Gardenia House Legacy Georgetown DE

Several decades ago four Carmelite sisters started a shelter for women in D.C.'s Chinatown to serve homeless women.  They successfully started Mount Carmel House and have helped thousands over many years.  The sisters were then called to help a growing immigrant community in a town about two hours east of Washington DC.  

Sister Rosa, Sister Ascension and Sister Maria have been helping families -- especially babies and children -- across Southern Delaware for over twenty years.  Now in their late 80s, the Carmelite order has asked them to retire to a Carmelite sister's home in Northeast DC this September.  So many people are sad to see them leave Delaware. Each of the sisters has had a huge impact on several generations of migrant workers. They've done so many things to help the less fortunate: started a day care center right next to a chicken processing plant that operates 24 hours a day; they established La Esperanza Community Center on Race Street; and, managed the Gardenia House home in Georgetown, Delaware.

Gardenia House, a "safe house" for women & their children, was started ten years ago by Cait Clarke and Neil Shister from Washington DC. They couldn't have done it -- and kept it going for a decade without Sister Rosa Alvarez.  She has been honored widely in the Delaware area and even in the U.S. Congress for her work with immigrant women.  Sister Rosa has overseen Gardenia House from the beginning and watched over dozens of women who have lived there (with some 100 children).

Gardenia House was a blessing to these women and children in providing a safe, clean, nurturing shelter while they re-organized their lives.  Many families have moved through Gardenia House and now live successful, independent lives -- and their bilingual children have succeeded in school. At 88 years old, Sister Rosa has asked us to continue providing this home and services to those most in need of safe shelter. Fortunately, starting in August, Dr. Rama Peri of the Sister Rosa Health Clinic in Georgetown has agreed to oversee Gardenia House.

For over ten years now, this work has been happening on a voluntary basis. In order to insure that Gardenia House continues to provide the high standards that Rosa insists on, a paid position is needed, for which we’ll need to raise funds.

Yes, this is a shameless fundraiser for Gardenia House. Your gift will fund the Carmelite sisters' legacy through the continuation of Gardenia house and the success of the Rosa Health Clinic to further improve the lives of many more women and children. The funds will go directly to the Gardenia House Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit; a charitable tax donation letter can be provided). This is a cause worth giving to!  Sister Rosa and the entire community will be most grateful for your generosity.
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Victor Mena 
Washington D.C., DC