Oprah Winfrey stunned the gathered crowd at the N Street Village’s 2016 Annual Empowerment Luncheon held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, DC. The charity is focused on helping homeless women, by getting them into stable housing and employment opportunities. It also helps the women fight drug addiction and health related issues. N Street Village’s operational staff was under the impression that Oprah would be delivering one of her inspirational speeches as the keynote speaker of the event. But after taking the stage, Ms. Winfrey picked up one of the organization’s pledge cards and made a $1 million donation!
Ms. Winfrey was introduced by Linda Rush, who was a former recipient of N Street’s charity. Ms. Rush came to N Street when she was addicted to crack and involved in prostitution. She said she got to N Street because “my mom dropped me off. She walked me in here.” Before receiving help from N Street, Ms. Rush said “twenty years ago, I wanted to write her a letter and ask her to help me into a program” referring to Ms. Winfrey. “The people I was getting high with, they were like, ‘Oh, she don’t have time for you.’” Twenty-years later, Ms. Rush was able to tell Oprah Winfrey herself, how she completely turned her life around, thanks to the help of N Street Village.
The organization has been in existence for over 40 years and has 4 locations across Washington, DC, to help homeless women get their lives back on track. The executive director of N Street Village, Schroeder Stribling, said Winfrey’s gift brought her to tears. “I went up and I kind of couldn’t help myself, but hang on her for a while and cry.” Ms. Winfrey told all those that work very hard for the charity, “I thank you N Street for seeing, hearing and knowing that every life matters, every woman matters.”