Laura Newland, executive director, DC Office of Aging and Community Living

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! The holiday season is officially in full swing and here at the Office on Aging, we’ve been hard at work planning the biggest event of the year—the Mayor’s 20th Annual Senior Holiday Celebration! I hope you’ll join us on December 12th at the D.C. Armory for a day of fun, food, and fellowship.

This will be my third time celebrating with all of you at the Armory. Every year, I promise it will be the best one yet—and this year will be no different. Seniors from across the city remind me why it’s so important that we constantly strive for the absolute best when it comes to bringing our community together in celebration.

Last September, when more than 160 of our neighbors were displaced by the devastating fire at the Arthur Capper Apartments, seniors from across the city reached out to offer support, clothing, entertainment, time, and anything they could afford to give.  Today, as we continue to work with our residents, we still hear from all of you asking how to help. You have been there from the start, and you continue to be there.

I’m proud to live in a city where our neighbors look out for one another. Washington, D.C. is a big city (soon to be a state!) with small town values—where our neighbors are neighborly and complete strangers will drop everything to lend a helping hand. At DCOA, we are privileged to serve a population who teach us these values every day.

So every year, we’re all looking for bigger and better ways to celebrate the community that you’ve built, and the Mayor wouldn’t have it any other way. From the moment you arrive, we’ll be ready to cheer you, entertain you, connect with you, break bread with you, and experience the joy of the season with you.

As Mayor Bowser has said, the strength of our city rises and falls on its people. We know that government can’t create community—you create community. But we can support and join you in keeping our communities strong and vibrant. The Mayor’s Annual Senior Holiday Celebration brings all of us together, in celebration of all that you’ve done, and all that you continue to do for this city.

So reach out today to get your ticket to the best event of the year by calling 202-535-1372 or emailing Whether it’s your only holiday party, or one of many, we want you to know that this for you. I can’t wait to see you on December 12th!

DCOA Ambassadors

Since 2012 we have been holding training sessions to make ordinary residents more familiar with the services the DC Office on Aging provides for DC’s older adults, adults with disabilities and their caregivers. Community partners present during the trainings to help tell the story of the direct services that are available to DC residents.

DCOA Ambassadors use this knowledge gained through the training to connect others with services they may be able to benefit from or services that can assist them in their daily life.  Residents receive the help they need and DCOA is connected to more residents in need of services.  Many ambassadors enjoy helping others and they are able to stay connected.

Cedric Burgess a great ambassador, who calls frequently to stock up on materials to share with others and is always interested in volunteering says, “I love to help others and stay informed, as a DCOA Ambassador I feel I am doing my part.”  He adds, other volunteers inspire me to volunteer where I am needed.”

If you are interested in doing your part, call the Ambassador Registrar Sadia Ferguson and sign up for the next training on January 17, 10 am – 12 pm at or 202-727-0374.  If you are interested in having a group training session for ambassadors let us know that as well.

We hope to see you soon at an upcoming training or workshop.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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