When eight year old Mache Leask watched the inauguration with her parents Jay and Antares, and saw the troops that were standing guard, she became inspired to do something to “make them feel special”. 

“They are special because they left their home to protect some place that might not even be where they live,” she said regarding the members of the national guard who were on duty. 

She and her parents came up with the idea to partner with We, The Pizza in their We, The Troops initiative. The initiative was created spontaneously by the Mendelsohn family to show thanks to the troops stationed in DC for the inauguration “including our local Metropolitan Police Force and any first responder[s] in DC. and raise money through friends and family.”

The Mendelsohns, Michelline and Spike, are prominent figures in the Northern Virginia restaurant scene. Michelline is the CEO of the hospitality group that owns We, the Pizza, and her brother Spike Mendelsohn is a chef and restaurant owner. They have a history of generosity in the community, often partnering with local causes like ‘Plant a Billion Trees’ and the Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation. They rallied many different restaurants together for the We, The Troops project, and matched Mache’s $1000 contribution. 

Mache was delighted to learn that she and her parents could help distribute the pizzas and directly show her thanks to the troops. “The most fun part would be when we learned that we could have free pizzas at any place of Chef Spike, the owner of We, The Pizza.” 

Next up, Mache would like to do a project to benefit unhoused members of the Northern Virginia community. 

“I want to help give food out at shelters and give masks, too, for their safety.” 

To other kids who wish to make a difference in the community, Mache says: “Always stick to the right thing!”

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