Representatives from Everybody Wins! USA met with Melody Barnes, the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and staff from the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation at the White House on May 3rd. Last year, Ms. Barnes visited Everybody Wins! Iowa as part of the White House's Community Solutions Tour. Ms. Barnes wrote an article for the White House blog about her visit, saying, "Everybody Wins! is exactly the type of community solution that President Obama asked me to identify when he called on his Domestic Policy Council to scour the country for the very best, most innovative, most successful programs in our communities."
During the meeting, Everybody Wins! USA shared its progress over the past year preparing to replicate its Power Lunch mentoring program to more cities around the country as well as its efforts to raise awareness of Everybody Wins! and help current Everybody Wins! affiliates serve more children. "We applaud the White House's efforts to expand service opportunities in our country and help bring programs like ours to scale. We stand ready to bring the joy of reading and mentoring to more children and engage more citizens in meaningful volunteer opportunities that make a difference in their community," said Rich Greif, National Executive Director of Everybody Wins! USA, who attended the meeting with board members Matt Broder, David L. Brewer III, Brian Kropp, Manar Morales and Chris Mundy, and were also joined by Sonal Shah and Charlie Anderson of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
Ms. Barnes shared fond memories of Senator Kennedy's time as a Power Lunch mentor with Everybody Wins! DC, which was recently featured on the NBC Nightly News. Everybody Wins! USA also presented Ms. Barnes with a copy of Rose's Garden, a book inspired by and dedicated to the late Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. The book is written by award-winning author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds who is also an Advisory Board member of Everybody Wins! Metro Boston. Just before his passing, Senator Kennedy wrote a touching quote for the book, saying of his mother, "She taught each of us to perservere, no matter how great the challenges, and to do all we could to care for others."