Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon Gund, Susan Weiss, and Nancy Hartsock

Ambassadors Council Co-Chairs

This month let’s get know N Street Village volunteers Sharon Gund, Susan Weiss, and Nancy Hartsock. Sharon, Susan, and Nancy are co-chairs of N Street Village’s Ambassadors Council. The Ambassadors Council is a team of dedicated individuals who share a deep commitment to the Village community and its vital mission to support women facing homelessness, poverty and related challenges. The Ambassadors Council hosts off site fundraisers and many volunteer events. Let’s get know Sharon, Susan, and Nancy…

Sharon Gund, Co-Chair: I met Susan Weiss at the inaugural Ambassadors Council reception in February 2014. I didn’t know many people there so I was happy when Susan introduced herself with a warm and welcoming smile. A few days after the reception, I received an invitation from Stuart Allen to meet for breakfast. That’s where I met Nancy Hartsock. Stuart asked if we would consider being co-chairs of the Ambassadors Council. I could tell that Susan had a lot of experience with N Street Village and both she and Nancy already knew some of the dedicated volunteers who were very involved with the community. We discussed potential structure, roles and tasks required to get the Council off the ground. Susan and Nancy had a sense of which roles they could play, but I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure how I’d fit in and how I would add value. As it turned out, it wasn’t a problem—the three of us “clicked” and worked well together. It has been so rewarding to work with Susan and Nancy (and Stuart, other staff and AC members) and to be of service to the clients of N Street Village.

Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area?

Sharon Gund:                    I am a native Washington, at least 3rd generation.

Susan Weiss:                      I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to Rochester, New York when I was in third grade.  I consider Rochester my home town. There, with my parents, two sisters and one brother we learned what winter and snow was all about!

Nancy Hartsock:               I am originally from Illinois, both Chicago and further south in the state.  I have lived in the DC area for 17 years.  I thought I wanted to end up in Chicago until I moved here; now I can’t imagine leaving DC.

What is your favorite D.C. restaurant?

Sharon Gund:                    When I’m in the mood for a steak, it’s the Capital Grille.   Otherwise, I love Acadiana. Our Friday night “go to” close to home for a good meal with no hassles (like parking!) is Mama Lucia (in Silver Spring).

Susan Weiss:                      Martin’s in Georgetown remains my favorite restaurant. I lived right down the street from it when I moved to here and have liked it ever since.

Nancy Hartsock:               Rasika, if I must choose only one.

On a Saturday evening you will find me…

SG:                         Watching a movie.

SW:                        Enjoying Washington day and night life.  I love going to the theater, movies, sporting events, music, eating out, and taking advantage of all that Washington has to offer.

NH:                        You would usually find me eating a very nice dinner maybe followed by the theater (especially Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company) or the opera.

What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)?

SG:                         Quite a few recently. Definitely Selma. I also enjoyed the Fault in our Stars and Unbroken.

SW:                        The movie I just saw and loved was The Imitation Game.

NH:                        The Imitation Game

What is your favorite D.C. landmark?

SG:                         The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. It’s beautiful and peaceful and great if you like ice-skating in the winter. Another favorite is the Tidal Basin – beautiful in all seasons. The drive along Rock Creek Parkway in that area provides a lovely panorama of Washington’s beauty and majesty.

SW:                        Lincoln Memorial

NH:                        The National Gallery Sculpture Garden

Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less.

SG:                         Caring, compassionate, and impactful (authentic)

SW:                        Love, courage, and hope

NH:                        Safety, nourishment, and hope

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at N Street Village?

SG:                     Seeing and feeling the impact we make on the clients when we sponsor an event and spend time with them. I enjoy the camaraderie with members of the Ambassadors Council and the inspiration I get from Stuart, Schroeder and the N Village Street staff.

SW:                        The one thing that is constant is my love for the clients.  Their love, faith, and determination to better themselves is what moves me and encourages me to volunteer more.  It is the smiles of the women clients that warms the heart.

What makes N Street Village unique to you?

NH:                        It seems to me that N Street Village has proven effectiveness and has created support for programs on a scale that is pretty unusual.