Posted on June 20th, 2012
Congressional members, supporters of Horton’s Kids, and employees from Microsoft and The Home Depot will gather at the Microsoft Policy and Innovation Center office on the evening of Wednesday, June 20th to watch the Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible, featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and Horton’s Kids, a non-profit dedicated to providing services to 300 children and 100 families in Washington DC’s Ward 8. In the episode, the First Lady challenges Chef Robert Irvine to renovate a community center for Horton’s Kids. Prior to the viewing of the show, the event will feature a healthy summer menu inspired by recipes from the First Lady’s newly released book, “American Grown,” and the vegetables grown in the garden at the Horton’s Kids community center.
Part of the evening will be dedicated to thanking the non-profit’s corporate sponsors, Microsoft and The Home Depot, whose generous donations were crucial to completing the renovation of the community center. The corporations donated hardware, software, in-kind services, lumber, paint and other material used for the Restaurant: Impossible renovation and the creation of a new computer lab housed within the center totaling more than $150,000.
“I cannot say enough how thankful we are for the support we’ve received from Microsoft and The Home Depot,” said Horton’s Kids Executive Director, Brenda Chamberlain. “This project could not have happened without their involvement.”
Microsoft donated equipment and software for a state-of-the-art computer lab to support the children served by Horton’s Kids at their Community Resource Center. Microsoft staff also installed the technology in the center, which included 10 new computers, 16 computer monitors, and 29 Acer Tablets all uploaded with the most current software. The new computers will not only help the children become more adept at using technology but will also help neighborhood parents – who are able to take advantage of the community center – create resumes, search for jobs online, and communicate with potential employers via email. Microsoft also donated a server and software, as well as two Xbox 360 gaming consoles equipped with their popular technology Kinect, which allows the children to exercise in a safe, secure, and fun environment.
“Children living in our city’s Anacostia neighborhood generally have limited access to the technology and skills training they need to succeed,” said Microsoft Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries. “We hope this state-of-the-art computer lab will help many more DC kids be prepared for – and realize – their dreams.”
The Home Depot was invaluable during the renovation and donated building supplies and appliances for the kitchen, in which Horton’s Kids holds healthy cooking classes for children and their families. They also provided over 40 local Home Depot associates to assist with the renovation as part of the company’s Team Depot program in which employees from across the country volunteer in their communities. Since its involvement with the renovation, Home Depot has continued its commitment to Horton’s Kids by holding a job fair at the center where more than 70 residents interviewed for 30 job openings in several local Home Depot stores.
“It’s great to see the final product of everyone’s hard work,” stated Home Depot Vice President of Government Relations, Kent Knutson. “We are very proud to have been a part of this project, and we hope it will enrich the lives of the children and their families living in Ward 8.”
“This was a collaborative effort among many, including the Food Network, the First Lady’s Office, Microsoft, and The Home Depot. Without Microsoft and The Home Depot’s contributions to Horton’s Kids and the Restaurant: Impossible project, the renovation of the center would not have been completed to the caliber it was. They were instrumental in the TV show makeover and without their support, the children who participate in Horton’s Kids programs would not have this beautiful and impactful community center,” said Brenda Chamberlain.
About Horton’s Kids:
Horton’s Kids came about 23 years ago when previous Capitol Hill staffer and Horton’s Kids Founder, Karin Walser, was approached at a gas station by young children offering to pump gas for change. Touched by the children’s stories, Walser along with her friends began tutoring the children and taking them on outings. Ever since, Horton’s Kids has been providing fundamental services like reading and nutrition programs to children from the Ward 8 community in Anacostia. Additionally, Horton’s Kids joins forces with many health professionals in the DC area to address children’s basic needs such as nutritious food, clothing, and health care.
Horton’s Kids received the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management in 2011 and was voted ‘Best Non-Profit’ by readers of the Washington City Paper in 2012.