WASHINGTON — Exelon has awarded a $250,000 grant to Bright Beginnings, an organization that operates the only early childhood and family development centers dedicated to homeless children in Washington, D.C. The funding will support the construction of three activity centers and playgrounds at Bright Beginnings’ new child and family development center in the Congress Heights neighborhood, providing children with safe spaces to play, learn and receive support and care.
The new center, scheduled to open next summer, will expand vital services to help homeless families. Employee volunteers from Pepco and Exelon, the parent company of the Washington, D.C.-based electric utility Pepco, will also help build the playgrounds at the new site.
“Mayor Muriel Bowser has made addressing homelessness a top priority. At Exelon, we are committed to joining District leaders and doing our part to help children get access to the essential resources and facilities needed to succeed and thrive,” said Maggie FitzPatrick, Exelon’s senior vice president of Corporate Affairs, who serves on Bright Beginnings’ board of directors. “Exelon supports organizations that strengthen our communities, and Bright Beginnings is delivering essential services every day for District kids and families. We call on other corporations to join us in bolstering those who are providing a lifeline to kids who urgently need our collective support.”
The American Institutes for Research reports that there are 2.5 million homeless children in America today; the equivalent of one in every 30 children in the United States. With child care costs in D.C. averaging $23,000 per child each year, according to research from Child Care Aware of America, the free services offered by Bright Beginnings help give homeless children and parents hope and a chance at a brighter future.
Founded in 1990, Bright Beginnings has helped more than 3,400 children enter kindergarten ready to learn. Bright Beginnings uses a holistic approach to address the needs of both children and their parents, with services including free child care, early education, family health and wellness support, therapeutic services and workforce development counseling. With the expansion to a second center, Bright Beginnings will equip the community with resources that help homeless families secure and retain employment, complete education and live in safe neighborhoods.
“Our centers and programs serve as pillars to the community, helping to restore and revitalize the quality of life for every homeless child and family in D.C.,” said Dr. Marla Dean, executive director of Bright Beginnings. “We appreciate Exelon’s generous contribution toward building playgrounds at our new center, which will help position our children for success as they grow, learn and prepare for their first day of kindergarten.”
Exelon’s community programs are supported by its employees, who participate in volunteer and charitable giving opportunities that positively impact the communities where they work and live. Last year, Exelon companies and the Exelon Foundation collectively donated more than $46.5 million to nonprofits, including more than $4.5 million in contributions from Pepco. This year, Exelon employees dedicated 200,000 hours of community service and pledged more than $12.6 million through Exelon’s Employee Giving Campaign. In 2017, Exelon was also named to Points of Light’s list of the 50 most community-minded companies in the country. Points of Light is the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.
To learn more about Exelon’s initiatives supporting communities, visit exeloncorp.com/community
. For more information about the important work of Bright Beginnings, visit www.bbidc.org