by Tim Regan November 30, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

Giving Tuesday(This post was updated at 9:33 a.m. on Tuesday with yet another way to give.)

Black Friday is gone. Cyber Monday is almost over. Time to put the pocketbook away? Almost! But not before Giving Tuesday tomorrow.

What’s Giving Tuesday? It’s sort of like the charitable equivalent of your average consumerist holiday spending spree. Held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the event is meant to kick off the charitable season for nonprofits across the globe.

Cool, but how do I donate? There are plenty of national charities you can donate to, many of which are mentioned on the Giving Tuesday website. Additionally, there are tons of local good causes worth supporting. Here are 13 ways to give back without leaving your neighborhood:

  • Attend a Collective Action For Safe Spaces happy hour at Right Proper Brewing (624 T St NW). The happy hour will help support the organization’s safe bars program.
  • Contribute to the Sitar Arts Center. Each donation will be matched one-for-one up to $1,000 by the Wise Owl Club.
  • Buy shoes and dance classes for kids at the Dance Institute of Washington.
  • Give to the D.C. Center for the LGBTQ Community.
  • Help beautify the Dupont Circle neighborhood by contributing to Dupont Circle Main Streets.
  • Kids need to read and write real good. Help ’em do that at 826DC.
  • Donate to Green Door, a program that “prepares women and men with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses to work, live and thrive in the District of Columbia.”
  • Help The Starfish Foundation educate 150 at-risk youth in Guayaquil, Ecuador by buying drinks at Johnny Pistolas (2333 18th St. NW) in Adams Morgan.
  • Give to Martha’s Table or Bread for the City to help feed the hungry.
  • 86 cents of every donation to Thrive D.C. goes toward helping the homeless.
  • Seasonal food hub Common Good City Farm accepts donations year-round.
  • Columbia Heights performance and art nonprofit BloomBars is entirely community-funded.
  • Ride a bike near Dupont Circle in honor of World AIDS Day tomorrow and help donate to Whitman-Walker.
  • Help families with SNAP access fresh fruits and veggies by donating to the Columbia Heights Farmers Market Bonus Bucks campaign.
  • Through the Heart, a nonprofit dedicated to pregnancy loss support and education, is also accepting donations.

Photo courtesy of Giving Tuesday

by June 26, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

From Joey Gavrilovich. Follow him on Twitter @joeygDC, email him at joey[AT]

"Patty Stonesifer"

Patty Stonesifer (Courtesy Stonesifer)

This is Part II of a conversation with Patty Stonesifer. Part I ran June 5.

In January, the board of Martha’s Table surprised the philanthropic world when they announced that Patty Stonesifer, the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, would become its next president and CEO. Ms. Stonesifer also served as the Chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions, appointed in 2010 by President Obama. In 2012, she completed her term as the Chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents. This is part two of an exclusive Borderstan feature about Patty Stonesifer’s new role.

Now nearly three months in at Martha’s Table, Stonesifer shares that for her, the process of moving from the global foundation world to the local human service world meant recognizing the direct role the surrounding community must continue to play for her organization to succeed.

A big part of this is educating that community on what Martha’s Table does.

A New Way of Reaching People

“Most people think of us as the place that does hot meals in the parks, but that’s only a part of our food and nutrition programs. Most of the poor in the District are not in the parks in the evening, they’re in their homes, and so in addition to prepared meals, the distribution of quality produce and groceries becomes essential.”

The hot meals served in the parks through a volunteer-run mobile food kitchen called McKenna’s Wagon make up about a third of the 60,000 meals Martha’s Table serves a month. The rest are groceries, said Stonesifer. Those groceries have been distributed to families from the organization’s pantry at the 14 and V Streets NW headquarters.

Stonesifer’s vision for the organization involves reaching more families in need of groceries where they live, similar to how McKenna’s Wagon serves the homeless population near city parks.

“Those groceries make up 40,000 meals each month that I think could be 400,000 if we could find the right places and ways to distribute it,” said Stonesifer. Over the past two years, the organization has started distributing to families from four District schools as well as the 14 and V headquarters. Garrison Elementary at 13 and S Street NW is one, and the other three are spread across the District.

For Stonesifer and Martha’s Table, this approach creates a “virtual grocery store” in the schools, and is about more than just charity. “We think that poverty is more complex than that. In my view, this idea of meeting families right there in the schools when they are at the time of the month when they’re often short on groceries and short on cash is a way to meet the need, but also to bring nutrition education into the space, and for parents to learn more about their children’s nutritional experience.”

“I think that kind of program could expand quite dramatically if we’re able to get the resources here. It always comes back to getting new resources.”

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Securing resources for the organization’s success and expansion comes back to how effectively Martha’s Table connects with the community, and Stonesifer speaks of creating more collaborative efforts for the organization going forward like what is being seen now with DC Public Schools. Increasing collaboration and building upon the organization’s existing donor base to expand service comes back to what Patty Stonesifer herself brings to the Table.

“There is no question that the attention that I’ve gotten since taking this job is an asset not just for Martha’s Table, but for the importance of early childcare and education, for the importance of no child going hungry, and for the importance of meeting people’s basic needs,” Stonesifer says, sharing a few of the organization’s key focus areas.

“And I’m lucky that I can talk to the Secretary of Education about early childhood. So if I can be part raising the profile on it, that’s exciting to me.”

But what led Stonesifer to seek out and apply for the position at Martha’s Table was a kind of access she did not have in her previous positions. “I took the job because I wanted to move from theory to practice,” she explains, “that direct understanding of what it means to stand with this mother I sat next to at last night’s parent-teacher meeting, and of what she’s going to face when she gets home later still having to feed her other kids and then be ready for work in the morning. These aren’t trivial issues, and I intend to be a very vocal advocate.”

While her advocacy would undoubtedly reach an audience, that alone, says Stonesifer, will not be enough.

“These issues can’t be addressed by Martha’s Table and the next 10 organizations — they have to be addressed by the citizenry in total. We all have to decide that every working parent should be able to get and afford quality childcare. We have to decide that no child should be hungry. Because we know how to feed children, and we know how to care for children, but what is the political will, and the process, and the funding, and the delivery for breaking the cycle of poverty?

“It’s the people we serve who will have to create more change than anybody else. But they would like to know they have their neighbors and the public behind them, and that the resources they need are within their reach.”

Martha’s Table services more than 1,100 people a day in the District. Get more information.

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by June 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm 0


Ready for summer wear? (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Sarah Griswold. Email her at sarahg[AT]

Hi friends! I hope you are all having a fabulous summer so far, I know that I am. Apart from those few bursts of crazy rain, the sunshine has been more that welcomed in this household. And with these beautiful days abound, I have brought my summer wardrobe out of hiding.

Ladies, I’m sure you’re like me — when dragging out your dusty box of summer dresses, short-shorts and cami’s, it’s exciting to be reunited with those small, but essential pieces that adorned all your “Summer 2012” Instagram photo album pictures, but then you’re left wanting.

My Local Picks

Whether you’re looking for new frocks to wear on your summer trip to NYC, or relaxing beachside vacation to Charleston, SC, or if you just want to freshen up your summer outfits, I have a list of cute little boutiques you must check out this year.

  • Redeem Shop Independent, 1734 14th St NW. Flaunting cool, designer duds for men and women, this shop also makes room for lesser known names too. For me, this is great place to get something completely unique, edgy, urban and screamingly original.
  • Caramel, 1603 U Street NW. One of the first spots I explored upon moving to the city. Again, this shop caters to men and women, so feel free to drag your boyfriend along to spruce up his wardrobe too! As far as the clothing goes, I find Caramel ultra feminine and airy; things you can wear to work and to happy hour right afterward.
  • Lettie Gooch, 1517 U Street NW. This is such a great shop and every time I walk by the window displays, I’m compelled to go in. Bright and bold colors and ready to wear styles that are modern without being pretentious. Flowy dresses, structured collars and bright statement jewelry adorn this little boutique.
  • Violet Boutique, 2439 18th Street NW. This is a great “go-to” spot with reliably cute and easy styles. It reminds me of shopping in your stylish girlfriend’s closet. Pretty, girly styles and accessories without pushing your boundaries too far.

At all of these boutiques, styles and sizes are limited, so be sure to check in with them often so you don’t miss out on anything!

And Once You’re Done…

  • Once you have done your damage, be sure to make some room in your closet and get rid of all those items you love but don’t wear anymore — Buffalo Exchange on 1318 14th Street NW accepts donations or you can resell there too.
  • You can also donate your items to any one of the great donation centers in a neighborhood near you.  Here are a couple to get you started — Martha’s Table at 2114 14th Street NW or Goodwill Donation Center on 2200 South Dakota Avenue NE.

Have I missed one of your favorite shops? Are there any new boutiques the rest of us should know about? Post a comment below and spread the love!

Happy summer shopping!

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by June 18, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]


Martha’s Table on 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

There’s a lot to be thankful for in our community. Borderstan is home to some wonderful development projects, from new condos and apartment buildings to new supermarkets to a seemingly unending supply of new restaurants, bars and cafes.

There are a lot things being offered in the neighborhood, so why not carve a little time out of your day to give something back?

Along with all those great things mentioned above in the neighborhood, there are some great venues for volunteering here in Borderstan.

N Street Village

N Street Village, located on N Street between 14th Street and Vermont Avenue, is a facility designed to help homeless and low-income women in our neighborhood through supportive services and housing. NSV takes a broad, holistic approach in assisting these women as they face a number of challenges that vary from individual to individual, including homelessness, addiction, mental illness and more.

A selection of the volunteer opportunities at NSV includes: tutoring, preparing and serving meals, maintaining the courtyard garden, helping with fundraising and much more. To find out more about these opportunities and to apply to volunteer, head over to the NSV Volunteer page.

Common Good City Farm

Since there’s no better way to state it than what’s already on their website, Common Good City Farm’s mission “is to grow food, educate, and help low-income DC community members meet their food needs.” Located just outside the Borderstan area near V and 4th Streets, CGCF is exactly what it sounds like: a small farm in the middle of the city that teaches residents and students about food production, healthy eating and environmental sustainability.

Just last year, they CGCF “provided over 6,300 pounds of fresh vegetables to low-income families.” There are many ways to help, including donations, dropping off scraps for composting and volunteering on the farm itself. See their Get Involved page as well as their Volunteer page for more information.

Martha’s Table

Located on 14th Street between V and W Streets, Martha’s Table uses education, nutrition and family support services to address poverty and issues stemming from poverty. Some of their volunteering opportunities include preparing food, tutoring children and staffing their mobile soup kitchen. You can find out more about these opportunities and fill out a volunteer application on their Volunteer Opportunities page.

Other Organizations

  • Bread for the City – “The mission of Bread for the City is to provide vulnerable residents of Washington, DC, with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services, in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.”
  • SOME (So Others Might Eat) – “An interfaith, community-based organization that exists to help the poor and homeless of our nation’s capital. We meet the immediate daily needs of the people we serve with food, clothing, and health care.”
  • DC Central Kitchen – “Through job training, healthy food distribution, and local farm partnerships, DC Central Kitchen offers path-breaking solutions to poverty, hunger, and poor health.”
  • Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes – A local church, located on Massachusetts Avenue between 13th and 12th Streets, with a handful of programs that reach out to the neighborhood through blood drives, partnering with other institutions (like NSV), working with local seniors and the disabled, and more.

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by June 5, 2013 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

From Joey Gavrilovich. Follow him on Twitter @joeygDC, email him at joey[AT]

"Patty Stone

Patty Stonesifer. (Courtesy Stonesifer)

In January, the board of Martha’s Table surprised the philanthropic world when they announced that they had hired Patty Stonesifer, formerly the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as its next president and CEO.

Stonesifer was also previously appointed in 2010 by President Obama to serve as the Chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions, and in 2012, she completed her term as the Chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents.

Martha’s Table, at 14th and V Streets NW and with a second Martha’s Outfitter’s now in Anacostia, helps more than 1,100 people a day in the District. It does so by addressing community needs through food and clothing programs and it works to find sustainable solutions to poverty based in education and family support services. Two months into her work as president and CEO, Patty Stonesifer, sat down with Borderstan last week for an exclusive conversation.

The media have made hay of Stonesifer’s appointment in recent months, examining why she would choose to take such a job. Often cited is how novel and noble a move it is for such a financially successful individual, both technologically and professionally plugged-in, to be giving back to the local community and working families with her time and talent. As Maureen Dowd recently put it in her New York Times column profiling Stonesifer, she is a woman “rolling in millions and has no need to work ever again.”

But to hear Stonesifer talk about it, her decision had less to do with magnanimity and a lot more to do with self-actualization. “At different times of life, different kinds of ideas or issues engage us, and I’m just lucky enough to be able to go find the thing that engages me now.”

Finding and Doing Good Work

Stonesifer cites Harvard professor Howard Gardner’s GoodWork Project as a key lesson in finding one’s vocation. “It comes back to a simple concept that has been studied: What makes good work?” she said, sharing that she recently gave this advice at a commencement ceremony in New York. “These Harvard researchers identified good work as having three elements: it is ethical, excellent, and it is engaging. It’s work that you can lose yourself in, that you want to get into today and the next day and the next because there is something you are contributing.”

The allure of jobs with fancy titles and comfortable salaries can be “a slightly seductive thing,” says Stonesifer, if it causes one to lose sight of those three elements. In considering her next career move, some of the possibilities “really spoke to that girl from Indiana,” Stonesifer said with an amused smile. “The idea that that would be a cool job and my mother would be impressed! But then you think about it and ask, will I be fully engaged? Would it be excellent and ethical work? I had to really separate those things and decide what I wanted to do every day.”

For Stonesifer, as for many of us who rode into DC on career paths that led us away from our hometowns, doing good work matters, and Martha’s Table met her criteria. “The joy in what I’m doing now comes from the doing. I think those three elements just lined up beautifully for me with this job, and I suggest that that is the key to happy work for anybody.”

Motivated to Think Big

“I came from a family that was oriented toward service in the community. My folks worked long and hard at a food pantry in Indianapolis that’s now named after my father. I grew up not knowing that as volunteerism, not knowing that as service. I just thought that’s what you do.”

“I was lucky to be part of the tech boom,” Stonesifer reflected, saying that in her early years at Microsoft in the 1990s, she worked for Bill Gates and Melinda French (whom Bill Gates later married) worked for Stonesifer. “We were thinking very big and bold,” Stonesifer said of her collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates at the dawn of a new time in technology. It was this approach that carried over into Microsoft’s philanthropic culture when the foundation was first launched in 1997.

“The exercise we went through there — to try to think about how would you change the world, how do you think big, how do you start from scratch on things like asking why tuberculosis is still with us in this way, effecting people at this level — affected me greatly. It broadened my sights from what my dad had instilled, from what do you do to make the world a better place to how big can you think about how the world can be better?”

In two weeks, Borderstan will feature part two of this exclusive feature, including Patty Stonesifer’s big thinking for Martha’s Table and human services in the District.

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by April 24, 2013 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

From Joey Gavrilovich. Follow him on Twitter @joeygDC, email him at joey[AT]

Patty Stonesifer President and CEO of Martha's Table. (Courtesy Martha's Table)

Patty Stonesifer, president and CEO of Martha’s Table. (Courtesy Martha’s Table)

On April 1 Patty Stonesifer began her work as president and CEO of Martha’s Table. Her appointment, announced in January, made headlines, as Ms. Stonesifer had previously served as Chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents, and for close to ten years prior was the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world.

Situated on the west side of 14th Street NW between W and V Streets, Martha’s Table helps more than 1,100 District residents a day through food and clothing programs and works to find sustainable solutions to poverty based in education and family support services.

Borderstan will feature a full interview with Ms. Stonesifer in May. Below are two initial questions for the nonprofit’s new CEO.

Borderstan: 14th Street NW continues to be rebuilt and redeveloped at a dizzying pace. What effect do you see all this activity having on Martha’s Table’s role in the community?

Stonesifer: Martha’s Table is as committed today to building a stronger community and breaking the cycle of poverty as we were at our founding 33 years ago. While we hold tight to that core purpose we are also organic and have always changed our programs and services to meet the changing times and changing neighborhood. We’re grateful that the newcomers to this area — retailers, restaurants and new residents — have embraced Martha’s Table, and we continue to serve many families and residents of NW with the food, clothing and quality early childcare and afterschoool and summer education programs we all want for our children.

At the same time, we are also expanding to ensure we do as much as possible to fulfill our mission and meet people where they are. We are now offering a monthly grocery distribution at four schools spread across the District and we will soon be opening a great new thrift store in Anacostia and we plan to do even more! So expect us to stay anchored in this neighborhood while addressing broader community needs in new ways.

Borderstan: Having spent more than a decade in Seattle, you’ve certainly seen your share of good food and great coffee. How do the options here in the other Washington compare?

Stonesifer: There is no easy comparison between the two Washingtons. I am very fond of both. But you know the saying “wherever you go, there you are?” In both towns I have loved my work and my colleagues even more than I loved the local restaurants. For me the best cup of coffee and by far the best late morning muffin comes from Martha’s Table’s kitchen crew. April Parker, who is an amazing cook, often slips me a bit of the best bread pudding in the city or whatever else has just come out of the oven.

When I asked her yesterday how she convinced toddlers to eat that morning’s spinach quiche she told me that they love anything shaped like a muffin. I guess that describes me too! Soon our new greenhouse will be filled with fresh produce and I look forward to joining the children who are known to pull off a ripe tomato en route to the playground. So check back with me in a few years about the local cuisine — in the meantime I will continue to love the Martha’s Table fare!

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by February 27, 2013 at 8:00 am 0

From Joey Gavrilovich. Follow him on Twitter @joeygDC, email him at joey[AT]

"Human Services"

There is still investment in human service providers in the neighborhood. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The imminent closure and relocation of Central Union Mission to make way for 50 condo units and retail spaces at 1350 R Street NW would seem to present a potent symbol of displacement brought about by urban renewal.

But, even as construction of sleek condos and new business spaces continues at a dizzying pace up and down 14th Street NW, at least two human service fixtures in the neighborhood have seen recent investment in significant structural renewals that have helped revitalize core services, sending a strong indication to the broader community that they are here to stay.

Just since the start of 2013, both Martha’s Table, a provider of education, nutrition, clothing, and family support to people living in poverty, and N Street Village, a community of empowerment and recovery for homeless and low-income women in the District, have received exhaustive and much-needed renovations to a space that is the very heart of any service provider: their kitchens.

Partnerships Drove Renovations

For each organization, the renovations came about primarily as a result of private partnerships with businesses which saw a strong opportunity for community investment. N Street Village’s ongoing funding partnership with lifestyle media company Scripps Networks Interactive led to their kitchen improvements in January.

Celebrity interior designer Alison Victoria, host of DIY Network’s Kitchen Crashers, came to N Street Village and worked with a local contractor to design and install an efficient and functional kitchen for residents of the organization’s night shelter, starting and completing the project in less than one week.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Martha’s Table’s new kitchen space held on February 12, Edward Allera, a co-managing shareholder of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, cited the revitalization of the area around 14th and U Streets as a reason behind his firm’s desire to invest in the project. The firm partnered with Martha’s Table to secure $30,000 in donations for the kitchen renovation, and provided a matching grant for the same amount, which proved to be crucial to the project’s success.

“We hope that the momentum created by our matching grant continues and that donations continue to roll in,” said Allera, acknowledging that the kitchen project spearheads Martha’s Table’s ongoing expansion and growth planned for the next several years. The organization recently hired Patty Stonesifer, formerly the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as its new president. Ms. Stonesifer begins her work with Martha’s Table on April 1.

“As we move forward,” said Allera, of his firm’s partnership with Martha’s Table, “this grant is just part of our ongoing commitment.”

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by January 31, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Joey Gavrilovich. Email him at [email protected]


Martha’s Table on 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Now in it’s 34th year of service in the 14th Street community, Martha’s Table, founded in 1980 by Jesuit priest Horace B. McKenna and Georgetown University professor of sociology Veronica Maz with $93 cash on hand, has hired Patty Stonesifer as its next president and CEO.

Stonesifer was previously appointed in 2010 by President Obama to serve as the Chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions, and in 2012, she completed her term as the Chair of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents.

In the 10 years prior, she was the founding CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world, which reported a $36.2 billion asset trust endowment in September 2012.

Patty Stonesifer will begin her work as the President of Martha’s Table on April 1, 2013.

“Patty brings unprecedented potential to Martha’s Table which is critical because the organization has never been more needed by the community,” said board chair Cathy Sulzberger. “Patty has a demonstrated commitment to service, experience tackling complicated issues, and the ability to engage the community in creative problem solving.”

“I look forward to getting to work – and we have a lot to do,” Stonesifer said. “One in three children in the District experiences hunger, and the past few years have left many families with great instability. Martha’s Table is working to make sure our community’s children and families have access to the basics — food, clothing and education. The amazing network of staff, volunteers, donors, and partners are absolutely phenomenal; and together, we can make a real difference in the lives of our neighbors and our city’s children.”

Martha’s Table reported just over $6 million in financial and in-kind support in 2011. The organization helps more than 1,100 people a day by addressing community needs through food and clothing programs, and works to find sustainable solutions to poverty based in education and family support services.

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by January 28, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]


Francis School expanding to grade 12. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Francis-Stevens Educational Campus announced last week that it will expand to include grades 9th through 12th, beginning in the the 2013-2014 academic year. The school currently offers pre-K through 8th grade. School Without Walls is expanding into the space; Richard Trogusch will be principal.

To obtain students to fill the upper-education classes, Francis-Stevens will work to recruit new students.

On Monday, January 28, Francis-Stevens school advisory team member Olivia Chase will conduct a recruitment event in Ward 1 at Martha’s Table’s Child Development Center at 2114 14th Street NW. The event will begin at 4 pm.

Those with recommendations for additional recruitment event locations are encouraged to contact Ms. Chase at oacfromdc[AT]

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by January 22, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT] 

Sips & Suppers. (Courtesy of Sips & Suppers Flickr)

Sips & Suppers. (Courtesy of Sips & Suppers on Flickr)

DC’s fifth annual two-day celebration of food and drink will take place January 26 and 27. Hosted by José Andrés, Joan Nathan and Alice Waters, Sips & Suppers, which has raised over $500,000 since its inception, benefits Martha’s Table and DC Central Kitchen (DCCK).

The Details

Sips will be held at the Newseum on Saturday, January 26 at 7 pm. The evening will feature a sampling from the local area’s finest food artisans, mixologists and wineries, including wine from Loudon County, beer from ChurchKey and cocktails from Buffalo & Bergen.

Additionally, there will be live jazz and live cooking demonstrations. Tickets are $95 and can be purchased online. For a list of full participating artisans, visit the website.

Suppers will take place  on Sunday evening, January 27, and will be held in 26 private homes across the DC area. For the event, local and internationally renowned chefs come together to prepare multi-course meals and carefully selected wine for small groups in each home.

This year’s Suppers include a Chinese New Year feast by Chefs Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck and Erik Bruner Yang of Toki Underground, an Icelandic dinner with Chefs Siggi Hall of Siggi Hall Restaurant in Reykjavik and Jeff Buben of Vidalia and a kosher Greek and Spanish-style meal by Chefs Mike Isabella of Graffiato, Bandolero and the upcoming Kapnos and G and Victor Albisu of the upcoming Taco Bamba and Del Campo.

Tickets to Suppers are $550 per person, and can be purchased online.

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by December 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm 2,597 0

Connecticut Avenue NW, Dupont Circle, Luis Gomez Photos, One Photograph A Day

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk. You can email her at [email protected].

Fact: The average person makes 24% of their annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and despite a deep recession, charitable giving was up more than 3% in 2010 (Source: Charity Navigator).

Here at Borderstan we want to help you make the decision to give locally this year. That’s why we’re providing you with an easy way to make contributions to charities that provide support for our neighbors in Borderstan and DC. From health care to social services and the arts, philanthropies in our neighborhood make an impact on our community.

Consider adding one of these charities or organizations to your holiday list. Then ask friends and family to make a donation in your name. Or make a donation for someone else. If we missed an organization, please leave a comment with details!

Following are 14 programs, organizations, charities and schools you can support that provide important services to our community, in the following six categories: Help Those in Need, Local Schools, HIV/AIDS Support, Senior Citizens, LGBT Community and The Arts.

Help Those in Need

Bread for the City, 1525 7th Street NW. The mission of Bread for the City is to provide vulnerable residents of Washington, DC with comprehensive services, including food, clothing, legal and social services and medical care. This season for $28.85 you can provide a single low-income family with a complete holiday meal through the Holiday Helpings program. In addition to cash donations that sustain ongoing programs like the rooftop garden, you can customize your gift by contributing an item from the Bread for the City Wishlist. The list contains items needed for programs and clients and includes needed items like Adobe InDesign software, toaster ovens and gift cards to Walmart, CVS and Target.

Central Union Mission, 1350 R Street NW. Although this long time shelter just moved from its home on 14th Street NW, you can still support the mission this holiday season. In addition to cash donations through their website, you can provide presents for a needy child through Operation Christmas Miracle or even volunteer at their food depot or kitchen. The mission also offers you a chance to customize your donation by purchasing items needed for the residents through their Christmas Catalog — you choose if your dollars buy hygiene clothing, toys or even meals.

Charlie’s Place, 1830 Connecticut Avenue NW. In Northwest DC there can be the misconception that everyone is financially stable. But Charlie’s Place provides an important service for those people who are not. This non-denominational, anti-hunger, homeless ministry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church provides morning meal, case management, lunch go-go, HIV testing and counseling and clothing distribution. This holiday season and all year long donations can be made online through their Network for Good site.

Martha’s Table, 2114 14th Street NW. The vision for Martha’s Table is to find solutions to poverty in the short term with food and clothing programs, and in the long term by breaking the cycle of poverty with education and family strengthening programs. This season you can browse their holiday catalog for a customized gift in honor of a family member or friend. Choose from a variety of programs to support including debate classes, college preparation courses or wellness and nutrition activities. You can also make unrestricted cash gifts, donations of clothing or food, or contribute an item from the Martha’s Table Wishlist. If you’re looking for a bigger way to support Martha’s Table into the new year consider attending their Sips and Suppers events in early January where for $100 you have a chance to enjoy drinks with Jose Andres, Alice Waters and Joan Nathan.

N Street Village, 1333 N Street NW. Few people know that many of the homeless services in DC focus specifically on men. Services provided by N Street Village focus on empowerment and recovery for homeless and low-income women. They strive to address issues around income, housing, employment and health. To volunteer or make a donation, in-kind or financial, visit their donation site.

Local Schools

Garrison Elementary School, 1200 S Street NW. Garrison is the in-boundary school for most of Logan Circle and the U Street Corridor, serving more than 250 students from preschool through 5th Grade. The school also has three autism classrooms.You can support the Garrison PTA with a donation; make a check to Garrison PTA, 1200 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (donations to Garrison PTA are not tax deductible at this time). You can also support the school by collecting Box Tops for Education, Labels for Education, linking your Safeway Card to Garrison and just by volunteering! Email [email protected] to join the email list or to get more information.

Ross Elementary School1730 R Street NW. There is something so meta about supporting an organization that supports other organizations and Ross Elementary School does just that. In addition to being a local school, through Ross Elementary PTA you can provide donations to Books for America, Children’s Hospital and Charlie’s Place. In addition, you can choose to make a donation to Ross’ programs by bringing your recyclable materials to the school, clipping box top for education labels or selecting Ross as the recipient of the school rewards programs at Giant, Safeway and Harris Teeter.

School for Friends, 2201 P Street NW. One of the ways you can contribute to the School for Friends (Quaker) is through their Fund for Friends Campaign. The fund provides financial aid to students, which allows the school to support their commitment to diversity. One of the great thing about SFF is the diversity of the families, all of varying economic, racial, ethnic and sexual orientation backgrounds. SFF is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

HIV/AIDS Support

Whitman Walker Health, 1701 14th Street NW. If you ever needed to believe a small donation could mean a lot, Whitman Walker Health proves it: just $25 helps their health team distribute 50 safer sex kits. Make a donation to WWH this season and your dollars will go to provide high quality health services to individuals who face barriers to accessing care. You also have the opportunity to make a donation in honor or memory of someone, or even make the gift anonymously.

Senior Citizens

Dupont Circle Village, 9 Dupont Circle NW. It’s hard to imagine being inside most of the time when all of DC is just outside your door, but for many older resident of the District their world is what they see through their window. That’s why Dupont Village is dedicated to linking older residents to not only social/cultural activities, but to also provide health-related and reliable home-maintenance services. Consider serving as a volunteer to an elderly person in the community by agreeing to provide transportation to and from appointments or provide a pick-up after a medical procedure. Get started with the volunteer application on the Dupont Village site.

LGBT Community

The DC Center for the LGBT Community, 1318 U Street NW. The DC Center’s mission is to celebrate and support LGBT residents in the District, and based on the number of programs, activities and communities on their site, they are succeeding. Although the Center accepts cash donations throughout the year, you may want to consider buying a ticket to the Glamour, Glitter, Gold Oscar event held in February each year. Proceeds support the Center and you get to dress up for a fun night out.

Trevor Project, DC Ambassadors Committee. The Washington, DC Ambassadors Committee is group of volunteers dedicated to helping raise awareness of The Trevor Project‘s mission of ending suicide among LGBTQ youth. The committee works with schools in the DC area to reach out to kids directly and raise awareness of the issue, as well as raising support through volunteerism and fundraising, to help The Trevor Project carry on their life-saving efforts. In its first year, the local committee raised nearly $100,000 for the Trevor Project and engaged over 1,000 DC area supporters.

The Arts

Mid City Artists. The Mid City Artists is “a diverse and talented group of professional artists who have come together for the purpose of promoting their art and the Dupont/Logan neighborhoods of Washington DC that they call home. Twice each year, the private studios of select member artists are open for visitors. Discover painting, photography, sculpture, glass, mixed media, prints and much more.” With a current roster of 42 artists, you can support MCA’s general fund by sending a check to the organization’s treasurer: MCA, c/o Chuck Baxter, 914 Westminster Street NW, Washington, DC  20001. (Donations are not tax deductible.)

The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW. The artwork in the Phillips Collection is mighty in its scope — the museum features more than 3,000 works of art by Renoir, van Gogh, Picasso, Rothko, Diebenkorn, and other modern masters. Caring for so many historic pieces calls for community support and this holiday it’s easy to do that with a donation to the museum. You can become a member and gain reciprocal special admission at more than 300 partner museums. Unrestricted dollars are welcome, but you can also choose to dedicate your gift to the musical program or the onsite library and archives.

by October 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm 1,610 0


The 14th & U Farmers’ Market is Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

From the 14th & U Farmers’ Market… this is TOMORROW at noon. There is also a bake sale with proceeds benefiting Martha’s Table.

  • What: Halloween Party at 14th and U Streets NW
  • Where: 14th and U Streets NW, in front of the Reeves Municipal Building
  • When: Saturday, October 31 at noon

“Wondering where to wear your costume during the day on Halloween. Enter the 14& U Farmers’ Market Halloween Costume Contest with great prizes for kids and adults, kindly provided by:  Saint Ex, Cork Market, Pulp, Mid City Caffe, Biaggio, Adventures in Shaw. Judging by Amanda of Metrocurean and Diane of Cork at Noon on Saturday, October 31.  Plus, DC FoodBloggers Spooktacular Bake Sale to benefit Martha’s Table.”


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