Over 1,000 people prepare serve, and deliver an untold number of meals and toys, donate blood, comfort and cheer the sick, elderly, homeless, and shut-in, and refurbish shelters, health clinics, cultural centers, and other programs in our community that are in need of help. This is in keeping with the Jewish mitzvah (a good deed/commandment) of tikkun olam - to heal the world.
Among the sites and organizations documented are Father McKenna's Center, DC Central Kitchen, Open Arms Housing, the Deanwood Center for Wellness and Rehabilitation, the Emergence Community Arts Collective, the Carpenter's Shelter, the DCJCC, and JAM DC (Jews and Muslims Together).
Thanks again to the amazing Erica Steen and Randy Bacon of the DCJCC and Behrend Builders, to members of my havurah Fabrangen, folks from Temple Micah, and to Washington Jewish Week, who will be publishing a photo essay shortly.
I have photographed this community-wide volunteer effort annually since 1991, except for 2014, when I was in Istanbul (too tough a commute to make it in time). It's one of the highlights of my year, integrating my faith tradition, the value of care for our whole community individually and collectively, for interfaith efforts, for lifting up those who are in need of help, my own skills and vocation as an artist, photographer and journalist, and my bonds of friends, and to my beloved Ruth.
Especial thanks are due to my dear Ruth Stromberg, for her loving quiet energy after getting up way before dawn, keeping up with my adrenaline bursts of activity, her cheerful work in providing the photo captions on this busiest of days, and for her unwavering support for my projects... and for me.
I love love love you Ruth.