When Marissa Wilson and her friends from Restoration City Church (RCC) wanted to partner with a nonprofit, Community Lodgings was the perfect fit. “What got us was the mission of overcoming homelessness by helping the whole family,” Marissa recalled. “And we were especially excited to partner with an organization so close to where our church meets so we could serve the local community.”
Their first project? Repaint the Fifer Learning Center. All four rooms had been painted with flat paint the year before, and the walls showcased every fingerprint, dirt, crayon mark, and whatever else the after-school kids could throw at it.
Ten RCC volunteers showed up that Saturday morning, and within a few hours the walls were a cheerful, clean, and most importantly, easy-wipe blue.
“We loved it,” Marissa recalled. “It was a good chance to get an introduction to Community Lodgings.” And the more RCC heard about Community Lodgings, the more they wanted to work with them.
Next came their “Restore DC” service day in late October when they created Community Lodgings’ first “Trunk or Treat” for the community children. “It was about as fun for us as it was for the kids,” Marissa said. RCC volunteers parked 20 cars in a neighborhood apartment complex, set up games, painted faces, and took photos of the kids. Community Lodgings staff joined them to be part of the fun. Although they ran out of candy within 45 minutes, they loved the experience and plan to hold another Trunk or Treat with Community Lodgings this year.
“The kids were just so engaging,” she added. “It was awesome to see how the Community Lodgings staff loves those kids. And,” she added, “an excuse to dress up is always fun.”
Since then RCC has deepened their partnership with Community Lodgings by helping with the Saturday Academy study program, the annual yard sale, grant writing, and child care during mandatory evening classes for transitional housing parents.
Marissa believes the great staff and belief in their work has led to Community Lodgings’ success. “They are focused on each family and make an effort to help them holistically,” she said.
“As a church, we really have a heart for that community, and part of our role is to help where we can. We know the love God continues to show us and we want to show that love to those around us.”