Bread for the City is celebrating today.

Flickr: BBC World Service

A food chart for clients of Bread for the City. Next week, DCentric will take a closer look at the triumphant expansion of both their facilities and services.

I’m leaving the blog for a few hours to go visit Bread for the City–a front line agency serving Washington’s poor– for a very happy reason:

As we approach the end of this year, it already feels like the start of something new. Our expanded Northwest Center is partially up and running, and the excitement of what’s to come is in the air…

I hope you’ll join us to celebrate this new chapter: all are invited to attend the Grand Opening on Friday January 7th, from 4-7pm at 1525 7th street NW. We’ll be joined by Councilmembers and other city leaders to cut the ribbon and raise a cheer for the growth to come.

At the beginning of this week, I spoke to Bread for the City’s Executive Director, George Jones, about how his organization was able to expand during a recession and what such an expansion meant for the D.C. residents who depend on his agency’s services. Look for a two-part interview with Jones next week, right here. Now if you’ll kindly excuse me, I’m off to take pictures of the expanded facilities; if you’ll be so helpful as to tweet something amusing, I’ll make sure it gets enshrined as today’s Tweet of the Day, which will be up later tonight. Happy Friday!

The Salvation Army Collected Less, This Year


A Salvation Army Red Kettle at "Social Safeway", in Georgetown.

WaPo has an update on Giant’s move to limit the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign outside of its grocery stores, via this article: “Limited collection time at Giant fueled drop in donations, Salvation Army says“. The charity collected 60% less money than it did last year:

Giant’s policy change irked some advocates for the needy.

“It’s hard times like these when we need our corporate partners to step up and do more rather than less,” said Terry Lynch, executive director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations. “A lot less people are going to get a lot less help when they most need it. And that’s tragic.”…

Terri Lee Freeman, president of the Community Foundation, which makes grants to local groups, said nonprofits have been further hurt because local governments facing declining tax revenue are less able to hire the organizations as contractors.

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Tweet of the Day, 12.22

Hi. Consider joining me as a tutor at the Washington Literacy Council for 2K11. It will make you a better speller!
Kriston Capps

He had me at “Hello” when I read this testimonial, on The Washington Literacy Council’s Facebook page:

I have worked at a local hospital for the last twenty one years as a house keeper. I didn’t pick that job for my self; someone picked it for me. My options were limited because of my reading problem. I am now working as a recreation specialist coaching sports. I am telling you this because I know firsthand how it feels not being able to do something you want to do because of your reading problem.” Excerpt from 2010 WLC Graduation speech written by Sandra, a former student.

Tripling the Impact of a Donation to WAWF

Flickr: Thomas Hawk

Look at the amazing things you can do with money!

I think sometimes, people don’t give money to charitable organizations because they worry that whatever they give isn’t enough. Charity is for wealthy people, who donate thousands of dollars at a time, right? Alternately, I know people (myself included), who are amenable to the idea of giving and plan to do so, but are especially inspired by offers to have their gifts matched– who doesn’t want to see a gift doubled, or, in lucky instances, tripled?

I just received an email from the Washington Area Women’s Foundation– which works to improve the lives of local women and girls– with exactly that offer:

A generous donor has agreed to match every gift received from our year end campaign with a 2-to-1 match — up to $100,000. That means for every dollar you donate, our donor will give two dollars. A $100 donation will have the impact of a $300 donation. $500 becomes $1,500. And your gift will help fund our efforts to ensure that every woman and girl in our community has the opportunity to attain economic security and reach her full potential.

If the WAWF sounds familiar, it may be because of their Portrait of Women and Girls in the Washington Metropolitan Area, which was released this Fall.

If you know of other local non-profits or charities who have similar offers to match gifts, let us know. A donation in someone’s name may be the perfect gift for a hard-to-shop-for friend or family member (I’m looking at you, Mom).

How to put the “Happy” in our Holidays


SOME's 40th Anniversary Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger

I had a lovely thanksgiving. I rarely get to see my only sibling on that day which is dedicated to families, but this year, I spent it with her, eating pizza. That’s a tradition she unwittingly created while serving in the Air Force, overseas. Like me, she’s a strict vegetarian, and when she was stationed in certain countries, the biggest treat she could find was pizza, so every year for almost a decade, that’s what she ate. I’m proud to continue that tradition with her, because of the poignant story behind it.

So that’s how I spent my Thanksgiving– with family, eating cheese, introducing everyone to the wonder that is “Boardwalk Empire“. We even indulged in some eye-roll-worthy retail shenanigans at midnight. But what stands out to me most about this Thanksgiving–even more than the Gino’s pizza which was lovingly carried here from Chicago for us to enjoy– was how we started that morning; we were up by 6 and on the Mall by 7am, looking for parking so that four of us could participate in the So Others Might Eat 5k. I am embarrassed to admit that aside from being excited about naming our team (“Pilgrim and Wrong Indians”), I was grumbling about my lack of sleep and the lack of sun (or warmth) at such a cold, early hour.
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