Flirt Boutique Supports Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women
Jessica Gerard, owner of Flirt Boutique in St. Paul, makes a New Year’s resolution every year to find a local non-profit to become involved with and support. She had already been collecting gently used women’s under garments and donating them to a local shelter, but she wanted to find an organization with which to develop and grow a long-lasting relationship. When she sat down to Google ‘women’s shelters’ she wasn’t expecting to find a place she would immediately feel connected to, but she was wrong.
Jessica’s mother was educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and when Jessica saw that Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women was started by the same women she knew she needed to be involved. She remembers her mom as loving her high school and especially the nuns who taught her, “My mom went to all of her high school reunions and just loved the Sisters there,” she says. ”Finding Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women wasn’t a coincidence, it was my sign that this is the right place.”
Before COVID-19 Jessica was visiting Sarah’s monthly to provide free bra fittings and collecting donations in her shop for the residents. When she first went to Sarah’s only a few women utilized her services. Now when she visits, she is greeted like family and she looks forward to the day she can return. She has big plans to do more for the women of Sarah’s and wants to find a way to provide every resident a care package for Christmas, in the hopes that something new will bring the women an amount of joy. Included in every few emails she sends to her customers she mentions Sarah’s and the important work that it does to provide a safe and dignified place for women seeking shelter and healing. She hopes her customers will ‘sponsor’ a resident this fall so she can provide a gift to every woman.
Many women who find Sarah’s come with nothing and have nowhere else to go. They have fled places where they were persecuted, homes where they were abused, and families that have ostracized them for decisions they have made. The courage it takes to leave everything behind and start anew is insurmountable, and the women who find Sarah’s are welcomed into a home that supports the lives they wish to live. Jessica hopes that each new nightgown she donates gives the women a small bit of happiness.
To sponsor a resident of Sarah’s or help Jessica raise money, contact her at email@example.com or donate your gently used bras to Flirt Boutique at 177 Snelling Avenue North in Saint Paul. Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women is not currently accepting used items,but if you want to make a donation reach out to Cheryl Behrent at firstname.lastname@example.org