Last week, April 6-13th was National Volunteer Week. As part of this, we took time to recognize and reflect upon the impact that volunteers make in the lives of our families here at Transitional Housing Corporation. THC was founded by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1990, when they saw an increasing need for housing and treatment for homeless families in Washington. Though it has been 24 years since we were founded, we still use volunteers to create dynamic and vibrant programming for the families that we serve.

What do THC Volunteers doIn 2013, 235 volunteers served over 2,000 hours with THC. These groups and individuals serve in a variety of ways, ranging from one-time opportunities to regular weekly (or bi-weekly) opportunities. The majority of volunteer hours spent with THC happen with our youth related programming, whether through tutoring, youth enrichment or our youth garden programs – these volunteers commit to a minimum of 3 months (though often times more). They serve every week at our housing facilities in Petworth, Brightwood, Columbia Heights and Fort Dupont as support people for our evening programs. Depending on the location, these activities vary from tutoring, arts and crafts, reading time, gardening, and specialized workshops (on health and empowerment). Volunteers also spent time helping with one time opportunities including garden projects, holiday parties, physical labor events and our Adopt-An-Apartment program.

Overall, THC has a diverse, inclusive and empathetic community of volunteers. They carry out central roles in supporting homeless and at risk families in their work to transform their own lives. They do this by sharing their skills, compassion and energy to enrich programs, enhance community and build personal connections with participants.

In the spring of 2013, two volunteers (Amina Akhtar and Jon Penniman) joined THC as part of their service learning course with George Washington University. Together they have served countless hours working as tutors and garden volunteers at our Webster Gardens and Faircliff Plaza East locations. In this video they reflect on their experience serving with THC.

This interview shows not only the volunteer commitment to the youth that THC serves, but the impact that volunteering has had on their own lives. Service has the powerful ability to mutually benefit those that volunteer and those that are supported by volunteers.

Want to learn more about THC’s Volunteer Opportunities? Check out the volunteer section of our website, or contact Kate Stritzinger at to find out when the next training is!

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