By Thelma D. Jones

The whole team (left to right): Faith Campbell, Gabriele “Gabi” Strauch, Chris Williams, Michael Jackson, James Yarsky, Thelma D. Jones; Courtesy of Author

The recent SWNA Youth Activities Task Force (YATF) carwash fundraiser at Westminster Presbyterian Church’s (WPC) was a resounding success. And, with beautiful weather to boot! 

Our goal was to double our fundraising efforts over last year’s $500. Well, we not only reached our goal but exceeded it by raising more than $1400. with donations still coming in. Not to mention, we also had lots of fun. In the process, we also succeeded in bringing the community together in a socially distanced way, provided a volunteer opportunity for a host of community residents and friends, made some connections, welcomed celebrity resident Tom Sherwood, and, as always, created a lot of splashing fun. 

What prompted this year’s success? First off, YATF coordinator James Yarsky arrived early with his spouse, daughter, and supplies in tow – ready to begin the action and keep the process flowing freely and smoothly from start to finish. Second, we had great weather and a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Third, YATF member Gabriele “Gabi” Strauch kept the cars rolling in by standing at the street corner waving and pointing to a sign which read “carwash.” Finally, we succeeded because most of our customers tipped or donated generously beyond the $15 fee. They appreciated the cause to help support ongoing SW youth programs, especially as we try to overcome ongoing challenges with the pandemic. 

 Local legends and activists unite (left to right): Tom Sherwood, Thelma D. Jones, Chris Williams; Courtesy of Author

YATF acknowledges the generous support of the SWBID, Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund, Christine Spencer and the James Creek Resident Council, who collected and donated $100, and WPC staff, including Co-Pastor Rev. Brian Hamilton, Deborah Jefferson, Michael Epps, and Vyllorya Evans (Vyllorya wore many hats that day). 

Also, a special thanks to WPC for providing the space and the water. 

If you didn’t get your car washed but still would like to contribute to YATF, donations are still welcomed. Please consider visiting and donating $15 (amount of the carwash) or more. You can also send a check payable to the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (note YATF in the memo line) to the attention of Thelma D. Jones, YATF Chair, P.O. Box 70131, Washington, DC 20024.

With two successful car washes under our belt, we have now honed our skills for the next carwash fundraiser, which is tentatively scheduled for September. So, stay tuned and avoid washing your car before September (unless necessary)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.