Jessica Sanderson Joins the NEW Board

jessica sanderson headshotNEW recently welcomed Jessica Sanderson to its board of directors. As a Public Sector Leader at Oliver Wyman – Global Management Consulting Experts, Sanderson specializes in helping organizations grow. She joins us because she was looking for an opportunity to support a DC non-profit grow and achieve its full potential. Fortuitously, NEW is in the process of a long-term strategic plan to grow our organization, help more women and children end the cycle of homelessness, and thrive. Read more

Partners for the Future – we have goodies!

NEW - tote bagWe have goodies! Would you like to share them with us?

Become a Partner for the Future. Show your love for New Endeavors by Women with this amazing tote bag and sticker. They’re yours when you make a sustaining donation!

A little from you goes a long way for us. Take that $10 you spend on a couple of skinny lattes each month. That same $10 will buy healthy snacks for our children’s after school program. Won’t you join us with a recurring monthly donation?

Not able to donate today? There are so many ways to support NEW and we are grateful for everything. You can tell four friends to subscribe to this newsletter. Invite five of them to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter on Instagram.

However you can help, we appreciate it!

On behalf of the women and children we serve — THANK YOU!

More Than One Way To Be Generous – Thank You Clean Kits!

Clean Kit makes a donation to NEW
                                                                     Clean Kits makes a donation to NEW

In a region full of overachievers, Areej Khan and Palak Shah still impress with the generosity and magnitude of their clear-eyed vision.

Khan and Shah are high school seniors who saw the need and came up with the idea of Clean Kits. They now regularly collect, assemble, and donate hygiene kits to homeless women. Which is how we met them—they approached and donated 170 kits, each containing a bar of soap and 10 tampons and pads.

Let’s start at the beginning, though. How do a pair of 18-year olds get to this juncture? “It was a school project. We were asked to find a problem, do the research, and come up with the solution,” Shah says. “And I wanted to partner with someone who was just as dedicated.” Conveniently, Shah and Khan have known each other since freshman year, so a partnership made sense. But still, how did it get from school project to real life? “Well, what’s the point of doing all this research and not taking action?” So they did.

A year later, they’ve handed out 750 kits in DC, Fairfax and Loudon counties.

(l to r) Areej Khan, Tracy Frish of NEBW, Palak Shah
                                                          (l to r) Areej Khan, Tracy Frish of NEW, Palak Shah

Why hygiene kits? “Because people don’t think of it,” Khan says. “All the drives focus on canned food and clothing, which are certainly important. But no one thinks of this aspect of hygiene, which is equally important. I think it just hasn’t been done more because among other things, it doesn’t occur to half the population. And those who do think about it, don’t always talk about it.”

Ah yes, the stigma of menstruation. Except Khan and Shah took the first step, and faced it head on. “If you said that homeless people need a toothbrush or soap, no one would argue,” Khan says. “This isn’t any different. It’s about health and hygiene. When we presented it that way, no one disagreed.”

Areej Khan (l) and Palak Shan (r) of
Areej Khan (l) and Palak Shah (r) of

Khan and Shah are headed to college in the fall, one to Virginia Tech, the other to VCU. But they have plans in place to sustain the Clean Kit project. They already have a schedule and check-off lists in place. Their plan is to restock kits every 3 to 6 months based on an organization’s need—in addition to the soap, tampons, and pads, the next batch will also contain a small wash cloth and five plastic bags. They are now assembling a team so they can go from outreach to delegation and a wider area of service. If anything, they plan to expand donations to Richmond, where VCU is located. And yes, they are already in the process of establishing a non-profit with 501c3 tax deductible status, courtesy of one parent who happens to be a financial advisor.

They have two reasons for forming a non-profit, apart from the obvious. “People are more comfortable donating to a non-profit. But more than that, there didn’t seem to be that many grants we could apply to for this one thing.”

One more thing—the Clean Kits come in cloth drawstring bags. “They’re reusable, and that way the women have something in which to keep the few things they have.” It’s certainly a big step up from the stereotypical garbage bag.

Until their paperwork comes through, Khan and Shah continue to gather donations through word of mouth. You can find out more about Clean Kit online at and donate at

NEW Out Of The Mouth Of Babes

Leslie Gutierrez and family

Leslie Gutierrez answers the phone politely, but you can tell she really doesn’t have time. She’s the oldest of four, and a student of Duke Ellington School of the Arts in DC, and in charge on the afternoon she speaks with us. The conversation is, by turns, illuminating and funny.

Leslie is 15. Her siblings are Randolfo Campos, 12, Elias Campos 11, and one voluble Kassandra Campos, 8. Their mother, Geisy Ceberino was a NEW client who benefitted from New Endeavors by Women’s (NEW) New Horizons program. She couldn’t really take the time to talk because she is employed as a home health aide worker. It falls to Leslie to fill in why NEW, and the YEP! program (Youth Enrichment Program) in particular, has made a difference for the whole family. Read more