Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vote for DC and Martha's Table

To coincide with Mother's Day, Colgate-Palmolive launched a campaign, 'Share Mom's Love', that features an online contest to support summer feeding programs (http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/Corp/CommunityPrograms/share-moms-love.cvsp) in select cities in the U.S. Colgate-Palmolive and Share Our Strength identified one site in ten different cities that have the chance to receive funding to support their work - Martha's Table is the selected site in Washington, DC!

The three cities with the most votes will receive generous funding from Colgate-Palmolive. I know you are aware of all the work we do at Martha's Table, but there are summer feeding programs around that country that also help to ensure that at-risk children who receive lunch through federal, school-based feeding programs during the school year continue to receive free, nutritious meals when school is out.

We are asking that you go online to VOTE by May 10th to ensure that we are one of the top three cities chosen - and thus recipients of much needed additional funding for our work! You will also have a chance to win a trip for two plus dinner with Colgate-Palmolive personalities. You can vote more than once.

We are delighted to be a part of a partnership between Share Our Strength® and Colgate-Palmolive, that is working to increase funding for summer feeding sites around the country.

This Mother's Day, help end childhood hunger.

Friday, April 24, 2009

101 Dalmatians

Tuesday our pre-school went on a field trip to the National Presbyterian Church to watch the play, 101 Dalmatians. Sequoya, our pre-school lead teacher, was very impressed, "I was shocked that the performance was by the children from the church, they did an amazing job"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

National Volunteer Week - Thank You Volunteers!

Our volunteer program is the backbone of Martha's Table. In the early years, almost 30 years ago, Martha's Table was run entirely by volunteers. Now, they are still a very large part of what we do here at Martha's Table everyday, and are essential to allowing our programs to run smoothly.

Our Food program provides 1200 meals daily on McKenna's Wagon. This is possible through dedicated schools, churches, businesses and community members that come to Martha's Table every morning at 10am. The volunteers help prepare peanut butter and jelly and meat and cheese sandwiches, and they chop vegetables for the soup, all to go out on McKenna's Wagon. In the evening, a new set of volunteers gear up to go out on McKenna's Wagon's vans, and serve over 1200 meals, 65 gallons of soup and hot tea. In 2008, volunteers helped prepare and serve over 500,000 sandwiches for McKenna's Wagon!

Martha's Outfitters, our community thrift store and clothing distribution center relies heavily on committed volunteers. They help take in donations and sort clothing for the store. Every Wednesday and Friday, volunteers help referrals from partner shelters and organizations find things that they need for free. They often go the extra mile - recently a volunteer created a data system to check in referrals more efficiently and track relationships with partner organizations more effectively.

Our Child Development Center is a great place for volunteers to come and spend quality time with our kids ranging in age from 4 months to 4 years old. Volunteers often enjoy reading to the kids, helping them with arts & crafts, going on field trips, helping the teachers feed them lunch, etc.

Volunteering for Martha's Table is not just about service and helping those in need, it is also about education. Martha's Table takes pride in educating our volunteers about poverty, hunger, homelessness and education. These are issues that Martha's Table faces everyday. Our volunteers understand what Martha's Table does and the difference their service makes. Martha's Table volunteers become our greatest advocates and help us build a stronger community. Over 10,000 volunteers served their community through Martha's Table in 2008!

Thank you, volunteers, for helping us make Washington, DC a better place for at-risk children, youth and families.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hunting for Easter Eggs and Basketballs

Yesterday, the Daycare staged a great Easter Egg hunt all around Martha's Table Daycare area and the playground area. Children from the toddler and pre-school classrooms scoured the grounds searching for little brightly colored plastic eggs filled with surprises.

Some children stayed dedicated and hunted eggs for a full 1/2 hour... others... well, others thought they were on an Easter Basketball Hunt.

A big thank you to the volunteers on Spring Break from upstate New York that helped our daycare find the eggs and place them in their baskets!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Martha's Table Hearts Community Dinners

Martha's Table held our 29th Annual Easter Community Dinner this past Sunday and was met with gorgeous weather, eager diners and hard-working volunteers. On Saturday afternoon, we converted our regular food preparation work space and our Daycare playground into festive dining rooms where folks could enjoy their homemade dinner.

All of the food was homemade; on the menu was:

o baked chicken,
o ham,
o macaroni and cheese,
o sweet potatoes,
o mashed potatoes,
o green beans and salad,
o and an assortment of cakes and pies (whew!).

Everyone enjoyed their dinner and ate their fill; there were many requests for second and thirds!

A BIG “Thank You!” to all of our amazing donors and volunteers who enthusiastically answered our calls for support and help.

We hope to see you at the next Community Dinner!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rubber eggs, moldy bread, exploding volcanoes, crystals and more!

One of the great things about working at Martha's Table is the fact that I never know what the day will bring. Tuesday, I happened to be a judge for our 1st Annual Science Fair here at Martha's Table. As a judge for the science fair I evaluated over 16 science projects and found that the kids had outdone themselves. All of them had hypothesized, researched, tested and concluded their own project. They were willing and excited to explain their experiments to us and that was the best part. At each project they were waiting patiently to explain exactly how they had come to their conclusion.

Some projects stood out:

  • There was the Lemon Battery, apparently lemons can power a light bulb for 5 days! I found out that the secret ingredient was citrus.
  • Ellese was very proud of her "Amazing Egg". Now I know that if you submerge an egg in vinegar it will pop from the acid and when submerged in oil, it turns into rubber!
  • One student explained that the fizz in soda had to do with the amount of phosphoric acid. Cola's fizz more than Ginger Ale.
Please check out the slide show above to see photos of this event. I am so proud of the Children and Bridge programs for researching and displaying their projects so well.

Good Job!