What happens when you combine three-time GRAMMY Award nominee Raheem DeVaughn, activism and philanthropy? On the afternoon of Sunday, April 3rd in Washington, D.C. you got black excellence in the form of an amazing day of service and empowerment to uplift a community at the Sunday Soul DC pop-up restaurant experience in the DMV.
DeVaughn and his organization The LoveLife Foundation partnered with activist/author Tony Lewis, Jr. and Black Celebrity Giving’s Jasmine Crowe to bring a curated fine dining experience to Washington, D.C.'s homeless citizens. The Sunday Soul concept is innovative: feeding those in need with dignity and style by treating them to a four-course meal and grooming services. The task of executing this mission was herculean. It required the seamless fusion and organization of sponsors, chefs, event planners, barbers and an army of good-hearted Samaritans with the goal of providing restaurant style meals, grooming, toiletries and entertainment to more than 150 homeless individuals at the New York Avenue Men’s Shelter operated by Catholic Charities.
In recent weeks, the news of iconic venues and beloved urban hang suites shutting down and the reckless hipster takeover has left this writer with little desire to venture into #NewDC’s gentrified city limits. This event changed that. To witness smiling volunteers serving five-star cuisine to those in need while skilled artisans groomed them to perfection with fresh haircuts and shaves, was mind blowing. With their swagger and self-confidence in full bloom, these homeless men (and a few women, too) were made to feel good about themselves again, standing tall with pride. Sunday Soul DC brought people together to serve others by donating their time and talents to make this impactful event happen. Sunday Soul DC made those in attendance hopeful that the spirit and heart of Chocolate City are alive and well in the people who love her and each other.
Bravo to Raheem DeVaughn, Tony Lewis, Jr., Jasmine Crowe and the host of sponsors and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this event a success and a blessing to so many. We hope that this is the first of many more Sunday Soul DC experiences to come. To learn more about The LoveLife Foundation and Black Celebrity Giving, visit their websites to see how you can become a part of their respective movements and to support the incredible work they are doing by donating to their causes.