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DC Businesses Doing Social Good
Free meals, donations, learning resources and much more
Local businesses, many of which are feeling the brunt of the crisis, have turned their efforts toward serving the community through free meals, fundraising, educational opportunities for youth and other grassroots campaigns. We hope by sharing some of these businesses, we can help raise awareness about the opportunities that exist for those in need. We also encourage all to help support these extraordinary businesses and organizations for providing a good to the people who make our city such a wonderful destination to visit.
COMMUNITY & STAFF DONATIONS
I.M.P. Family Fund
The team behind well-known music venues like 9:30 Club and The Anthem has promised to match the amount of every gift card purchased through March 28 and will make donations to I.M.P. Family Fund. Donations start at $25.
City Winery Employee Relief Fund
Usually crowded with concertgoers and wine lovers, City Winery in Ivy City is seeking contributions to its employee relief fund. The winery has established a fundraising campaign through gofundme.org to support affected team members. Loyal patrons can also plan for a visit in the future with one of its gift cards, which includes a 20% donation to the employee relief fund.
Help rally behind the DC theater community, which established the Taking Care Fund to provide emergency assistance to Washington-area theater professionals in times of unforeseen financial hardship. All funds will be used to provide direct relief to theater professionals in need at this time.
DC Jazz Festival
Forced to postpone its summertime festival, the organization that plans the festival set up a COVID-19 Community Resource Center, which is intended to help support the musician community with information about how to apply for relief, where to donate and the latest information about the coronavirus crisis.
Consider supporting the Carmine's Employee Relief Fund through gofundme.org, which will direct dollars to the nearly 150 families affected by the recent closure of the beloved Italian eatery.
Northstar Meetings Group
This group has established the Above and Beyond Foundation for workers laid off during the COVID-19 crisis and is issuing $500 grants to former front-line hotel workers.
The Nats have established the NATS4GOOD Community Response Fund, which will disperse charitable grants to community partners delivering essential food access, health and human services.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES & RESOURCES
International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum offers free and downloadable lesson plans, resources and kid-friendly activities for parents, teachers and anyone looking for activities to engage children at home. You can practice mind memory games or collaborate on building a spy gadget.
National Children’s Museum
The new museum is bringing STEAM-powered learning into homes everywhere. Check out the recurring virtual #STEAMwork series on Facebook at 2:30 p.m. daily for various projects, experiments, story time and other programs for kids under 12. On Thursdays, the museum will pose a Design + Build challenge for kids.
Teach your kids about American history and Abraham Lincoln’s assassination through the Ford’s Theatre’s distance-learning resources. Take advantage of a free resource, such as Exploring Lincoln in Washington, or a paid option, like a virtual investigation with an actor playing Detective McDevitt, who handled the assassination. The museum and historic site also offers virtual tours on its website.
National Air & Space Museum
STEM in 30 serves as a fantastic educational resource for middle school students. Videos are released monthly and kids can tune in live and ask experts questions when the video concludes.
National Museum of African American History & Culture
The museum's learning lab offers students and teachers digital resources including imagery, essential documents and engaging videos. These materials bring stories to life and inspire readers to become agents of change.
National Museum of Natural History
In addition to its array of science teaching resources, the museum has also opened up its webcast archives and will continue to host video webinars to help with distance learning.
DC Arts & Humanities Education Collaborative
This education project offers a distance learning resource database divided by topic and audience. Resources are sectioned into visual arts, performing arts and humanities and are also organized by age group (early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school).
You can now view all DC transportation provider updates in one place thanks to the online resource linked above, compiled and shared by goDCgo.
This service is donating free interpreting minutes to customers who need language assistance to consult with a doctor about COVID-19.
DONATED, DISCOUNTED & FREE MEALS
Baked by Yael
Renowned cakepoppery Baked By Yael, situated across the street from the National Zoo on Connecticut Avenue NW, is partnering with the Cleveland & Woodley Park Village nonprofit to assist vulnerable members of the local community. The bakery is accepting donations starting at $10 to provide care packages to seniors, individuals with chronic health conditions and others in need.
DC Bar & Restaurant Virtual Tip Jar
The city’s world-class dining scene owes its sterling reputation to the tireless service industry staff who come to work day after day. You can show your love for any number of restaurants, bars or fast-casual go-tos by making a PayPal or Venmo donation to the Virtual Tip Jar.
Hook Hall Helps & RAMW Worker Relief Fund Partnership
The massive beer garden in Petworth has pivoted from serving up beers to offering service industry members care kits and family meals from 6-8 p.m. daily. They’ve also collaborated with RAMW to set up a Workers' Relief Fund to assist members of the service industry.
Global good samaritan and resident chef José Andrés has transformed his restaurant empire into community kitchens offering meals to-go for those in need. If you’re loyal to Andrés restaurants, consider supporting the ThinkFoodGroup staff by purchasing a gift card, in which 50 percent of all proceeds will help extend compensation and health benefits for employees as long as possible, and the remaining 50 percent will support ThinkFamilyFund, the company’s nonprofit that provides financial relief to employees and families experiencing extreme hardships.
The catering company’s Give a Meal program asks contributors to start with a donation of up to five meals for those in need. The program includes participants like United Way of the National Capital Area, Jubilee Housing and Goodwill of Greater Washington.
In addition to offering takeout at its Penn Quarter and National Harbor locations, the Southern comfort food restaurant is assisting locals who’ve been laid off or have severely reduced hours with free free to-go dinners between 5-8 p.m. The goal: serve 250 meals per day. Check its Instagram for the latest menus and other updates.
Known for being a healthy fast-casual restaurant, LEON is offering 50 percent off for all care workers with ID, free coffee for all retail and hospitality workers, free kids meals and free delivery.
Lunch-goers in Penn Quarter can quickly get their fix for Indian cuisine from Merzi, but now you can ensure healthcare professionals can, too. Merzi Cares is taking donations to send lunches to hospitals, grocery stores and other professionals who can't work from home.
Both the DC and Tysons locations of the Mediterranean restaurant will donate 15 percent of all carryout and delivery sales to those in need, including employees and local charities. It has also asked staff to handle delivery instead of using an outside delivery service. The resaurant is also taking donations to send lunches to hospitals, grocery stores and other professionals who can't work from home.
Bayou Bakery (Arlington)
The Arlington cafe is helping to feed children healthful foods for free with its Real Food for Kids program, which serves vegetarian lunches. Families can stop by between 10 a.m. and noon on weekdays for the grab-and-go meals.
MGM Roast Beef
Recently reopened after a kitchen fire, the eatery took no time jumping back in to help the community. It is offering free sandwiches and salads to kids under 12 and free meals for hospital workers.
Sunnyside Restaurant Group
The team behind Good Stuff Eatery, We, The Pizza and Santa Rosa Taqueria is serving free kids meals while school is out. Options include Good Stuff Eatery’s chicken nuggets and mini-burgers with fries, a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza from We, The Pizza and free chicken and veggie tacos from Santa Rosa Taqueria. All free meals come with an apple.
Po Boy Jim
Cajun restaurant Po Boy Jim is helping to feed kids while DC public schools are closed as all children eat free off the kids’ menu. That entails kid-faves like chicken fingers, shrimp baskets and grilled cheese po’ boys.
Two things that fast-casual Indian restaurant Rasa deems important are community and connection, so the restaurant is providing free takeout meals to all school children under 18, as well as free takeout meals for all hospital workers with a valid ID.
Milk and Honey
A self-described “brunch restaurant,” the eatery will provide a free cold and hot cereal breakfast along with fresh fruit for kids and families in need at its H Street location in DC. Help them supply more free meals for kids by ordering off the delivery menu, including syrup-spattered French toast feasts.
Good Company Doughnuts & Cafe
A veteran-owned cafe in Arlington, Good Company serves up more than just tasty doughnuts. The cafe is giving back to the community by offering a free kids meal each day that local schools are closed. Additionally, they are offering free delivery to older folks not comfortable leaving their homes on any order of $20 or more.
Popular pizza joint &pizza is doing its part to support the hospitals of the region. All hospital employees are eligible for a free pizza. Not only that, but it has started setting up its mobile pizza kitchens near the George Washington University Hospital to make it easier than ever to help our heroes. You can support the effort by buying a hospital worker a pizza online or texting #FeedThem to 200-03.
Locally born salad chain Sweetgreen is delivering free salads and grain bowls to hospital workers and medical personnel throughout the region and nation. Using its Sweetgreen Outpost operations, the company is taking requests to add more hospitals to the list. It has also just launched delivery service for all of your salad needs.
There’s only one thing on the dinner menu at all three regional locations: steak and frites, served with a tasty gravy. The restaurant is offering free delivery for dinner to anyone over the age of 70. If you want to start your weekend out right, Medium Rare is delivering a bottle of champagne with any to-go orders of its brunch (which has a few more options).
Purveyor of breakfast pastries and sweet treats, Buttercream has been sending care packages of its signature baked goods to hospitals in need. The bakery is asking for donations to continue to send additional care packages starting at $10 and worth up to $500.
Knead Hospitality + Design
This group established Food It Forward, an initiative that allows you to purchase meals online from their restaurants to be delivered to vulnerable populations.