Charleston Club’s Edwards Project:

The Edwards Project is named after Eric Paul Edwards and his wife of forty-five (45) years, Marjorie Brooks Edwards.  Eric and Marge were both charter members of the Charleston Club, which started on Saturday, July 10, 1948. Eric P. Edwards was born and raised in Charleston; he graduated from Avery Institute in the mid-1930s.  In the early 1940s while an undergraduate at Howard University, he met fellow student, Marjorie Brooks from Cumberland, Maryland.  In 1943 they married and had two children: Yvonne Paula Edwards and Eric Brooks Edwards.  Eric, Sr. became a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and Marge became “the teacher’s teacher” in the Washington school system.  Eric and Marge were married for forty-five years before his untimely death in 1989.  Marge continued her participation in the Club until she died in September 2002.

After Eric’s death, Marge organized The Edwards Project Committee within the Charleston Club.  The purpose of this standing committee was/is to collect funds, clothing and non-perishables for charitable organizations; Martha’s Table and SOME (So Others Might Eat).  Eric was a very “socially conscious” man who cared greatly about those less fortunate.  He was always willing to lend a “helping hand.”  Today, the Club still continues with The Edwards Project Committee, and the Edwards children give generous annual contributions in the Edwards Project Fund.

SOME (So Others Might Eat):  SOME was founded by Father Horace McKenna and an interfaith group of priests, ministers, and lay persons in 1970 to help the poor and destitute of the city.  The first meals were served out of the basement of St. Aloysius Church on N. Capitol St. in NW Washington.  When the number of homeless and poor coming to this soup kitchen grew, the operation moved to 71 O Street, NW, where it still remains and to more than a dozen other facilities and locations throughout the city.
Food is still what SOME is best known for, more than 900 meals are served each day by a large network of community volunteers from local churches, synagogues, and civic organizations.  However, through the years, SOME has evolved into a comprehensive social service agency with a two-fold mission: to meet people’s immediate needs and to help them overcome the barriers that keep them homeless and destitute.
SOME aims to empower the poor by helping people to help themselves out of homelessness and poverty with education, life skills, job-training, counseling, case management, rehabilitative services, and community development.

Today, SOME meets the Immediate Needs of Washington’s poor and homeless, including food, clothing and showers.  Once a person’s basic needs are met, SOME is able to help poor and homeless adults and families address the root causes of homelessness.  SOME operates programs to help individuals with Behavioral Health Services and Health Services, intensive Addictions Recovery, and Transitional Housing programs.  SOME is also addressing the severe lack of Affordable Housing in the District and offering Job Training to help clients earn a living wage.  Elderly Services are offered to provide care and support to this underserved population.

Martha’s Table:  Founded in 1980, and named for Martha of the New Testament, who cooked for Jesus the Christ. Martha’s Table is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping the poor. It provides food and clothing to some of the Washington area’s estimated 8,000 homeless.  Martha’s Table is a volunteer-based charitable organization with a lot of heart.  Every afternoon, the kitchen at Martha’s Table bubbles with activity as volunteers from throughout the community come together to touch the lives of those less fortunate.  “…The volunteers we have here at Martha’s Table are of all ages, of all backgrounds and of all professional experiences.  They are children as young as, sometimes three years old, and as old as 92 years old.”  “… Martha’s Table has over 8,000 volunteers that come there annually.  Four thousand of those come on a regular basis and their food and their services couldn’t be provided without them.  There’s no way we could pay enough staff to make the 1,300 meals that are put out everyday.  There’s just no way…”   … Said a Martha’s Table officials.