Each year as Avodah Corps Members ("avodah" means "work" or "service"), 24 post-college young adults may well discover their life’s work. During their year of service they commit themselves to local anti-poverty organizations and participate in intensive educational programs, from trainings in activist skills to workshops on urban poverty. Here in the District, where one fifth of residents live in poverty, this program is ideally poised to make a difference. Avodah’s placement organizations significantly expand their reach, while Corps Members strengthen their resolve to work for social change throughout their lives. In 2015, DC Corps Members added over $470,000 in staffing capacity to local organizations, making a positive impact on more than 23,000 people. To date, nearly 300 young people have participated in the DC Service Corps, 95% of whom affirm that Avodah strengthened their commitment to social justice work. There is, indeed, promise for the future.
Corps Members are stepping up to empower individuals, communities, and dozens of nonprofit partners to meet growing needs. Participants are making door-to-door food deliveries to at-risk populations, teaching and assisting students who have transitioned to online learning, ensuring that immigrants and refugees have access to legal assistance and digital paperwork for their cases, increasing the capacity at DC's homeless shelters and food banks; helping their clients apply for much-needed benefits and food assistance. Alumni are serving on the front lines, as nurses, medical students, and health workers, and in government, roles to address the pandemic.