By Theo and Yukari, In One Day DC

Hello, Thrive DC community!! Theo and Yukari here as guest bloggers to share information on our project called In One Day DC and our amazing partnership with Thrive DC!

In One Day DC is a series of three summer events created in and for the DC community. The first of the series was Day of Joy.  It was held in May, and our small team of five volunteers spent the afternoon giving out free hugs and practicing laughter yoga in three parks around DC.  Day of Nurture: Potluck for the Homeless, was the second in the series, and we were honored and very excited to have the opportunity to partner with Thrive DC.The third and upcoming event,  Day of Connection and Exchange will take place this Saturday, July 7th, in the upper level of Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park from noon to 5pm.  This event will be organized into six corners, which will feature a book and clothing swap and toy donation drive, as well as music, art and yoga corners.  All collected toys, books, and clothes will be donated to community organizations following the event.

For Day of Nurture, our group of twenty-three volunteers had the pleasure of serving food to some of the homeless and hungry in Franklin Square.  The food served included sandwiches, wraps, and salads contributed by Thrive DC’s “Lunch to Go” outreach program from Pret A Manger. In addition, we received donations of juice from a local restaurant and bagels from Panera Bread, which were turned into a variety of sandwiches. To add to the selection,  our volunteers also contributed a number of food items and materials including cornbread, apples,strawberries, cantaloupe, muffins, watermelon, a pudding dessert, water, cups, and plates.  We were completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and are grateful for everyone’s efforts to have made this event possible. Throughout the two-and-a-half-hour event we were able to feed over 100 people in and around Franklin Square.

The idea for Day of Nurture came from one of the most common and easiest ways we share food with our friends and others: a potluck.  Potlucks
often feature a wide and diverse spread of food, with each of the attendees bringing a dish – either a plate aligned with a focused theme, their favorite dish, or their experimentation with a new recipe.  We have each hosted potlucks for friends in our homes and we thought that it would be great to host an event that we could open up to people with whom we were not acquainted yet and offer them an opportunity to contribute.  In Washington, D.C., there is a growing population of people who are either hungry, at risk of experiencing hunger, or are food insecure.  With limited options to receive meal services on the weekends, we saw this as a great opportunity to help. We took the basic tenets of a potluck and applied them to Day of Nurture.We created In One Day DC with three goals in mind. The first, was to spread joy to the DC community while giving back to its members; the second, to facilitate connection between members of the community; and the third, to uplift our community through genuine acts of kindness.  We were very fortunate to find a great group of volunteers who shared the same commitment. Some of our volunteers shared their reasons for helping with the event.One volunteer for Day of Nurture said that these events were an easy way to give back to the community.

Another said he had been looking for different ways to help the homeless and hungry in this community and said that he had thought of doing something similar.

Another volunteer stated that she was excited for the opportunity to give back.  As someone who is blessed, she is always happy to contribute in any way that is possible to those who may be in need of help.  She also said the event empowered her to continue to find ways to give back to the community.

We at In One Day DC are excited to continue our partnership with Thrive DC!  We have two more Days of Nurture planned for the summer, one at the end of July and one in August.  We hope to continue the Potlucks for the Homeless event throughout the year! If you would like more information on how to get involved please visit the In One Day website.