Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Washington Wizards and Capitals players deliver Christmas to our families!

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Following practice, a whole crew of Wizards and Capitals players, Red Rockers and Wizgirl cheerleaders, sports media and more piled onto a bus and spent the afternoon of Wednesday December 11 delivering Christmas presents. 

(Update: See video from Comcast Sportsnet and Monumental Entertainment covering the event!) 

Two of their stops were for families being served at Catholic Charities. The families were in shock as players bounded into the room bearing armfuls of gifts.

The Wizards players of John Wall, Nene, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza and Trevor Booker joined Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Eric Fehr, Mike Green, Steve Oleksy and Joel Ward. 

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld, Washington Mystics head coach Mike Thibault, Wizards mascot G-Wiz, Wizard Girls and Capitals mascot Slapshot and Red Rockers also joined the group. 

"We couldn't believe it, I didn't think it was real. Then a bus pulled up and suddenly my apartment is filled with all of these athletes. I can't believe John Wall was here!," said one of the families' father, Darion. 

Wherever they went, the players hugged the families, talked with the kids and parents, signed autographs and of course left behind a room filled with wrapped Christmas gifts. 

Check out some photos: 

All of the players delivered gifts to each family.

Wizards' Trevor Booker comes bearing gifts.

Washington Capitals star center Niklas Backstrom.

Wizards Nene and Martell Webster getting to know
one of the children who received gifts.

Wizards' Nene poses with a young man whose family is being
helped at Catholic Charities.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The JOBS Program sends its first class out into the working world!

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We couldn't be more proud to share that our first class of the JOBS Program (Jobs and Other Basic Skills) has graduated. We started small and focused - with nine gentlemen. Today, we held a simple graduation ceremony attended by family, case managers from the shelters many of the men stay at and more.

As Father John said, "There aren't many firsts in life. But you get to be the first for our JOBS program. You are very important to us. I need each of you to go out and be successful, to start your new careers, and open the door for even more people. I am so proud."

Seven of the nine members of the JOBS program are beginning a new job and the other two are awaiting a final offer.

While we'll have a more detailed post soon, why wait to share some of the great photos:
Among those in the crowd were staff from our low-barrier shelters,
where most of the first class of the JOBS program are currently staying.

Father John addressed the group, commending them on their focus and dedication
to learning a new career.

Seven of the nine graduates are already beginning a new job, and the final two are
waiting on final offers. That's a great start!

Case manager Gary Steele (right) poses with Donald, one of the graduates
whom he worked with at a low-barrier shelter. Donald begins a new job Saturday.