Bread for the City Remembers Judy Stahl

Judy Stahl

Bread for the City lost a dear friend recently, Judy Stahl. Judy served Bread for 22 years as a weekly volunteer, donor, advocate, and fundraiser. She loved our clients, our staff, and her fellow volunteers. She was smart, compassionate, and fun.

I had the privilege of speaking at Judy’s memorial service, and I thought that, to honor Judy, I would share my thoughts with you. Here goes…

“Thanks to Judy’s family for allowing me to speak at today’s memorial service. I’m extremely honored.

As you know, Judy volunteered at Bread for the City for many years, often with her band of merry women, Ellen Rosenthal and Muriel Martin-Wein. At Bread we provide food, clothing, medical, legal and social services. A big part of our mission is to alleviate the pain that poverty causes.

I really only got to know Judy during the past two years. She volunteered mostly out of our Southeast Center, and I spend most of my days working out of our Northwest Center. Still, as I began to think about Judy and my remarks today, immediately part of one my favorite poems came to mind. The poem is called Success, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In his poem, Emerson writes,

…to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.

When I emailed the staff to announce that Judy had passed, Social Worker Stacey Smith replied “… this brings a tear to my heart. I really enjoyed having Judy with us…. It will not be the same. I am personally touched by her true essence and the love she showed with the baked goodies and [her] sense of humor. She has really touched my life….. I will miss her so.”

Lynda, our SE Center Director said that “despite the fact that Judy came from such a different world than most of the people we serve, she was not only committed to helping them but seemed somehow connected to them and the struggles they faced.” Lynda chuckled when she shared that “even though we told Judy that volunteers should not give client’s money directly, when she felt only cash alone could address their problem, (the need to get an ID, or pay a small fine, or turn back on a cell phone) she took money from her own purse and gave it to people. She was simply unwilling to turn away from the person when she thought she could make a difference.”

And from Emily Torruellas “[My] final memory of Judy makes me smile: after Judy got the scrapbook [we made for her]…, she called to say thanks and spent the better part of 15 minutes telling me how amazing her Bread family was and how much she valued her work with the clients and specifically, Lynda. Judy wrote us a very kind thank you note that’s still on my desk.”

Perhaps, however, Lynda summed up the staff’s feeling best when she said, “Judy was one of us. She was family.””

We love you, Judy, and we miss you.

Judy Stahl and Valentine BreitbarthJudy Celebrating SE Center 10 Year Anniversary

 

 

Missed the gala? You missed a GREAT night!

bfc-gala15-3

WOW. Just WOW! That’s all there is to say about Saturday’s Good Hope Gala. We had a blast enjoying great food, bidding on awesome auction items, dancing the night away with the Brass Connection Band, and of course, raising money to support our poverty relief services in the District.

How much money, you ask? Together, we shattered all of our goals and raised a whopping $770,000 through our Good Hope Gala. Nowbfc-gala15-2 that deserves a virtual round of applause!

Keep the applause going for the 425 guests who packed the house and kept the momentum high all night long. Our guest list included more than 30 amazing BFC clients, who inspired us on Saturday and continue to inspire us every day.

We also had a chance to share a brand new video celebrating client-led victories–check out the video here!

Our successes on Saturday and all year round wouldn’t be been possible without you: our friends and neighbors. You are behind every bag of groceries we distribute, every patient we treat, and every person to whom we provide guidance and support.

Thank you for standing with us!

100,000 reasons to celebrate Bread’s work!

With the excitement of our 2015 Good Hope Gala in the air, I am feeling very proud—proud of my staff who work so tirelessly; proud of our volunteers and donors who give of themselves so selflessly; and proud of our clients, whose strength and resilience guide all that we do.

And now, we have even more to celebrate! In honor of our gala, an anonymous donor has pledged to match, dollar for dollar, all gifts made to Bread for the City today up to $100,000.

Can you help us meet this match with your gift of $100?

When you give to Bread for the City, you allow us to help people like Chearie, a client leader who says,Whenever you’re hungry, they feed you. You need clothes, they clothe you. You’re going through something mentally, they’ve got help there. Whatever problem you have going on in this city, they’re gonna help you.”

Chearie is just one of the 33,000 people we serve each year. We do a lot at Bread for the City, but we believe that we have the responsibility to do more. And you can help!

Join us as we embark on our next step forward. Make your $100 gift today and have it doubled!

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Bread’s Annual Yoga Retreat

Yoga retreat

Yoga retreat

On May 4th, we held our annual Bread for the City Yoga Retreat.

For those not familiar, our yoga instructor Debbie Sheetz, invites the regular participants of her class once a year out to her house in Stanardsville, VA for a more in-depth session in a natural setting.

This year seven clients and one volunteer, Eryn Trauben, joined me in making the two-hour plus drive out to the edge of the Shenandoah Mountains. While we greatly enjoyed the yoga on Debbie’s deck, we also enjoyed swimming in the lake, canoeing, kayaking, and making a hearty vegetarian meal together in her kitchen. It was also a great time to just be in nature together, breathing the fresh air and listening to the wind in the trees.

Thank you to Kathryn Harris and Desmond Leary for their wonderful pictures that capture our afternoon of relaxation and reflection.

Yoga will continue meeting the first and third Thursdays of the month at noon in the medical waiting area. If you, or someone else you know, is a yoga instructor looking to join Debbie in teaching this class, please contact me at twhelden@breadforthecity.org or 202-480-8964.

Yoga retreat 2

Good Hope Gala here we come!

We’re counting down the days until our upcoming Good Hope Gala–just 19 days to go!

On May 16th, we’re bringing our friends and neighbors together for a night of fun and dancing at our largest fundraising event of the year. Can we count you in?

As if the pleasure of our company wasn’t enough incentive, there are loads of reasons why this event is one you can’t miss! Here are your top 5:

5. Allergy season got you down? We’re here to help you ditch the Beltway Blues with awesome vacation packages up for grabs. Participate in our live auction and bid on great vacations to Palm Desert, Rio de Janeiro, and Key West.

4. At our Good Hope Gala, we’ll dance the night away with the help of the Brass Connection Band, who will join us at the Omni Shoreham instead of their usual outpost at Gallery Place.

BFC tees

3. Limited-edition BFC apparel? YES, PLEASE! At our Good Hope Gala, you’ll be among the first to have access to brand new BFC baseball caps and BFC umbrellas. Or, take a walk down memory lane by purchasing a vintage BFC tee! Since our founding in 1974, we’ve donned swag with several unique logos. Unlike shoulder pads or scrunchies, you’ll be proud to sport these old-school looks.

2. DC Foodies will have the opportunity to indulge in our live auction dining packages–including a private dinner for you and your friends prepared by Birch & Barley’s Chef Kyle Bailey.

1. If all that’s not convincing enough, join us to help make our mission possible. Together, we’ll raise more than $500,000 to fund our poverty relief services here in the District. We can’t do that without you. Purchase your tickets today!

Dig This!

There’s A LOT going on in our Sustainable Agriculture Department!

Earth Day Celebration – On Wednesday, April 22, clients and community members will help us plant trees to replace the ones that wEarth Dayere lost over this harsh winter. It’s also Earth Day, an internationally recognized day of action and reflection on our role in improving the environment. Transportation and snacks provided to clients who want to come from either center. Please contact Adam at volunteer@breadforthecity.org.

Plant Giveaway at SE Free Farmer’s Market! April 24th, 10am – 12pm – The Sustainable Ag Team will be bringing seedlings to the SE Free Farmer’s Market on April 24th. Community members who come will get a plant or two to grow at home, plus free advice about how to care for your new plant.

Food Justice Youth Summit – On Friday, April 10, 150 Capitol City Public Charter School students, a few Food Summitteachers, some of our friends from local non-profits, Bread for the City Staff and clients came together in our NW Center to chart a course toward a better food system. The Ag Team played host and gave a few of the participants a tour of the roof. Fun was had by all. Ideas were sparked. Here are the tweets! We hope to collaborate more with our community members on grassroots food justice and equity work.

SE Rooftop Garden OPEN – Get your garden on! Clients are invited to join Amber on the SE Center rooftop every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00 am – 4:00pm.

Recycle for the City -The Ag Team needs some common household items to help do their programming. Here’s the wishlist:
  • Clean yogurt cups or small containers plant giveaways. We’re running out.
  • Clean glass jars (pasta or mason)
  • Marbles or pebbles
  • Rubbermaid container w/ lid or a real worm bin.

Wednesdays at City Orchard – We’re looking for a few people so come out with us regularly on Wednesdays to City Orchard. Coming out once or twice a month is a big help since the Orchard is always changing. It’s nice to have folks who build their skills over the season. Please contact volunteer@breadforthecity.org about coming to City Orchard.

April Crop Mob – Last Saturday, 87 volunteers came out to City Orchard, got a lot of work done and had a great time. If you’d like toApril crop mob join us at the next Crop Mob on May 9th, get in touch with Kris or Adam at volunteer@breadforthecity.org.

And finally: We’re hiring…Click here for the job announcement. If you or someone you know is passionate about growing food and building relationships with people, please apply by sending an email stating interest to work@breadforthecity.org. **Candidates will be asked to attend one workday at City Orchard on either a Monday or Wednesday in April. Transportation provided.**

Whew! We made it. Thanks for reading!

Housing Clinic presented in Amharic

I speak amharic

Good News! Bread for the City has launched a monthly Housing Clinic that is presented entirely in Amharic.

This session takes place on the last Friday of every month at 9:00 a.m. at our Northwest Center. Interested clients should contact our Amharic speaking case manager, Wondimu Beda, to sign up.

As with all other Housing Access Program (HAP) participants, Amharic speaking clients are required to have completed a general intake before the Housing Clinic. Wondimu has placed some signs (in both English and Amharic) around the NW center advertising this, and also plans to post notices elsewhere in the community.

Wondimu has done a fantastic job of translating all of our forms and presentations in the English HAP sessions, and in creating accurate and culturally appropriate documents.

We have had two of these sessions already and they have been very successful. A few participants who also speak English had attended a session in English, but report that they got so much more out of it after hearing it in their native language.

Way to go, Wondimu!

WHAT: Housing Clinic in Amharic
WHEN: Monthly – On the last Friday of the month, 9:00 am
WHERE: 1525 7th Street, NW, 1st floor conference room
TO REGISTER: Call Wondimu Geda at 202-386-7091

Serve With Us: National Volunteer Week & Earth Day Opportunities!

Celebrate National Volunteer Week by hosting a clothing drive!

National Volunteer Week begins April 12th. To celebrate, we’re inviting community members to join the fun (and jump-start spring cleaning efforts!) by hosting a clothing drive. Bread for the City is in need of seasonally-appropriate items so that our clothing room will be stocked for spring. Sadly, we are unable to store winter items you no longer need, so please hold onto those until September! We need:

● Children’s clothing
● Men’s clothing
● Women’s plus-sized clothing
● Department store shopping bags
● New, unused personal hygiene products

We invite you to drop off your collected items at the conclusion of National Volunteer Week on Friday, April 17th between 1:00 and 4:00 pm at our NW Center. Want to volunteer once you’re here? We will need two small groups of volunteers to help sort the donations dropped off on the 17th.

Volunteer week

 

Earth Day Tree Planting at City Orchard!

This Earth Day, we are planning a special tree planting activity at City Orchard! City Orchard is our 2.75 acre organic fruit orchard in nearby Beltsville, MD. All of the fruit grown and harvested at City Orchard is distributed to Bread for the City clients through our two food pantry locations.

We are currently seeking a group of 20 volunteers to help with the tree planting activity on Wednesday, April 22nd from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Bread for the City will provide on-site volunteer training. All experience and skill levels are welcome!

To sign up for either opportunity, please contact a Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@breadforthecity.org or call 202-595-7865.Volunteer at Orchard

Save the date for Bread’s Good Hope Gala!

We can’t wait for Bread for the City’s Good Hope Gala!

Our annual event’s new name, “Good Hope Gala”, pays homage to our Southeast Center’s roots on Good Hope Road, SE, while reminding us of the reason we come together for this event—to provide hope for more than 33,000 people in need every year.

On Saturday, May 16th, we’ll come together for an evening of fun and dancing at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Washington Mystics’ house band, Brass Connection Band, will bring their bold, up-tempo style to keep the party going as we celebrate the good work of Bread for the City.

See you on May 16th!GalaFor event details and sponsorship information, visit www.breadforthecity.org/Good-Hope-Gala

Questions? Contact Amanda Nover, Corporate Partnerships Manager, at (202) 386-7611 or anover@breadforthecity.org

Dr. Myles and his team make us all smyle!

As we settle into year three at Bread for the City’s dental clinic, many positive things have revealed themselves.

We’ve seen over 1,500 unique individuals, many of whom had not received dental care in over 10 years, and in some cases, ever. As part of bringing clients back into the fold, we’ve had many great, in-depth, and personal conversations with our clients sometimes leading us to feel like a part of their extended families.

Because many of our patients have been coming to the dental clinic since we opened in 2010, we have become a regular part of their healthcare routines through the holistic care that we pride ourselves on offering.

Dr SmylesIt’s amazing to talk with our clients about what drove them away from dentistry, watch them attempt to re-integrate oral health into their lives, and then progress to the point of looking forward to their next dental appointment. Many of these conversations have gone beyond dentistry to reveal personal struggles, strengths, and successes.

I came to Bread to become a change agent, and with a desire to give back to the community that has educated me. I am still amazed at how the community continues to give me strength to continue. I’ve been fortunate to receive a pat on the back from elders that say, “You’re doing the right thing, keep going”; to the youngest of our clientele saying that they want to become a dentist themselves. Believing that my role here is about the service and not the individual, hearing from, conversing with, and possibly treating my eventual replacement is the greatest compliment to servicing others!

Having been here since the beginning, Tigist Goodwin, the staff dental assistant, says, “Working here feels like more than just a job. What you do here is gratifying because of the positive effects it has in people’s lives. You can’t help but to want more for yourself because you see the impact of your work.”

In a nutshell, we take great pride in working with the patients that we encounter on a daily basis and we get back from them, just as much as we give to them.dental logo_green

 

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