Washington, D.C. #7: Service in Local Communities

On our trip today we visited Mary House located in DC. Mary House is a non-profit organization based in DC that “resettled hundreds of families seeking refuge from crises occurring all over the world. While families have come everywhere from Bosnia to Iraq to Ethiopia, Mary House’s primary population remains immigrant families from Central and South America who have fled from violent situations in their home countries.” As soon we walked into the house, we noticed the amount of pictures and toys located in the main lobby. We sat down and were introduced to the program and its missions. The reason for the large amount of toys and books is because of the need of those items in helping the children of the immigrant families. Mary House serves not just as a supplier and physical goods and everyday items, they also serve as an emotion support of the immigrant families, often dealing issues with healthcare and schooling.

What really struck me was the passion the member of the Mary House and Ms. La Puma (who also worked there) had while talking about the program. They really cared about the project and its purpose and I really felt the energy coming from them. As we were asking questions, I also noticed the grit and perseverance that member of the house had. While she was talking about some of the duties that she performs, she mentioned the idea of not giving up and always standing up for what is “right.” I asked a question on what advice she had on teenagers to try to make a change in their communities. She responded to never give up and never doubt yourself and your initiative because of fear of judgment or other external factors.

– Zhexuan Li ’23