House of Ruth

Opening to Volunteers Again!

Opening to Volunteers Again!

House of Ruth is starting to open up to vaccinated volunteers; and perhaps that is you? Right now, we are in need of individuals or groups that can help with:

  • Arts & Crafts (for example: teaching a class on knitting, crocheting, or hosting a Paint & Sip (with juice/soda to sip!))
  • Computer skills–teaching the clients how to create emails, navigate simple computer tasks
  • Job Readiness (resume writing, interviewing skills, how to keep employment once you are hired)
  • Self-Care activities
  • Motivational Speakers
  • Attorneys that can give general advice on custody issues
  • Attorneys that can give general advice on end-of-life issues

We are ready to accept in-person volunteers; the weekdays (mornings in particular) are when we hold most of our group classes. If you know someone, or if you would like to volunteer yourself, contact Elizabeth Kiker at ekiker@houseofruth.org or call 202-597-5803.

Healthy Habits/Healthy Eating Volunteer Project

In August, a wonderful group of volunteers worked to build a garden bed at one of House of Ruth’s family program sites, with tools provided by Majestic Grounds, LLC and its CEO, Roxanne Burroughs.

The volunteer group built an 8’x12′ garden bed, with black landscape fabric to separate the soil from the black top installed at the bottom of the garden. The group plans to return to the newly built garden after the first rainfall to plant vegetables and fruit, with the House of Ruth clients maintaining the garden after that. The purpose of the garden is to promote healthy eating habits for the residents and their children.

We are truly grateful for all of our terrific volunteers who have helped House of Ruth and the women and children we serve, especially during the last several months! Be sure to check out the photos from the garden building day below.

If you are interested in volunteering at House of Ruth, please contact Elizabeth Kiker at ekiker@houseofruth.org or 202-597-5803.

Thank You Organically Me

We have been supported and uplifted throughout the pandemic by volunteers — bringing meals to our Madison program, buying us everything from much-needed newborn diapers to laundry detergent…

We are particularly thankful to Danielle Little (pictured), the owner of Organically Me, who has provided hand soap, deodorant and hand sanitizer to all clients at our single, site-based programs. We always appreciate our volunteers and donors — more now than ever!

Volunteering with Heart at House of Ruth: Face Painters

There are many opportunities to volunteer at House of Ruth. The main way people support our work is through preparing and serving meals in our single women’s shelter on Capitol Hill. Another way people share is by teaching or offering their talents. In January alone, a hairdresser came in and styled several women’s hair, a self-defense class was taught, and — in perhaps our favorite event of the month — two professional face painters, Sarah Long and Lynn McWalters, came in and transformed Kidspace. 

As often is true, behind the heartwarming story is heartbreak. Sarah Long, one of the face painters, reached out because just before Christmas 2018, a well-known professional face painter was killed by her husband. In her own words, “one of the brightest lights in our professional community, Jocelyn Casdorph, was murdered by her husband in their home in Arizona. She’s been called the ‘mother of all face painters’ because she was an excellent and prolific teacher, the originator of a tremendous number of the designs regularly painted by pro face painters, and just a wonderful person who gave so much to our craft.”

Face painters around the world decided to organize local efforts to honor her, and contacted House of Ruth. We were touched by the story and their willingness to volunteer, and scheduled a time. The magic happened from there. As Tara Villanueva, Kidspace Director, said, “The children enjoyed the paint, and were transformed with beauty. Even better, though, was their willingness to paint the teachers’ faces. All the teachers became so excited, and the kids’ excitement built off the adults’, and by the end of the day we were all in a bright, happy, and warm spirit. It was an enormous gift to have them share their skills with us that day.” 

The event was held on what would have been Ms. Casdorph’s birthday. As Ms. Long said afterwards, “This was a wonderful way to honor our mentor. We were very impressed by the wonderful staff and how much love and joy they bring to their jobs. It truly was our pleasure.”

We thank all volunteers who share their skills and talents with House of Ruth — if you’d like to volunteer, please contact Elizabeth Kiker at ekiker@houseofruth.org.

GW Freshman Day of Service

Last month, a group of students from George Washington University helped create a wonderful garden at House of Ruth’s Hope Rising program. Prepared with shovels and bags of mulch, the students spent a Saturday planting fresh flowers at the program site.

From all of us at House of Ruth, thank you so much for your hard work and generous spirit! See below for more photos from the volunteer day!

Baker Tilly’s 3rd Annual Stewardship Day

This past August, employees at the public accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly volunteered at House of Ruth’s Madison program during their third annual Stewardship Day. This annual event is an opportunity for Baker Tilly’s employees to give back to local organizations. The team members prepared and served lunch to the ladies at the Madison program, and provided them with swag bags at the end of the day’s service.

On behalf of all of us at House of Ruth, thank you to the Baker Tilly team for your generous support!

Brightening Days with Volunteers

In the week before Mother’s Day, we were honored by the women’s leadership at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. They gathered together and created 42 Mother’s Day gift bags filled with fancy toiletries, makeup and gifts for the women living at House of Ruth. This type of volunteering is a great way to connect your company with your heart — and the good work we do at House of Ruth. For more information on corporate partnerships or volunteering, contact Elizabeth Kiker at ekiker@houseofruth.org.

Hope Garden is Complete!

Thanks to the help of our amazing volunteers, the seeds have been planted in Hope Garden! Together with the volunteers and women and children, we planted a healthy variety of seeds such as cucumber, corn, tomato and carrot, as well as watermelon, cantaloupe and cilantro. The garden is a wonderful addition to the program, and we had an amazing time planting these seeds. A very special thanks to our volunteers who helped make this garden happen – we’re all looking forward to harvesting the fruits of our labor in a few months!

Click here to sign up as a volunteer, or to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.