This month get to know N Street Village volunteer, Jim Luetkemeyer. Jim started serving breakfast to the community in December 2013. In addition to direct service, Jim and his public relations colleagues have updated and created new volunteer materials including, guide books for N Street Village’s volunteer and in-kind office. Let’s get to know Jim…
I have volunteered with N Street Village since 2013. Until last month, I was a senior partner at a prominent public relations firm in DC. But last month, my wife and I decided to take the unusual step to leave our jobs and spend the next year traveling the world. We’re calling it our “one-year retirement” as we will be coming back to DC in a year to find new jobs and to settle back into living, working and volunteering in the city we love. I learned about N Street Village by chance as I lived just around the corner in Logan Circle. Along with travel, I also enjoy following my alma mater Oklahoma State Cowboys football team, and the Washington Nationals.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area? I was raised on a family farm in Okeene, Oklahoma, a one-stoplight town. In college at Oklahoma State, I traveled to DC as part of a student journalism conference and fell in love with the city. When I moved, I planned to be here for three years, but I’ve lived in DC for 18 years.
What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? One way to judge this is by the meals I made sure I had before leaving town for a year – they were El Sol on 11th St. NW, El Pollo Rico in Arlington, Great Wall, and Stoney’s.
On a Saturday evening you will find me…Now, planning the next leg of my journey, but before, you’d find me in Logan Circle having a drink with friends.
Where is the last place you travelled to? I’m one month into a yearlong journey! I’m currently writing this in the passenger seat on a winding road to Arenal in Costa Rica, so the last place would be San Juan, Costa Rica!
What is your favorite D.C. landmark? I love the National Museum of Art East Building – both for its architecture and the art inside, especially the Calder mobiles.
Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Community, Recovery, Hope.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village? Being a part of this great service to the community.
What has been one of your biggest surprises about N Street Village? The comprehensive services provided. When I first walked by, I assumed it was just a soup kitchen.