Posts by Amanda Butts
Retirees Sharon and Larry Beeman got to know DC Central Kitchen the way they got to know many charitable organizations: through benefit events. They attended DC Central Kitchen’s second-ever Capital Food Fight in 2005, and have been deeply engaged with DC Central Kitchen as donors ever since.
“At some point we were invited to come for a tour of DC Central Kitchen after we attended our first Capital Food Fight,” remembers Larry. “What struck us most was seeing the graduates of the Culinary Job Training program who were employed at the Kitchen. You could see they had a developed a real career with real skills and real discipline.”
As Larry and Sharon got to know DC Central Kitchen and its programs, they realized that their financial contributions made a tangible impact in the community. In 2011, they made the weighty decision to include DC Central Kitchen in their will.
“At one point we asked ourselves, ‘Where would these men and women be without DC Central Kitchen?’ As we were choosing organizations to include in our estate plans, we knew DC Central Kitchen was one of them.”-Sharon Beeman
Larry adds, “Since we first included charities in our will in 2011, we’ve made the strategic decision to increase our impact by supporting fewer organizations with a larger portion of our estate. DC Central Kitchen rose to the top of that short list very quickly over the past few years. We’ve always been so impressed with how well informed we’re kept of how our support is used and how well we’ve been treated by the staff.”
In fact, just about every staff member at DC Central Kitchen knows the Beemans. They are frequent attendees at many DC Central Kitchen events, from fundraisers like the Capital Food Fight and Sips & Suppers to the quarterly graduations of the Culinary Job Training program. “Going to graduation is the highlight of our week. Really!” Sharon insists. “Talking to the graduates and learning where they’ve been and where they’re going with their new skills is inspiring.” Larry adds, “We wish more of DC Central Kitchen’s supporters would join us at graduations!”
DC Central Kitchen is launching a planned giving society to honor our donors who have chosen to include us in their estate plans. If you would like to join the Beemans in making a legacy commitment to DC Central Kitchen, or if you already have included DC Central Kitchen in your will, please contact Amanda Butts, Donor Relations Manager, at email@example.com or 202-847-0221.
If Kevin Tansey were a DC Central Kitchen staff member, he’d be one of the most tenured members of the staff.
Kevin began volunteering with DC Central Kitchen in 2005 through the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, a Jesuit volunteer organization for those 50 years old or more. He had the choice of working with one of three nonprofits and, as he was scoping out where he wanted to work, he only had to go as far as his first visit: to DC Central Kitchen. “I just walked in, and it felt right,” says Kevin, a former Peace Corps volunteer and retired program evaluator, who worked for 32 years at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). “The energy at the kitchen was incredible.”
Kevin started his service in the Kitchen’s finance office assisting with tasks such as bank reconciliations, and in 2007 he moved over to help the development office implement its new donor database. Since then, Kevin has been responsible for data entry required to process donations, sharing six or more hours of his time with DC Central Kitchen each week.
Kevin’s generosity doesn’t stop at giving his time. He and his wife Martha, who met as Peace Corps volunteers in Borneo, also support DC Central Kitchen financially. They make an annual gift each year and purchase tickets to DC Central Kitchen’s annual fundraising event, the Capital Food Fight.
In 2013, the Tanseys increased their annual gift. When asked what inspired their additional generosity, Kevin said, “Age! We’re both over 70 now and are happy to use some of the required minimum distribution from our Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to increase our gift to DC Central Kitchen.”
You want your life to contribute to something meaningful. DC Central Kitchen is constantly working and reworking issues and coming up with great solutions to serve our neighbors in need. It gives meaning to my life to support DC Central Kitchen as a volunteer and as a donor.
Given his long tenure with DC Central Kitchen, Kevin has advice for other donors who want to learn more about the organization. He advises, “Participate with the kitchen as many ways as you can. Every rock you turn over, you find more impressive things.”
Darrell Wainwright is a US Air Force veteran who served his country honorably. After getting out of the Air Force, he made some bad decisions. He spent most of his adult life addicted, and he’s been to prison so many times he doesn’t remember exactly how many. But that’s all in the past.
Earlier this year, Darrell was living in the New York Avenue homeless shelter looking for a way to get his life back on track permanently when he saw a flyer for DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training program. He applied, was accepted to Class 91, and, with DC Central Kitchen’s help, he moved into veterans’ housing.
14 weeks later on April 5, Darrell graduated from the program. On April 29, DC Central Kitchen hired him as a production cook. A few weeks ago, Darrell started his associate’s degree in hospitality management at the University of the District of Columbia.
Darrell isn’t an anomaly. DC Central Kitchen is bursting at the seams with stories of graduates like Darrell who have come to the Kitchen to get the tools they need to find their motivation, change their attitude, and rebuild the skills they need to get and keep a job.
Darrell says, “DC Central Kitchen isn’t just about cooking. It’s about changing your way of thinking.”
Liam and Samantha Carey, ages 8 and 6, are aspiring chefs. When they were challenged by a family friend to make a difference in their community, the brother and sister duo turned their passion for cooking into a fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen. They spent eight months developing a cookbook with some of their favorite recipes including “Egg in a Hole” and “Grandma’s ‘Oh I Didn’t Know You Were Dropping By’ Pasta.” In December, their cookbook was finally finished and they sold it to family, friends and classmates.
Earlier this month Liam, Samantha, their mom Kate, and a group of their classmates came to visit DC Central Kitchen to share their cookbook and present the $877.65 that they raised. Liam explained why they chose to dedicate their cookbook to DC Central Kitchen, saying, “They give kids food. If they don’t have breakfast at home, then they get a good lunch at school.” Samantha added, “I want to help people who don’t have a house.”