WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group of moms in the District and surrounding areas have come together to provide free housing for students traveling to attend the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday.
Thousands of students, school staff, parents, and supporters are expected to attend the rally for gun control and school safety measures, following the horrific school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The march will begin at noon on Pennsylvania Avenue.
"I was thinking what would I want to know that my child had when they got to another city and I thought of course, a safe place to stay," says Julia Beck.
Beck is one of more than a dozen moms behind the March For Our Lives Lodging website, which connects out-of-town marchers with local families for a free place to stay.
So far, they've connected around 300 marchers and several groups with a place to stay.
The group also packed hundreds of bagged lunches, filled with items donated from the community, and compiled a comprehensive guide that explains everything students would need to know, from navigating the Metro to knowing their rights as activists.
"When these kids showed up and they were so eloquent and so prepared and so passionate and so honest, it felt absolutely like a breath of fresh air and a shot in the arm at the same time," says Phaedra Siebert, a D.C. mom helping with March For Our Lives Lodging.
Siebert says she has young kids, but even they are in engaged in this conversation.
"I am a brownie troop leader and we are marching as a troop and this is coming from the kids," she says.
The group wants to provide exactly what the students need to eliminate safety concerns and allow them to fully focus on the march.
"These students have really drawn the parameters about how they want their voices to be heard and we’re just helping them amplify," says Beck. "We can’t change what happened, it’s in the past, but I know we have the power to help shift what happens in the next generation and we will."
The group says 1,200 families volunteered to open their homes and they still have several beds available that they hope to connect with marchers.
If you can host, if you are a marcher, or if you are attending the march with a group of more than 20 people, you can fill out a form on the website.