Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.


Working Together to Help Others in Need


There’s little left to say to those of us who have seen the destruction on the east coast. Millions of lives have been disrupted and others badly damaged and we are now in a period of shock as we slowly start to climb out from under the mess.

If you have been deeply affected by Hurricane Sandy then turn to others for help. Some tips on re-building to keep in mind:

-Take photos of everything. Not just for insurance, but for keeping track of personal items that you might have to throw out.

-Do not use food or supplies that have been touched by floodwater. Floodwater is dangerous and even canned goods should be thoroughly washed before using.

-Never touch downed wires. Always assume a downed power wire is live and if it’s in water then avoid being near the water as well.

-If you use natural gas or propane pay close attention to valves – they could need replacing before using after being soaked with water.

If you feel you can help others please do. Everyone can do something. Start locally by contacting friends and family to see if anyone needs anything. Do some food shopping for an elderly person in your building. Babysit for a neighbor. Drive someone to work.

Other ways to help are to organize a blood drive at work. Get co-workers to sign up and ask supervisors for approval and support. Use social media to contact and collect donations from friends and relatives from outside the affected areas. Tell them where their money will be going and follow through after you have made the donation to let them know how helpful their support was.

If you are the creative type perhaps you might lend your expertise to those around you by re-planting someone’s garden, painting some damaged property or using your photography skills to help document someone’s damage. If you are an animal lover offer to watch someone’s pet until they can sufficiently care for the animal again.

And if you have more time or resources think about some of these places to help:

American Red Cross
American Red Cross Blood
Team Rubicon
Save the Children
Feeding America
Community Food Bank of NJ
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
City Meals on Wheels
The Humane Society of the United States

Before giving to any charitable organization we recommend you do your own research on Charity Navigator

Photos courtesy of NBC News (John Makely)

Food & Friends Make a Difference in Patients’ Lives


For patients with life-challenging illnesses, handling everyday chores becomes difficult. As health deteriorates, these patients sometimes find it almost impossible to care for themselves or to perform routine tasks like buying groceries and preparing meals. Since 1988, Food & Friends has supported the terminally ill community by preparing and delivering meals throughout the District of Columbia and surrounding areas. Reaching as far north as Gaithersburg and as far south as Alexandria, Food & Friends covers 5,346 square miles for its clients.


Based on referrals only, after clients have been accepted into the program they are guaranteed fresh and flavorful meals that meet dietary restrictions ranging from gluten-free to vegetarian. With over one million meals delivered in 2015 alone, the program is predominately run by dedicated volunteers. Though 10,000 volunteers assist throughout the year, a core group shows up at least once a week, a few every day. “It’s really the volunteers that keep this place running smoothly,” says the staff.


Run by a team of culinary chefs that all have stellar backgrounds, clients are provided with meals that are delicious and nutritious. On our scheduled day we prepared salmon cakes with Chef Alana and a core volunteer named Will. Think it’s easy? Mixing salmon, rice, and spices for 800+ meals in a short time span illustrates the dedication and efficiency of the Food & Friends team.


This Thursday, April 28th, 2016, the organization will host Dining Out For Life along with some of D.C.’s most celebrated restaurants in which 25 to 110 percent of all proceeds will be donated. Click here for a list of participants. Can’t make lunch or dinner that day? No problem! You can donate to the cause through Food & Friends’ online campaign. With a day left and halfway to the goal, there’s no better time to help. However, it takes more than one day to keep over 84,000 meals being delivered monthly. So get up, get out, and lend a helping hand.

Food & Friends
219 Riggs Road NE
Washington, DC 20011