by Luana Munoz
From coffee and tea, to muffins and salads; Friday morning My Sister’s Cafe opened for business and their goal is to empower victims of domestic violence.
“This is an opportunity to raise funds for our program and to have an outlet for our many, many volunteers,” President Darrel Woo of the cafe’s main organization, My Sister’s House, said.
“One out of every four women is unfortunately affected by domestic violence,” Nilda Valmores, Executive Director of My Sister’s House, said.
Some of those women are people like Jane Doe, whose identity we chose to protect.
“Domestic abuse is not always physical, for me it was mental, for me it was financial,” she told FOX40.
My Sister’s House depends entirely on grants and donations to support their shelter, transitional housing and women-to-work program.
Program leaders hope the new cafe at 455 Capitol Mall will provide a more stable income.
“We are hoping this is just the seed we plant for other entrepreneurial opportunities to continue the work of My Sister’s House,” said Woo.
On the menu, customers will find typical cafe treats, but most have an Asian twist.
The reason why, while My Sister’s House caters to all women, roughly 40% to 60% of those in need are of Asian/Pacific Islander descent.
“The language and cultural barriers really prevent especially Asian/Pacific Islander women from accessing help,” Valmores said.
As for Doe who came to My Sister’s House more than a year ago, she is at the cafe as a volunteer helping other women find the strength needed to move on.
“To see them, it makes my whole day to see that they can do what I am doing to,” said Valmores.
My Sisters Cafe is open from 8am to 2pm Monday through Friday.
Their goal is to extend their hours to 7pm.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.