Vann-Ghasri credits the Little Lights Urban Ministries for bringing more organizations to help with the project. Little Lights, a non-profit taking a holistic approach to serving families and children living in poverty in Capitol Hill, have worked in Potomac Gardens and its neighboring community, Hopkins, since 1997. “We work with about 120 kids per year,” said Steve Park, founder and executive director of Little Lights. “We also have a family center and work with about 200 adults, helping people with their resumes, providing a high-speed computer lab.” Little Lights also runs the Clean Green Team, a landscaping business that employs community members. “We have a contract with DC Housing [Authority (DCHA)] to do all the landscaping work at Potomac Gardens and Hopkins,” he explained, “and we have clients, mostly on Capitol Hill.”

When it came to the new playground, Park said, “We made a commitment to push it forward and talked with Aquarius…We talked with Laurie Putscher [Director of Asset Management at DCHA]. She helped us to find a funder, Make Kids Smile…Then we talked to the Potomac Gardens property manager at CT Management and Michael Coleman. They gave $5,000 to the project; the Residents Council gave $2,000…and Little Lights provided the extra funds to help complete the funding part and kept making sure that the ball didn’t get dropped.”

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