Recently I spent an afternoon at Rosie's Place volunteering in the kitchen for the days lunch. I chopped, sorted, distributed, cleaned up, and more, before and after the ladies came in to eat.
Everyone who volunteered that day was a listener and contributor to WERS radio. As part of the December 2015 holiday fundraiser to support the station, we were asked to also volunteer at Rosie's with a member of the station. It is a way for the station to reach out and give back. Such a great and useful idea that really is for the community as well as the radio station.
Rosie's served up such healthy and delicious lunch that day, we were all starving by the time we served all 116 ladies who joined us. Everything was prepared in-house and by master chef, Mr. Sterling. There was a bean and veggie soup with fresh breads of many different varieties. This was followed by grilled chicken, sweet potatoe fries, and cauliflower. A cold, fresh orange topped it all off and plates were piled high.
If you don't already know, Rosie's was the first in the nation all female shelter for women exclusively. It was opened in 1974 to support a population who sometimes had to disguise themselves as men to be fed and sheltered in the Boston area. Rosie's provides not only 3 meals a day to ANY woman who comes in, but also showers with toiletries, a warm, clean sitting room open most hours of the day, a mailing address which is essential for job and rental applications, counseling of all kinds including INS, ESL, job placement and more.
I think it is important to say here that women of all needs come to Rosie's. The stigma and television image of a "homeless woman or bag-lady" was not at all what whom I met. Nearly every woman was clean, well put together, friendly, thankful, and making an effort to live a full and healthy life. Many came in for a meal at their lunch time to sit with friends, receive medical attention as needed, pick up free personal items like tampons and condoms, and sit in a beautiful and warm environment at lunch.
Rosie's place is an amazing and much valued establishment that is mostly run by volunteers. There are some paid staff, but help from the community is what keeps it running smoothly. I encourage everyone who reads this to make a financial donation and consider a donation of time and needed items (a list is on their website... but, so many were checking out books from their library, I suggest you donate books!) as you are able.
In the near future, I intend to return to Rosie's place and hope to bring some InHara ladies/gentlemen with me. Stay tuned for that.