Stand UP DC 1: Update #2

Stand Up DC 1
Update #2!

Wednesday morning we ate breakfast at the Dog Tag Bakery and learned about the services they provide. Founded by a one-armed Jesuit and a philanthropist with a passion for veterans, this non-profit provides small business venture education as well as bakery jobs for disabled veterans. Through a tour of the facility we witnessed the many differences from a normal bakery that make it accessible for different abilities, both mental and physical. This experience differed from others so far in that it didn’t apply directly to DC’s homeless population but did represent a different inequality that we had not seen so far.
– Max Shusterman (Dallas, Texas)

Wednesday night we participated in an activity which simulated the situation of buying groceries and food for ourselves while dealing with minimal incomes. To further enhance the realness of this activity, each dorm room was randomly given either $5, $6, or $8 for each person, making it more difficult for some to budget. This allowed us to really view the separation between different low income families, as some of us were able to buy more “luxury” food items, while others had to stick to the off-brand “cheap” items that a lot of us aren’t used to buying. “It really opened my eyes to how strategic you need to be to actually buy a well balanced meal on a low budget” -Sean Riordan.

After we purchased the best options for us based on our budget, we walked to the National Mall and had a picnic out in front of the Washington Monument, enjoying the well-thought-out meals we bought. Overall, we all really enjoyed this eye-opening activity and it helped put into perspective what low income families have to deal with.
– Clay Fischer (Dallas, Texas)

Thursday was another great day in DC! We started out our day learning about the Latin American Youth Center and how they are a low barrier drop-in site to help youth aged 14-24 in need. We then made sandwiches and lunches to distribute to local youth and homeless in need. During our outreach, we engaged in meaningful conversations about the issue of hunger and homelessness with police officers, local workers, and people in need themselves. Later, we went to the BBYO International office and had two members from the National Coalition for the Homeless share their personal stories and how they help others in tough situations like they once were. Lastly, we went to Georgetown to enjoy a pizza dinner and kayak down the Potomac River, ending by enjoying ice cream!  It was a great day and we can’t wait for Shabbat tomorrow!
– Zoe Makler (Dallas, Texas)

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