At Harbour House, a 15-bed haven for women and children escaping domestic violence in Bridgewater, N.S., the kitchen is more than a room for cooking.
It’s where body and spirit are nourished, laughter erupts, and sadly, tears are shed.
“I think a lot of women and kids come into the shelter and their spirits and their bodies are pretty broken, and our kitchen helps heal that,” said Jennifer Gagnon, the shelter’s executive director.
But in this 160-year-old home that’s been a shelter for more than three decades, the kitchen needed a lot of TLC — especially the countertop. The laminate had seen better days.
“We did a little internal renovations a couple of years ago and tried to brighten it up that way, but it certainly didn’t shine,” Gagnon said.
So when the chance to win a new countertop appeared on Gagnon’s Facebook feed in late May, she started typing a nomination for Harbour House. The contest was put on by a local company, Stonewrights, as a way to show appreciation to customers for keeping their business afloat during the pandemic.
Of the five community groups in the running, Harbour House had the most votes, hands down, said Martina Groeger, co-owner of Stonewrights.
She’s glad the shelter was the winner because its work is close to her heart. Groeger is a former teacher and the past chair of the Lunenburg County Community Health Board. She said the shelter’s work was vital during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Part of my concern was what is going to happen to women and children that are actually at home with an abusive partner or parent because we know that exists,” she said.
A couple of days ago, Stonewrights finished sprucing up the large kitchen. Workers installed 66 square feet of shiny granite, a high-end, durable countertop worth $6,000. That gift kick-started a bigger act of charity and transformation.
Stonewrights added a new backsplash. It also paid for a new sink, while a local plumber contributed a new faucet and installation work. An electrician volunteered to move the outlets to create a more functional kitchen.
Groeger has heard the residents want to take care of the finishing touches — painting the room.
“The women and children who are at the house, they especially deserve something that makes them feel good,” she said. “If they feel good, I feel good.”
It’s hoped a donor will come forward with new flooring to replace the checkered vinyl tiles to complete the kitchen makeover. The big reveal is planned later this month.
Gagnon said it’s wonderful to have a new, gorgeous space that reflects the beautiful things that happen inside it.
“It’s pretty absolutely incredible,” she said, her voice trembling a bit.
COSTA MESA (KABC) — The Los Angeles Angels missed the playoffs this year but Albert Pujols and his wife, Diedre, are keeping busy. The couple launched Open Gate Kitchen, a new cafe concept fueling social good, which equips adults from vulnerable life situations with vocational training and life skills.
Fernando Escobar is now head cook and manager of the restaurant; but a few years ago, he didn’t know where his next meal would come from. Open Gate International helped turn his life around through culinary school.
“My life was in the place of darkness and addicted to meth and alcohol and I ended up in the streets homeless,” said Escobar.
Making food takes Escobar back to days in the kitchen with his mother; Christmas with his family. It now gives him a feeling of empowerment.
“To be a part of something that could possibly help another single parent out there and another single dad to be able to get back on their feet and to provide for their kids is such a humbling experience,” said Escobar.
Diedre Pujols is the founder of the non-profit Open Gate Kitchen. The Costa Mesa restaurant offers life coaching, culinary training and job placement programs to people like Escobar.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” said Diedre.
The mission is a personal one for Pujols. Her own past struggles with addiction and bad choices help her connect with the students here.
“At 19, I didn’t even want to live anymore and so I feel like there’s a way that I can identify with a lot of these individuals who come in,” said Diedre.
Her husband, L.A. Angels first baseman, Albert Pujols, says he worked hard for his own dreams, and he’s helping his wife do the same for their community.
“Their teachers, they get the best of their students, you know, and I think, on the other side, the students put in really hard work, day in and day out, because they know that this is an opportunity or a chance and they don’t want to pass on it,” said Albert.
“Here I am you know, catering for the Los Angeles Angels and all these important people, it’s such a blessing. It is,” said Escobar.
Open Gate Kitchen is now open for dine-in, delivery and take-out options, serving up handcrafted healthy, fresh, cuisine with an international flair.
The Kandy Garden Club which counts over 100 years of existence was established in 1878. It was started by the British especially for planters to play tennis over the weekends. It continued to be so till about 1945, when a special class of Ceylonese were permitted to join the Club.By 1950, it was open to the Ceylonese and the first President was Col.S.D.Ratwatte, who was elected in 1950 while Chandra.Wijenayake was elected as the Secretary. The original Club House built in 1878 is still intact, with a few renovations.
The Club now provides several facilities to members,which include Tennis, billiards ,Snooker, Table Tennis and card games like Bridge. In Billiards too they have promoted the game by inviting the World Billiard Champions, Paul Mifsud, Norman Dagley,Michael Ferreira,M.J.M.Lafir and others to play exhibition matches at the Club table. In 1989 they staged the second Snooker test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Club. .Traditionally over the years, they have awarded distinguished personalities honorary membership in the Club as it has a well equipped Bar and a Restaurant.
There are four well maintained Tennis Courts for adult and Student Members and a special feature is that flood lit tennis is available for those who wish to play tennis in the night . The Club also conducts Tennis coaching camps for beginners and organizes Tennis tournaments for children of International and National Schools in the Central province. They organise ranking tennis tournaments and have produced several national level players in the recent past. Over the years Kandy Garden Club has maintained a very high standard in both Billiards and Snooker and World class players like M.J.M.Lafir and Leslie Driffield were seen in action at these tournaments.Facilities are also provided to school children to play Table Tennis at the Club.Another popular game the members engage in is Bridge, a card game ,Bridge tournaments are conducted at the club for over 50 years.
A group of fathers helped police arrest a registered sex offender accused of looking at a 15-year-old girl in the restroom of a Cracker Barrel in South Carolina, reports say.
Douglas Lane, 53, is facing charges of voyeurism, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from a reported incident in Duncan on Sunday morning, according to Fox5 Atlanta.
Duncan police Chief Carl Long told WSPA that a 15-year-old girl at the restaurant reported seeing a man peering at her from underneath the bathroom stall.
Douglas Lane was tackled by a group of fathers in the restaurant’s parking lot, police reportedly say. (Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office)
KANSAS CITY POLICE IDENTIFY 1-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN TRIPLE SHOOTING
The girl told her father what happened and an employee coaxed Lane out of the bathroom, the station adds.
Long told WSPA that the girl’s father confronted Lane and a witness said he went “running, sprinting out the front door” of the restaurant “with a very bloody nose.”
Long said Lane tried to flee, but was tackled and restrained by a group until police arrived, WSPA reports.
Lane’s phone reportedly was seized by police after it was found on the bathroom floor. One witness told WSPA that the 15-year-old wasn’t the only woman in the restroom at time.
“I’ll never forget the way they looked after,” that witness said. “They were traumatized.”
Government records show that Lane, of Charlotte, N.C., has been a registered sex offender in that state since 2004 because he was convicted of secretly looking into a room with 8- and 9-year-olds inside, according to Fox5 Atlanta.
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He also was charged with crimes connected to peeping at least eight other times, according to WSPA. Lane is reportedly being held on a $2,000 bond.
“It’s reading the recipe and understanding the instructions,” she said. “They have to be able to follow the instructions and understand and comprehend what they’re being asked to do.”
Hands Up receives literacy funding through Decoda Literacy Solutions, a non-profit partially funded through donations to the Vancouver Sun’s Raise-a-Reader literacy campaign which launched last week.
Families receive a meal kit that includes the ingredients, instructions on how to prepare, and links to YouTube videos to help explain the process, she said.
“They get literacy skills, cooking skills and the food kits for free,” said Waters.
Angela Grace Greenwood, a single mom of five who is home-schooling the three youngest, was grateful for the opportunity to improve her and her children’s food prep literacy.
“It’s good, healthy food, and they’re not just handing out hampers,” she said. “It helps take out the daunting part of cooking a meal. I never knew making quesadillas could be so easy and so much fun.”
She said it’s especially useful for her two children who have autism and so have challenges with executive functions, such as planning and organizing.
She said at first the children were reluctant to join her in the kitchen and she would have to say, “Mom’s making this, who wants to come in and help me.”
But they took to the idea and now Greenwood delegates duties to them and they are all in the kitchen working together, which took some getting used to for mom.
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The difference between a bare floor and a floor with a rug on it is the difference between a house and a home. Sure, they’re both places you can stay, but you’re only going to feel right taking off your shoes and socks and curling your toes on a rug. In other words, a rug is all about marking where you belong.
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Godalming Area Rug
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