In Washington DC, there are 6,904 men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. Nearly 1 in 5 DC residents’ live at or below the poverty line and struggle to meet even their basic needs. In an effort to do their part, AuPairCare au pairs based in Falls Church, Virginia had the opportunity to give back and learn about the homeless situation in the DC Metro Area by volunteering with SOME. SOME (So Others Might Eat) is an organization that works to help the poor and homeless population in Washington DC by meeting the daily needs of the people they serve with food, clothing, and healthcare.
The au pairs met at the SOME headquarters early in the morning to begin preparing food that would be served over the three breakfast shifts that day. After preparing the meals, the au pairs helped by plating and passing out meals, refilling drinks, running the dishwasher, and cleaning. They then took turns serving the food and enjoying conversations with the SOME guests and volunteers. In serving, the au pairs made sure the environment was clean, safe, and respectful for the guests. Many au pairs agreed it was a very eye-opening and perspective-shifting experience.
Meryam Aifa, an au pair from France commented,
Before volunteering here, I had no idea how many people in DC were homeless and have no clothes or hot meals to eat. I am so glad we got to volunteer, and I want to do more events like this. I like helping people.
The sentiment was shared by the Area Director, Alesia Zagara, who said,
It is easy to stay cuddled under the safety and warmth of your bed sheets; however, it was important to me to offer the au pairs an event that would teach them about homelessness in our area and help shed some light on how they can truly make a difference.
The group gained a great experience from this opportunity and already have plans to continue to give back in their community.