May 25, 2017
Tessie Thomas knows what it’s like to feel hopeless, so she looks for every opportunity to help those in crisis know that someone cares.
That’s why she recently prepared a gourmet Mother’s Day lunch for residents of Interfaith Hospitality House, YWCA Central Alabama’s shelter for homeless families. “For someone at their lowest point, a white tablecloth and a vase of fresh flowers can bring their stress level down,” Thomas said. “It can bathe their spirit enough for them to keep going.”
Thomas, a domestic violence survivor, treated the mothers to grilled lemon pepper chicken, Greek rice, a summer salad, cake, and raspberry lemonade. “I’m all about heart-healthy, nutritious and delicious,” said Thomas, a chef and caterer.
About 10 years ago, Thomas lived in one of the YWCA’s apartments for a year after leaving an abusive relationship. Her son attended the YW’s child development center, she received legal assistance, and they both attended support groups.
“It was one of the most productive years of my life,” she said. “It was as if time slowed for me so I could catch my breath. The support I received was instrumental.”
Monica Shields, her case manager at the time, is now coordinator of Interfaith. Thomas wanted to do something to give back and to encourage those going through a difficult time.
“I believe if you survive something, you’re supposed to share it,” she said. “You feel absolutely hopeless going through it. I want to let people know it’s not easy, but you sure can do it.”
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