Volunteer Spotlight: Lynne Brehmer & Polina Kropacheva

Lynne and PolinaThis month get to know N Street Village volunteer sewing team, Lynne Brehmer and Polina Kropacheva. Since March 2013, Lynne and Polina have been facilitating a 3 hour sewing class once a month in the Day Center. During their visits, they introduce new projects and encourage clients to develop their creativity while learning new skills. Their projects include, wallets, shoulder bags, and recently the clients learned how to sew sock monkeys. When Lynne and Polina are not volunteering, they enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and travelling to exotic places. Let’s get know Lynne and Polina…

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area?

Lynne: I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and studied business at UNC Chapel Hill. I work as a product manager at AARP managing their mobile apps. I heard about N Street Village through one of my friends who volunteered here in the past. I really liked the programs they offered and decided to attend a volunteer orientation session. They mentioned they needed someone to take over the sewing class. I have been sewing since I was a kid and was really excited to find a way to put one of my skills to use while helping out at the same time.

Polina: I was born in Russia and moved to Chicago at the age of 10 with my family, so I consider myself a Chicago native first. I first moved to DC in 2001 to attend college at Georgetown. I moved away for a brief period after graduating in 2005 and found myself back in DC again in 2007 for law school at Catholic University.

What is your favorite D.C. landmark?

Lynne: My favorite DC landmark is the National Mall. One of my favorite things to do is to run down to the Mall in the morning before the city gets hectic and stand at the top of the hill at the Washington Memorial and watch the sun rise. The city is so beautiful at that time of day.

Polina:
I really love the Dumbarton Oaks Garden.

On a Saturday evening you will find me at…

Lynne: I love taking weekend trips, especially camping trips. My most recent camping trip was a rock climbing adventure in Seneca Rocks, WV with Polina.

Polina:
Oftentimes on my couch and every once in a while roasting marshmallows in a campfire at some faraway campsite.

Where is the last place you travelled to?

Lynne: I travelled to Switzerland a couple of weeks ago with my mom to celebrate her birthday. We went to Montreux, Zermatt, and Saint Luc. We had an amazing time visiting the Matterhorn and hiking through the Alps.

Polina: Almaty, Kazakhstan

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)?

Lynne:
Boyhood. They filmed the movie over a 12 year period. It was amazing. Go watch it!

Polina: I just watched Bridesmaids for probably the 7th time. Most recent new release I watched was The Trip to Italy.

What is the last book you read…
Lynne: All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

Polina: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village?

Lynne: I love seeing how proud the ladies are of the creations they have made at the end of sewing class. Many people come into the class with no prior sewing experience and are not confident they will be able to use a sewing machine. Seeing their faces light up at the end and watching them show off what they’ve made makes me feel really great.

Polina: The positive energy. I love seeing how nice and supportive everyone is.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories?

Lynne: One of my favorite recent moments was learning that one of the N Street staff members and one of the members of the class had become so confident in their sewing skills that they started teaching sewing classes on their own.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Tawana Moore

Tawana MooreThis month, get to know N Street Village volunteer, Tawana Moore. Tawana has been volunteering in the community since December 2012 and has served over 200 hours as an overnight supervisor at the night shelter. Tawana is the Founder & CEO of It’s Time to Serve, Inc., an organization whose goal and purpose is to motivate volunteers to become lifelong servants in their communities. Let’s get know Tawana…

I was inspired to serve during a down time in my life and since then I have been encouraged to give to service what it gave to me: meaning. I found that in helping others that you help yourself. I have worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years, and have been volunteering since 1988 throughout the country. My first volunteer experience was with Hanna House where I served for seven years. I have volunteered at hospitals, nursing homes, senior facilities, and elementary schools. But I was looking for something different to do in service, so I decided to contact N Street Village regarding their overnight volunteer program. Along with my Salvation, serving is a lifestyle for me. I enjoy reading and writing. My favorite pastimes include visiting museums and listening to music—classical to opera.

Where are you from originally from? I am from the suburbs of Prince George’s County.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? I don’t have a favorite restaurant because I am selective of foods, but I do like Clyde’s.

On a Sunday morning you will find me…On Sunday mornings you will find me at the Lion of Judah Church in Worship.

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)? A black & white movie with Betty Davis, The Old Maid.

Who is one of your favorite musicians? Not a favorite but I like William McDowell (“I Give Myself Away”).

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? The National Mall.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories? Watching TV with the residents as we talk back to the TV together.

What do I enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village? The fellowship with the residents.

What makes N Street Village unique to you? All the programs because they restore the whole woman.

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Show Your SHE-RO Stripes – 10 More Days!

Cheryl SHE-RO 1

You did it SHE-ROES!  Together we met our $20,000 goal! AND, now we have been challenged to soar even higher….

An anonymous donor has offered $5,000 if we can raise $10,000 in the last 10 days of the campaign.  We know this will require a power-boost of superpowers from every SHE-RO!

If we meet this new challenge, we can fill the gap left by of the closing of the Fannie Mae Walkathon funding.

Just like Cheryl who came to N Street Village with an initial goal of finding a meal and a shower, she was challenged to do more. We asked her to look inside to find the greatest SHE-RO in herself, to think about where she wanted to be and how we could work together to help meet her new goals. Through Cheryl’s hard work and determination she met this challenge.

Today, Cheryl has her own apartment and is a leader in our community. Like, Cheryl, we are asking you to consider doing just a little more – for each woman who comes to N Street Village seeking the opportunity to be her own SHE-RO.

We’re in the homestretch SHE-ROES and we need your help!  Increase the impact of your gift today!

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Spiritual Hunger

Longtime N Street Village volunteer, Joan Maxwell, wrote a beautiful piece on her experience at N Street Village.  Her article, entitled “Spiritual Hunger,” was recently published by Living Contemplatively.

http://livingcontemplatively.org/articles/spiritual-hunger/

Join us in congratulating Joan on her wonderful achievement!

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Fresh off the Press: FY14 Village Annual Report

FY2014 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014) marks the 40th anniversary of N Street Village’s founding. Every day for the past 40 years, the doors of N Street Village have been open to thousands of women who seek help, hope, and a new beginning. In this year’s annual report, we highlight women who live at N Street Village and their accomplishments. We hope you enjoy!

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It’s Working!

SHERO WEBSITE HEADERSince we launched our SHE-RO Virtual Walk campaign to raise $20,000 for N Street Village’s life-saving services, Village SHE-ROES have stepped up, raising $10,440 in support of our city’s most vulnerable women. Amazingly, 61% of the dollars raised so far have been raised through personal fundraisers! Now we are just $9,560 away from our goal.

Please give $35 or whatever you can to help ensure each woman who arrives at our door is provided the resources she needs to walk on and find her inner SHE-RO despite the loss of Fannie Mae’s Help the Homeless Walk.

AND — to make things even more fun — Robin Halsband and Jeremy Spector have offered to donate $100 to N Street Village for every SHE-RO Virtual Walk personal fundraising page created between now and next Thursday, October 16. Start creating your page today using the Village “Quick Start Guide“.

Thank YOU for your support!


WHY CREATE A PERSONAL FUNDRAISING PAGE?
a personal fundraising page allows you to:

  • Talk about your personal connection to N Street Village
  • Set your own personal goal in support of our campaign’s goal (you can even offer a match!)
  • Invite your friends to give and communicate directly with them
  • Track how much you and your friends have contributed and see how your efforts stack up on the Village SHE-RO Leaderboard.
  • Set your page up before October 16 and N Street Village will receive an additional $100.

Need support setting up your page?
Please contact Megan McKinley at mmckinley@nstreetvillage.org
& consider downloading the Village’s personal fundraising “Quick Start Guide“.

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A True Village SHE-RO | Idell’s Story

Idell SHE-ROThe youngest of 15 children, Idell was raised by her father and siblings after her mother died. Soon after, Idell got involved with “the wrong crowd,” and fell into a vicious period of drug abuse, which led to being in and out of jail. In 2011 Idell found herself once again in jail. She had a broken leg, which due to lack of proper care became infected and had to be amputated. Idell was desperate for change. Then she learned about N Street Village.

In September 2012, Idell moved into the N Street Village Recovery Housing program, a residential community where women live together and work on stabilizing their mental health and overcoming addiction. Idell devoted herself to her recovery and to healing.

“When I came to N Street Village, everybody loved me so I wasn’t scared. I could start to take care of myself.”

This year, Idell moved into her very own ADA-compliant apartment at N Street Village’s Erna’s House, a permanent supportive residence for women with histories of chronic homelessness. She enjoys living in a space that offers her the privacy and space she needs to become more confident with her disability, while working on her balance and navigating her surroundings. Idell has also recently been connected to a prosthetic leg class and looks forward to one day walking into N Street Village.

Idell has now found her inner SHE-RO. Her super power is telling her story to help inspire others to make positive changes in their lives. Idell manages the inspiration board at Erna’s House – and hopes that the passages she displays will help her fellow neighbors during a time of need.

“A SHE-RO is someone who shares their story in order to help someone else.”

Support our Village SHE-RO Idell with a gift in her honor and it will be matched up to $5,000! This generous match is provided by Sherry Hiemstra and Decker Anstrom. Thank you Sherry and Decker!

SHE-RO [sheer-oh] a man or woman who stands up specifically for women’s rights.

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