President Obama, Thank You for Your Commitment to the Community.

Dear President Obama

As you leave office, the participants, staff and Board of Mary’s Center would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the First Lady for your sincere commitment to the community, to increasing access to healthcare, and to improving health outcomes.

We are very grateful for the many opportunities Mary’s Center has had to engage with your Administration during your eight years in the White House.

Being the first non-profit visited by the First Lady after your historic inauguration in 2009 is one of the most memorable moments in the history of Mary's Center. This photo taken with children in our family literacy program went viral worldwide. Those children are now teenagers who fondly remember their time with the First Lady of the United States.

Michelle Obama at Mary's Center


The First Lady’s meeting with the teens in our After School Program was another highlight. Her words of inspiration showed them that all things are possible and that they can make their dreams come true.

Michelle Obama with Mary's Center teens


After that, members of the Mary’s Center family had many opportunities to participate in events organized by your Administration. For example, our teens attended your first State of the Union address in 2009 and the arrival ceremony of the President of Mexico at that time, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

Mary's Center teens at White House


Our children also attended the White House Easter Egg Roll celebration for several years. They were so happy, especially when they got to hug the Easter Bunny and see you participating right alongside them!

Mary's Center children at Easter Egg Roll at White House


Our staff has also been fortunate to be invited to tour the White House during the special Holiday season. They appreciated the warm reception they received.

Mary's Center staff at White House


Our President and CEO, Maria Gomez (light blue dress), has heartfelt memories of the time you invited her and other community leaders to the State Dinner you held in honor of President Calderón and his wife.

Mary's Center CEO Maria Gomez at White House State Dinner for President Calderon of Mexico


Our CEO was also very humbled when you presented her with the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the second highest civilian award granted by the White House.

Mary Gomez receives Presidential Citizen's Medal from President Obama


We appreciate your Administration’s commitment to listening to our community’s challenges and learning about our initiatives. Our staff benefited so much from every opportunity we had to listen to you and to Mrs. Obama speaking about your work, in this case a lunch meeting in Columbia Heights where you discussed the Affordable Care Act, which has been a lifeline for thousands of our participants who were previously uninsured.

Andres Cruz with President Obama

(Screenshot from The Washington Times website)

We are grateful to you for your leadership and your inspiring example of humility, character and strength, and for opening the doors of the White House to everyone.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you, Mrs. Obama and your beloved daughters health, happiness and continued success. We look forward to being part of the next exciting chapter of your life, as you and the First Lady get involved in health, education and workforce issues. Please know that our door is always open to you both, here in Adams Morgan, at our other DC sites in Petworth and Fort Totten, and in Adelphi and Silver Spring, Maryland.

Con mucho cariño,

The Participants, Staff and Board of Directors of Mary’s Center

2333 Ontario Road, Washington DC 20009


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