December 9, 2008

Holiday Helpings: Two weeks til Christmas!

There’s only two weeks left until Christmas. We’re at the tail end of our Holiday Helpings campaign, and we’ve already broken all our own records.

We’d originally planned to give out 10,000 turkeys in the entire course of our campaign (almost the entire months of November and December). But this year, the demand far outpaced our expectations: we provided 10,000 with complete holiday meals even before Thanksgiving.

Many people are surprised that we’ve been able to meet the increased demand, and it does seem remarkable. With food prices increasing and our menu dramatically overhauled in the healthy direction, our food program director Ted Pringle has really pulled off quite a feat. He tells me that, for whatever reason, we had a tough time finding enough cranberry sauce this year – but other than that everything has gone smoothly despite the overruns.

“It helps that I’m asking for food for hungry people,” Ted told me. “That means I have no problem whatsoever getting real aggressive [with food suppliers]."

Ted’s been doing this for years, and even he was surprised by the size of the lines at our food pantries. It’s alarming to think about how many people are hungry this holiday season. But mostly we feel immense gratitude to have been able to meet the need in our community.

And we were only able to do it with the help of thousands of supporters. We even had a lot of love from the local blogosphere! Our big thanks go out to:

We also had great support from our favorite local coffeeshops, Azi's and the Big Bear Cafe: both cafes are advertising our Holiday Helpings campaign on their coffee cup sleeves. Awesome! Needless to say, for this and other reasons, you should give them your business.

We still have hundreds of clients who will be coming to us to receive meals for Christmas. And Holiday Helpings has now gone far beyond our budget -- by $48,000, to be precise. Nobody around here feels like we should have held back – after all, that money goes straight onto the tables of people who couldn’t otherwise provide for themselves. We want to make sure we can finish this campaign off strong – will you help us make Christmas happen for hundreds of our poorest neighbors?

1 comment:

Making Life Easier said...

I do not know how to leave posts but there is an event for housing issues which will be in January.
As a formerly homeless person & renter, I know the connection between not being able to afford to pay for rent & being in the street without a place to go.
This is an excellent opportunity for housing advocates to work together.

[DCTenantsCoalition] re: Meeting

Our next DC Tenants Coalition meeting will not be until Thursday January 29 at the Martin Luther King Library 7 - 9 PM. I will be sending out notices about this shortly. About 40 people showed up for the last meeting. At the last meeting what we did was talk about the goals of the DC Tenants Coalition which at present are tenant networking, education, helping to draft legislation and lobbying for legislation, providing input to the Office of The Tenant Advocate. The coalition will include people who live in rent controlled buildings, non rent controlled buildings, section 8 tenants and public housing. We are planning on having a contact from Section 8 housing attend a meeting and talk about the needs of that housing We decided to have people volunteer to represent each ward of the city. We got several people to volunteer from each ward except Ward 6 (we have one person who is a possibility) and noone from Ward=2 03. If you want to be on the committe for your ward let me know. There will be a meeting of the ward committees on January 22 - also at Martin Luther King Library. We decided on Martin Luther King Library as our meeting place. We will be having monthly meeting of the whole DC Tenants Coalition.

Karen Williamson
DC Tenants Coalition