Giving back is important no matter the time of year, but it’s at the forefront of our minds on Giving Tuesday. Supporting the communities that we are a part of—whether that’s through a donation or volunteering—is part of tikkun olam (repairing the world), and a vital piece of our mission and culture here at GatherDC.
This Giving Tuesday, the Gather team wants to share with you the organizations that we’re personally supporting this year. Maybe you’ve heard of them before, or maybe they’ll be new to you. But each of them is doing truly remarkable work. Read on to learn more about each organization and why we’re supporting them this Giving Tuesday.
This Giving Tuesday, I am supporting Cambium Carbon, a DC-based organization that works as a platform to facilitate the re-use of materials aiding a greater circular economy. Cambium Carbon saves the wood from fallen trees and transforms it into new wood projects, all while planting new trees in the same communities where the old ones fell.
Cities are incredibly wasteful when it comes to wood. More trees fall in our cities than in national forests, and most of this wood goes to waste. We are already starting to see some of the major effects of climate change. Our consumption rates—especially of products like wood—are not sustainable. And Cambium Carbon is working to change this.
Also, the cofounder of Cambium Carbon is a member of our Gather community! Check out his Jewish Person of the Week feature to learn more.
This year, I’m supporting Capital Area Food Bank, a local organization that serves as the “anchor of the hunger relief infrastructure in our region.”
Capital Area Food Bank partners with 450 nonprofits in the DC area to provide 30 million meals to almost half a million area residents every year. I appreciate that CAFB not only sources and distributes food, but also works to address the root causes of hunger in our city by partnering with organizations that provide critical services like job training programs and health care, as well as local farms.
Food insecurity is widespread and difficult to spot. I’m grateful that CAFB is shining a spotlight on this invisible challenge (check out their Hunger Heat Map here). Here in DC, 1 out of 10 residents is food insecure, and a third of them are children. Food insecurity has only increased during the pandemic, adding an extra burden to many families to source food for the dinner table. With just $1, CAFB is able to provide 2.5 meals, reaching those most in need (especially kids!) with a nutritious meal and finding ways to support local food security initiatives.
This Giving Tuesday, I’m donating to Ward 4 Mutual Aid and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Founded in early 2020, Ward 4 Mutual Aid is a completely volunteer-run organization that delivers food, water, household and baby supplies to neighbors in Ward 4—no questions asked, no strings attached. They partner with DC Central Kitchen, Capital Area Food Bank, and Bread for the City to provide fresh produce and shelf-stable food to hundreds of families every month. Ward 4 Mutual Aid is part of the DC Mutual Aid Network. As a resident of Ward 4, supporting my immediate community is very important to me. I encourage you to look into and support your own ward or neighborhood’s mutual aid group.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) advocates to increase understanding and acceptance of trans people. Throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice. They work at the local, state, and federal levels to change laws, policies, and society.
NCTE projects include the Trans Legal Services Network, which helps trans people navigate the legal name and gender marker change process, and the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative, which supports trans people of color and folks who live in urban and rural poverty.
I’m a regular donor to JCADA: Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse. JCADA is a DMV-based non-profit whose mission is to “support victims of power-based violence to become empowered and live safely; educate the community about power-based violence and the appropriate responses; and prevent future generations from suffering power-based violence.”
What I admire about JCADA is their holistic approach to both addressing and preventing sexual violence and abuse through professional clinical, legal services, and education. Domestic violence is still not something widely spoken about in the Jewish community. I’m grateful JCADA is bringing awareness and support to those in need and those in leadership positions like rabbis, who are responsible for the health and wellbeing of their communities.
This Giving Tuesday I am supporting the Native American Rights Fund, a 501(c)3 that provides representation and legal assistance to Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals in the areas of tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, and resource protection.
This is the season of Thanksgiving, a time where many of us gather and, as part of our holiday traditions, express and share in heartfelt gratitude and joy. But it has become impossible for me to sit in the joy of the season without acknowledging our nation’s brutal history, how we got here today, and at whose expense. The weaponization of our local and federal legal systems to systematically dismantle pre-Columbian indigenous society and sovereignty is not an artifact of history, but a series of intentional, strategic choices spanning our national legacy that continue to this day. Native American Heritage Month feels like an especially appropriate time to support an organization whose mission is dedicated to the pursuit of righting this ongoing injustice.
This Giving Tuesday, I’m donating to the InterPLAY Orchestra, a music ensemble for adults with cognitive and physical disabilities based in Maryland. I have volunteered with InterPLAY as a “Bandaide”—a volunteer musician and mentor—for five years. InterPLAY gives its members the opportunity to express themselves in the universally understood language of music. We meet weekly for rehearsals, and although we are all of different abilities, the music we create has the power to bring us together across our differences.
Many of our members do not have access to therapies that address their continual need for cognitive and physical development. InterPLAY provides a consistent space for members to enhance their cognitive, social, and motor skills. InterPLAY is also a tight-knit, supportive (and fun!) community, and one that I am so proud to be a part of.
We have continued to meet virtually during the pandemic, and just released a music video to Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of my Life”—check it out here!
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The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.