BY: BELEN SELASSIE
DMV native Elyse Ho is a model and one of the founders of non-profit organization Feed it Forward (FIT). FIT started this past January and is on a mission to help end hunger in D.C. by providing bagged lunches for the less fortunate. Ho has made a huge impact with FIT helping the community, and we sat down with her as she discussed how the organization got started, proud career moments and more.
How did Feed it Forward get started and how did you get involved?
Feed It Forward DC started with my friend Jimmy Lee who approached me as he knew I had experience volunteering with different charities. I have always wanted to create my own nonprofit, I just didn’t know it would be this soon!
Where do you see your career/Feed It Forward in the next five years?
My upcoming goals for Feed It Forward DC is to have salaried employees. We have just hired an intern for Spring 2016, so we are in the right direction! I hope that my nonprofit will set a dominant presence within the DC community and inspire our youth to join us
Can you tell us more about the upcoming “Serving Up Hope” event?
Serving Up Hope is about bringing the spirit of Thanksgiving for families who are less fortunate than us. Growing up with a large family, I was always lucky to attend 3+ holiday gatherings. To think that people don’t even have 1 to attend makes me really sad. This year, Made in the District approached me to partner up and put together a big event that would gather influencers in DC and not only serve 400 meals, but share a real holiday experience. We gathered an amazing team of renowned chefs who will be cooking some bomb food!
What are you most proud of so far, in terms of your career?
I am proud of my ability to influence people with my hard working spirit.
What advice do you have for people who want to start their own non-profit?
Start it with good hearted people! Also, make sure that the timing is right. A non-profit is a lot of hard work with many challenges.
What famous person dead or living do most wish you could have as a roommate?
Tupac Shakur would definitely make a bad ass roommate
Whose career would you most like to emulate?
Jessica Alba. Along with her successful acting career, she built a billion dollar company called “The Honest Company”, whose products she really believes in. She also supports over 100 nonprofits initiatives.
If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
Not an era with plagues, slavery, mass murder, no electricity or modern medicine. I think I would definitely pick this era.
How do you wind down before bed?
Initiative 71 or a beer. Just kidding, I meditate for 10-15 minutes before bed.
When are you most relaxed?
Is the beach a cliché answer?
Can you tell me a quality about yourself that you are genuinely proud of?
I am an amazing multi-tasker. I work 3 jobs and run Feed It Forward DC.
What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I would love to take on photography. I’ve always been in front of the lenses, but it would be cool to be behind one!
How do you hope to grow as a creative person?
I hope to continue to bring creative ways for people to come together and volunteer through Feed It Forward DC. I want to make volunteering a fun social act that grows into a norm in our generation.
If there was a phrase that you think best sums up your approach to life, what might it be?
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” – Mother Theresa