Since Amazon selected National Landing in Arlington, Virginia as the home of our second headquarters, it’s been a busy two years of building, hiring, and establishing ourselves as a dedicated community partner. We’ve started construction at Metropolitan Park—the site of our first new office buildings—welcomed our 1,000themployee, and engaged with more than 100 nonprofit and community groups.
Today, we’re deepening our commitment to the region by announcing $9 million in donations to local nonprofits.
“It’s an understatement to say how proud we are to be part of National Landing,” said Brian Huseman, Amazon Vice President of Public Policy, whose team led the search for our HQ2 location. "To mark this milestone, we will donate $9 million to help support a broad range of local community organizations that make up the fabric of the diverse, vibrant region we now call home."
National Landing's diverse community was one of the biggest factors in our decision to build our second headquarters in Northern Virginia. The Amazon donations announced today include:
- $3 million to four legal service providers to help support families in the Virginia and D.C. region. Recipients include Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Virginia Poverty Law Center, Bread for the City’s Legal Clinic, and Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia.
- $1 million to organizations that are advancing the cause of racial equity and community empowerment, such as Bridges to Independence, Offender Aid and Restoration, and the Arlington Branch NAACP Scholarship Program.
- $1 million to community health facilities, including the Arlington Free Clinic, Alexandria Neighborhood Health, Children’s National Hospital, and the Virginia Hospital Center.
- $500,000 to community organizations that will help advance economic opportunity through literacy programs and job training, such as La Cocina VA, DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training Program, and the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia.
- $3.5 million designated for community organizations across the region supporting small businesses, military families, the environment, the arts, and more.
Amazon’s $3 million gift to legal service providers will support families in the Virginia and D.C. region in need of immediate legal assistance for housing related issues, with each organization receiving $750,000. “This $3 million donation will quickly provide support to individuals and families who need help. Tenant rights are a particularly complicated issue right now, and families are facing innumerable challenges related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alice Shobe, Director, Amazon in the Community. Shobe and her team have worked over the last two years to understand the most pressing issues facing our neighbors.
“With the significant increase in eviction cases caused by COVID-19, the number of underrepresented litigants is just getting worse,” added Jim Ferguson, Executive Director, Legal Services of Northern Virginia. “Amazon’s timely and generous support is an emphatic action to reverse that negative trend. We will be able to hire more lawyers, and far fewer low-income families will end up on the street. It is hard to adequately convey just how grateful we are for this generosity that will have such a deep and immediate impact.”
An additional $3.5 million will be distributed to organizations throughout the region between now and the beginning of 2021, including to organizations that support veterans and military families, local environmental and sustainability programs, and events and institutions throughout the region that build community, help small businesses, and drive tourism.
“The pandemic has placed a disproportionate strain on the families Bridges to Independence serves, all of whom live below the poverty line,” said Samuel L. Kelly, Jr., CEO of Bridges to Independence. “Amazon’s generosity will fund our COVID-19 relief fund, which will be used to help families during these uncertain times and continue to empower more than 134 youth through initiatives, such as tutoring and mentoring, to break generational cycles of poverty.”
“We are grateful for the recent support obtained from Amazon; it couldn't have come at a better time,” said Paty Funegra, Founder and CEO of La Cocina VA. “Amazon's economic contribution directly goes to help entrepreneurs of color to access our Culinary Kitchen Incubator program where they gain knowledge on how to run a successful food-related business, access our commercial infrastructure and equipment, and begin generating income to support their families.”
Amazon is grateful to the community, as well as the many elected officials, civic leaders, local businesses, nonprofits, and associations who have talked with us and shared their views over the past two years. With their guidance and engagement, we have made remarkable progress, including:
- Supporting our local organizations and causes in the region during the pandemic. In response to COVID-19, we have supported local restaurants during our 10,000 meals in May program, provided critical COVID-19 funding to the Arlington, Alexandria, and Greater Washington Community Foundations, and launched a statewide effort sponsoring computer science education in high-need schools across the Commonwealth.
- Breaking ground on our first new office buildings and gaining community approval for our open space public park plan. When construction on Met Park is complete in 2023, it will include two new LEED Platinum buildings totaling 2.1 million square feet of office space, over two acres of green space, and approximately 69,000 square feet of ground floor retail, including an independently operated daycare center. Amazon’s 700 seat meeting center will also be available for community use.
- Actively hiring and filling the more than 500 currently open roles in the new headquarters area with diverse talent from across the region.
The philanthropic donations announced today will build on this progress and we look forward to the future as we continue to grow Amazon teams in Virginia.