Stand UP DC #1: Service & Teamwork in Many Ways

We have had quite the experiences so far. On Tuesday we split up into two groups, one group went to Martha’s Table where they helped with food preparation by helping cut up vegetables. The other group went to the American History Museum (where the original star spangled banner is) and participated in a National Anthems workshop where they compared the U.S. national anthem to the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah. Following the museum and workshop, this group walked to lunch and made quick stops at the historical Willard Hotel and a new ping-pong club, SPIN. 

We met back up at Eat at National Place in Metro Center for lunch and then took the metro to Street Sense media where the teens heard from the director of the organization and some of its employees who are currently experiencing homelessness. One of the speakers brought up struggles with the food stamp system and the restrictions that she personally faced receiving food due to her health conditions. To help the teens wrap their head around this even more, following the presentation, we had them look at their respective states’ requirements to access food stamps and they began to realize how difficult the process is. That night we headed to Arlington, VA where we did three different live-action, interactive and immersive adventures at 5 Wits.  

Wednesday started off the day quite early at around 6:00 with our journey to SOME. We served three rounds of breakfast to hundreds of people. We liked that we had to incorporate teamwork into getting the task done. In the end, it was very rewarding to know we helped serve people who need it. After a break, we headed to Mazon (an organization that is a Jewish response to hunger). At Mazon, we discussed hunger, the food stamps program (now known as SNAP), and did a lobbying simulation where we had to lobby for or against a bill involving the SNAP program. Following dinner, we walked back to the dorms and saw a few people selling Street Sense newspaper few of us bought one. The issue was filled with poems and stories about experiencing different elements of homelessness. This gave me even more perspective on what the writers were going through. Overall, this day was a fun one! We gave back to the community, bonded, and we all had smiles on our faces. 

Shabbat Shalom from Stand UP DC1 

“My favorite part of today was the Smithsonian American History Museum because I think it is interesting to see what we feel is worth preserving. It also gave me a closer look at national anthems which helped me understand their significance more.” – Maddie Fellner 
“Today we went to Street Sense Media, an organization which provides homeless people with jobs. We also learned that just as we don’t like to be defined by what we have, it is unfair to define people by what they do not have; like calling people who are experiencing homelessness, “homeless people.” – Shira Bar-Chaim 
“My favorite part of the day was when we went to 5 Wits. It was a really fun adventure room and we were lucky to do all three of the rooms which were very exciting. Also, earlier in the day, half of us went to the Smithsonian American History Museum and the rest of the group went do direct service at Martha’s Table. I really enjoyed the museum and particularly the exhibit on the First Lady dresses! The dresses were so beautiful. We also took a detour and did a quick walk through the historic Willard Hotel which was built before the Civil War. I had a lot of fun and can’t wait for the rest of the week!” – Sophie Landau 

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