Stories of communities coming together to help those in need and to lift the spirits of those around them can too often get buried in the coronavirus chaos of front pages and social media feeds. To spotlight the positive news we all desperately need, we’ve compiled some of our favorite examples of the good going around the District. You too can join in the movement to give and donate to those in need. You may just find yourself smiling.
Sweetgreen is delivering free and fresh meals to the medical community in collaboration with World Central Kitchen
The sweetgreen team launched the Impact Outpost Fund in collaboration with chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen with the aim of delivering free, fresh, and healthy meals to the frontliners who have been courageously battling the coronavirus pandemic every day. Sweetgreen has allocated all of its Outpost (their usual free delivery service) services and resources to delivering sweetgreen salads and bowls to hospitals in the cities they serve, including D.C. You can donate to the Impact Outpost Fund here or request an outpost to a hospital in your area here.
Pizzeria Paradiso aims to deliver 10,000 pizzas to people in need over 10 weeks
Together with Art Works Now, local pizza legend Pizzeria Paradiso is working to donate food and art to those who need it the most. Over ten weeks (starting April 9), 1,000 pizzas will be delivered each week to families facing food insecurity, older adults in senior living facilities, health care workers, and unemployed hospitality workers. Art Works Now will send coloring sheets along with the pizzas to the families who need extra activities to keep the little ones busy and energized. You can donate to the 10,000 pizzas campaign here.
A team of George Washington University students and faculty is working with hospitals to 3-D print essential PPE
Groups of students and faculty from a range of disciplines at the George Washington University are answering to the shortage of personal protective equipment by 3-D printing face shields and masks for medical frontliners at the George Washington University Hospital. Their 3-D printing farm produced 200 face shields in just under a week, thanks to the efforts of those at the GW Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, School of Engineering and Applied Science, GW Hospital, the GW Innovation Center (GWIC), student organization George Hacks and others. Read more about their work here.
Nationals Park is being converted into a large community kitchen for World Central Kitchen
The Washington Nationals have joined forces with chef José Andrés to transform Nationals Park into a place where meals can be produced and distributed to communities by UberEats. The Nationals Philanthropies is working with community partners to get its meals to public housing in the Navy Yard and Southwest Waterfront and the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Fort Dupont. With the help of the Southwest BID, the kitchens are also expected to serve the populations of Ward 7 and 8 and homeless communities around D.C. Learn more about World Central Kitchen’s widespread response to COVID-19 here.
Medical Supply Drive, an organization started by Georgetown Med Students, is helping with the nationwide PPE shortage
Georgetown med student Hannah Day and fellow classmates Melissa Baker, Teju Peesay, Allison Rooney, Adaah Sayyed, and Zuby Syed started this organization to ensure that healthcare workers around the country (and now the UK too!) are fully protected on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Their efforts have expanded to over 600 volunteers across 42 states, D.C., and the United Kingdom; they’ve collected over 110,000 items and according to their Instagram, their volunteers completed over 160 deliveries to over 93 hospitals over the past month. Donate to the Medical Supply Drive here.
Medical students from Georgetown University School of Medicine, the George Washington University School of Medicine and Howard University College of Medicine are babysitting medical workers’ children
Dubbing themselves the DC COVID Sitters, this group of over 150 medical students are lending their hands at taking care of the children of medical workers. The children, who aren’t attending schools or daycare due to closures, are matched to eligible students, who parents can then keep in contact with to continue their services, which are free of charge. Read more about what they do on their website and request a sitter here.
Hook Hall is handing out care kits and meals to workers who have been affected by the pandemic
Local bar, Hook Hall, is distributing kits that include shelf stable foods and toilet roll and full meals to workers in the hospitality industry workers who have been laid off or have had pay cuts due to the pandemic with the help of FoodPro and Sysco. They have also partnered with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s foundation Educated Eats to create the Worker Relief Fund. Donations are distributed to support industry worker relief measures. Find more information on the efforts and donations here.
Local PR firm, Savor PR, is offering pro bono PR services to initiatives who are helping during the pandemic
Savor PR is known for managing many of D.C.’s most well-known restaurants like Pizzeria Paradiso, Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken, and Toki Underground. Now, they are offering pro bono PR and marketing support for initiatives who are stepping up to help communities in need or using creativity to solve problems arising during this crisis. If you are someone who could use their help, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DMV Libraries are offering free educational resources online to keep kids who are out of school on track with learning
Public libraries all around the DMV have over 15 million free online resources like books, movies, and more available on their websites and social media channels to continue engaging children who are out of school and adults alike. You can access most of the materials without a library card. Find them at dclibrary.org, library.arlingtonva.us, montgomerycountymd.gov/library, or your local county library’s website.
Local organization ‘Feed the Fight’ is keeping local restaurants in business by delivering their food to healthcare workers on the frontlines
What began as a local neighborhood effort has now turned into an area-wide operation to keep local restaurants in business and to ensure our healthcare workers are fed. Led by organizer Elena Tompkins, with the help of her friend Sarah Cannova, Feed the Fight has delivered over 10,000 meals to healthcare workers at 18 hospitals with food from 29 different local restaurants. Find out more about their efforts and how you can donate to join the fight here.