In November 2011, the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington and surrounding community held a meeting about ending years of neglect in relating to one another.
What blossomed was Friends of the Soldiers Home.
Starting with a Jingo volunteer night in December 2011, Friends went on to partner with the Home to conduct more than 250 volunteer events through the end of 2017. In 2016 alone, 384 people collectively gave 2,211 hours of volunteer time at 54 events
Regular events include monthly Jingo, Happy Hour, Saloon Night With Friends and Bowling With Friends. Each spring, the Home and Friends pairs community volunteers with veteran residents to tend vegetable plots together in the Friends Garden Project.
Friends also holds annual community celebrations with the Home, including Spring Fling, which occurs the first Saturday in May, July 4 Fireworks, and Fall Fun Fest, which happens on the first Sunday in October. In December, the Friends and Home residents gather together for the annual holiday tree lighting. Thousands of people from the community attended these events to better connect the residents and historic campus with the surrounding nation's capital.