This Blog Post Is Not About Food, But You Need to Read It 05.18.2013

Last week, we attended a party and art auction to benefit a DC organization that has become rather dear to my heart: Project Create.

Executive Director Christie Walser (R) chatting with
guests at the 5th Annual Project Create Art Auction.

Project Create provides after school arts education classes to children who are homeless or in transitional housing in Washington, DC – how do you not support that?  I know there are so many problems in the world, and wherever you are, I hope you are doing something about the problems in your backyard.  And here is what’s happening in my backyard:

There are 114,000 children in Washington, DC.  Of those 35,000 live in poverty and receive food stamps.   21,000 of those children live in extreme poverty and 1,800 are homeless.   And it is the poorest of the poor – the homeless or those in extreme poverty – that Project Create serves. 

My friend Christie Walser became Executive Director of Project Create almost three years ago so there was that interest.  But now I know and believe in what Project Create strives to do and I love it. Through Project Create, children who are in extreme poverty or are homeless have access to semester-long classes of visual or performing arts classes, art field trips, and exhibitions and performances within their communities.  

Art is so many different things to different people: it’s therapy, pleasure, work, a gift, a distraction… for the kids that Project Create serves, it’s an opportunity and a chance.  It’s one less hour in a week spent doing nothing or being on the street or fighting or struggling.  It’s one hour thinking, imagining, creating, and expressing.  It’s one hour of opportunity and chance that has profound potential to lead to so much more. 

Christie Walser speaking to the crowd about Project Create.

So, why am I writing about Project Create on my foodie blog?  For one thing, it’s my blog.  I can do whatever I want.  But listening to Christie speak about how little these children have and how much they deserve a chance, I wanted to spread the message beyond the space of my arms.  I want you to help.

Children who come from homeless families don’t have to miss out on creating.  They don’t have to grow up to be homeless adults.  They can have something better and we all know that.  We – as a community – can take the smallest of steps to change their lives.

For the benefit, artists donated work for auction, the proceeds from which go directly to Project Create programming.  My favorite piece was “The Gray Man” by Will Schneider-White.  I was outbid numerous times.  I’m sad not to have the piece in my house, but very happy to have driven the price up to benefit Project Create.

You missed this year’s auction – which, by the way, had tremendous food, wine, and music – and I promise to give you a heads up next year.  In the mean time, make a donation.  Small, big, whatever you want.  It’s tax deductible and it’s for a good cause. 

Depriving children of opportunities and chances is a gross negligence by society.  But I know one little way to fix it:  click HERE. 

“The Gray Man” by Will Schneider-White

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