Close this search box.

Capitol Hill Community Foundation Named Philanthropist of the Year



Capitol Hill Community Foundation Named Philanthropist of the Year

(Photo DescriptionShaunda Patterson-Strachan receives the Arnold F. Keller, Jr. Grant to support new initiatives.)

For 35 years, the Capitol Hill Community Foundation has improved lives on the Hill with the power of community. Sasha Bruce Youthwork is pleased to honor the Foundation as 2024 Philanthropist of the Year. Since its founding in 1989, this small but mighty organization has directed over $6.6 million to programs and projects that benefit residents of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The Foundation has also launched a cadre of annual programs benefiting Capitol Hill residents. Amazingly, all of this is done by volunteers and is funded entirely by contributions from Capitol Hill neighbors, business owners, and friends.

Sasha Bruce Youthwork is grateful to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation for its support over the years. Capitol Hill has been home to Sasha Bruce Youthwork since 1978 when we launched Bruce House on Maryland Avenue NE, which remains the only youth emergency shelter in the city. Our two programs for pre-adjudicated minors, Chloe House and REACH, also call the Hill home, as do our Independent Living Program, the Barracks Rows Drop-In Center, and our administrative office on 8th Street SE.

Recent Capitol Hill Community Foundation grants have supported Drop-In Center and Independent Living Program clients, bridging critical funding gaps. At the Drop-In Center, the Foundation’s contributions to the Client Needs fund supported a client who got a job as a security guard at the Smithsonian. Before starting work (or receiving a paycheck), he needed trousers and shoes that fit uniform requirements. Thanks to the Client Need Fund, he could purchase these items and start his new job properly outfitted.

Most recently, Sasha Bruce Youthwork was awarded the Foundation’s annual Arnold F. Keller, Jr. Grant to support new initiatives. This grant will support the Cares Project Pilot, a respite program for youth diverted from the juvenile justice system for certain intra-family offenses.

“We’re always trying to be supportive of organizations and institutions in our neighborhood that make the lives of our residents better,” said the president of the Foundation, Nicky Cymrot. “With the current areawide attention on crimes committed by youth, we naturally wanted to reach out to Sasha Bruce Youthworks to find innovative solutions that show that not every young person is a criminal.”   

The Foundation’s 35-member board of directors comprises dedicated people who live and work on Capitol Hill. Its grantees represent a broad range of nonprofit organizations, schools, and neighborhood groups that work in at least one of the five Foundation giving areas: Social Services, Schools, Youth, Arts and Culture, and Community Spaces. In 2024, the Foundation anticipates making over $600,000 in grants.

 From the establishment of Capitol Hill Village to the creation of the Hill Center, the Foundation has been there from the start. In times of crisis, the Foundation has also stepped up, supporting merchants and employees of Eastern Market, Frager’s Hardware Store, and the residents of Arthur Capper Senior Apartments after devastating fires.

The Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project and A Literary Feast are ongoing foundation programs. A current special initiative supports the “Blue and White Marching Machine,” the Eastern Senior High School Marching Band. The Foundation has contributed and raised over $250,000 to replace the band’s ten-year-old uniforms and buy and repair musical instruments (some up to 20 years old!).

We are honored to recognize the Capitol Hill Community Foundation as an essential partner, proving that we are indeed better together as we work to transform the lives of young people.To learn more about the Capitol Hill Community Foundation or to support its work, please visit

Stay in the loop

Sign up to learn how you can help support Sasha Bruce and receive the latest updates on our work.