Bread for the City Stands with Immigrants and Refugees

20170129_140322On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order banning all refugees from entering the country for 120 days — or even indefinitely, in the case of Syria — while barring citizens of a select group of predominantly Muslim nations from traveling to the U.S. for 90 days.

As a nonprofit employer of 110+ people in Washington, DC, and neighbor of our newest resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Bread for the City is called to respond to this attack on human dignity. This xenophobic ban, which is having excruciating consequences for Muslim immigrants and refugees, goes against Bread for the City’s values of dignity, respect, service, and justice. 

While the majority of our clients are longtime Washingtonians, we serve a small but growing number of immigrants and refugees, and our staff and Board of Directors include immigrants and refugees.  We worry about our community, having already seen evidence of the impact of this order across the country. From the Clemson University graduate who was prevented from boarding a plane from Dubai to Washington after 7 years of legal residence in South Carolina, to the Syrian woman with a valid tourist visa who was detained in Chicago as she attempted to visit her mother who just undergone surgery for cancer, there has already been a cost paid in human suffering for this inexplicable and cruel act.

20170129_142412Bread for the City supports Washington, DC’s status as a sanctuary city. We stand with the community groups and individuals who have fought to maintain this status, as well as with Mayor Bowser, Councilmembers White and Grosso, and the rest of the DC City Council, in affirming that all of our neighbors should feel safe in the District. Attacks on sanctuary cities are attacks on us all: our clients, our staff, our neighbors, our friends, and our families.

While the events of the past week are profoundly disappointing for anyone who cares about human rights, we know we are stronger together, and we are heartened by the protests we witnessed across our city and the world.

Bread for the City rejects in the strongest of terms, policies that divide us. We affirm the fundamental dignity and worth of all human beings.

Stay tuned later this week as we discuss what comes next in the fight for justice and dignity, and how you can help.

Your donation DOUBLES TODAY!

Through the years, Mrs. Sanders has had some ups and some downs. But through it all, Bread for the City has been there. “Bread for the City has become the one place that I can rely on,” she says.

copy-of-presentation-untitled-designSupporters like you, Friend, enable us to help 34,000 people each year. Will you stand with us in the New Year? Thanks to a generous donor, every dollar you donate today will be matched so your donation will DOUBLE in value!

We must be able to reassure Mrs. Sanders and others like her that we aren’t going anywhere: when food stamps run low, when layoffs or evictions occur, when Medicaid isn’t enough — Bread for the City will be there with groceries, legal assistance, social services, and healthcare.

Please take this year-end matching opportunity to support the critical services that Bread for the City provides. Make a gift today, and stand with us as we fight poverty in DC.

Today & Tomorrow: Your donation DOUBLES!

As we put this difficult year behind us, Bread for the City is preparing to face the challenges of 2017 head on.

With over four decades of service under our belt, it is vital that our services continue and expand in the coming years, especially as budget cuts and changes to healthcare access appear imminentWill you give today to support our work? If you make a gift before midnight on December 31st, your gift will be MATCHED by a generous donor!

untitled-designRecently, we’ve had a number of conversations with our clients, recording their concerns about 2017 so that we are prepared to help. With 31% of DC residents (and 68% of Bread for the City patients) either uninsured or on Medicaid, the vulnerability of being without private insurance weighs heavily on them.

Ms. Kennedy, a client of our WomenStrong DC wellness program and our food program, is worried about her family as she looks ahead. She asks, “Lots of people’s lives depend on Obamacare. What are they going to do if it goes away? How is their health going to be affected? People that have cancer and need treatment, where are they going to turn?”

At Bread for the City’s Medical Clinic, we treat nearly 3,000 patients every year, including children, the elderly, and those facing homelessness. Will you help us reassure Ms. Kennedy that we’ll be here no matter what? Your gift today will help sustain our work as we continue to be a cornerstone of the DC community.

Looking forward in solidarity.

Connecting over Crochet and Art

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This post was written by Brittany Morgan. Brittany is the Health Resource Room Coordinator with Bread for the City.

For the last few years, Bread for the City has been hosting a crochet group that meets every Monday in the medical waiting area. Clients use the time to socialize, share their skills, and enjoy a mutual hobby. Yesterday, our group went on an outing to the Phillips Collection to see the Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and other related works. The collection focused on the mass exodus of the black community from the rural south to the urban north between the world wars. The exodus, which was prompted by wartime shortages and oppressive conditions, was the largest population shift of African-Americans since the time of slavery. Lawrence’s  collection features 60 panels of the African-American migration and is open until January 8, 2017.

The crochet group enjoyed experiencing their history in a new and expressive way–many noting different events they had never heard of. Many felt connected to the collection  and greatly enjoyed the interactive features and  time-worn objects from everyday life that were incorporated into the pieces. We hope to have many more similar trips that engage our community in history and new experiences.

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I would like to give a special thank you to Bread for the City Board Member and long-time Health resource room volunteer, Marie Hoffman, for making this trip a success and giving our group this wonderful opportunity.

Tons of Creativity at the Fall Craft Bazaar

For the love of creativity and supporting our budding business women, Bread for the City’s WomenStrong DC program hosts regular bazaars to help our members work on economic empowerment. At the last Fall Craft Bazaar, four of our talented WSDC women sold self-made items ranging from earrings and stretch jewelry to incense, soaps shampoos, and baked goodies.

Here are their stories:

30179990411_8195b39135_mJune: For three years, June taught sewing at Bread for the City with the WomenStrong DC program. Her grandmother taught her to bake and sew when she was 8 years old, and she thought it was important to pass on some of those skills to her colleagues. She has a master’s in Liberal Studies but it is her undergrad minor in Food and Nutrition that comes in handy when she’s making her delicious treats including cookies, brownies, and cakes. These are all her own recipes. “Who ever thought of making lemon cookies with chocolate chip and made ‘em taste right,” she says.

29634718954_a07d6bdc08_mPeggy: “It’s pretty easy to make these actually; it’s the ideas that take the longest.” Peggy has been making beaded necklaces and stretch jewelry for a while, but at the Fall Craft Bazaar, she showcased her talent at making earrings. “I’d been making them for a while actually, but then I went through a rough patch and I just kind of stopped. In talking with the ladies and being able to bounce ideas off them, I’ve been getting back on track; the energy is up, the sleeping is regular and the creativity is back.”

30149930452_e9ff9a691c_mSakinah: Sakinah makes candles, washcloth dolls, fragrances, burning oils, sugar scrubs, bath salts, shower gels and soaps. This all began with her trying to find a soap for her daughter’s eczema. “It was difficult. Hardly anything worked and if it did it was so expensive. So I started trying things myself to see if I could come up with something that was effective and affordable.” It worked, and then other people started enjoying her soap so she started vending them in 2006 and has since turned it into a small business.

30179995811_4d51252724_mStephanie: “I sew, I make bags and accessories. I take worn jeans and I make them into bags and purses.” Stephanie has been doing this for 3 years; a talent she picked up from interactions with the ladies at Women Strong DC. “I just bought a sewing machine one day and started playing around until the designs started turning out good. I also picked up a few things here and there from the senior people Women Strong.”

Take a look at the images from our Fall Craft Bazaar here: http://bit.ly/2d7Qiet. If you’re interested in purchasing any of the items we’ve reviewed, please contact Donnie at dhampton@breadforthecity.org.

Bread for the City’s WomenStrong DC is proud to be a consortium member of WomenStrong International (WSI), a network of organizations worldwide dedicated to empowering women and girls and to sharing what works. For more, and to learn what you can do as part of this effort, see www.womenstrongintl.org.