Child Welfare

For Our Children: A Day of Service

October 31, 2023 | National

Dr. Starsky Wilson speaks into a microphone.

Over the last month, I’ve told you about many of the fun and inspiring events we have planned to commemorate Children’s Defense Fund’s 50th anniversary. They include our Celebration of Joy at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as our Child Well-being in America: National Policy Forum and our celebration of CDF Freedom Schools®’ 30th anniversary, both at Howard University.

These events will highlight our organization’s relentless efforts to improve the circumstances of young people living across America. However, there is one more special event we have scheduled that I would also like to bring attention to. On Saturday, November 4, we will hold our first ever Day of Service as a tribute to CDF’s Founder and President Emerita, Marian Wright Edelman.

Mrs. Edelman’s work these last five decades embodies all we hold dear at Children’s Defense Fund. She committed herself to making sure every child, no matter their background, would have the opportunity to live their lives with dignity, hope, and joy. Furthermore, she carried out her work as a committed servant leader, never one to back down from large political and financial interests that did not share the goals of her extraordinary vision. So, it is only fitting that our day of service be named in her honor.

We will kick off the day at Children’s Defense Fund’s national headquarters, before sending our volunteers to participate in four different, concurrent service events around the Washington, D.C., area later that morning.

The Social Justice School, our CDF Freedom Schools site in Northeast D.C., will host our Liberation Libraries event. Here, volunteers and community members will assemble and curate six classroom libraries featuring banned books with handwritten affirmations to middle school scholars at the Social Justice School. Meanwhile, at the Washington Youth Garden, another CDF Freedom Schools partner, participants will support routine maintenance in the fruit and vegetable garden that provides fresh, healthy foods to help fight food insecurity across the District of Columbia.

Then, in partnership with the playspace non-profit organization KABOOM!, Children’s Defense Fund volunteers will hold a public conversation with Roots Public Charter School scholars and their families to help shape a new playground on that campus. Roots Public Charter School is a future CDF Freedom Schools program site.

Our final service activity will take place at Amidon Field in Southwest D.C., where we will ask volunteers and community members to stand up and move to end the cycle of youth homelessness by participating in a friendly game of kickball with StandUp for Kids DC and our CDF Freedom Schools.

All these activities speak to our mission of building community for our nation’s youngsters and unleashing the joy in growing up. Each service event provides opportunities for our young people to thrive. That is why I am proud to represent this organization. Since Mrs. Edelman founded Children’s Defense Fund in 1973, a lot has changed in the world. But our promise to help America’s children and youth has not.