By Russell McIntyre, Treasurer, Friends of Southwest DC
From the World Cup to Wordle scores, from Taylor Swift tickets to Twitter takeovers, from Oscar slaps to Top Gun being back, 2022 was… a lot.
With the world continuing to get back to normal, 2022 felt like a year to go above and beyond. A year to catch up on all that time missed during the pandemic. A year to kick it into high gear and get things done.
This was certainly true of the many charities, non-profits, and other local organizations here in Southwest DC, who requested and received a record amount of funding from Friends of Southwest DC in 2022, totaling just shy of $60,000.
Since 1998, Friends of Southwest DC has actively supported local organizations working to make DC’s smallest quadrant a better home for all. Throughout the past two and a half decades, Friends of Southwest has helped to fund a wide variety of activities – from food banks and clothing drives to after-school programming and college scholarships – and 2022 saw us build upon these strong foundations enroute to a record year of giving.
Friends of Southwest DC just released our 2022 Annual Report, which provides an overview of our work and highlights the incredible community groups that we were able to support over the past twelve months.
Through our many grants, we were able to support food and clothing drives sponsored by Living Classrooms, Alpha Phi Alpha OHL Fraternity, and the SW Comm-Unity Forum. We provided funds for a weekend lunch program at Southwest’s temporary housing center, the AYA, through St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, and for the establishment of a little free library by St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. We awarded grants to EmmaUS and DC STORM to take local students on educational trips to visit Harriet Tubman’s house and multiple colleges in the Hampton, VA area, respectively.
Finally, we were fortunate to build upon some of our longest established relationships, including our yearly support of Arena Stage and their youth programming activities such as Voices of Now and Camp Arena Stage. We also continued our longstanding partnership with the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA) to provide college scholarships to Southwest students. In 2022, we were able to provide over $13,000 in scholarship funds for local students to help pay their tuition costs. And for the very first time, Friends of Southwest DC dedicated a specific $5,000 scholarship to be given to a student pursuing a graduate-level degree.
Which brings us to our special announcement, and the reason many of you are reading this article.
In addition to working with these amazing local organizations and many others, the Friends of Southwest DC also spent the past year remembering one of our own, founder and former board member, Coralie Farlee, who passed away in January 2020.
In her honor, Friends of Southwest DC is proud to announce the establishment of the Coralie Farlee Endowment Fund, which will provide financial assistance to students from Southwest DC who are pursuing graduate-level studies at an institute of higher learning.
Coralie Farlee founded Friends of Southwest DC in 1998 and spent the next two decades leading the organization as it provided over $260,000 in grant funding to more than 30 Southwest DC organizations. (Farlee would often make her own matching contribution for annual fund drives.) Few individuals over the past half-century have devoted as much of their time, money, and – most notably – heart toward improving the lives of Southwest DC residents.
Farlee’s passion for community activism was matched only by her deep belief in the value of a higher education. She received a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate in sociology from Rutgers University, where her studies focused on education, organizational change, and medical information systems in the health profession. Her passion for higher education, along with a generous bequest from her estate, is the impetus behind this endowment.
Moving forward, Friends of Southwest DC will use this fund to award a yearly $5,000 scholarship to a local student from the Southwest community who is pursuing a graduate-level degree.
Through this endowment fund, we will honor the life and legacy of Coralie Farlee by investing directly in the hopes, education, and future of our children in the Southwest community.