, yet there’s still more to do. For example, in Arlington, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are 39% of the population, but BIPOC make up 96% of those living at or beneath the poverty line.

Such is one of many reasons Bridges continues it’s commitment to advocacy and providing much needed services to those in our community. Of course, we can’t accomplish this tall task without you—our most valued supporters. It’s your support that makes our work possible. We look forward to our continued partnership with all Arlingtonians, as we seek to create a more equitable Arlington for all.

Yours in service,
Samuel L. Kelly, Jr.
Bridges to Independence
Having recently merged in December with Green Valley’s Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation (BAJCDC), Bridges expands its board with a particular focus on those connected to and committed to improving the lives of those in need in Green Valley. 
Bridges welcomes the following new board members (in alpha order):
·       Rev. Craig A. Harcum – Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church
·       Jubilee Jackson – Sr. Organization Dev. Consultant, Evans Consulting
·       Kenneth Robert Moore, Sr. – CIO, STEM Preschool, Inc.
·       Zakiya L. Worthey – CEO, K. Lamb, LLC
The Reverend Craig A. Harcum has a career in ministry and has most recently served as the pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church in Arlington since 2019. This church was formed in the home of Bonder and Amanda Johnson in 1908, the namesakes of BAJCDC in Green Valley. Pastor Harcum serves as the President of the George A. Crawley Fellowship, the Vice President of the Greater Baltimore Simultaneous Revival Fellowship, a proud member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and an active in many other volunteer roles.

Jubilee Jackson is an organizational design and development consultant who brings many years of experience in change management, training, and knowledge management in the private and public sectors. She currently serves as a Senior Organization Development Consultant at Evans Consulting.

Kenneth Robert Moore, Sr. is an accomplished technology executive with more than 30 years of broad expertise managing large and complex, multimillion-dollar IT programs and projects primarily for federal agencies. Mr. Moore currently serves as the CIO for STEM Preschool, Inc.

Zakiya L. Worthey is the CEO of K. Lamb LLC, where she is an expert in strategic business planning, workplace culture and organizational consulting, diversity, equity and inclusion competencies, and more. Ms. Worthey also is active in the Northern Virginia community where she co-founded and serves as director of advocacy for Black Parents of Arlington, serves on the board of directors for Arlington Independent Media, and was appointed to the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Commission.

Bridges to Independence’s CEO, Samuel L Kelly, Jr., notes, “We are grateful that these community leaders have agreed to serve on the Bridges board. We undoubtedly will benefit from the skills, leadership, and diverse perspectives that these individuals bring to our organization.”

Janetta Brewer is the 2021 President of Bridges' Board of Directors. She has most recently served as the Board’s Vice President. Ms. Brewer is Principal Owner of Blue Alchemy Consulting, LLC, a boutique law, consulting, and training firm specializing in Federal government contracts. She is active in the Arlington community serving as a county-appointed Commissioner on the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) Board and a graduate of the Leadership Arlington class of 2017.

Patrick King preceded Ms. Brewer as Board President and continues his service on the board. Bridges is very grateful to Mr. King for leading the organization through the 2020 pandemic, where he focused on keeping families safe and housed, and he supported the staff and organization tirelessly. While 2020 was a challenging year, Bridges has built a stronger organization and stands ready to serve in 2021 and beyond.
Clarendon United Methodist Church
Thank you Clarendon United Methodist Women for donating Valentine's goodies to the moms and youth at the shelter!

The goodies included chocolates and gift cards to Subway! Teens were excited to receive reusable water bottles with candy, and even the little ones received small toys! 

Thanks you for spreading some love in our shelter on Valentine's Day! 
Girl Scout Cookies
Thank you Girl Scout Troop 50085 for the tasty treats! In December, this group of 9-10 year old girls offered customers a chance to buy cookie boxes for others.

Even though they sold cookies digitally because of the pandemic, they still had successful sales and secured about 20 boxes for the families in the shelter!

The families loved this sweet surprise that arrived in early February. Thank you!
Clarendon Presbyterian Church
Clarendon Presbyterian Church (CPC) recently announced that it will continue holding monthly drive-thru food and toiletry collections for the foreseeable future to support Bridges to Independence!
Since the first Collection at CPC in June through the most recent one in January, the community donated the equivalent of 873 brown paper bags of groceries – an estimated value of nearly $30,000.
Excella's Service Day
This month, we were so excited to have Excella volunteer with us on President’s Day for their afternoon of ImpaX! Excella hosted a fun, virtual eXtravaganza for Bridges' families and some of our other shelter partners like Homestretch and Doorways. They also hosted a “Listen & Learn: The Impact of Systemic Racism,” where Bridges’ Chief Programs Officer, Cicely Whitfield, and many more of our safety partners were on the speakers’ panel. Additionally, several Excella employees worked on data and IT projects for Bridges. What an incredible day of service!

We know you are ready to strut those red carpet outfits! Get ready to join us for an evening of fun and celebration to help RAISE THE ROOF for every Bridges' family and keep them in their homes in 2021.

Save the date for Friday, April 16 from 8-9:30 PM for a virtual Bash extravaganza!

More details to follow soon.
Arlington Bunny Hop
Save the date: Saturday, June 12, for the next Bunny Hop 5k Charity Fun Run/Walk!

Bridges to Independence is honored to be a beneficiary, along with our partners at OAR.

This year’s race format will depend on the pandemic and Federal, Virginia, and Arlington guidance as restrictions evolve through the spring. We are hopeful that the situation will be clearer by late March.

This summer, dust off your golf clubs and save the date for Monday, August 2, at Army Navy County Club in Arlington for the next charity golf event!

More details to follow soon!
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities for all of these events, please reach out to Christina Armstrong at carmstrong@bridges2.org.
Are you looking for an internship opportunity with a cause? Or, do you know someone who is? Bridges is looking for a development intern and grant intern.

Click this link to apply to our grants internship!
Click this link to apply to our development internship!

Also, A-SPAN is hiring for a registered nurse that will support other safety nets, to include the staff and families with Bridges. So, by helping to fill this role, you are helping several organizations doing good work in the community. Click here to learn more!
Here are a few of the businesses and foundations we'd like to thank for sticking by us and the families in need in 2020!
Do you want build bridges to independence for local homeless families and youth in need?
Contact Christina Armstrong at
703-525-7177 x127