This southwest Washington D.C. community put its own twist on the traditional spooky event in what they called “Falloween!” It was a safe place for families in the neighborhood to and play, listen to great music and enjoy sweet treats and food.
Community leader and executive director of D.C. Housing Authority executive director Brenda Donald shared why days like these are so important.
“We’re pushing through everything,” she said. “From work maintenance, certifying public housing residents, making sure that their lives are complete and that they have good quality of life, we have a lot of work to do…and I want [employees] to see why we are doing the work that we do, and that’s interacting with our residents.”
The activities included face painting, a bounce house and even a cotton candy machine. The Washington, D.C. housing authority partners with organizations like GOOD Projects to not only help make these events happen but also to provide resources to the community such as after-school care programs and summer camps.
GOOD Projects counselor Koby Meadows reflects on her childhood as a low-income student and how positive programs changed the trajectory of her own life.
“At one point I was a low-income inner-city kid, and I didn’t think education would do much for me,” Meadows said. “And a program like GOOD Projects came along and they actually changed my life…I got a college degree and came back to do the same thing…you can make change in the community by being the change in the community.”
GOOD Projects founder Darius Baxter says his main goal when beginning the organization was to create the change he wanted to see in the world, and more importantly his own community.
“I just focused on my neighbors and trying to make the community that I love a little bit better,” Baxter said. “And just doing that with all the passion, and the joy, and the love, literally trying to go broke on resources…allows me to see the amazing impact we’re having in Southwest.”