“Just Look for Someone in a Blue T-shirt, and They’ll Help You Out.”

“Just Look for Someone in a Blue T-shirt, and They’ll Help You Out.”

The first time you step foot in MK’s dining room, it’s clear who can answer your questions. You just look for the people in the blue tee shirts.

One year ago, our current group of Volunteer Corps members put on their blue tees for the first time. As they complete their year of service at MK, we asked them what it’s meant to wear that uniform. As always, their insights impressed and humbled us:

The Power of Belonging: Each day, we worked to earn our guests’ trust, by creating an environment of dignity and acceptance for all individuals.

The Value of Perspective: The blue tee gave us the opportunity to see D.C. through the eyes of our guests.

That Change is Possible: We now know: ending chronic homelessness is possible, and Permanent Supportive Housing is the solution.

The Meaning of Acceptance: Wearing the blue tee means having deep care and compassion for a group of people who come to us exactly as they are. We never asked them to be anything else.

The Power of Partnership: We learned to partner with other nonprofits and government agencies to find solutions to the barriers our guests face.  And the more we collaborated with those partners, the more amazed we were by the results.

The Meaning of a Great Meal: Everyone knows that MK’s meals benefit our guests. But through the early mornings and late nights, we benefitted from the best leftovers in the city!

The Power of Expression: Sometimes the blue tee is decorated with mismatched bracelets, earrings, hairpins, and necklaces, created by our guests. Art therapy provides a creative outlet for guests…that they often shared with us.

That Every Person Has a Story: We led countless writing groups with guests, where we learned from their stories, their talents and their unique voices.

The Meaning of Teamwork: One of the most rewarding aspects of wearing the blue t-shirt is working alongside those who share the same uniform. Working on the Miriam’s Kitchen team, if only for a year, is an unforgettable experience.

The Meaning of Our Mission: We believe everyone deserves to have a safe place to call their own. The back of the blue tee says “Guiding People Home,” because that is Miriam’s Kitchen’s ultimate mission. And we’re so proud to have been a part of it.

It was a privilege to work with this year’s Volunteer Corps members, Claire Cumberland, Samantha Stayton, Samira Tella and Kelley Kidd. Please join us in thanking them for their efforts, their talents and their dedication to our guests this past year.