Monday, September 30, 2013

D.C. United Kicks Out 400+ Cup of Joe Meals

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It's hard to imagine what homelessness is like. When clients enter our low-barrier shelters each night, they are exhausted, hot or cold depending on the weather, and most of all hungry - often the meal served at the shelter is the only one they'll eat that day. 

Our Cup of Joe program provides our homeless neighbors with an extra bagged meal to help sustain them throughout a long day on the streets - and it's all made possible through the efforts of thousands of volunteers across our area who spend a few hours in service to others. 

Some volunteers gave an expert 'kick' to Cup of Joe - as staff and players for D.C. United held a Cup of Joe packing session on September 26 following the team's practice at RFK Stadium. "It's always good giving back to the community and we had a great time getting the packed meals together," said Chris Korb, defender for D.C. United. 

"D.C. United is a true good neighbor of the community," said Kevin O'Brien, Catholic Charities' outreach coordinator. "Players and staff packed over 400 bags that were delivered right across the street to Catholic Charities' Harriet Tubman women's shelter." Midfielder John Thorrington even brought his wife Krista and two kids to help out - his daughter helped pack the bags into bins for delivery! In addition to Korb and Thorrington, midfielder Jared Jeffrey (#25) , midfielder Collin Martin (#32). midfielder Lewis Neal (#24) also joined the volunteer effort. "It was a great feeling knowing we were helping someone in need," said Neal.

In September alone our volunteers packed 8,000 Cup of Joe bags with healthy snacks, fruit, juice and coffee, with groups from The Catholic University of America, Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, Maroon PR, and the John Carroll Society.

And the group helped make the very short journey across the street to deliver the breakfast bags to our women's emergency shelter, Harriett Tubman, which helps more than 100 women each night. "Our mission is to 'Win Championships and Serve the Community,'" said Kat Chesire, program coordinator for D.C. United. "Working with Catholic Charities' Cup of Joe program was a great experience and allowed D.C. United players and front office staff to volunteer and 'Serve the Community' together."


Step 1 of a Cup of Joe volunteer project: packing paper bags full of healthy, protein-filled snacks and fruit to help sustain our homeless neighbors during a long day. 

Krista and Elle Thorrington, the family of midfielder John Thorrington, help pack a bin for deliver to Catholic Charities' Harriet Tubman women's shelter.

Step 2: Transporting bins filled with the packed brown bags to a van, where they can be delivered to one of our five emergency shelters in Washington, DC. 

Volunteer groups like D.C. United are helping Catholic Charities reach our goal: to provide a Cup of Joe meal to-go bag to each of our homeless clients every morning. That's about 1,000 bags every day! To help us, please email or sign up your volunteer group online