It’s no secret that New Yorkers struggle transitioning to DC. And on top of adjusting to short buildings, big yards and roundabouts, I moved to a 9-to-5 cubicle, commuting by car and six months without travel. I’ve held a little grudge against the city by association and had to get a little more proactive about warming up to my new (temporary) home.
To start, I’ve made myself wade through tourists to take advantage of the free museums at my doorstep, try a new restaurant every week, and treat this destination like any I’d travel to. As such, I’ve found a few ways to do a little good locally, thanks to DC Metro and Gannett in part.
Here’s where you can make a difference in DC, even if you’re only passing through.
1. Ben’s Chili Bowl. That’s right, a local landmark tourists are likely to visit anyway gives back a portion of profits to charities in the district. You can make a little difference just by chowing down.
2. Jill’s House serves children with intellectual disabilities and their families by providing qualified care to give parents time off. Volunteers can care for children by swimming, playing basketball or facilitating arts and crafts, or support the program with administrative assistance. Donors can sponsor a child for as low as $42 and groups can plan a three-day mission trip.
3. Martha’s Table combats poverty with long-term solutions for families from food and clothing to job training and support programs. Food, clothing, toiletry and office supply donations are always accepted and volunteers can assist with food preparation, tutoring, childcare or simply sorting the donations.
4. Little Lights Urban Ministries works with inner city youth instilling life skills, art, academics and spirituality through tutoring, recreation, Bible studies and mentoring. Volunteers can work with these programs or help with organization or event planning. And donations are easy with the Change the City coin can drive.
5. Suited for Change empowers low-income women in the job field by providing second-hand professional attire. They’re always accepting business and business casual clothing donations and there’s an abundance in the nation’s capital.