Dreams Have Become Reality at DC General!
The joy was palpable on Wednesday night, as visitors filled the new Preteen & Teen Space at DC General. You could still smell the paint and sawdust, and see the many signs of hard work that has gone into this space over the last month. It is truly incredible to see the reality of this new haven for youth at DC’s largest shelter for families experiencing homelessness.
We were honored to be joined by DC Councilmember LaRuby May, as well as Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger, who spoke to us of the city’s commitment to serving our fellow DC residents who are most in need of support. We were joined also by two young men who have experienced the Playtime Teen Program first hand. Marcellis, who is a current participant at Teen Night spoke of his excitement that he and his fellow youth would finally have a space to call their own. Chris, a Teen Night graduate, spoke of the dramatic impact that a Playtime mentor has had on his life. He could hardly contain his enthusiasm for the new space, saying “THIS IS AWESOME!”
The beautiful new teen space will be an environment filled with books and primed to nurture our young people as they transition from childhood to young adulthood. Technology stations will help our young people do research for school, and search for jobs. And everyone is very excited about the projected movie screen that will allow Teen Night to enjoy exciting and educational films.
The whole Playtime family is grateful for the generous financial, in-kind, and volunteer support that we have received from hundreds of our friends and community members. We are especially grateful to Lowe’s Home Improvement and JBG for the generous grants that made this project possible, and to Board member Liz Voyles from Fulcrum Properties Group who among many contributions, found our talented designer, Gabe Peyton of DCByGabe, who volunteered his time and efforts to creating such a striking, fun, and colorful environment for our young people.
We are also thrilled to announce that we have received a very generous gift from Live2Give, who have pledged $50,000 in matching funds towards programs in the new Preteen & Teen Space! They are challenging other generous Playtimers to match their gift, raising the $100,000 total that we need to support our DC General youth through the end of 2016. Are you up for the challenge? Give online today, or contact Development Manager Renetta Davis.
Thank you to each and every member of our community who has given of your time, talent, resources, and good wishes. We are so excited at what this new space means for the young people of DC General, and we look forward to working with you in the months ahead to ensure that every child at DC General has a supportive, loving, and educational experience.