Janie Boyd was born in in 1930 Charleston, South Carolina to a family that preached love for others. As a small girl she was taught to serve her neighbors when her grandmother would have her run food to her less fortunate neighbors. After moving to Washington, DC with her husband in the early 1950’s, Janie continued to serve others by bringing comfort to the discomforted in the form of food, clothing, and other necessities. She remains tirelessly active in advocating for and serving the residents of DC, helping to arrange gleaning trips, food deliveries, and planting community gardens. She once met President Lyndon B. Johnson and called on him to not ignore DC community in his “War on Poverty”. To this day, she calls him her “buddy.” She remains committed to meeting the needs of the community, and we at William Penn House are blessed to consider a friend, inspiration and co-worker. When she meets people through our programs, she always drops pearls of wisdom (“you can’t learn without good food in your belly”, “spending an hour with nature is good for your soul”) and let’s everyone know they are always welcome and loved.
For Janie, it is the culmination of the little things that matter. Her constant reminder to us is this: “It doesn’t matter what time of the day, if you call me I will pick up my phone for you. It doesn’t matter who you are, no one should go hungry in our nations capitol.”