December 2, 2009

Mom in the news!!!

Bells Shoals concert to help needy.

Published: November 18, 2009

BRANDON - In just more than a year, pleas for help at the Women's Resource Center of Tampa have tripled.

The number of people making their way to the small nonprofit agency, tucked behind BayLife Church in Brandon, has grown from 2,000 in 2008 to 6,000 this year.

The agency has given out $30,000 in aid to pay utility bills and rent, doubled the size of its food pantry and expanded its clothes closet to serve mostly single moms and their children.
"We're working with about 165 families a month," said Cheryl English, executive director of the resource center, which works with a core group of 10 volunteers.

This month, volunteer Ella Chadwell, who has been working with the center for several years, will perform in concert at Bell Shoals Chapel to raise money for the growing charity.
"My heart is not about being a jazz singer. It is about doing something for someone in need," said Chadwell, a Valrico resident.
She and her friend, Sandy de Laski, first came to the resource center in 2007 with an idea for a fundraiser - a dinner theater. They and a group of dedicated volunteers will perform their third dinner theater in April to benefit the center.
And de Laski is helping coordinate the concert.

"I don't know how to do anything simple," Chadwell said. Her work with Rick Steuart, who has arranged music for the dinner theaters, led her to record and perform a new album, called "A Night to Remember," a disc filled with jazz songs from the 1940s.
Among the songs Chadwell has recorded are "The Shadow of Your Smile," "Besame Mucho" and "Sway." "They're songs a lot of people know," she said.
She will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the chapel with the 20-piece Rick Steuart Orchestra. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at or at the door.
The chapel is at 2102 Bell Shoals Road, Brandon.
Every bit of money raised for the Women's Resource Center goes to help the needy, English said
"We've had an overwhelming number of normal people, where things have happened in their lives and now they're homeless."
Although the center typically caters to single women with children who are working to overcome adversity, such as drug addiction, domestic violence and financial crisis, that role has expanded lately.
The resource center offers counseling, financial assistance, groceries and guidance on where to go to get even more help in times of crisis.
English is also continuing her quest to build a cluster of 950-square-foot homes behind the office where women and children could stay for up to 30 days.
The University of South Florida mass communications department will market the housing project, seeking corporate donors willing to contribute $15,000 and name a house.

Meanwhile, the center is now a partner with the Hillsborough County Health Department and has signed a memorandum of agreement with Metropolitan Ministries to get donated food for clients.

To learn how to contribute, volunteer or get help from the resource center, go to or call (813) 661-3696, ext. 242.
Reporter Yvette C. Hammett can be reached at (813) 627-4763.