Back-to-School at Everyone Home DC

Support Everyone Home DC’s 2021/22 Back to School Initiative to Distribute 200 $50 Gift Cards to Rising Scholars

It is hard to believe but the 2021/22 school year is right around the corner! Each year we begin planning around this time so that when our families start to think about the new school year, Everyone Home DC is ready to provide support with any back-to-school needs. 

Last year, Everyone Home DC shifted its back-to-school approach to ensure we provided families with flexible monetary support by providing families with gift cards. This new approach was met with gratitude and appreciation from our families, who appreciated the efficiency of the process and the ability to go back-to-school shopping as a family. And, we welcomed even more friends and supporters into the Everyone Home DC family. 

For the 2021/2022 school year, we will once again be collecting funds to distribute gift cards to our families to help with back-to-school shopping. Everyone Home DC’s goal is to distribute a $50 gift card to each Everyone Home DC scholar, which means this year we need 200 $50 gift cards. AND, we need YOUR help to reach our goal. 

Please consider hosting a drive to collect gift cards (Visa, Mastercard, Target, Walmart, and Amazon) at your work, place of worship, or with your favorite people. You can also sponsor a scholar or two individually, OR you can support our efforts by sharing the need with your friends and family by sending a quick email or posting on your favorite social media platform. If you want to create a fundraising page to share with your friends, we can help you with that too! Every little bit helps. Below is more information on how to get started and how to get the gift cards or cash gifts to Everyone Home DC. 

Everyone Home DC plans to begin distributing gift cards to families by mid-August.

GETTING STARTED

  • We want to hear from you if you plan to run a drive or collection! This will support Everyone Home DC’s planning (and budgeting) efforts. Contact Kate Akalonu at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org to discuss what types of gift cards to focus on collecting and to share how many gift cards you plan to contribute. We can also provide any brainstorming support to get the word out to your community if you are running a drive.
  • You can also make a monetary donation that will be used to purchase gift cards by program staff and sent electronically to families. Please note, families have openly expressed how much they appreciate the convenience of receiving gift cards electronically.  Consider making a donation in $50 increments (or any amount) today!
  • Everyone Home DC families expressed most appreciating Visa, Mastercard, Target, Walmart, and Amazon gift cards.

GETTING CARDS TO EVERYONE HOME DC

  • You are welcome to skip the process of purchasing cards and make a donation on our Back to School Collection donation page. Program staff will then purchase gift cards and send them electronically to families. Consider making a donation in $50 increments (or any amount) today!
  • If purchasing gift cards at a store or online, you are welcome to mail them directly to Everyone Home DC’s main headquarters address. Please contact Kate at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org if you have any questions or to discuss dropping the gift cards off.

Mail Gift Cards to:

Everyone Home DC
Attn: Back-to-School

415 2nd Street NE, 3rd Floor

Washington DC 20002

Please note: For our 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 you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out! Thank you for standing with Everyone Home DC now and always. We are so glad you are here.

 

You are a part of Ernest’s story

We can’t say thank you enough. In a year when everything has felt so incredibly different, your support has remained constant, offering Everyone Home DC much needed stability and inspiration. Thank you for standing with us during this historic year and in the delicate months ahead. Your dependable support makes stories like Ernest’s possible. 

Seven years ago, Ernest married the love of his life and best friend. They were filled with optimism for their future. Just two years into their marriage, however, his wife became ill. Over a short period, she had five surgeries and could no longer access their third-floor home without an elevator. They decided it would be best for her to move into a facility with round the clock support. Ernest was left with limited options and began to consider sleeping outside. 

Ernest found a spot outdoors near the aquatic center in Eastern Market, where he felt comfortable sleeping. He learned how to live unhoused—things like the best clothing and bedding materials to endure all of nature’s elements, how to ward off unwanted pests, and tricks like not eating anything after 7 p.m. because there were no public restrooms available. Ernest and his wife spent their days together, grateful for each other’s company. Ernest would help vendors at the market and became connected with Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach Team. 

Because of your commitment to our mission and programs, Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach Team has deployed throughout the Eastern Market neighborhood for the last decade, working with chronically homeless individuals who live outdoors. Using a person-centered approach, our Street Outreach Team builds and maintains relationships and supports neighbors experiencing homelessness in meeting their immediate needs and achieving their long-term goals, including obtaining stable housing.

Ernest’s number one goal was to find a home to move back into with his wife. A place where she could comfortably rest, heal, and recover. Ernest felt an immediate connection with the Street Outreach Team and regularly connected to set manageable goals to secure stable housing. With our Team’s help, Ernest applied for one of the District’s scarce and highly coveted Permanent Supportive Housing resources. At times, the process felt lonely and confusing, and required a great deal of determination and patience. Yet, Ernest never lost hope.

It is your gift this holiday season to Everyone Home DC that ensures all people living in the District have access to meaningful relationships that connect them with supportive networks. This is even more important during the ongoing global health emergency. For Ernest, support meant being linked to available community resources like warm meals, a place to collect mail, assistance completing important paperwork, and reminders about upcoming deadlines.

In March, when DC declared a Public Health Emergency due to the novel coronavirus, everything came screeching to an unfamiliar halt. The meal program Ernest enjoyed visiting at Capitol Hill United Methodist Church was temporarily paused. Access to bathrooms and running water disappeared. And Ernest’s wife could no longer leave the facility she was staying in, which was devastating for them both. The harshness of this new reality left Ernest feeling even more anxious, vulnerable, and concerned. Having our Street Outreach Team stay in touch, sharing critical public health updates, providing access to essential resources including PPE and hygiene kits, and offering updates on his housing application kept him physically well and his spirit strong. 

People experiencing homelessness are at high risk of COVID-19 exposure. Our unhoused neighbors are particularly vulnerable to exposure and complications, due to lack of a safe place to quarantine and receive healthcare. Everyone Home DC’s Street Outreach Team has continued to support unhoused neighbors during these very uncertain and dangerous times through face-to-face engagements, distributing COVID supply bags, and supporting newly housed neighbors’ transitions into their homes. 

One of those newly housed neighbors’ is Ernest! A couple of months into the global health pandemic, Ernest received the news that his housing request was approved, a home was ready for him and his wife to move into. Filled with excitement, he called to share the news with her only to be sent to voicemail, which was not expected. Ernest soon learned that his beloved wife had passed away. Ernest strongly believes that she would still be alive today if they had been together and with housing. This global health crisis has exposed now more than ever that housing truly is healthcare

Today, Ernest is proud to have a place to call home. He appreciates having a door to walk through each day and close behind him, providing him safety, comfort, and privacy to grieve. Ernest loves to cook his own food and is most happy to have a fried egg sandwich whenever he wants one. He enjoys reading his Bible each day and never having to worry about it getting wet. His knees don’t hurt as badly as they did when sleeping outside. He is grateful to have water whenever he needs it to wash his hands, keep his home clean, and take warm baths.

You are a part of Ernest’s story. Your steadfast commitment to Everyone Home DC helps make housing stability possible for Ernest and people in our city experiencing similar circumstances. Due to the economic and racial injustice that has existed in our society for decades, the individuals and families we work with—who were facing crisis and instability long before this pandemic—are feeling far more exposed to the harshness of this new reality. If there is any time to be there for people in our city who are most impacted by gaps in our social safety net—it is now.

In the spirit of the season, please make a personally meaningful year-end contribution today to ensure Everyone Home DC can respond efficiently during this significant time of need. With your gift today, Everyone Home DC will be prepared to be here not just today but, in the weeks, and months ahead, working as a community to put the needs of people like Ernest at the center of a just recovery. Thank you in advance for your support. We cannot do this without YOU.

Looking For Last Minute Gifts? We Can Help.

THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, GIVE A GIFT THAT MAKES YOUR COMMUNITY STRONGER!

Finding a meaningful holiday gift for the people you love can be a challenge. This year, honor those you care about by making a donation on their behalf to Everyone Home DC. Your holiday gift will provide urgent and critical resources to individuals and families living in Washington, DC, who are feeling far more exposed to the harshness of the current global health pandemic. The process couldn’t be easier…

1. Make a Donation
Everyone Home DC will put your meaningful gift in honor to work immediately in support of individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC.

2. Download a Certificate of Donation
After making your donation, download your certificate and personalize it.

3. Check this item off your holiday to do list.
Thank you for giving a gift that builds a stronger and more vibrant city for all!

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…

CARES Act & Giving

On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act, was signed into law and made changes to encourage charitable giving to nonprofits. This bill includes a new above-the-line deduction for non-itemizers and modified certain limitations on the income tax charitable deduction to encourage donors to give in 2020. This targeted relief recognizes the important role charities play during the pandemic and provides additional tax benefits for taxpayers supporting charities.

In case you are interested in learning more:

  • New $300 Deduction for Qualified Charitable Donations 
    Individuals who take the standard deduction can claim an above-the-line tax deduction for cash donations to qualified charitable organizations, up to $300. It remains uncertain whether Congress intends to allow this new charitable deduction for non-itemizers in future years, or if this is a one-time incentive as part of the COVID-19 disaster response.
  • 60% of Adjusted Gross Income Limit Suspended for 2020
    For the 2020 tax year, individuals can deduct any cash contributions made to qualified charitable organizations, up to 100% of their adjusted gross income (AGI). Deductions for cash donations were previously limited to 60% of the taxpayer’s AGI.
  • Corporations’ 10% Limit Increased to 25% for 2020
    For the 2020 tax year, corporations can deduct up to 25% of the taxpayer’s taxable income for any cash contributions made to qualified charitable organizations. Deductions for cash donations were previously limited to 10% of the taxpayer’s taxable income.
  • Exclusions
    Charitable contributions carried over from a prior tax year (before 2020) are excluded from this temporary relief and are subject to previous limitations in the tax code. And charitable contributions to private non-operating foundations, supporting organizations and sponsoring organizations to fund donor advised funds do not qualify for the modified percentage limitations for 2020.

Gifts to Everyone Home DC COVID-19 Response Efforts
You can also support Everyone Home DC with a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA, if you are age 70.5 or older. Deduction limitations for charitable gifts to donor-advised funds, private non-operating foundations, and supporting organizations were not changed under the CARES Act.

Questions?

Please talk with your accountant to learn more about the CARES Act specifically. If you have any questions or want to discuss the best way to support Everyone Home DC, please contact Kate Akalonu, Director of Strategic Initiatives at akalonu@everyonehomedc.org. You can also visit our “Make-a-Gift” page to learn more.