Our Place Waldorf’s mission is to provide Charles County, Maryland residents in need with a nutritious meal in welcoming, open, and friendly environment.
Our Place Waldorf's vision is to improve the quality of life and restore the dignity of Charles County, Maryland residents in need by providing services that reduce and eliminate the dehumanizing effects of hunger and poverty.
Our Place Waldorf was founded in 2012 to continue the Shepherd’s Table meal program that had been sponsored by the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, located at 305 Smallwood Drive, Waldorf, Maryland. The church had served hot meals once a week to families who were homeless or economically disadvantaged. In October 2012, Veronica Haileyesus Bullock and Deanna Gerhart founded the Thursday Night Dinner Program. From October through December 2012, the program served 417 meals to 275 adults and 142 children – averaging almost 30 guests per Thursday.
Realizing there were a large number of homeless and economically disadvantaged people in Charles County and who are hungry more than once a week, Veronica and Deanna's vision was to open a soup kitchen (to be called Our Place Waldorf) to serve a hot meal seven days a week. Our Place Waldorf, Inc. was incorporated on July 9, 2013, and on July 29, 2014, received 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service. Since then, the program has been able to increase services in Charles County, and in April 2016, the program expanded, adding a second night each Monday.
Our Place Waldorf has sustained consistent growth over the years.
- From January to December 2013, the Thursday Night Dinner Program/Our Place Waldorf, Inc. served 2,051 meals to 1,394 adults and 657 children. By the end of 2013, the average Thursday night meal count was approximately 40 people.
- In 2014 and 2015, Our Place Waldorf served 3,194 meals and 3,097 guests respectively, for an average of 63 meals each Thursday evening.
- In 2016, Our Place Waldorf served 4457 guests, averaging 49 guests at each of our 91 dinners. The newly established Monday night dinner averaging just over 40 guests over 39 weeks. The Thursday average for 2016 was almost 56 meals per dinner.
- In 2017, Our Place Waldorf served 6,498 guests, including more than 1,750 children, for an average of more than 100 guests per week.
- In 2018, Our Place Waldorf continued to grow, and in October 2018, the Soup Kitchen began serving on a third night, each Friday at the Calvary United Methodist Church.
This growth is evidence that Our Place Waldorf is on its way to ultimately achieving Veronica and Deanna’s vision of serving all Charles County residents who are in need.