Peterson Family Foundation to Give $500K to Local Families in Need


Members of the Peterson Family Foundation

FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 30, 2020—As a growing number of families in the Washington, D.C. region struggle with homelessness and food insecurity, one local family is stepping up to help. The Peterson Family Foundation is donating $500,000 to organizations throughout Northern Virginia and Maryland that have mobilized to help those in need. Up to $300,000 will be given this year with the balance being given the following year.

The Peterson Family Foundation was created through the generosity of Milton and Carolyn Peterson. Milton Peterson is also the founder of Peterson Companies, one of the oldest real estate companies in the D.C. area. The company develops and manages a large number of retail, commercial, residential and mixed-use properties.

Since the inception of the Peterson Family Foundation in 1997, the foundation has directly contributed and helped to raise millions of dollars for a diverse list of organizations with missions that the Peterson family supports.

“Giving back to the communities where we live and do business is part of our family’s DNA,” said Lauren Peterson, president of the Peterson Family Foundation. “We are extremely proud to support so many worthwhile organizations at this critical time of need.”

Organizations receiving this latest round of support include, in Virginia: Northern Virginia Family Services (Fairfax County); Human Services Alliance of Greater Prince William and Haymarket Food Pantry (Prince William County); Loudoun Hunger Relief and the Ampersand Pantry Project (Loudoun County). In Maryland: Manna Food Center (Montgomery County); Stand Up & Deliver and United Way (Prince George’s County.)

In addition to the financial support, Peterson Companies and its properties throughout the region, (including Fairfax Corner, Downtown Silver Spring, Rio and National Harbor,) will leverage its social media channels to create awareness for these organizations and encourage others to join in giving on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1.)

The Peterson family is actively involved with the family foundation and the entire family is engaged with non-profits in the D.C. region as well as nationally and internationally. Many family members sit on multiple boards. In addition to organizations listed above, current and past affiliations in the D.C. region include George Mason University, INOVA Health System, Gleaning for the World, Northern Virginia Family Services, Teach for America, Venture Philanthropy Partners and Youth for Tomorrow. Through Gleaning for the World, the Peterson Family Foundation worked with local farmers and food distributors to create the Million Meals Program in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The program provided one million meals a year, for three years, to local churches and food banks to help families with the least access to consistent and fresh food.

For the Peterson family, philanthropy is more than financial support. Each family member sits on multiple non-profit boards and all the organizations they support share the family’s core values for helping others.

About the Peterson Family Foundation:

Milt and Carolyn Peterson together with their family, established the Peterson Family Foundation in 1997 out of a fundamental belief that to be successful, they must be fair, honest and always strive to support the community in which they live and do business in. Through their generosity and commitment to giving back, they have directly contributed and helped to raise millions of dollars to a diverse list of organizations including Northern Virginia Family Service, Gleaning For The World, Life With Cancer, Youth For Tomorrow, George Mason University, Middlebury College, St. Stephens & St. Agnes School, Flint Hill School, Teach For America and The United Methodist Church.  As a testament to their generosity and commitment to giving back, the Peterson Companies have just been awarded the Washington Business Journal’s top award for giving for mid-size companies for the fourth year in a row.  In addition to fundraising, family members give of their personal time and talent to support organizations throughout the region and are an inspiring example to everyone they encounter.

About Peterson Companies:

As one of the largest privately-owned real estate development companies in the DC region, Peterson Companies consistently delivers some of the area’s most exciting mixed-use retail, residential and commercial destinations. Over the past 55 years, Peterson has created such exceptional landmarks as National Harbor, Downtown Silver Spring, Fair Lakes, and Fairfax Corner. With a proven ability to move quickly on opportunities to reshape and enhance local communities, the company creates vibrant residential and business districts that benefit all who live and work in our region. For more information about the Peterson Companies, please visit

In Gainesville Peterson Companies manages Virginia Gateway, which it originally founded, and acquired The Shops at Stonewall in January of 2020. 

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