The WTOP Charity of the Month is
For over 30 years, Beacon House has provided after-school education and youth development programs and services to children in Northeast Washington, DC’s Edgewood community. Their mission is to provide children in Edgewood with a safe, nurturing, and life-expanding community in which they can discover their talents and grow into healthy adults who achieve their greatest potential.
When Beacon House was first founded in 1991 by Reverend Donald Robinson (“Rev”), Edgewood was known as “Little Beirut,” due to the proliferation of drugs and violence in the area. Rev wanted to provide a place where children in Edgewood could be safe and surrounded by people who would encourage them to stay in school. He named Beacon House thinking of the role of a lighthouse in a storm – that it would serve as a “beacon” of safety. Rev provided homework help to a dozen children in a basement apartment in the Edgewood Terrace affordable housing community, now named Edgewood Commons, in Edgewood.
Today, Beacon House’s afterschool Education, Athletics, and Summer Camp programs provide year-round opportunities for learning and achievement to more than 300 children ages 5-18 annually. In 2016, WTOP shared the results of a study of its Athletics Program that resulted in the term the “Beacon House effect.” Beacon House is unique among greater Washington afterschool organizations as a place-based organization which builds relationships with children and families over many years. Scores of people who attended Beacon House now volunteer in its programs, and some now have children of their own who attend Beacon House.
Ms. Waters, a parent of Beacon House students ages sixteen and nine, said recently that Beacon House and its team have “seen my children grow, but also (seen) me grow as a mom. I’m thankful that it’s here and that these kids have somewhere to go, they have another source of voice where they can come and feel safe. That is the main thing I love about Beacon House. They really look out for these kids and families. I just love it.”
For more information, visit https://beaconhousedc.org
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