Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Message From Our Sponsors

Hey folks,
Thank you to everyone who has been reading and following along with my adventures. For those who don't know, as part of my AVODAH year, I've been asked to fundraise to support their programs. Since 2002, AVODAH DC has placed 224 corps members in 44 front-line organization dedicated to changing the lives of individuals and community coping with challenges of poverty. AVODAH participants have added $4.2 million in staffing capacity to these agencies, and helped bring critical service and support to District residents.

Today is the last day to support my AVODAH fundraiser. I currently have 37 donors and was hoping to reach a goal of 40 donors.  Thank you to everyone who has donated already, I really appreciate your support.

If you haven't donated yet, this is your chance! I'm asking for a one time-donation of any amount.  I've been having an amazing time with AVODAH and I can say with absolute certainty that the work my friends and I are doing is making a difference in Washington DC.

To donate, follow this link:

Thank you again for reading and supporting.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bang Bang (It's a Beautiful Morning)

The day started out with a bang-- or rather, the threat of a bang. Moments after boarding my bus, a police car pulled us over and and the bus-driver was told to stop. Something about a bomb threat on 17th and I? Given DC is a small city (67 sq. miles), but we were pretty far from 17th and I, so most commuters were disgruntled at the interruption to their morning routine. We all filed out and started walking as did those on the bus right ahead of us. As we got closer, we found the streets blocked off, police cruisers everywhere. I asked everyone what was going on and someone asked a policeman. Apparently, there was a bank robbery and a suspicious package.

I just followed the large crowds down a side street, called my boss to say I'd be late to work, and continued on my way.

My morning routine goes something like this: I wake up and hit the snooze button 15 times. I'm working on changing this. My roommate has been a wonderfully positive influence.

I'm a pessimist in the mornings. I never want to get out of bed. I wake up, roll over and see a patch of grey sky through my window and announce to my roommate that it looks disgusting out. She then tells me how BEAAUUUTIFUL it is outside, and this convinces me to give the day a try. I then try and think positively, and get out of bed and the day is better. I also realize that it’s isn’t really sunny here. In Denver, it's sunny 300 days of the year, which usually means if it isn't sunny, it's gross out. That isn't true here. It can be grey out, but the weather might still be pleasant. Today wasn't that case though. It was raining and when I was evicted from the bus, I was thrust into a 45 degree drizzle.

There was something so odd about the situation, a bomb threat seemed so far-fetched; None of the commuters I saw seemed to react other than to vent frustration at how they'd make their meetings and classes.

I forgot a step of my morning routine. I check my phone and read up on the day's news. My newsfeed is full of stories from Mizzou. Of students subjected to racists comments, and of bomb and shooting threats made to the people of color, specifically the black students, at Mizzou. I see posts about the church burnings in St. Louis, MO. In case you missed it, arsonists set fire to 7 black churches.

I see posts from my sister who has just started a blog, My Friends Are Living In Fear, detailing the stories of people currently living in Israel. As she says, on her about page:
"My friends are living in fear and I want the world to know their stories. I want to combat silence, ignorance and apathy. 
I welcome stories from Jews and non-Jews alike. Fear knows no politics. 
My friends are living in fear. I’m sharing their stories.
What will you do?"
My sister has heard sirens and gone into bomb shelters before.

And here I am, in Washington DC, privileged enough to laugh off a bomb threat. Privileged enough to not know violence. This is not a privilege I ever hope to give up, but it is one I like to acknowledge. I live in a safe neighborhood in a safe city, in a safe country. I can choose to live in a "bad area" of town to take advantage of cheaper rent, but also leave that area if I ever feel unsafe thanks to my race and class privilege. This is not a luxury all of my clients at work enjoy and it's important to remember. And that’s all I have to say.

I hope tomorrow is a wonderful day for all of you. I’m sure I’ll wake up and complain about the grey sky, before my roommate reminds me what a BEAUUUTIFUL day it really is.