Georgetown’s new non-profit bakery has an admirable mission

jj sweater stuffThe Georgetown neighborhood welcomes Dog Tag Bakery, a non-profit organization that strives to help veterans reintegrate into society after their service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Led by Fr. Richard Curry, S.J. of Georgetown University, the organization has created a new model for transition and assistance through job training for veterans and their spouses who have a service-related disability.

The organization’s program, called the Academy for Veterans-Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown, will train and support veterans through a curriculum designed at the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown as they run the operations of the bakery, which will help them gain real world experience and reintegrate into private sector work.

The program’s classes will cover topics such as small business management, entrepreneurship, and personal development, which will train veterans with the skills they need to be successful in the future. The curriculum also includes personal counseling, career planning, and leadership coaching that will help veterans mentally reintegrate into private sector life. Overall, this Georgetown work-study program will provide the training and experience that veterans will need to apply and secure a paid position in a future commercial setting.

According to Revamp’s report, the program will start in early 2014, when Dog Tag Bakery opens at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Grace Street.

“We are excited to unveil our plans for our Dog Tag Bakery right in the heart of Georgetown,” said Fr. Curry. “Our men and women in uniform do so much for us. While this cannot fully repay the debt we owe them, we hope they find gain some valuable experience with us that can help them in either the near term or long term future.”

Fr. Curry has dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities. His vision for Dog Tag Bakery started over 35 years ago when he founded the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, a non-profit organization that trained people with disabilities in professional theatre and the business of baking. Since the establishment of NTWH, Fr. Curry has initiated a number of similar programs across the world, believing steadfastly in the therapeutic qualities of theatre and baking.

One of these such initiatives was the creation of his own cookbook, entitled The Secret to Jesuit Bread Making, which Dog Tag Bakery  will use as it creates its menu. The Bakery will also offer a light breakfast and lunch, as well as a full service coffee and beverage bar when it opens in 2014.

And finally, as suggested, the Bakery will offer homemade dog biscuits for Georgetown’s furrier friends.

Photo: Courtesy Fr. Christopher Steck

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