Walking down 14th Street in DC, it can be easy to forget just how many Washingtonians live below the poverty line: more than 100,000 people. That’s almost a sixth of the city's population. Access to food and clothing are significant indicators of poverty, but one of the most telling markers of poverty is a bed. In DC, thousands of children and adults sleep each night without a bed—a comfort that many of us take for granted. Without a good night's rest, escaping poverty is a nearly impossible challenge.
Local non-profit A Wider Circle has been dedicated to ending poverty in DC since 2001. Mark Bergel, a former health professional, founded the organization out of his living room. His mission: to help children and adults in the DC area lift themselves out of poverty by tending to people's tangible and "inner" needs. In that first year, Bergel's organization furnished the homes of 774 children and adults and delivered 33 educational workshops at local shelters. Now, A Wider Circle furnishes more than 4,000 homes annually and has launched programs like comprehensive job preparedness support and long-term job coaching.
Heeding Bergel's call to help end poverty in the District, local real estate team the Wydler Brothers challenged themselves to donate 1,000 beds to A Wider Circle in 2015. The team is calling it the 1,000 Bed Challenge.
Wydler Brothers founders Hans and Steve Wydler started their business more than a decade ago, but have been DC residents since their college years. They’ve built a strong community here and often use their resources to support non-profits in coat and linen drives. Now, the team has enlisted their growing community of colleagues to take part in the 1,000 Bed Challenge, too.
"We are so thrilled to partner with A Wider Circle, and love that buying and selling homes will result in helping local families in need," says Hans Wydler.
The Wydler Brothers Team’s partners include KVS Title; Client First Settlement Services; Jon Neal of Metropolitan Moving and Storage, LLC; Patrick Gardner with 1st Portfolio Lending; Jonathan Okun and Ryan Dailey with Prosperity Home Mortgage; and Mark Hennessy with State Farm Insurance.
For every home bought or sold with a Wydler Brothers agent in 2015, the lead agent will donate a bed to the campaign. And for every Wydler Brothers Team purchase or sale involving one of the aforementioned partners, that partner will also donate a bed.
The Wydler Brothers Team completes an average of 250 transactions annually and are confident about reaching their 2015 goal. Now, just a few weeks into the challenge, the team has already garnered more than $5,000.
You can track the Wydler Brothers Team's progress or contribute to the cause here.
If you’re interested in learning more about A Wider Circle, please click here and find out how you can pitch in to help end poverty in the District.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/wydler_brothers_wider_circle_launch_1000_bed_challenge/9517.
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