Ilana

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I recently moved to Washington,DC from Charlotte, NC, but I am originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil. All these years living in different cities made me appreciate places where you can find diversity, and I am glad I am living in a city where you can find people from all over the world. I am a “people enthusiast”, and I love learning about people’s different backgrounds and experiences.

Why did you get involved originally, what made you want to volunteer and why Martha’s Table?

I started volunteering at Martha’s Table almost four months ago, right after I moved to the U Street area. I wanted to get involved locally, and I found out that this non-profit has been helping our community for over 30 years. I am very passionate about programs that strive for the betterment of children, and at Martha’s Table I found people who not only share my own ideals, but walk the extra mile to help people in need all over Washington DC.

Is there a moment that stands out in your mind about your volunteer experience, with another volunteer or with our staff?

Many times after volunteering, I would reflect on the work we do at Martha’s Table and how it changes the lives of people we serve. One time, at a cooking class given by Martha’s Table staff, I heard a little boy say after he finished doing homemade whipped cream: I made it! I made it by myself! I understood then that what we do at Martha’s Table goes beyond our short-term solutions to poverty. We are empowering people for a better future.