Saturday, January 14, All Day
Throughout the Foggy Bottom & West End Community
Hello - my name is Zenobia McBride. I am a Washington, DC native and have been a police officer in the City for over 26 years. Recently, I have become increasingly aware of the significant homeless population in the City, more specifically in the Foggy Bottom area. There are people from all facets of the community – Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, elderly and youth, singles and entire families.
Please, don’t misunderstand me -- it had not escaped me that there were substantial numbers of unhoused people sleeping on the sidewalks, beneath bridges, and within the wooded/grassy areas of the City. And over the years, I'd always thought I was doing my part to help them – contributing to organizations like S.O.M.E., giving ‘car seat’ cash to panhandler while stopped at a traffic light, purchasing dinner for someone down on their luck after paying for my meal. Yeah, I have always tried to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate, all the while lamenting, “I wish I could do more.” I’ve come to believe that my keen awareness of the issue means nothing, if I don't do more to address it. As the saying goes, "Who are we as human beings if we ignore the suffering of others."
Upon further consideration, I realized that not only can I do more - I must do more to help! I’ve been given a platform, access to resources, and opportunity - now I have a plan! I am currently organizing an event to assist the homeless during the remainder of the winter months. The moniker for the event, which will be held on January 14, 2017, is “It’s In the Bag!” We will be providing survival kits (in the form of bags) for 50 men and 50 women. The bags will be filled with hats, gloves, socks, hand/feet warmers, hygiene kits, and non-perishable food items.
In keeping with the “bag” theme, we will give out the Empowerment Plan Coat/Sleeping Bag combinations to as many as we can - the goal is 100. Please check out this link -- it’s just so perfect -- http://www.empowermentplan.org/the-coat. I have already requested 12 of the $100 coat/sleeping bag combos, and plan to use one myself to sleep out with the homeless on the night of the event.
While this is the perfect venture to launch the New Year, it’s only the beginning. “It’s In the Bag!” will serve the homeless population where they are, but the ultimate goal is to elevate their living situation. Replicating the Empowerment Plan model – which includes a job training and employment component -- here in Washington would be a step in that direction.
Please support this effort with your financial contribution here: https://www.crowdrise.com/z-wants-to-help-presents-its-in-the-bag-for-the-homeless/fundraiser/Zwantstohelp.
If you are willing to sponsor, partner or otherwise support this endeavor please contact me on 301-537-4628 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. "Let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions." (John 3:18)