Water and the Source of Giving

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“When I think of water, I think of the biblical passage: ‘Let justice roll down like waters…,’ and really, helping the needy, it’s all about justice, isn’t it?”

Maureen Jais-Mick and her husband Daniel recently made a very generous donation to the irrigation system at the Capital Area Food Bank. The irrigation system is part of the facility’s expansive community growing program, where members of the community are encouraged to nurture and harvest fresh produce right in the CAFB’s garden.

Ms. Jais-Mick was inspired by the community garden when she recently toured the CAFB’s new building and grounds on Puerto Rico Ave. NE in DC.

“It will contribute to people doing things for themselves,” says Ms. Jais-Mick, who is the Director of Community Outreach and Volunteer Services at St. Elizabeths Hospital.

The couple decided several years ago that it is better to give larger gifts to a few organizations. The impact is stronger, and recipients better match their ethical beliefs.

“We give to the Capital Area Food Bank for two reasons: First, we have always trusted the leadership at the food bank. The board, the employees and of course, Lynn [Brantley]. Secondly, we have always appreciated that the food bank, besides addressing a very basic need, has focused on providing information and education to its partners about nutrition,” says Ms. Jais-Mick, who has been donating to the CAFB since 1993.

“I used to work with people at the Green Door, and I always used to enjoy meeting other partners [who use the services of the CAFB]. They are not always big non-profits — they are organizations like small church and community groups, and that means the reach is as wide as it is deep.”

Early on in the food bank’s existence, in the 1980s, she and her husband met the food bank’s co-founder Lynn Brantley. A friendship formed, each of them touched by the work and dedication of the other.

“In our interactions with Lynn, we learned what [she and her team] were aiming for, their dreams, and what they were trying to do. Is there anybody who has worked harder, is more committed, more honest, caring or humble?”

As Lynn Brantley retires after 32 years at the helm of the CAFB, gifts to the organization serve as proof that her legacy of both friendship and justice live on in the community thanks to donors such as Maureen Jais-Mick and her husband Daniel Mick.

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