Conversations Inspired by Challah

“It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either.” Pirkei Avot 2:16

On the evening of Tuesday, February 23, Everyone Home DC was honored to welcome nearly 25 friends from seven states and the District of Columbia for an intimate Conversation Inspired by Challah featuring Hannah, Sara, and Marni of the Challah Back Girls along with Beth Ricanati, MD, author of Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs and moderated by Rabbi Ilana Zietman of GatherDC. It was a lovely conversation centering on nontraditional approaches that lend to personal and communal healing.

Thank you to everyone who joined us! And, of course, a Zoom screenshot for your viewing pleasure. ❤

If you are interested in hosting an event in support of raising friends, funds, or awareness for Everyone Home DC, please contact Kate at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org to discuss! 

It’s GivingTuesday!

In case you haven’t heard in an email (or two) already—today. is. GivingTuesday!

GivingTuesday is an all day global generosity movement that strives to build communities where the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together—unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity in DC and around the globe. There are so many ways to participate in #GivingTuesday this year! Whether you give your voice or your money, being generous is a way to fight for the causes you care about and help people in need.

Here are some ways to share this very special day with Everyone Home DC:

DONATE. Your GivingTuesday gift ensures all people living in the District have access to safe, affordable, and comfortable homes along with meaningful relationships that connect people with supportive networks. This is even more important during the ongoing global health emergency. Make your year-end #GivingTuesday gift TODAY!

SHARE YOUR MERRY. Every family deserves a joyful end-of-year experience! Everyone Home DC is committed to ensuring that families have the flexibility to celebrate their winter holiday and experience the joy of giving gifts. Learn more about this year’s new approach and share your merry with a family today!

SPREAD THE WORD. Share with your friends and families what Everyone Home DC means to you. It can be a video of why you give or a story of your favorite moment engaging with our mission. However you choose to share, tag @EveryoneHomeDC

DO GOOD ALL DECEMBER. Check out the 2020 GivingTuesday Do Good calendar and get daily “Do Good” ideas for the entire month of December. 

Thank you for standing with Everyone Home DC on #GivingTuesday and always.

‘Tis the Season to Share Your Merry!

The winter holiday season is right around the corner and YOU can ensure Everyone Home DC families experience a joyful holiday by supporting Everyone Home DC’s efforts to distribute gift cards to families during these times of uncertainty. 

While everything continues to look very different, Everyone Home DC is committed to ensuring that families have the flexibility to celebrate their winter holiday and experience the joy of giving gifts, while also continuing to encourage social distancing and limiting traffic to our drop-in day center. Everyone Home DC is shifting this year’s model to distribute gift cards to families in most need during these uncertain times. Based on the family size, we will provide gift cards valued between $150 and $500. We plan to distribute cards to families by mid-December so that they can shop before the Christmas holiday

Please consider running a drive to collect gift cards (Target, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Amazon, Homegoods, DSW, Foot Locker, Sephora), making a donation of any size, OR set up a fundraising page, and watch your social network support you in reaching your goal! Every little bit helps. Below is more information on how to get started. Thank you for your continued support of Everyone Home DC! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.

 

GETTING STARTED

  • We would love to hear from you if you plan to run a drive or collection, so we can plan (and budget) appropriately. Contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org to share your interest and discuss community needs.
  • To keep things easy, you can also make a monetary donation so program staff can purchase gift cards and send electronically or by text to families. We have learned that this is one of the most efficient and most appreciated approaches during this unprecedented time! Consider making a gift of any size today!
  • Kate can also support you with setting up a fundraising page if that is of interest and brainstorm ways to get the word out to your community if you are running a personal campaign. You can see an example of a page set up for the back to school drive here.
  • Everyone Home DC families expressed most appreciating Target, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Amazon, Homegoods, DSW, Foot Locker, Sephora gift cards.  You can also purchase gift cards in smaller values, like $10, to Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Chiptole, Chick Fil A, McDonald’s, 7Eleven.

GETTING CARDS TO EVERYONE HOME DC 

Please note: For our staff and guests’ health and safety at Shirley’s Place, we will not be accepting gift card drop-offs at our drop-in day center (which has historically been the location for drop-offs in the past.) Thank you for understanding.

If purchasing gift cards at a store or online, you are welcome to mail them to Everyone Home DC’s main headquarters address. Please contact Kate if you have any questions or to coordinate a drop-off.

Mail Gift Cards to:
Everyone Home DC Development Office
415 2nd Street NE, 3rd Floor
Washington DC 20002

You are also welcome to skip the process of purchasing cards and make a donation on our Holiday Season of Giving donation page. Program staff will then purchase gift cards and send them electronically or by text to families. 

Do not hesitate to reach out to Everyone Home DC if you have any questions. Thank you for standing with Everyone Home DC now and always!

 

 

Support Families This Thanksgiving

Support Everyone Home DC’s Goal to Distribute Gift Cards to Families Celebrating Thanksgiving.

Each Fall, as we all start thinking about the upcoming holiday season, Everyone Home DC hosts its Thanks-GIVING Basket Drive to provide Thanksgiving meals for families living in our city. This year, everything continues to look different as we all continue to navigate our daily lives during a global pandemic. This holiday season, Everyone Home DC is committed to ensuring that the families will have the flexibility to celebrate Thanksgiving in a meaningful way. 

Everyone Home DC is shifting this year’s model to collect $50 grocery gift cards and monetary donations. Our goal is to distribute a gift card to each family that works with Everyone Home DC, which means we need 150 $50 gift cards to distribute to families by November 12. 

We need YOUR help to reach our goal. Consider running a drive to collect gift cards, make a donation, OR set up a fundraising page, and watch your social network support you in reaching your goal! Every little bit helps. Below is more information on how to get started. Thank you for your continued support of Everyone Home DC!


GETTING STARTED

  • We would love to hear from you if you plan to run a drive or collection, so we can plan (and budget) appropriately. Contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org to share your interest and discuss community needs.
  • To keep things easy, you can also make a monetary donation so program staff can purchase gift cards and send electronically to families. During this unprecedented time, we have learned that this is one of the most efficient and most appreciated approaches! Consider donating in $50 increments today!
  • Kate can also support you with setting up a fundraising page if that is of interest. You can see an example of a fundraising page set up for the back to school drive here. We can also provide any brainstorming support to get the word out to your community if you are running a personal campaign.
  • Everyone Home DC families expressed most appreciating Harris Teeter, Safeway, and Giant gift cards.
  • Everyone Home DC plans to distribute gift cards to our families no later than November 12.


GETTING CARDS TO EVERYONE HOME DC 

Please note: For our staff and guests’ health and safety at Shirley’s Place, we will not be accepting gift card drop-offs at our drop-in day center (which has historically been the location for drop-offs in the past.) Thank you for understanding.

If purchasing gift cards at a store or online, you are welcome to mail them to Everyone Home DC’s main headquarters address. Please contact Kate at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org if you have any questions or to coordinate a drop-off.

Mail Gift Cards to:
Everyone Home DC Development Office
415 2nd Street NE, 3rd Floor
Washington DC 20002

You are also welcome to skip the process of purchasing cards and make a donation on our Thanks-GIVING donation page. Program staff will then purchase gift cards and send them electronically to families. Any amount towards our goal is appreciated. Consider donating in $50 increments today! 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org. We are on standby to provide support in the same way that you are always on standby to provide support for our most urgent needs. Thank you!

September Challenge by the Numbers

Today, on this beautiful first day of October, we celebrate the success of our first-ever digital campaign—September Challenge, in the Spirit of Sip and Savor. Together, we raised nearly $70,000, with close to 400 donations made throughout the month.

Not being able to host our signature fundraising event—Sip and Savor—this year was truly heartbreaking, especially when the need to raise critical funds to support people facing homelessness is even more urgent due to the global health pandemic. Thank you for pivoting with Everyone Home DC so gracefully to ensure we reached our goal. And, thank you for showing up for individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in DC during this time of extreme uncertainty!

We would not have seen this success if it wasn’t for our AMAZING September Challenge Sponsors, Benefactor Circle, and Committee members; our staff, volunteers, donors, event hosts & participants, fundraisers, online auction partners & participants, and many social media ambassadors. Everyone played a critical role in ensuring this campaign’s success. Thank you.

In addition to the funds raised, check out Everyone Home DC’s September Challenge by the numbers.

  • Last night in the final hours, Stacie and Tim’s fundraiser in support of Everyone Home DC climbed five spots on the leaderboard to take the number one spot, raising more than $6,000.
  • Seventeen sponsors returned to support our efforts, even though this year looked incredibly different from our usual Sip and Savor event, and we welcomed three new sponsors.
  • Fourteen families joined our Benefactor Circle.
  • Everyone Home DC’s staff participated in a little friendly September Challenge competition and blew past their goal of $10,000 to collectively raise nearly $18,000.
  • There were ten events hosted this September that welcomed nearly 200 people and raised almost $8,000. Two more events are coming up this weekend. Learn more below. We would love to see you there!
  • Everyone Home DC’s first-ever online auction raised more than $5,000.
  • Twenty-four fundraisers were created in support of Everyone Home DC’s September Challenge goal!

It is the responsibility of each of us to end homelessness in Washington, DC and build the welcoming and inclusive community our founders believed is possible. Thank you for joining Everyone Home DC as we continue the work of ensuring all people have access to safe, affordable, and comfortable homes in Washington, DC. We are so glad you are here! 

The Challenge Auction is Officially Open

Everyone Home DC is excited to announce the September Challenge Auction’s kick-off, which will take place entirely online from now until Friday, September 25. Join The Challenge and place a bid (or two!) on a variety of unique experiences and opportunities. All the Online Auction proceeds support Everyone Home DC, which makes winning feel twice as nice.

Buy something for yourself, family, or a friend. There is something for everyone in this auction – from cabana’s at Hook Hall, to expert financial advice, a private wine classvoice lessons, and so much more. It is truly guilt-free shopping! The funds we raise will benefit Everyone Home DC’s month-long digital campaign—consisting of various fundraising experiences—to raise $50,000 for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our city! Take a look and place your bid today.

Have a question? A suggestion? Want to become more involved? Contact Everyone Home DC to discuss more.

Trying Something New! September Challenge.

Everyone Home DC is trying something new and we hope you will join the fun!

Everything is different now. Everyone Home DC is heartbroken that we are unable to host our signature fundraising event—Sip and Savor—this year, when the need to raise critical funds to support people facing homelessness is especially urgent. The individuals and families Everyone Home DC works with every day struggled with crises and instability long before this pandemic, and are now disproportionately bearing its terrible impact. You can help by joining Everyone Home DC in a month-long digital campaign. With a variety of fundraising experiences, to raise $50,000 for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness in our city!


Check out some of the ways you can join the fun:

  • Start your own fundraiser and race your way to the top of the leaderboard. We would LOVE to invite you to join Everyone Home DC’s September Challenge leaderboard and host a fundraiser to reach our goal. You can do this by hosting an event, sharing your page with your friends and families through different communication channels, or a combination of both! If you need any support, let us know. Fundraising toolkit coming soon!
  • Join the Benefactor Circle today with a gift of $500.
  • Become a Challenge Match Sponsor and leverage your sponsorship by encouraging others to give. Contact us today to discuss in more detail.
  • Bid on unique items, experiences, and great deals featured on the September Challenge online auction, which will go live on September 8!
  • Keep an eye on Everyone Home DC’s event page to join creative fundraisers throughout the month—Bingo! Cooking! Trivia! And, more…

‘Tis the Season to Share Your Merry!

The winter holiday season is right around the corner and YOU can ensure Everyone Home DC families experience a joyful holiday by sponsoring a family’s wish list this year. The success of this holiday initiative would not be possible without you! So please, gather your friends, colleagues, congregations, book clubs and support a family (or 2) this year! Below is more information on how to get started.

 
GETTING STARTED

Contact Shelah Wilcox at wilcox@everyonehomedc.org or 202-544-3150 to discuss the wish lists of our families, most immediate needs, and discuss next steps. There are many ways to get involved: 

  • Support a family (or 2!) by purchasing gifts from their holiday wish list.
  • Support the wish list of an individual child or children by purchasing gifts.
  • Remember the teenagers and purchase gift cards to Target, Amazon, Best Buy, Visa/Mastercard, local and metro accessible movie theaters, restaurants, etc.
  • Coordinate a toy drive to collect educational toys for children.   

DROPPING OFF WISH LIST ITEMS

Shirley’s Place Day Center | 1338 G Street SE
Monday, December 16 – Friday, December 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, December 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you prefer to support Everyone Home DC by making a monetary donation, you can make a gift on Everyone Home DC’s website or make checks payable to Everyone Home DC and mail to Kate Akalonu, Everyone Home DC, 415 2nd Street NE, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20002. 

It’s Thanks-GIVING Basket Time!

Each Fall, Everyone Home DC hosts its Thanks-GIVING Basket Drive to provide Thanksgiving meals for families living in our city. Last year, with your support, Everyone Home DC distributed nearly 450 baskets. We are forecasting a similar need this year. So please, gather your friends, colleagues, congregations, book clubs and donate a basket (or three or ten) again this year! Below is more information on how to get started, what the needs are, along with when and where to drop baskets off.

STEP ONE: GETTING STARTED
Contact Shelah Wilcox at wilcox@everyonehomedc.org or 202-544-3150 and share the number of baskets you plan to donate and to ask any questions.

STEP TWO: GO SHOPPING
A Thanks-GIVING Basket donation includes: 2 cans of string beans, yams, or cranberry sauce; 2 boxes of stuffing mashed potatoes or 1 bag of rice; 2 cans of gravy or 2 gravy packets; 2 onions; 3 boxes of mac and cheese; 1 box of Bisquick or muffin mix; 1 box of cake mix and frosting; one (1) $25 Giant, Harris Teeter or Safeway gift card
to purchase meat/protein of choice.

STEP THREE: ASSEMBLE BASKETS
Baskets can be decorated boxes, reusable grocery bags or totes, crates, brown paper bags, etc. You are welcome to include notes to the families wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving. Please place gift cards in an envelope.

STEP FOUR: DROP OFF BASKETS
Shirley’s Place Day Center | 1338 G Street SE
Monday, November 18-Friday, November 22
or Sunday, November 24
from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you prefer to support Everyone Home DC by making a monetary donation, you can make a gift on Everyone Home DC’s website or by check. Make checks payable to Everyone Home DC and mail to Kate Akalonu, Everyone Home DC, 415 2nd Street NE, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20002.

Final Thought: Sip and Savor 2019

On Saturday, September 14, Everyone Home DC’s 4th Annual Sip and Savor welcomed more than 400 foodies, friends, and supporters to experience three hours of unlimited tastings from 25 local restaurants, breweries, and beverage vendors while enjoying music and friendship. The signature fundraiser raised nearly $90,000 in support of Everyone Home DC’s homelessness prevention, housing, street outreach, drop-in day center, and supportive services for Washington D.C.’s individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness. WUSA9 Get Up DC host, Reese Waters, stopped by in support of the festivities and shared this “Final Thought” with those in attendance before he departed.

For my final thought this evening I would like to talk a little bit about the hashtag #HousingEndHomelessness. It seems obvious doesn’t It? Just as food ends hunger, Housing ends homelessness, and yet tonight, in this city, the capitol of our nation, over 6000 souls, adult and child, will be going to bed without a home to call their own.

How did we get here? How does a city, how does a nation, as wealthy as ours, end up in this place?

The first impulse of most is victim blaming.“It’s their own fault.” “They don’t work hard enough.” “They shouldn’t abuse themselves with drugs.”

They need to pull themselves up by the what? Bootstraps.

“If they would just work harder, get better educated, have both parents in the home, then everything would be fine.”

What they always conveniently leave out is the greed that has put affordable housing out of the reach of working people and families, predominately Black, in DC. In order to live in a one-bedroom apartment, one bedroom, a minimum waged person would need to work 80 hours in a single week, to meet the price of the average DC rent. 80 hours! Got a family? Want to live in a two bedroom? Well get ready, because you need to make about 32 dollars an hour, if you want to live any kind of life. That’s 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, every year. The denied generational wealth due to the legacies of racist policies as well as a lack of resources to turn to forces me to ask,

How does one pull their bootstraps up, when one’s boots are being yanked off their feet at the same time?

There is a solution, and it’s right here in this room……it’s community.

This community has already demonstrated that it can do great things. Since the launch of the Districts strategic plan to end homelessness, over 5,000 people have moved off the streets, out of shelters and into housing. Over 90% of folks who go into permanent supportive housing with wrap around services, do not return to homelessness within 1 year.

These numbers are fantastic, but we mustn’t allow them to make us complacent. If we want to end this problem, if we want to end homelessness in the district then we must keep working, keep striving. We must keep pressure on our elected officials, making sure that they are as invested, monetarily and spiritual, into programs like this one and others, as we are. And we must make sure that they are working to level playing fields put in place by age old systemic policies.

Most importantly, we must learn that they, are us. We must see the homeless for who they are; our neighbors, our family, our people, and we must treat them with the dignity that they deserve.

Let’s Continue this Conversation Online. Tell me what personal commitment you will make to support our shared goal of ending homelessness, and let’s get the hashtag housing ends homelessness popping……Get Up Everyone Home DC!