2022 Hope Awards Dinner an Inspiring Night of Hope
For the first time in three years, Calvary Women’s Services held the Hope Awards Dinner in-person at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC. The event honored leaders who empower and uplift women, and celebrated women who are working to overcome their homelessness. More than 250 members of the community attended the event and raised over $500,000 to benefit Calvary’s housing, health, education, and employment programs.
“Tonight is a celebration and we have so much to celebrate,” said Kris Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Calvary Women’s Services. By the end of this year, Calvary Women’s Services will have more than doubled the number of women we serve, just in the last couple of years. We’ve taken advantage of opportunities to grow our programs across all our types of housing.”
The program featured greetings from Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, moving stories from Calvary residents and an exciting live auction. Calvary also debuted “This is Our Moment,” a moving video about Calvary and its programs.
The Hope Award is presented annually to a leader who has shown incredible dedication to improving the lives of women and girls. This year’s Hope Award recipient was Michele Lawrence Jawando.
Jawando is the vice president of programs at Omidyar Network and oversees the program team’s global mission. In accepting her award, Jawando said, “Activist Angela Davis has shared that our duty, our responsibility, is to recreate hope generation after generation. I am so deeply grateful for this award because I hold that adage to be true – that our responsibility for the time that we have here on this planet is to breathe hope and life into generations that have yet to come, to honor the generations that have come before and to do our work as much as we possibly can. There is no organization that more deeply embodies that mission than Calvary Women’s Services.”
Sonja Berry, a former Calvary resident and current volunteer, shared her personal story of how Calvary changed her life. She told her moving story and shared why she now volunteers at Calvary leading a poetry class for current residents.
Calvary also recognized Altria with the Corporate Partner of the Year Award. Altria and its employees have supported Calvary Women’s Services’ work for more than a decade, hosting events, participating in Calvary’s annual 5k, matching employees’ contributions to Calvary’s work, and offering generous financial support that has helped us grow our programs to serve more women.
Cindy Hayden, Altria’s Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs, said of Calvary,” When a woman walks through your doors, you meet her where she is. She might have to come to you, but you meet her wherever she is in that moment in her life. You prove to her that your help and the love you have to offer her is not conditional upon anything, that her voice matters and that you see her, her talents matter and that she is capable. And you keep telling her that over and over again until she finally believes it for herself.
“Women are the drivers of positive community change – they always have been. We all know that line that it takes a village. Really it takes a village of women. Women for women, taking care of women.”
“Whether women are with us for a few months or in permanent apartments, we’re welcoming more women home and standing with them as they build stronger futures for themselves,” continued Kris. “We know that what we do works, and we know that we can provide the programs and services that will empower women to change their lives and change their lives for good.”
A big thank you to everyone who attended the 2022 Hope Awards Dinner. We are grateful for the incredible generosity of all the guests, as well as our wonderful sponsors and partners who supported the event. Visit our photo gallery for some photos from the evening.