04/24/14 3:15pm

dcps_mentor

From DCPS:

“Ever wondered how you can help out and make a difference? District of Columbia Public Schools is seeking local professionals to participate in an innovative mentoring program. Last year, DCPS launched an internship program for students with disabilities called the Competitive Employment Opportunities (CEO) Program. The CEO Program brings high school age students with various disabilities together with professional mentors who work in a range of occupations. CEO mentors help introduce our students to the working world and guide them through the career exploration process. To learn more visit our website dcpsceo.com or follow us on twitter @DCPSCEOProgram.

Over the past two years, CEO has provided DCPS students with professional development training, one-on-one mentoring, and paid summer internships throughout the district. During bimonthly one-on-one mentoring, which takes place on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 4:30pm – 6:00pm, students work with mentors on a career-focused project. This project and the summer internship open our students’ minds to the expansive and exciting working world, allowing them a first-hand experience in what it’s like to be a professional. Last year, one of our students worked with a mentor from the Architect of the Capitol on creating a 3-D design of a music studio. Another student worked with a mentor from NASA on a presentation about the landing of the Mars Rover. Our mentors have come from companies and organizations, large and small, all over the district, from Spooky Action Theater to The Discovery Channel.

Currently, we are looking for more local partner agencies in the DC community to add professional mentors to our team, in order to give our students more outlets for career exploration. It is an exciting time for the CEO program, as DCPS is looking to double our programming in 2015. Our goal is to recruit 20 new mentors through 15 new corporate/organizational partnerships by January 2015. If you are enthusiastic about your career, you can share that enthusiasm by becoming a mentor. If you work at a company or organization that would provide exciting options for our students, you can open doors by partnering with DCPS. If you are interested in mentoring or would like more information, please email raymond.hutchison@dc.gov.”

04/16/14 3:15pm

code_for_progress

From an email:

“What do a 51 year old grandmother of five from Anacostia, a local DJ, an entrepreneur and a DC transplant from Sierra Leone have in common? They’re all learning to code in the name of improving the lives of people in and out of The District.

Meet Jason, Terri, Cassidy and Selina — the 2014 Code for Progress fellows. These four Washingtonians are about to make some major changes to historically underserved communities here in town.

Terri Acker has been on the board of Bread for the City for years, and you can’t go anywhere in Anacostia and find someone who doesn’t know her. She’s a 51 year old mother of five and a grandmother of seven who has lived in public housing her entire life. After witnessing people in her community slowly being pushed out of their neighborhoods do to rapid gentrification, she decided to make a change. Terri will be using her 17 week fellowship to learn how to code an app that will make it easier for Washingtonian’s to access low-income housing in their areas.

Selina Musuta DJs all over town. She has been working in social justice issues for years, mostly in the broadcast industry. She even incorporates her sound recordings into her DJ sets! Selina is taking her knack for technology to Code for Progress where she seeks to learn how to code an app that will connect SNAP beneficiaries in DC to stores near them using GPS. Even better—each location on the map will have a “healthiness rating”.

Cassidy Henderson was born in Sierra Leone, but now lives in Washington DC. She is a transgender woman who is hoping to improve the lives of other LGBT people in the US by connecting them with safe spaces and social services through the app she creates.

Jason Towns has been involved in policy and social entrepreneurship in the District for a long time. He will be using his Code for Progress fellowship to teach DC underprivileged youth how to use technology and code to create opportunity for themselves.

Pretty cool, right? Check out more about what they’re doing at codeforprogress.org.”

Pretty cool indeed!

04/03/14 2:30pm

dc_volunteer_opportunities
Photo by PoPville flickr user quemac

“Dear PoPville,

I have had a really hard time finding volunteer opportunities. I want to volunteer very much, but almost all of the sites I’ve found have restrictions that I can’t fulfill: they take place during the work day, they need certain qualifications, they require a commitment of five days a week, they’re located at places where people like me without a car cannot easily access, etc. One nonprofit I used to volunteer for has a waiting list for volunteers at the only site I have access to.

I’m sure issues like mine have arisen in different PoP venues, so if you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them. But what I’d really love is to challenge the PoP community to come up with a site that allows you to select certain parameters– neighborhood, days available, type of volunteering– and then spit out opportunities. I don’t know if it’s possible to make a site like that, but it would be awesome. People like me wouldn’t give up so easily and think that there’s nowhere for us to volunteer.”

03/20/14 11:49am

“Dear PoPville,

My son attends Creative Minds International DCPCS. This school is amazing and is full of equally awesome students and teachers. Unfortunately, one of the superkids, a little boy, is very sick. He is in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

From 3:30-5:30 TODAY at Creative minds (Corner of 16th St. and Park Rd., across from Sacred Heart Church, the building that has the half circle driveway and looks like Hogwarts a little) the non-profit Be The Change will be holding a swabbing event in hopes of finding a marrow match for this sweet little guy.

Be The_Match (PDF)

03/18/14 5:00pm

anacostia_river_clean_up
Photo by PoPville flickr user maria jpeg

From the Anacostia Watershed Society:

“Join us and 2000 volunteers as we remove thousands of pounds of trash from neighborhoods, streams, and the Anacostia River!

Cleanup
Date: April 5, 2014
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm (Times vary by location)

Location: Approximately 20 sites around the Anacostia Watershed in Washington DC, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland. Registration is required for the cleanup.

Celebration
Date: April 5, 2014
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Location: The post-cleanup celebration event will be held at RFK Stadium

The celebration will include free food and drink prepared by Seafarers Yacht Club, our long-time Earth Day partner. There will also be live music, local exhibitors, and notable speakers. All volunteers are welcome! Registration is not required for the celebration.”

12/23/13 3:15pm

9074005446_145735a015_z
Photo by PoPville flickr user NCinDC

From DCJCC:

“On Christmas Day, 1,000 volunteers will spread out across the Washington area to prepare food for the homeless, visit senior citizens, decorate and host Christmas parties at shelters, serve meals to those in need, donate blood, provide needed maintenance and repair at community centers, wrap gifts, and help children experience the magic of the holiday season. For the 27th year, the Washington DCJCC is convening volunteers of all ages for planned Christmas Day service activities through D25.

“D25 is a chance for everyone – whether children, teens, college students, adults, or families or groups of friends to find a way that speaks to them to share the holiday spirit with others in the community,” said Erica Steen, Director of Community Engagement at the DCJCC, who is in her eighth year of directing the event. “What better way to be thankful for what we have and to consider how we can better the lives of our neighbors than in coming together in service on such a special day?”

Details on D25 follow. A list of projects can be found at the Washington DCJCC’s D25 homepage. Volunteer opportunities include on-site activities at the DCJCC as well as at more than 60 social service agencies throughout Washington and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Most activities are two to four hours.”

07/12/13 2:15pm

dc_volunteer_opportunities
Photo by PoPville flickr user caroline.angelo

Need Volunteer Opportunity Recommendations:

“My employer has given us an allotment of ‘give back days’ to encourage us to volunteer around DC, but I’m having trouble finding the right fit. The problem is, it really only allows me two days out of the year to “give back”, and a lot of the opportunities I’m finding on say, VolunteerMatch require a larger, weekly commitment, which I’m afraid I can’t do. Does anyone know of any organizations around DC that are in need of a day or two of help? I’m fairly open to any kind of work, so anything will do, and I can even pass along the list to my coworkers.”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here.

04/30/13 3:15pm

MK

Volunteer Voices is written by Sarah Katz-Hyman. Sarah is a student at University of Maryland and lives in College Park. She previously wrote about Food For All – DC.

This column focuses on service organizations in D.C. – what they do, their history and how you can volunteer. If you know of any service agencies in D.C. or have a place where you regularly volunteer, please share your experiences in the comments below and those agencies could be featured in this column.

This week’s organization is Miriam’s Kitchen located at 2401 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

What They Do:

Miriam’s Kitchen (MK), housed in Western Presbyterian Church, provides a full range of services, activities and resources for homeless man and women in D.C. They offer four main programs that comprise their services. Their meals program serves over 300 individuals for breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday and for lunch of Wednesday. They also have case management services and social workers connect guests with various services, from providing housing resources to simply getting a toothbrush. Miriam’s Kitchen also has a therapeutic program, called the Studio, where guests can participate in activities like knitting, book club, art classes, yoga and many more between breakfast and dinner. MK has even partnered with Theater J to bring guests to shows, and Theater J actors have come to MK to talk to guests and share their stories through monologue performances. Their fourth program is advocacy and education. MK partners with other service organizations in the District to raise awareness with a focus on housing and a goal to end chronic homelessness.

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04/19/13 3:15pm

ffa2

Volunteer Voices is written by Sarah Katz-Hyman. Sarah is a student at University of Maryland and lives in College Park. She previously wrote about Back on My Feet.

This column focuses on service organizations in D.C. – what they do, their history and how you can volunteer. If you know of any service agencies in D.C. or have a place where you regularly volunteer, please share your experiences in the comments below and those agencies could be featured in this column.

This week’s organization is  Food For All-DC located at the Universalist National Memorial Church at 1810 16th Street, NW.

What They Do:

Food For All-DC (FFA) is a service organization that provides meals and delivers groceries to homebound people around D.C. FFA is one of two Food For All programs in the country; the other is based in Los Angeles. FFA has a registry of clients that they receive from other service organizations or which they get directly from clients’ inquiries. Each week members of the organization out and buy the food and items their clients need in preparation for delivery each Saturday. Through a grant from the DC Emergency Food Program, FFA buys most of the food from the Capital Area Food Bank. Each week they deliver to 50-60 households, serving over 200 people in all four quadrants of the city. Every Saturday a group of volunteers meets at the Universalist National Memorial Church on 16th Street, a little before 9 a.m., to start packing up the food. By 9:30 all the boxes are packed and are delivered around the city by volunteers. Typically all the delivereries are completed by noon. Food For All’s clients include people who are homebound for a variety of reasons, including  physical and mental disabilities, low income or single mothers.

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04/04/13 11:00am

Back on My Feet
Photo of St. Patrick’s Day 8K earlier in March, courtesy of Back on My Feet

Volunteer Voices is written by Sarah Katz-Hyman. Sarah is a student at University of Maryland and lives in College Park. She previously wrote about Christ House in Adams Morgan

This column focuses on service organizations in D.C. – what they do, their history and how you can volunteer. If you know of any service agencies in D.C. or have a place where you regularly volunteer, please share your experiences in the comments below and those agencies could be featured in this column.

This week’s organization is Back on My Feet located at 122 C St., NW, Suite 240, Washington, DC 20001.

What They Do:

Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a service organization that uses running to provide support and resources for currently homeless men and women. BoMF uses running to encourage those experiencing homelessness to gain confidence and use running as a healthy outlet. Back on My Feet’s hope is that through running as a team, participants will gain the skills and confidence to take steps to find a more permanent living situation and a job. BoMF has 10 chapters all over the country, including chapters in D.C. and Baltimore. BoMF works with local residential facilities (shelters, missions, halfway houses, etc.) that support homeless men and women to start “teams.” Teams are made up of volunteers, homeless men and woman, and BoMF representatives. These teams meet three times a week at 5:30 a.m. to go on runs together. All team members must sign a “Dedication Contract” committing to showing up for the runs, being on time, respecting themselves and supporting teammates. After thirty days in the program, participants who maintain a 90% attendance rate move to the “Next Steps” part of the program. In “Next Steps,” participants meet with a BoMF staff member to plan a road map to a better life. BoMF has financial aid for members to address barriers including tools for employment, education, security deposits, etc. Once participants find employment and housing they become alumni members, many of whom still join in on team runs.

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