“Warm Up, DC” In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 17, 2014

Media Contacts: Monique McSween | Phone: (202) 939-5882




On January 20, 2014, Meridian International Center and its Global Service Leaders (GSL) initiative will honor the legacy and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a progressive service project, Warm Up, DC.This unique project, which is part of a global service program, In Honor of Heroes, brings together the Washington community in an effort to share resources with those hit hardest by the impending cold winter weather. Volunteers will collect, donate, and share items to be donated to, and distributed by, Martha’s Table.

This project was made possible with the support of Presenting Sponsor – PEPCO.



Designed to address Dr. Marin Luther King’s challenge, “What are you doing for others?”, Warm Up, DC will feature “pop-up” service projects, activities and donation sites occurring along the U Street corridor, between 14th and 16th Streets.



Monday, January 20, 2014 – 9:30am to 3:00pm



In addition to hundreds of volunteers, there will be photo opportunities with several officials including Andy Shallal, Founder of Busboys & Poets; Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President & CEO of Meridian International Center; Patti Stonesifer, President of Martha’s Table; Marc Battle, VP, Pepco Region, District of Columbia; and Kim Watson, Regional Vice President, Corporate Philanthropy & Partnerships, Pepco Holdings Inc.



Service Day Kick-off and 2nd Annual Knit-in
Busboys and Poets - 2021 14th St, NW

The 2014 Warm Up, DC Day of Service will be officially kicked off at Busboys and Poets with remarks by Founder, Andy Shallal and Meridian’s CEO, Ambassador Stuart Holliday. Participants for the “knit-in”—beginners welcome!—will create hats, scarves and gloves to be donated to Martha’s Table upon completion.

MLK Pro Bono Dream Lab
Meridian’s White-Meyer House (Drawing Room) - 1624 Crescent Place, NW

Join DC Social Innovation Project, IMPACT, and Taproot Foundation DC for MLK Pro Bono Dream Lab, which will bring together skilled volunteers, community members and local organizations for a day of impact through pro bono service. Community members may either have an idea for a new program or be seeking to improve an existing local initiative. To apply for assistance with marketing, HR, IT, or strategy, among other fields—or to sign up as a skilled volunteer—please complete this form.

GSL Virtual Storytelling Lab
Meridian’s White-Meyer House (Library) - 1624 Crescent Place, NW

Parallel to the Dream Lab, GSL’s international membership will benefit from a webinar on “Strategic Storytelling” led by Reed Sandridge, GSL Advisory Council member and corporate consultant. Participants will submit in advance a first draft of their “story”—accompanied by a compelling visual. The interactive seminar will engage with participants to improve and streamline messaging, followed by one-on-one (virtual) consulting sessions.

Super Heroes Writing Workshop
Center for Community Change - 1536 U St, NW

A creative writing workshop for children and teens will be offered at the Center for Community Change. These bright young voices will have the opportunity to highlight their (super) heroes who inspire them—from Nelson Mandela to a favorite teacher to Spider-Man—and explore the reasons why. Messages about heroes from around the world, as submitted by members of Meridian’s GSL community from over 100 countries, will be shared over hot chocolate.

Bicycle Collection
Meridian International Center - 1624 Crescent Place, NW (Parking Lot)

Put your old, unused bicycle (or bike parts) to good use and help someone get to work and school in 2014 and beyond. Working with partners in every corner of the globe, Bikes for the World collects, reconditions, and ships bicycles to distribute to those in need of this viable transportation option. A $10 donation per bike is suggested to defray costs of shipping overseas.

Hero (Sandwich)-Making Extravaganza
Meridian’s White-Meyer House (Dining Room) - 1624 Crescent Place, NW

Join other volunteers to “Build your own hero!” (sandwich, that is). In support of Martha’s Table emergency food services and McKenna’s Wagon, superhero strength is needed to assemble sandwiches for distribution to DC’s homeless.

Service Day Closing Ceremony
Meridian’s White-Meyer House - 1624 Crescent Place, NW

Join your fellow volunteers in a hot chocolate toast after a successful day of service.


Throughout the day, participating neighborhood businesses and organizations will serve as drop-off destinations for your donated items, to benefit Martha’s Table. These include:

  • Cake Love
    1506 U Street, NW
    Donations accepted: Gently used sweaters and coats
    Karmic Bonus: Get a mini-cupcake with donation.
  • City First Bank of DC
    1432 U Street, NW
    Donation hours/dates: Monday, January 13th – Friday, January 17th.
    Donations accepted: Gently used gloves, hats, and scarves
  • G by Mike Isabella
    2201 14th Street, NW
    Donations accepted: Canned good items. Click here - Martha’s Table’s Food Program Wish List.
    Karmic Bonus: Get a free fountain soda and bag of chips with sandwich purchase.
  • Primp Beauty Bar
    1515 U Street, NW
    Donations accepted: Toiletry items
    Karmic Bonus: Receive a Primp gift card with every donation – limit one per person.
  • Twice As Warm
    1624 Crescent Place, NW (at Meridian’s White-Meyer House)
    Karmic Bonus: Wear One, Give One. Buy a hat, gloves or scarf and Twice As Warm will match your purchase with a corresponding donation to Martha’s Table.

*Exact timing subject to change. Please check www.meridian.org for most up-to-date information.

To volunteer to Warm Up, DC, please contact gsl@meridian.org


About Global Service Leaders (GSL)
Globally, GSL motivates and connects emerging leaders from around the world to address community challenges through volunteerism. In our local D.C. and domestic communities, GSL develops innovative service projects to demonstrate the power of civic engagement and educate American service leaders on the needs and accomplishments of their peers around the world.

About Meridian International Center
Meridian International Center, founded in 1960, is a leading non-partisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to strengthening international understanding and global engagement. Meridian works with the U.S. State Department and U.S. embassies worldwide to create lasting international partnerships through leadership and cultural exchanges. Meridian also connects U.S. and foreign governments with the private sector to respond to global challenges and sustain impact.

Meridian’s mission is to create innovative exchange, education, cultural, and policy programs that advance three goals:

  • Strengthen U.S. engagement with the world through the power of exchange
  • Prepare public and private sector leaders for a complex global future
  • Provide a neutral forum for international collaboration across sectors

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