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AHC Applauds 350 Volunteers During National Volunteering Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHC Inc. Applauds 350 Community Volunteers Who Provided Vital Services to Affordable Housing Residents

 During 2021’s National Volunteering Week (April 18-24), affordable housing developer AHC Inc. is highlighting the work of the numerous volunteers and organizations that have helped ensure expanded support for residents throughout the 2020-2021 coronavirus pandemic.

(Arlington, VA – April 19, 2020) – Since the beginning of the outbreak, some 250 volunteers regularly donated their time and energy to work hand-in-hand with AHC’s staff and ensure that affordable housing residents continued to receive vital services. One of these dedicated individuals is Ameerah, a 4th grader from Arlington who took the initiative to supply more than 700 face masks to AHC residents.

In addition, numerous community organizations and more than 100 volunteers helped AHC expand its food distribution program from six to 26 sites. Volunteers also continued to tutor and mentor K-12 students virtually, providing a critical lifeline to students struggling to keep up with the curriculum during the pandemic.

“What I appreciate most is that our volunteers had to put in so much more work during the height of the pandemic,” said Laura Jackson, AHC’s Volunteer Coordinator. “They had to become proficient at Zoom in addition to building relationships with students and teaching their subject matter in order to be effective tutors.”

In addition to celebrating all the 2020-2021 volunteers, AHC Inc. would like to applaud the individuals whose service to AHC and its communities has reached five- and fifteen-year anniversaries. Those being honored include volunteer tutors of five years Tom Dunlap, Ryan Hoang, and Sahar Kazmi, and fifteen-year veteran Terron Sims II, who over the years have helped students of different ages achieve their educational goals.

“If I can show any one child that they matter and that they deserve to succeed in this life, I’ll feel like I’ve made an impact,” said Kazmi.

Sims, who had tutored while also serving in the Army, added: “What makes me happiest is to take a kid that just doesn’t care about school, and at some point, a light turns on and he suddenly matures and does the work to bring his grades to what is needed.”

“On behalf of our entire team at AHC, I would like to applaud and thank our dedicated volunteers from the bottom of our hearts,” said Susan Davidson, Director of Resident Services at AHC Inc. “Without the dedication of both volunteers and Resident Services staff, 2020 would have been a much more difficult year for the residents of AHC Inc. properties. We celebrate the efforts of all involved who worked so hard to keep our residents engaged, educated, and fed during an especially challenging year!”

AHC Inc. would like to extend a special Thank You to the many generous groups and in-kind supporters, including: Amazon, Volunteer Arlington, Arlington Rotary Club, Aronson LLC, Boy Scout Troop #162, Marymount University, Washington International School, Potomac School, Healthy Community Action Team, Arlington Community Corp, Real food for Kids, St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Arlington County Police Department, Phoenix Bikes, Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, Capital Area Food Bank, Arlington Food Assistance Center, Food Rescue, Arlington Can-Do, Glebe Community Garden, Second Story, Carlin Springs PTA, and Claremont PTA.

Visit AHC’s Instagram at @AHC_Inc to see individual portraits of many of our long-time volunteers. To learn more about volunteering with AHC, please email volunteer@ahcinc.org or visit https://www.ahcinc.org/get-involved/volunteers/.

Photo: Clockwise starting at top left: Five-year AHC volunteers Sahar Kazmi, Tom Dunlap, Ryan Hoang (left), and 15-year volunteer Terron Sims are making a real difference to K-12 AHC students.

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About AHC
Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,800 apartment units in 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities. For more information, visit http://www.ahcinc.org.

Media Contact
Celia Slater, AHC Inc.
571-228-5948
celia.slater@ahcinc.org

 

AHC Inc., Capital One and Comcast Team Up to Bridge the Internet Divide for Low-Income Families Living in Affordable Housing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AHC Inc., Capital One and Comcast Team Up to Bridge the Internet Divide for Low-Income Families Living in Affordable Housing 

 New Pilot Program Provides Internet Access and Chromebooks to AHC Inc. Residents

(Arlington, VA – July 22, 2020) – AHC Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops and operates affordable apartments in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, today announced a new partnership with Capital One and Comcast to provide free, high-speed internet access to low-income families who live in affordable housing communities.

The initiative leverages Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which offers low-cost internet service at $9.95 per month, to eligible low-income households. Thanks to a grant from Capital One, households that qualify for Internet Essentials will receive free internet service for 14 months from the date of signup – giving students and families much-needed access to online learning and other resources. To ensure families have the tools they need to maximize the service, Capital One also is donating new Chromebooks to participating residents.

The pilot, called the Capital One Digital Access (CODA) program, kicked off this week at St. James Plaza, an AHC Inc. property with 93 affordable apartments in Alexandria, VA.

“This program is a lifesaver for our residents who are impacted by the digital divide,” said Walter D. Webdale, AHC Inc. President and CEO. “We are deeply grateful to Capital One and Comcast for creating this partnership to help our families, students and senior citizens access the technology they need to stay connected to their jobs, schools, healthcare providers and loved ones. Internet access has become an integral part of our world today – and the pandemic has highlighted the need for collaborative solutions to address the digital divide and bring affordable high-speed internet to all.”

Residents are thrilled to have the stability of the 14-month program and deeply appreciate the brand new Chromebooks that make the experience complete. “This program is going to be a big help – I’m so happy,” said Jeaneth Romero, who lives at St. James Plaza with her seven-year-old son, Diego. “I was worried about my son going back to school because he only had my cell phone to use. The laptop will make it a lot easier for him to do schoolwork and so many other things online.”

Capital One created CODA to help bridge the digital divide for individuals and families who live in affordable housing communities financed by Capital One. The program, which provides a mix of free internet access, Chromebooks or tablets, and digital education, is currently being piloted in 11 properties across the country. St. James Plaza is one of the first to get underway.

“Without digital access, trying to find a job, complete training programs, do homework, apply for services or benefits or take advantage of telehealth services is incredibly difficult,” said Jamillah Lamb, a Director on Capital One’s Community Finance team spearheading the efforts. “And we know that a lack of access means that low-income families are being disproportionately left behind in the new economy. CODA is intended to be one important component to closing the digital divide and providing a more level playing field.”

Since 2011, Internet Essentials has connected millions of low-income families to the internet. The program, which offers low-cost, high-speed internet service, also provides multiple options to access free digital skills training in print, online and in person. In addition, customers have the option to purchase a low-cost internet-ready computer.

“We are excited to partner with AHC Inc. to help bridge the digital divide in Virginia by ensuring that children and families at St. James Plaza can connect to the internet through our Internet Essentials program,” said Kevin Broadhurst, Comcast Vice President of Government Affairs. “For almost a decade, Comcast has made a significant impact on the digital divide by helping to level the playing field for families in need so they can benefit from all the internet has to offer. In keeping with our commitment, we recently extended our 60-day offer of free internet service to all eligible, new Internet Essentials customers through the end of the year.”

To date, more than 30 St. James Plaza families have registered for the pilot program and more sign-ups are underway. A family can qualify for Internet Essentials from Comcast if:

  • They are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance including Arlington County’s Committed Affordable Unit (CAF), Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, VA Assistance and TANF.
  • They live in an area where Comcast’s internet service is available.
  • They haven’t subscribed to Comcast’s internet service in the last 90 days. However, families who are currently Internet Essentials customers or have recently subscribed also are eligible to receive APS-sponsored financial assistance through this jointly funded grant program.

If a family was not previously approved for Internet Essentials by Comcast, they should apply again. Eligibility requirements have been expanded in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Due to the coronavirus emergency, households with outstanding debt owed to Comcast may be eligible for Internet Essentials. This qualification is being waived if applicants are approved by Dec. 31, 2020.

Photo: Jeaneth Panero and her son, Diego, can now access the internet thanks to a new partnership among AHC Inc., Capital One, and Comcast designed to bridge the digital divide.

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About AHC

Founded in 1975, AHC Inc. is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing that provides quality homes and education programs for low- and moderate-income families. Based in Arlington, VA, AHC has developed more than 7,500 apartment units in 50+ properties in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches 3,000 children, teens, adults and seniors each year through on-site education and social service programs and activities. For more information, visit www.ahcinc.org.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N.A., had $269.7 billion in deposits and $396.9 billion in total assets as of March 31, 2020. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A., has branches located primarily in New York, Louisiana, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 100 index.

About Comcast

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Media Contacts:

Celia Slater, AHC Inc.
571-228-5948
celia.slater@ahcinc.org

Carl Gaines, Capital One
carl.gaines@capitalone.com

Kristie Fox, Comcast
267-858-6373
kristie_fox@comcast.com