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SPRING 2017 We Salute Our Volunteers Our President on Remaining True to Our Mission Reaching Out at Courthouses


Our Community of Friends Grows Take Action at the State House You Can Support Us on Mother’s Day

Volunteers Make Our Work Possible



The Rosie’s Place Volunteer Services department–from right, Director Jessica Garretson (who draws on 12 years of experience in the department), Coordinator Jess Francois and Recruiter Madai Montes– connects thousands of volunteers with meaningful opportunities throughout the organization. What would you say to someone considering volunteering? Jessica: The first thing to think about is your availability: Are you looking for onetime or occasional opportunities or are you able to make a regular commitment? You can volunteer as an individual or come as a group. If you haven’t been to Rosie’s Place before, a good first step is filling out our online volunteer application and signing up for a “Tour of Rosie’s Place Volunteer Opportunities.” Tours are a great way to meet staff, see Rosie’s Place in action and learn more about all our volunteer opportunities. Our online application makes getting started easy! Why do you think our volunteer groups return again and again? Jess: Our Dining Room staff does an amazing job of providing a fun experience for our volunteers while also attending to our guests’ needs. Group volunteering at Rosie’s Place provides a setting for colleagues to connect with one another in a way that isn’t from behind a desk. They really enjoy the prep time, which gives them a chance to bond while chopping vegetables or slicing bread. Ladling out soup and serving the meal at the tables offers an opportunity to chat with some of our guests. Interacting with the people you are helping does not always exist in other settings, and I think groups come back repeatedly to find it here. You were a volunteer here before you were hired. How does that experience inform your work now? Madai: I had a great experience when I previously volunteered in the Women’s Education Center as a substitute teacher and computer lab instructor. That experience gave me an appreciation for the work we do here and helped me, in my current role, to relate more fully to what volunteers might be thinking and feeling. I feel more at ease connecting with volunteers–answering their questions, addressing their concerns, and helping them feel comfortable and welcome during their time here.

April is National Volunteer Month, an annual observance dedicated to honoring the volunteers in our communities as well as encouraging volunteerism. While we do value and thank our volunteers every day, we welcome an opportunity to publicly acknowledge approximately 2,500 individuals who give their time and talents to Rosie’s Place each year. Rosie’s Place was founded and run by Kip Tiernan and a group of unpaid staff in 1974, and volunteers have been integral to our operations every since. Like so many nonprofit organizations, we rely heavily on their contributions to provide critical services to the poor and homeless women we help. In the course of a year, our volunteers contribute more than 59,000 hours of service, which is equivalent to 29 paid employees. Among our many opportunities, they enjoy teaching English to non-native speakers; preparing, serving and sponsoring meals in our Dining Room; assisting women in the food pantry; and leading arts workshops for our guests. We would not be Rosie’s Place without the incredible work of our volunteers. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated corps of energetic people who care,” says Director of Volunteer Services Jessica Garretson. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that Rosie’s Place can rely on our community to support everything we do. They allow us to dream big for our guests.”

Rosie’s Place offers varied volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups, student interns, young professionals, retirees–anyone looking to give back and get involved. And people whose schedules are busy or who seek evening and weekend slots that can quickly fill up are able to support our mission as well. We can offer these alternate ways to help Rosie’s Place: • Organize a drive • Subscribe to our Public Policy newsletter and take action • Make Rosie’s Place the beneficiary of your birthdayor graduation • Join the Friends of Rosie’s Place networking group Since the election, Rosie’s Place has seen an outpouring of interest from individuals eager to become involved. The Volunteer Services staff strives to match volunteers with areas of greatest need. “Available shifts in the Dining Room fill up the fastest,” says Jessica, “and we’ve been able to find teachers for every class in our Women’s Education Center, which is fantastic. We’re now focused on reaching out for some of our harder-to-fill opportunities.” Areas of Greatest Need Our Friendly Visitor program, which connects volunteers with poor and isolated women at home or in long-term care facilities, is growing and individuals are needed who can visit on a regular basis during the day. (See Janette and Barbara’s Story below.) Volunteers with

a car are also needed to deliver muchneeded groceries from our food pantry to homebound women. Our Arts program is looking for sewing instructors to help lead workshops and assist in organizing a Rosie’s Place fashion show. We will also hold our first-ever Rosie’s Place Volunteer Lobby Day on May 9. Volunteers will attend a training on either April 27 or May 4 where we’ll discuss legislative issues that impact our guests, such as more rights/benefits for food stamp recipients, poor families and immigrants, and steps for speaking with your elected officials about them. (See Public Policy Alert on page 3.) We’ll then meet at the State House and go in groups to individual offices to spread our messages. This is a chance for volunteers to make a difference beyond the walls of Rosie’s Place and help amplify the voices of the women we serve. “Many volunteers choose Rosie’s Place because they feel strongly about helping poor women advance in our community,” Jessica says. “They find it rewarding to make a difference in someone’s life–no matter how small. Their contributions allow Rosie’s Place to continue to welcome every woman who comes through our doors with unconditional love, acceptance and support. We salute our volunteers and thank them for their gifts of kindness and caring.” Visit to learn more and to view our new video for volunteers.

Janette and Barbara’s Story Janette’s relationship with Rosie’s Place–and Barbara Summers– began in the early 2000’s, when she was hired to make jewelry and bookmarks in our Women’s Craft Cooperative (WCC). Barbara was Janette’s supervisor for more than a decade. “Her work was meticulous and she took tremendous pride in it,” Barbara remembers. “She got along so well with her eight co-workers, and that wasn’t always easy.” Fast forward to fall 2016. Our Friendly Visitor program received a referral for a volunteer to visit a “lovely woman who had a stroke”; it was Janette. Having just retired from Rosie’s Place, Barbara had free time, and a match was made. Barbara now visits Janette twice a month for an hour or so. Although

Janette has to use an alphabet board to compensate for stroke-related speech aphasia, Barbara says they have no trouble communicating. She will catch her up on the lives of former WCC staff and they’ll talk about the warm memories of Rosie’s Place they share. “Janette has a great sense of humor and we laugh a lot,” Barbara says. Friendly Visitor Coordinator Ellen Braverman notes, “This is what our Friendly Visitor effort is all about – helping a guest feel less isolated in her home. We want to let her know that we are always there for her and we can easily link her to all our services.” A door opened for Janette when she came to both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at Rosie’s Place. “I brought her some dressy clothes—she

always likes to look nice—and she had the time of her life, seeing lots of friends from the past,” Barbara says. Janette values her independence and works with caregivers to stay at home (and out of a facility). Her daughter, who lives nearby, used to pick up groceries from our pantry; Ellen has now arranged for a monthly delivery, also made by a Rosie’s Place volunteer. Over the past months, the friendship between Janette and Barbara has been revived, and deepened. “Janette’s life is definitely enriched by having Barbara visit her,” says Ellen. Barbara adds, “And so is mine.” Contact to get involved.

Outreach Efforts Extend to Court Houses in Greater Boston

Dear Friends: Rosie’s Place’s birthday is coming up–always a time to reflect on lessons learned. Throughout our 43 years, the most powerful lesson we’ve absorbed is that remaining true to your mission–your reason to be–trumps everything else. As you and we know, our founder Kip Tiernan was relentless in reminding us all that Rosie’s Place’s efforts to both serve our guests and to strive for justice cannot be stayed. As Kip taught, we’ve learned that being dedicated to a mission, and not the temporary attitudinal winds, means we have the potential to be powerful spokespeople for the powerless–to politicians, to media, to our allies. With courage, we can take on that role like no one else can. We’ve learned that risk-taking is a fact of life for those on the side of the vulnerable. French author André Gide said, “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” Often, we undertake our daily work without the shoreline to comfort us. Sometimes opening our doors is a huge risk. Or working with a group of people that many would like to forget or dismiss. Or in Kip’s words, “taking the risk of being human.”

Starting in early 2015, Rosie’s Place increased efforts to deliver support and resources to women who cannot easily come to our main location at 889 Harrison Avenue. We opened a fulltime satellite office at the Franklin Field housing development in Dorchester and, through our School Collaborative, we established an on-site presence at four elementary schools and one high school in Dorchester and Roxbury. As a result, we have been able to connect with hundreds of women and families who might not have sought us out otherwise. We are now extending this model into local trial courts with the new Court Collaborative.

“We know that women come to court for a variety of reasons: as victims, as defendants, to face an eviction, to accompany a partner who is a perpetrator of a crime, as a mom whose child is in the juvenile system, etc.,” explains Vice President of External Programs Erin Miller, who oversees outreach services. “Usually, many of these women are also experiencing other struggles such as coping with mental illness or addiction; paying for food, rent and utilities on a small budget; and confusion around public benefit eligibility, to name a few. Rosie’s Place staff wants to help any woman who comes to court with these or any other issues that they are facing.”

It’s so true that one setback can leave a family homeless. We’re glad we were there [the Chelsea District Court] to help.

Currently, the Court Collaborative is at three courthouses— Brooke Courthouse, Chelsea District Court, and Cambridge Mental Health Court, as well as monthly at Cambridge Homeless Court. Services are similar to one-on-one help offered by the Advocacy department at our main site, and include assistance with rent, utilities and transportation; finding affordable housing; information on public benefits; and referrals.

Rosie’s Place was founded so that we might take care of women who were invisible to most. No matter how our national leaders–Trump, Ryan, McConnell–urge us, we will never sway from that mission. We know that intolerance and fear are the opposite of Kip’s reasons for founding Rosie’s Place. In 1961, President-elect John F. Kennedy spoke to the Massachusetts Legislature in his final address before assuming the Presidency. In that speech, known as the “City on the Hill” speech, he referenced the Parable of the Faithful Servant, from the Book of Luke. “For of those to whom much is given, much is required. Our responsibilities to the state–our success or failure–will be measured by the answers to four questions: First, were we truly men of courage…Secondly, were we truly men of judgment… Third, were we truly men of integrity… Finally, were we truly men of dedication?” How would our current leaders answer those questions today?

- Court Collaborative Manager Nina Sennott Over the years, Rosie’s Place has demonstrated a commitment to assisting women in the court system by underwriting and providing volunteer staff at the Court Service Center for selfrepresented litigants at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, through our service to women at the South Bay House of Corrections and President Sue Marsh’s longtime work as a commissioner with the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission of the Superior Court.

At Rosie’s Place, we, too, understand that our community is obliged to do much, as so much is given to us. We too reach for those lofty standards of courage, judgment, integrity and dedication. Our guests bare their hopes and their secrets–and count on us to treat those humble gifts with respect and with love. Our supporters trust us with their time, treasure and opinions, and count on us to use those resources thoughtfully and responsibly. We promise to honor that trust.

Nina is looking to link with a greater number of courts in Greater Boston. “We want to establish partnerships that will enable us to be present in a number of locations, and we will work to tailor our services to accommodate the needs of individuals at various courthouses.”

“I greatly admire and respect all the work that gets done at Rosie’s Place. There are so many dedicated staff and volunteers behind the all the programs that Rosie’s Place has to offer women. As an ESOL teacher, volunteering in the Women’s Education Center is the highlight of my week!” Comments from Liana Goehring, an evening Level 1 ESOL teacher who was recognized by her employer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, for her community service work and designated the non-profit of her choice, Rosie’s Place, as the recipient of the $1,000 award.

With faith,

Please support Rosie’s Place by making a donation online at or by sending a gift in the enclosed envelope. We thank you!

Court Collaborative Manager Nina Sennott has already seen the difference our involvement can make. She recently assisted a mother of three at Chelsea District Court who was facing eviction. Her son had become ill and was hospitalized for many weeks. During that time, she stopped working, lost her job and fell behind on her rent. We applied some of our eviction prevention funds to her back rent and, with the promise of a new job, she was able to get back on track and keep her apartment. “It’s so true that one setback can leave a family homeless,” Nina says. “We’re glad we were there to help.”


Rosie’s Place has weathered many storms … as have our guests. Thank you for providing sanctuary and care to so many.


Our President on Remaining True to Our Mission

Liana Goehring

“To me, Rosie’s Place is like a lighthouse. You know that you’re in a homeless situation, transition, but it doesn’t feel that way. The people who I’ve met here, on this journey, have become my family and also friends as I go through the process of being homeless.” A perspective on homelessness from Angela J., a guest in our Overnight Program, that was published in a December 26, 2016 article in The Boston Globe.

Angela J. ROSIE’S PLACE NEWS is published three times a year to inform our friends about activities and events taking place throughout the Rosie’s Place community. OUR MISSION is to provide a safe and nurturing environment to help poor and homeless women to maintain their dignity, seek opportunity, and find security in their lives. President Sue Marsh Vice President of External Relations Leemarie Mosca Director of Communications | Editor Michele Chausse Communications Coordinator | Contributor Lataya Ferguson Design Colette O’Neill We’d love to hear from you! Please contact us with your comments at 617.318.0210.

Sara Campbell

“Philanthropy has always been synonymous with the Sara Campbell brand. We believe in people helping one another, it’s that simple. In each of the communities where we’re fortunate to have boutiques, we strive to be the best neighbors possible. It makes us proud to host numerous give-back events at our stores that support trusted charitable organizations such as Rosie’s Place, the American Heart Association and many more.” Excerpted from a talk given by Sara Campbell, founder and CEO of Sara Campbell, Ltd. and a generous supporter, at Rosie’s Place’s Annual Meeting on March 30.



Once again this holiday season, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at the Deer Hill School in Cohasset knitted wool hats for the women at Rosie’s Place. According to art teacher Ann Berman, the 120 hats made this year contributed to a total of more 3,000 hats donated since she started the project in 1996. “This is a great opportunity for children to learn they can make a difference in a person’s life by making something special that will keep them warm,” she says.

WBUR hosted its 14th annual reading of A Christmas Carol at the Omni Parker House in December, raising $22,000 to benefit Rosie’s Place. WBUR personalities Bill Littlefield, Delores Handy, Tom Ashbrook, Robin Young and, in photo, Bob Oakes brought the timeless holiday tale to life.

Many thanks to Bonvie Homes, builder of the active adult community, Southport on Cape Cod, and the Bonvie Family, who donated a new Dodge Grand Caravan to our School Collaborative. This outreach program delivers Rosie’s Place services to women in need through Boston public schools in Dorchester and Roxbury. From left are Dan Rea of WBZ NewsRadio, Rosie’s Place President Sue Marsh, Susan Wornick (who was instrumental in facilitating the donation), Bonvie principal Ron Bonvie, his wife Donna Bonvie and Tenisha Daluz, Rosie’s Place School Collaborative Manager.

Again this December, our friends helped us brighten our guests’ holidays. We are grateful to have partnered with 58 individuals and community groups to provide a record 795 women and 201 children with holiday gifts! Left: At our Franklin Field satellite office, 122 youths and 97 adults received gifts at our annual party. Right: Daniel Reilly of Concord (in photo with staffer Katie Amoro) and friends, longtime donor Bain Capital and others donated toys for children and grandchildren of women who receive outreach services.

Rosie’s Place was the fortunate recipient of $10,450 from a new collective giving group, 100 Guys Who Care Boston. At each meeting, at least 100 men gather at Clery’s restaurant in Boston to network, nominate local non-profits to support, vote and then contribute $100 each to the selected organization. In photo, Katie Amoro accepts the donation from, from left Peter DiMarzio, Mat Ludwig, David Greenwood, Sean O’Connell and Angelo Anello.

Rosie’s Place is thrilled to have received a fundraising bib for the 2017 Boston Marathon! Our longtime friend, volunteer and Board member Christina Gordon will proudly represent Rosie’s Place at the April 17 race. She wants to raise as much as possible to support our services, so please make a gift today at


Rosie’s Place is committed to building on the momentum of the Women’s March for America. Join us by supporting these important bills pending on Beacon Hill: • SNAP GAP/Common Application Legislation (House #655, Senate #247). This would make MassHealth and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) eligibility aligned, and create a common application for other need-based public benefits. • Repeal the Family Cap (House #1262 and Senate #1761). This would lift the TAFDC family cap so all babies and toddlers can be helped, rather than excluded from meager cash benefits. • Safe Communities (House #3052 and Senate #1596). This bill would protect immigrants’ due process rights, prohibit a Muslim registry and prevent local police from being used to enforce unjust immigration policies. • Fair Share Amendment. Ask your legislators to vote the Fair Share Amendment at the next Constitutional Convention, to ensure support for education and transportation needs in our Commonwealth! Rosie’s Place staff supported these priorities at their annual legislative advocacy day in March, and ask our fabulous volunteers to do the same at Volunteer Lobby Day this spring. Visit to sign up for our alerts and to learn more! Check this space going forward for news about our Public Policy efforts and ways you can get involved. Thank you!

Did K ? You


Rosie’s Place says “Know Your Rights” to our guests not born in the U.S. Staff attorney Emily Lau leads a workshop that includes role-plays of common encounters with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to inform guests about their Constitutional rights.

Ropes & Gray partner and longtime Rosie’s Place friend Ann Milner recently received the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Adams Pro Bono Publico Award for her efforts to develop and implement a first-ofits-kind debt clinic for our guests. Each week, a team of Ropes & Gray attorneys, paralegals and staff members come on site to help guests with the financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany debt. Since 2015, the ever-expanding team has made a difference in the lives of more than 150 Rosie’s Place guests. The Boston Globe GRANT program is underway again. Our loyal friends made us one of the most-chosen non-profits last year, enabling us to place two quarter-page ads in the paper. 2017 GRANT voting ends on April 30, so we ask all subscribers to select Rosie’s Place when they send in their ad vouchers. Thank you! Have you seen our new communications campaign, Give Sanctuary? It features the video stories of four guests–what brought them to Rosie’s Place, the connections they made here and their hopeful futures. The spots, which launched at the end of March via email and social media, have attracted muchneeded funds and new donors. Watch them on the Rosie’s Place channel on YouTube and support the campaign at Rosie’s Place celebrated Black History Month with activities and events throughout February. Guests visited The Museum of African American History, followed the Black Heritage Trail, attended a workshop on notable black women throughout history and watched inspiring movies. The month culminated in a celebration dinner prepared by staff and their families, with music, a dance performance and raffles.

spring WISH LIST

Mother’s Day Giving “Honor Your Mother by Helping Another” at Boston Interiors Boston Interiors is again celebrating Mother’s Day through a special partnership with Rosie’s Place. Boston Interiors will donate a percent of its sales over Mother’s Day weekend, May 13 and 14, to support our programs and services. In addition, handmade items from the artisans at the Rosie’s Place Women’s Craft Cooperative, including earrings, key chains, book marks, necklaces and bracelets, will be available at each store for purchase from April 14 through Mother’s Day. Visit Boston Interiors in Burlington, Hanover, Mashpee, Natick, Saugus, Stoughton and Westborough to take part in this Mother’s Day giving event or go to for more information.

Special Edition Necklace Our 2017 Mother’s Day Necklace sparkles with a bright silver finish, crystal beads, silver beads and freshwater pearls. The three strands measure 19”, 21” and 24”, with a 3” extender chain. It can be yours for a donation of $60 or $65 for the necklace and matching crystal earrings. Order by May 9 and we’ll mail with special gift wrap to your loved one. Visit


• • • •

Glass and crystal beads of any shape or color Freshwater pearls .014 and .019 49 strand Soft Flex beading wire in gray 1 mm Stretch Magic elastic beading cord

Looking ahead to summer, we are focused on providing our guests with seasonal items that will help them stay comfortable and cool. Some of the most in-demand items include: • Sweatpants • Yoga pants • New or gently-used bath towels • T-shirts • Shorts • Bathing suits • Flip-flops • Lip balm and sunscreen • Hats

All donations can be dropped off at Rosie’s Place between 8:30a.m. and 4:30p.m. Monday through Friday. As always, your generous support of our work is greatly appreciated!

New England Coffee Golf Tournament

Safe and Sound Gala

It’s New England Coffee’s Silver Tournament Anniversary! Help celebrate by being part of the 25th annual Charity Golf Classic to benefit Rosie’s Place. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and a round of golf at the beautiful Andover Country Club. Whether you choose to play, sponsor or attend, please contact Cristina Sadler at or visit

Please be our guest for an evening of food, friends and philanthropy at our annual Safe and Sound gala. Enjoy delicious cuisine by Boston’s best chefs and beautifully paired wines, as well as an opportunity to bid on premier, insider-only silent and live auction packages. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities available. To support the event or for more information, contact Kristen Leonard at or 617.318.0232 or visit

Monday, May 8, 2017 Andover Country Club, Andover


Crafters and other creative types: We need your help! The Women’s Craft Cooperative is seeking donations of beads and jewelry supplies for use in their work making distinctive necklaces, earrings, bracelets and gift items. They are looking for:

Thursday, May 11, 2017, 6:00PM The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts

Funny Women... Serious Business

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Hynes Convention Center, Boston Join Rosie’s Place at our annual luncheon–the best in Boston! This year’s featured speaker will be Loung Ung, author of the best-seller First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, activist, and co-writer of a Netflix film directed by Angelina Jolie based on her memoir. For sponsorship or ticket information, contact Katie Amoro at or 617.318.0211 or visit 889 Harrison Avenue Boston, MA 02118


Rosie's Place Spring Newsletter 2017  

Recent news and stories from Rosie's Place.

Rosie's Place Spring Newsletter 2017  

Recent news and stories from Rosie's Place.