An organization dedicated to assisting people in the DC area in need of small amounts of money to maintain housing and health.
The Womenade concept is simple, without bureaucracy, and founded on friendship and generosity. Washington Womenade was born in January of 2001, when six friends got together for dinner on a wintry night in an almost empty restaurant. Amy, a doctor for the homeless and the poor, was kvetching to her friends that her patients often spoke with her about important needs they could not meet which required relatively small amounts of money. For example, one patient had lost electricity in a newly obtained subsidized apartment, because after paying the rent, she could not afford to have her utilities turned on. Amy found herself writing a check. Another man desperately needed dentures, having had all his teeth pulled at a free dental clinic - the clinic could do the dental work, but could not provide the dentures. Amy wrote a check. The stories went on and on, and Amy was overwhelmed, to say the least. Her friends offered to help, but realized the needs would always be there - something more was in demand.
Another woman at this dinner was Lisa Herrick, a clinical psychologist. She had a tradition of hosting large potluck suppers for huge numbers of women friends - everyone would arrive with a hot dish and crowd into her house for an evening of chatter, meeting new women, and saying hello to old friends. Lisa suggested that they throw another big potluck, but this time, ask each woman who attended to write a check for Amy. They would send out invitations and letters of explanation, and try to set up a large fund of money from which Amy could draw - thereby helping more people, and no longer having to rely on her own checkbook for so many peoples' needs. This was the concept in a nutshell - but the group had no name. Within a few weeks, Lisa literally dreamed one up - she woke up with the phrase in her head: If you have lemons, make lemonade. If you have women, make Womenade!!! And Washington Womenade was born.