Stand UP DC 1: Update #3

Stand Up DC 1
Update #3!

Can you believe we are heading into the homestretch of the program? We have done so much in the last few days, its hard to remember that we were strangers only 7 days ago.

On Thursday we worked with an organization that specializes in youth outreach. We helped them deliver lunch and necessities before heading to the BBYO headquarters. After a quick tour of the International Office, we listened to two speakers from the National Coalition for the Homeless speak about their experiences. We hope the participants are coming to the understanding that every person homeless or not has their own individual story to share. We finished the day with kayaking on the Potomac River and ice cream in Georgetown!

Friday we were up and out early for a service project in Silver Spring, Maryland. We went to A Wider Circle where we helped organize a furniture warehouse, when people donated unwanted furniture. After it was categorized, we helped move it into the showroom where clients could come pick up furniture to furnish their new homes. After a day of manual labor it was nice to come back and prepare for Shabbat. A Summer Experience Shabbat is always a special time and this was extra special because we were celebrating a birthday!

We had fantastic services led by Jacob Bakhsian (Dallas, TX), Clay Fischer (Dallas, TX), Danny Katz (Sacramento, CA) Sammy Paley (Dallas, TX), & Max Shusterman (Dallas, TX). They were able to connect the week’s parsha to our mission for the trip. Saturday we explored D.C.’s best, the Mall. We finished Shabbat with Havdallah and ice cream.

Sunday was an emotional day for most. We started the day at Franklin Park, a very popular hang out for people experiencing homelessness. We brought breakfast to the people, but it was more about the conversations we were having than the food we were giving. Many of our teens met a lot of interesting people and were able to have real heart to heart conversations with people they otherwise never would have  met. We then went to the U.S. Holocaust Museum where we heard from Al, a survivor – again, keeping with our theme that everyone has a story, and every person’s experiences are different. After exploring DuPont Circle we wrapped up the evening with a reflection led by Justin Held.

Participant Quotes
“Having conversations with people that are homeless at Franklin Park allowed me to recognize each person’s situation and the things they are going through. It was a very eye opening experience.” Alexa Charak (San Juan, PR)

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