Meals for the Homeless During Ramadan, photo via Third PillarD.C. Central Kitchen and a local charity are on the hunt for volunteers willing to help “prepare a meal for our less fortunate neighbors” during Ramadan later this week.

The kitchen has put out the call for locals who want to help cook hot meals for the homeless at its main kitchen located at 2nd and E Streets NW on Wednesday.

The event is an effort between D.C. charity American Third Pillar and D.C. Central Kitchen:

Ramadam Kareem! During this holy month, we hope you’ll join us to prepare a meal for our less fortunate neighbors. Third Pillar is partnering with DC Central Kitchen to make hot meals for the homeless in DC. The fun is contagious, and the shift is over in time to break our fast and move on to an evening of activities.

Prospective volunteers are asked to wear long pants, closed-toed shoes and arrive no later than 4:45 p.m. Volunteers must also be at least 12 years old.

Photo via Facebook / American Third Pillar Charities


Cyclists will ride from NoMa to the Atlantic Ocean to promote autism awareness next month.

Nonprofit organization Bike to the Beach is slated to host its 10th annual charity bike ride on July 29. Locals can sign up for the 100-mile bicycle ride, which begins at Storey Park in NoMa, or the 60-mile ride, which begins at Wye Mills, Md.

Regardless of where cyclists start, they’ll finish the ride at Dewey Beach in Delaware.

More information about the event from Bike to the Beach:

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Ethiopic dish (Photo via Ethiopic)An Ethiopian restaurant on H Street NE will celebrate its sixth anniversary tonight by donating to a global charity.

Ethiopic (401 H St. NE) will give 100 percent of tonight’s proceeds to charity Save the Children, reports neighborhood blog Frozen TropicsSave the Children gives food, water and support to kids and families across the globe.

Ethiopic is open until 10 p.m. Check out the restaurant’s menu here.

Photo via Ethiopic


Her Resiliency CenterAn upcoming reception is set to help raise money for a newly opened nonprofit for women on Capitol Hill.

The fundraiser will be held at the National Association of Realtors (500 New Jersey Ave. NW) and will help benefit HER, a resiliency center aimed at helping women in need and located at 122 C. St. NW.

During the event, patrons will “enjoy light refreshments and drinks while learning more about our work and how you can help make a difference in the lives of DC’s vulnerable young women.” All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to HER.

The center, which launched last week, provides guidance, life skills and employment readiness training to young women in need between the ages of 18 and 25.

“The first focus that we’re going to be putting our effort toward … is making sure our young women have the time they need to get on their feet,” HER founder Natasha Guynes said before the launch. “We’ll begin teaching them how to take care of themselves as an adult and how to be a member of the community.”

Image via HER


Rain, umbrellas near the Eastern Market Metro station, March 20, 2015

This week, D.C. broke the record for time before the first snow of winter, and the snowless streak is set to continue at least through this weekend. With possible scattered showers across the area and temperatures reaching the low 60s on Sunday, this weekend is shaping up to be wet and relatively warm.

It is also shaping up to be a busy weekend in the Capitol Hill area, with the holidays over and multiple events planned across the area. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of this weekend in the Capitol Hill area:


Freed Bodyworks Open House
Freed Bodyworks (1337 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)
Friday 5-7 p.m.

Learn about Freed Bodyworks’ newest services, meet practitioners, enter a raffle and snack on handmade pies, punch and mulled wine.

All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser
Maury Elementary School (1250 Constitution Ave. NE)
Saturday 9 a.m.-noon

The Basketball and cheerleading teams at Maury Elementary School are hosting an all-you-can-eat breakfast to raise money for the basketball team’s annual trip and the cheerleading team’s trip to a championship competition in Virginia. The breakfast will include pancakes, bagels, bacon, sausage, fruit, juice and coffee. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children and free for preschoolers.

Winter Coat and Potato Giveaway
D.C. Armory (192 19th St. SE)
Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hundreds of gently used winter coats and other clothing and more than 11 tons of potatoes will be distributed for free Saturday at the D.C. Armory. There is no need to pre-register for the event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and everything will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in volunteering to help set up the event can arrive between 7:45 and 8 a.m. to help sort the clothes into men’s, women’s and children’s areas.

Friends of the Southeast Library Book Sale
Southeast Library (403 7th St. SE)
Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

So many books, so little time! Come to the Friends of Southeast Library book sale on the lower level of the library the second Saturday of each month. History, biography, mystery, fantasy, literature, photography, cookbooks — it’s all here! Plus, most books are only $1. Proceeds from the sale supplement programs for children.

Meet Up With Mendo
Ben’s Chili Bowl (1001 H St. NE)
Saturday 10-11 a.m.

Join DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson at a community ‘Meet Up’ in Ward 6. Share your questions and concerns with the Chairman on Saturday January 9, at 10 am until 11 am at the H street location of Ben’s Chili Bowl (1001 H Street Northeast). For more information call: 202.724.8032

12th Night Mardi Gras Party
Gallery O on H (1354 H St. NE)
Saturday 8-11 p.m.

The H Street corridor gallery will have live music, king cake, fortune tellers and more at their annual Twelfth Night party, celebrating the begining of the Mardi Gras season. There’s no charge but the gallery will be collecting donations for Santa’s Cause D.C., an organization that supports foster children in the area.


  • Green Line Trains will operate on regular intervals between the Branch Avenue and College Park Stations, with shuttle buses replacing service to Greenbelt
  • Silver Line Trains will operate between Wiehl Reston-East and East Falls Church only
  • Red Line Trains will operate every 10-18 minutes
  • Orange and Blue Line trains will operate every 20 minutes
  • Rebuilding on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines will stop at noon on Sunday, allowing trains to run every 15 minutes Sunday evening for the NFL game at FedEx field



Po Boy Jim (Photo via Facebook/ Po Boy Jim)H Street NE eatery Po Boy Jim will give a free sandwich to anyone who brings in a new toy tomorrow.

The restaurant is collecting toys for Children’s National Foundation, which works with children being treated at Children’s National hospitals.

This is the first year that Po Boy Jim is holding a Christmas toy drive, but co-owner Rebecca Antoine says she hopes to make the drive a yearly event.

Customers will receive a free traditional Po’ Boy sandwich for every new, unwrapped toy they bring starting at 11 a.m. Antoine says her staff is gearing up to make a large amount of the sandwiches for tomorrow’s drive.

“There’s just a whole lot of shrimp that needs to be peeled because we do it all from scratch,” she said. “But we’re ready and we’re excited about it.”

Photo via Facebook/ Po Boy Jim


5K4Refugees (Photo via Facebook/ 5K4Refugees International Virtual 5K)Members of H Street Runners will participate in a global effort to raise awareness and money for refugees of the civil war in Syria with a 5K tomorrow evening on the National Mall.

The informal run is part of 5K4Refugees international virtual 5K, which is raising money for CARE International’s efforts to help refugees in Turkey and elsewhere. The concept of a virtual 5K is that people around the world will organize small fundraising runs in their communities to raise money for the same cause.

H Street Runners, along with members of several other local running groups, including the Capitol Hill Running Club and the citywide Capital Striders, will start their run at 6:30 p.m. Thursday near the Capitol Building reflecting pool. The runners will run through the Mall in small groups, finishing at the reflecting pool.

Afterwards, runners will meet at Hamilton’s Bar and Grill at 233 2nd St. NW for a post-run happy hour.

The race was organized by H Street Runners member Adam Siple, who heard about the international event from a friend and fellow runner.

“I can’t take credit for the larger initiative, I just thought I could organize a local run since I happen to be coordinating events for H Street Runners anyway,” he said. “There was some significance here because we are the nation’s capital, and other people in the club seemed to agree and really helped put it together and get the word out.”

Siple said he expects 50-60 people to participate in the run, but emphasized that it is an informal gathering and participants will run in small groups to prevent any disruptions around the Mall. Any interested in running are welcome to arrive and can RSVP and find more information on the Facebook event page.

Runners or supporters can donate to CARE’s refugee relief fund online.

While temperatures are expected to warm into the 60s tomorrow, Siple said the runners are prepared to face the cold if the heat doesn’t stick around past sundown.

“This is a very significant showing for a run in December,” he said. “It might be cold and dark tomorrow but it’s pretty cold and dark right now if you’re a refugee I imagine, so the least we can do is run.”

Photo via Facebook/ 5K4Refugees International Virtual 5K


Morning Rundown

Eastern Market Bullfrog Bagels Runs Into Neighbor Opposition to Liquor License — The application for a liquor license at the future Bullfrog Bagels location in Eastern Market hit a road block at an ANC 6B’s Alcohol Beverage Committee where neighbors expressed concerns about overnight deliveries and noise. [Capitol Hill Corner]

‘Build First’ Development Model Gains Support at Greenleaf Gardens — Neighborhood groups have thrown their support behind a “build first” model of redevelopment at the Greenleaf Gardens public housing complex in Southwest which would allow for new development in vacant areas of the complex without displacing current residents. [Hill Rag]

New H Street NE Restaurant Plans Mediterranean Menu, Extensive Wine List — Sospesso Mediterranean restaurant, which is currently moving into 1344 H St. NE, posted a liquor license application to offer coffee during the day and dinner with wine in the evening. [PoPville]

Lessons Learned From H Street Streetcar Collisions — There have been six collisions between the H Street streetcar and cars during its testing phases. Washington City Paper looked at what can be learned from these accidents. [Washington City Paper]

Organization that Aids Low-Income Veteran Families Raising Money for Christmas Stockings — Community Connections, a Capitol Hill nonprofit that provides mental health care to veterans and others is raising money to provide Christmas stockings full of gifts to children of low-income veterans this year. The group is also collecting winter coats, scarves, hats and gloves at various locations throughout Capitol Hill. [The Hill is Home]


Giving Tuesday (Photo via’ve made it through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but the post-Thanksgiving holidays aren’t over yet. Today is Giving Tuesday, a day started in 2012 to give those who spent the past four days shopping a chance to give some of the money they saved to causes and charities they care about. And this year is shaping up to be the biggest Giving Tuesday ever, with NPR declaring this year that the quasi-holiday has officially become ‘a thing.’

For those looking to support causes in their own neighborhoods, there are plenty of options in the Capitol Hill area. The Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy has a full, vetted list of area charities raising money this month on their website. Here are some local charities and organizations raising money today:

Anacostia Watershed Society

The Anacostia Watershed Society organizes cleanup and conservation efforts with the goal of making the Anacostia River swimmable and fishable. Funds raised go toward supplies to remove trash and tours of the river given to local students.

Reach for College!

Reach for College! helps disadvantaged high school students across the district apply and prepare for higher education. In the Capitol Hill area, Reach for College! works with students at Eastern High School and Cesar Chavez PCS.


The Shaw-based STRIVE DC works with hard-to-employ adults in Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8 to give them the education, skills and confidence they need to find a job. Funds raised will go toward three-week job-training programs for adults and two-year follow-up services for those who have secured a job.

Open Arms Housing

Open Arms Housing operates a home in NoMa where formerly homeless women live together in apartments where they can feel a sense of security and community. The organization also offers voluntary mental health and substance abuse services to its residents.

Homeless Children’s Playtime Project

The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project makes sure that homeless children still have a chance to be kids by offering safe places where they can play, interact and work on homework. The project works within D.C. General Homeless shelter and other shelters across the city.

Family and Youth Initiative

Based in Navy Yard, the Family and Youth Initiative pairs teens in foster care with caring adult role models and mentors. Donations provide anything from birthday cards for teens in foster care who otherwise would not receive anything to events where teens can meet families considering adoption.

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop

Free Minds runs the literary journal The Untold Story of the Real Me: Young Voices from Prison. The group works with incarcerated youth, including those at the DC Jail in Hill East, to help them express themselves and connect with others through writing. The group also provides copies of inmates’ writing to local schools.

Everybody Wins! DC

Everybody Wins! operates literacy and mentoring programs in low-income public elementary schools throughout the District including Amidon-Bowen, Ludlow-Taylor, Tyler, J.O. Wilson, Maury and Miner elementary schools in the Capitol Hill area.

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop

CHAW offers arts education and opportunities for children and adults around the Capitol Hill area. Donations will be used to cover art class tuition for those who otherwise would not be able to afford it and supplies for arts classes.


BEST Kids offers mentorship and peer bonding events for foster children in the District. Mentors are helped by experts in psychiatry, education, legal advocacy and behavior management and help children set and reach goals for themselves.

Barracks Row Main Street

Barracks Row Main Street is a nonprofit organization that supports businesses along 8th Street SE and hosts events in the area. The money raised during Giving Tuesday will go toward planting spring flowers, other seasonal decorations and other public space improvements along the street.

Photo via


diaper drive 2014 (Photo via Facebook/ Capitol Hill Diaper Drive)Organizers of the annual Capitol Hill diaper drive are hoping to collect more than 14,000 diapers over the next two weeks.

On Saturday, businesses on and around Capitol Hill will begin collecting diapers, baby wipes, diaper cream and formula for the D.C. Diaper Bank. The drive will last until Sept. 26.

Drive organizers will set up donation spots on weekends at Eastern Market, and several local businesses have signed on as additional drop-off points, including Dawn Price Baby (325 7th St. SE), 7th Hill Pizza (327 7th St. SE), Labyrinth Game Shop (645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) and Curbside Cupcakes (257 15th St. SE).

Last year’s drive yielded more than 13,000 diapers, but organizers are hoping to gather even more this year.

Photo via Facebook/ Capitol Hill Diaper Drive

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Books (Photo via Flickr/Austin Kirk)More than 30 Capitol Hill homes will open their doors for book-themed dinner parties next month as part of a literary fundraiser.

A Literary Feast,” now in its 11th year, raises money for Capitol Hill Community Foundation grants to area schools. Last year’s feast raised more than $100,000 in grant money.

Party hosts pick a book that will serve as the theme of their dinner, and guests can purchase tickets to any one of the dinners, which will all be held Oct. 17.

This year’s dinners include a Southern feast centered around Harper Lee’s newly released novel “Go Set a Watchman,” local seafood fare at a dinner themed around the novel “That Chesapeake Summer” by Mariah Stewart and “inside-out lasagna” at a dinner built around Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” After the dinners, guests will meet at the Hill Center at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE for dessert.

There are 36 dinner parties to choose from at this year’s feast, and online registration for guests opened on Tuesday. Registration will be open until Sept. 25 or until tickets sell out.

Martha Huizenga, co-chairwoman of A Literary Feast, said the organization encourages people to register as couples, but added that larger groups should split up for the chance to meet new people in their neighborhood.

“The point is to have fun and meet people in your community,” she said. “Earlier this week, people were already chomping at the bit and wanting to get their registration in early.”

Photo via Flickr/Austin Kirk


A local woman is trying to raise money for D.C. animal charities in memory of her popular Capitol Hill beagle.

Pat Leitner is encouraging locals to donate to Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, People Animals Love and other animal charities in remembrance of her dog, Sandy, who died last Monday. The dog was believed to be about 14 years old.

Over the past two years, Sandy could be spotted at many local parades, sporting events and neighborhood sidewalks. She was also a certified therapy dog with People Animals Love and a Hill Pet of the Week.

“I am grateful for every minute I was able to spend with her, even the last one,” Leitner said in an email.

Leitner’s college friend, Michael Rudolf, wrote an obituary for Sandy. He said he visited her and Sandy a few times each year.

He wrote:

Sandy came from North Carolina, where it is believed she was orphaned by Hurricane Sandy (hence her name) and struggled to survive among the rubble for weeks. Eventually she was taken in by a small, overcrowded shelter — dehydrated, underweight, anemic and suffering from a hernia. Homeward Trails Animal Rescue brought Sandy to the Washington area, giving her a much better chance of being adopted. There she met Pat, and a bond was formed instantly.

With Pat’s help and dedication, Sandy went from being a frail little animal who could barely move, to a robust, lively dog who loved to run and play. Once she was healthy enough, Sandy began her training to be a certified therapy dog with People Animals Love. She completed her training just under a year after she was adopted, and celebrated with a party joined by many of her canine and human friends.

In the months that followed, those friends became more numerous, extending throughout the Hill. Sandy could be found helping patients at Specialty Hospital of Washington, visiting with children in Stanton Park, enjoying a treat at Eastern Market or shopping along Barracks Row. (She especially loved going to Howl To The Chief and Metro Mutts!) She befriended the Marines guarding the barracks, the restaurateurs and shopkeepers and everyone she met along the street.

Sandy was also a Washington Nationals fan, attending as many “Pups in the Park” games as she could. From her seat in right field, she would watch the action, enjoy a box of Cracker Jack and socialize with other fans.

Rudolf said Leitner like will host a memorial for Sandy, but plans have not yet been made.

“Not having Sandy on the Hill will be a loss noticed by many,” Rudolf said. “But no lives are emptier because she is no longer with us. Rather, they are fuller because she shared with us a short bit of her time on Earth.”

Photos courtesy of Michael Rudolf and Pat Leitner

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Ride to Conquer Cancer 2014 (Photo via Photo courtesy of Ride to Conquer Cancer/Edwin Santiago)A charity bicycle ride benefiting cancer research is set to pass through the Capitol Hill area this fall.

“Ride to Conquer Cancer 2015” will begin and end at RFK Stadium over two days, from Sept. 19 to 20.

The riders will cycle 150 miles via Mt. Airy, Md., in their trip to and from RFK, stopping periodically for food and beverages throughout the route.

The cyclists raised $2.6 million last year, and organizers are hoping to top that in 2015. Non-participants can donate right up until the day of the ride.

Organizers don’t know yet how many people will participate. But more than 1,000 riders took part last year.

Ride to Conquer Cancer has a particularly special tie for John Murph, who’s riding for the second consecutive year.

The 48-year-old journalist from Petworth lost his father to lung cancer in September 2013. Completing the ride last year is something he said he will never forget.

“The 2014 race was one of the highlights of my life,” Murph said. “While the battle against cancer is making ground, there is still work to be done.”

Photo courtesy of Ride to Conquer Cancer/Edwin Santiago


Hill's Kitchen (Photo via Twitter/Hill's Kitchen DC)Spike Mendelsohn’s favorite aprons and a Beuchert’s Saloon chef’s favorite frying pans can be yours.

A charity event tonight at the gourmet kitchen supply store Hill’s Kitchen will showcase the favorite tools of seven Capitol Hill restaurateurs. The 713 D St. SE shop is hosting a “Sip & Shop” party with mock cocktails and cheese from Hank’s Oyster Bar and Sona Creamery & Wine Bar.

Ten percent of store proceeds will benefit the national campaign No Kid Hungry, Hill’s Kitchen announced. Twenty percent of the retail price of the seven featured tools will benefit the group. And No Kid Hungry merchandise will also be available, with full proceeds benefitting their work to feed children.

Here’s the list of participating restaurateurs and their favorite gear:

  • Taste of the Nation D.C. mixology chair Gina Chersavani: soda spritzer
  • Chef Douglas Alexander of Art and Soul: MAC knives
  • Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery: aprons
  • Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar: microplane zester
  • Andrew Markert of Beuchert’s Saloon: All-Clad 10-inch fry pans
  • Conan and Genevieve O’Sullivan of Sona Creamery: cheese boards

The free event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Photo via Twitter/Hill’s Kitchen DC


Marie, Cole and Devin Gemmell (Photo via Facebook/Ken Gemmell)A Hill resident is collecting donations for the Gaithersburg, Md. father and daughter who lost three members of their family and their home in the plane crash that killed six people on Monday.

When Hill resident Kyra DeBlaker-Gebhard heard news of the crash, she contacted a friend of the Gemmell family to ask how she and her neighbors could help Ken Gemmell, who was at work when the crash killed his wife, 3-year-old son and six-week-old son. His 7-year-old daughter was at school at the time.

“I’m just helping to facilitate what I’m sure we’re all thinking: let’s give to this family in need during a time of true giving,” said DeBlaker-Gebhard, who is a writer and editor. “I needed to do more than donate to the GoFundMe, which I did as soon as I learned about it … We are an amazing network of professionals and families, who I know would want to help by offering donations but may not be able to make the trip out to Germantown or Gaithersburg.”

Starting today, Hill residents can drop off donations at Metro Mutts (508 H St. NE and 407 8th St. SE) or contact DeBlaker-Gebhard by emailing [email protected].

The Gemmell family has asked for the following items:

  • Gift cards to fast food and sit-down restaurants, coffee shops, gas cards, Visa gift cards
  • School supplies
  • Second grade-level books
  • Toys for Arabelle

The family has received many clothing donations and is not accepting those now. The online account had raised more than $413,000 as of 3 p.m. today (Thursday).

“It’s not about me wanting to help. It’s about a little girl who will grow up without a mother. It’s about a father and husband who has to bury a wife and two young sons. It’s trying to help others who feel helpless in face of this tragedy,” DeBlaker-Gebhard said.

Photo via Facebook/Ken Gemmell


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