The following is a guest post written by Dawn Bickett.
On Saturday, February 9th, 20 volunteers kicked off the DC Ecowomen Strong Women Season —focusing on supporting women in our community— by spending the afternoon working at Rachael’s Women’s Center, a day shelter for homeless women in Washington, DC. With plenty of hands and lots of enthusiasm, we made short work of the tasks left to us, leaving us time to learn from the staff about the role of the Center in meeting the needs of women experiencing homelessness in the city.
As Rachael’s Women’s Center Outreach Worker Matthew Lang explained, the organization is one of only a couple of day shelters in DC. Night shelters typically close early in the morning, making places like Rachael’s Women’s Center the only viable option for many women looking for a safe and productive space to be during the day. Rachael’s Women’s Center fills a critical niche by providing somewhere for women to go to get a hot meal, receive guidance for finding employment or government assistance, and even to attend poetry and Zumba classes.
The Center requires considerable upkeep because it feeds and serves over 40 women on a typical weekday, and it was our job as volunteers to tidy up. Wielding eco-friendly cleaning products, brooms, and mops, we cleaned everything from bathrooms to banisters. Volunteers also reorganized the Center’s library and sorted through bags of donations to make supplies accessible. By giving time and energy to Rachael’s Women’s Center, volunteers contributed to the Center’s work assisting hundreds of women each year.
While volunteers should take pride in the results of all that scrubbing and rearranging, the Center is always in need of more help. If you are interested in getting involved with Rachael’s Women’s Center, please go to their webpage. The organization also has a wish list posted of donations that are in high demand.
Check out more pictures of the event by clicking this here, and don’t forget to join in at the next DC Ecowomen volunteer event!