2012-08-02 / Letters to the Editor

Generosity showed by two island businesses

I would like to thank two establishments for their extraordinary generosity in the middle of a busy summer. Cathryn Jamieson Salon and Trattoria Simpatico joined forces last week to host a day of beauty and delicious nourishment for children and teens from Groovy Girls, a residential program focusing on empowering and giving self esteem to young girls waiting to be adopted. Child & Family, along with Adoption Rhode Island and Communities for People, has developed Groovy Girls. Just recently I become aware and involved with Groovy Girls.

The morning schedule at Cathryn Jamieson Salon included manicures, facials, hair styling and cuts for each girl, ages 9 to 13. Cathy then asked each girl to pick one object she wanted to keep as a memento from a selection of jewelry, ornaments and more – all for sale at the salon. The shy, serious and reticent girls who entered the salon at 10 a.m. seemed to leave at 12:30 p.m. with more confidence, lots of laughter, and increased trust for the adults they met just a little more than two hours before.

Hungry, the girls proceeded to lunch at Trattoria Simpatico. Greeted by owner Phyllis Bedard, each child was told to order whatever she wanted from the menu. Included at the table were the girls’ chaperones, and invited, as well, was each employee from the salon who had donated their time to make these girls feel special. Those who had to remain at work for appointments received catered meals. From calamari to crab cakes – which one girl referred to as “pale meatballs,” then smiled when she learned the filling was crab, proud of herself for trying something new – to various pastas, grilled pizzas, salads, Shirley Temples and assorted desserts, the girls discussed the merits of real food over fast food.

How can one even begin to extend enough appreciation to Cathryn Jamieson and her stylists, who gave up their work time to volunteer and make the girls feel like princesses? Just looking at each child smiling in front of the mirror, I think, must have been the best heartfelt payment ever. What are the words to express our thanks to Phyllis and her crew at Trattoria Simpatico, especially to our waitress with her kindness and patience? Perhaps, one of the girls, a 10-year-old, permitted me to understand just what this extraordinary luncheon meant to each girl when she said, “I cannot believe how hard everybody at this restaurant worked to serve us this delicious lunch. I mean, take our waitress, well, she really cared.” Then, to validate her statement, the 10-year-old reached into her small coin purse, took out its entire contents, $2.21, and handed the bills and one penny to the waitress. “This is for you. I wish I had more to give you, but I hope this helps.”

As of September 2011, there were 297 Rhode Island children in the care of the Department of Children, Youth & Families who were waiting to be adopted. One percent of children waiting were younger than 1; 29 percent were ages 1 to 5; 25 percent were ages 6 to 10; 31 percent were ages 11 to 15; 9 percent were 16 and older; and 5 percent were of unknown age.

If anyone wants to learn more about Groovy Girls, please get in touch with me at ms.wright@cox.net. I will get you in touch with the correct person.

Mary S. Wright Highland Drive Jamestown

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