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Volunteer Spotlight: Luann Jacobs

LuannJacobsThis month, get to know N Street Village volunteer, Luann Jacobs. Luann has been coordinating volunteers for the Wellness Center’s Reiki/Biofeedback program since July 2013. The Reiki/Biofeedback program promotes relaxation, stress reduction, restores balance, eliminates blockages, supports the immune system, and fosters all around healing and well-being. She enjoys the relaxing pace of living in close proximity of Shenandoah National Park and spending time with her husband, their 3 dogs, and cat. Let’s get know Luann…

I became interested in integrative medicine because of a back injury that caused me pain for 15 years. I discovered Reiki in 1992 and it wasn’t long before I was free of pain and offering Reiki to my brain injured clients to help them shift emotionally away from frustration, anger, and depression into letting go and moving on. I was a founding staff member of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) in 1998 when Dr. John Pan opened the doors and began this now 16+ year journey (and still going) to help medicine change the way it is practiced. Biofeedback became a natural part of the practice of Reiki in a medical setting so I could demonstrate in visual terms the effectiveness of touch in balancing the nervous system. Today, I combine the two practices and teach them both so others can learn to care for themselves. It was while working at CIM that I met Katharine Pan who talked about her volunteer work at N Street Village and the wonderful women there. She is the reason I am now able to offer the Reiki/Biofeedback program at N Street Village.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area? Indiana born, I have lived and worked in many cities and in Southeast Asia. I have been in DC this last time since 1988, but also lived and worked here in the early 1970’s. Five years ago we moved from Arlington to Front Royal, a small town 70 miles west of Washington.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? I love Indian, Thai, and most Asian food. My current favorite restaurant is Haandi Indian Restaurant in Falls Church.

On a Saturday evening you will find me…at home in Front Royal with my husband making dinner and watching a movie. My husband is a vegetable gardener and a great cook. We eat quite well from what we grow.

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)? I was late to seeing Gravity and it left me breathless. I had to stop several times to regroup!

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? Washington is such a beautiful city and there are so many famous landmarks. I love most of the parks around the city that offer greenery and space. I also enjoy the Smithsonian Mall, the art museums, our view of the Capital, the Reflecting Pool, Lincoln in his chair…it’s so hard to pick one!

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Heart centered.

What makes N Street Village unique to you? The women! The passion for letting go of the pain from the past and being here now in this moment, which allows you to have that next moment.

Volunteer Spotlight: Sean McLeod

Sean McLeodThis month, get to know N Street Village volunteer, Sean McLeod. Since 2008, Sean has been donating and serving dinner every third Monday of the month to residents at our night shelter. Sean has a passion for cooking, travel, and serving the community. Let’s get know Sean…

I became a volunteer through my co-worker and friend Jessica Cohen, who first came to N Street Village through our employer, IBM.  We make dinner together on site, which is the perfect outlet for me to utilize my passion for cooking while serving the residents, who always seem to enjoy the home cooked apricot glazed chicken with prunes, garlic, and sage that we make every month.  Many others have volunteered off and on with us (including my husband) but Jessica and I have been consistent over the last six years nearly every month. I married my now husband in 2012 after a twenty year “courtship.” In our free time we enjoy exercising at the Anthony Bowen YMCA, hiking in the Shenandoah, and traveling in the U.S. and abroad to dine out, visit museums, and other sites.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area?  I am originally from a small town called Hackettstown in NJ and have been in Washington, D.C. since 1996.  Prior to moving to D.C., I lived in Japan for three years teaching English.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant?  As a Francophile, I love Le Diplomate these days, especially since it’s so close to where I live.

On a Saturday evening you will find me…either entertaining friends at home or dining with friends at their home. Otherwise my husband and I like to go out for dinner and a movie.

Who is one of your favorite musicians? Wynton Marsalis has always impressed me as both a jazz and classical artist.

What is your favorite D.C. landmark? I like to take out of town guests to see the views of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and US Capitol from the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) over in Rosslyn.

Where is the last place you traveled to?  Last summer was the trip of a lifetime hiking in the Swiss Alps with my niece and taking a side trip to Paris.

What inspired you to become a recurring monthly volunteer at N Street Village? I love to cook so making and serving dinner is the perfect outlet for my passion and is a way to serve other people.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village? I most enjoy how the ladies of N Street Village as well as the staff are always so appreciative of our cooking endeavors every month. We always enjoy eating with the residents and getting to know each other.

Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories?  One Christmas, I encouraged my coworkers to make a cash donation towards purchasing items on N Street Village’s Wish List rather than exchanging gifts at the office.  Everyone loved the idea and was quite generous. That year really showed me the how beautiful it can be to give unselfishly as the staff and ladies greatly appreciated the purchases we made on their behalf.