Celebrating 5 Years at the Commons: A Conversation with Jackie Ward, Neighbor and Board Member

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Celebrating 5 Years at the Commons: A Conversation with Jackie Ward, Neighbor and Board Member

Welcome to the second installment of our three part blog series,Celebrating 5 Years at the Commons, celebrating the 5-year anniversary of Martha’s Table at The Commons in Southeast DC! Today, we are delighted to share insights from Ms. Jackie Ward, our valued Board Member and Neighbor who has witnessed the growth and impact of Martha’s Table in the community. Let’s dive into her unique perspective on the journey and significance of Martha’s Table in Ward 8.


Meet Ms. Jackie Ward


Q: Ms. Jackie, can you tell us about how you first got connected with Martha’s Table?


Ms. Jackie: I got connected while working for the Anacostia Coordinating Council. I knew about their successful programs on 14th St., and when I learned they were coming to Ward 8, I was thrilled! Meeting Patty at an Anacostia Coordinating Council meeting and hearing the plans for Ward 8 had me very excited. I immediately said, “Sign me up. Whatever I could do!”


Q: How did your journey evolve from being a part of the Anacostia Coordinating Council to becoming a Martha’s Table Board Member?


Ms. Jackie: It was quite unexpected! I initially participated as a resident interested in their plans for Ward 8, and even during the interview process, I was surprised they considered me for the board. It’s been an exciting journey, learning, and contributing to the planning meetings.


Q: As a neighbor, what impact have you observed from Martha’s Table at The Commons over the last five years?


Ms. Jackie: Their COVID response was significant. Martha’s Table was proactive, helping residents immediately, which meant a lot to me. They’ve been effective, bringing hope to Ward 8, and proving their commitment is here to stay.


Q: How would you describe the significance of Martha’s Table moving to Ward 8?


Ms. Jackie: In one word, it brought “Hope.” It gave Ward 8 hope. Many have promised but never delivered. Martha’s Table has been a model of commitment and effectiveness.


Q: Reflecting on the five-year anniversary, what stands out to you both as a neighbor and a board member?


Ms. Jackie: As a neighbor, the inclusiveness and recognition by Martha’s Table have been memorable. They include us in decisions, making us feel valued. As a board member, being sworn in one year ago was a standout moment!


Q: What aspect of The Commons building do you enjoy the most?


Ms. Jackie: The first-floor main entrance is my favorite. It’s spacious, welcoming, and gives a sense of community and openness.


Q: Looking ahead, what excites you about the future of Martha’s Table?


Ms. Jackie: Everything! Being on the board, I preview future plans, and initiatives like the Global Passport Program, expanding young minds, are truly exciting. Programs that offer hope and show possibilities are what I look forward to.


Q: Any additional thoughts or messages you’d like to share?


Ms. Jackie: Congratulations to Martha’s Table! I’m so happy to be a part of this community and look forward to contributing in any way I can to continue the amazing work being done here.


Ms. Jackie Ward’s journey and insights underscore the transformative impact and hope Martha’s Table has elevated in the community. Her experiences highlight the dedication, effectiveness, and commitment that define Martha’s Table, building a foundation of hope and inclusion in Ward 8.


Stay tuned for the last story and reflection in our three part series as we continue to celebrate this milestone and the vibrant community at Martha’s Table at The Commons. Feeling inspired? Share this story! 

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