The Junior League of Tulsa (JLT) has a partnership with the Resonance Center for Women, an organization that supports the well-being and self-sufficiency of women and their families challenged by the criminal justice system and affected by substance abuse. The Resonance Center’s Take 2 Restaurant, located in downtown Tulsa, is a rehabilitation program for women who have recently been released from prison and provides them a way to integrate back into the community. The women complete specific requirements to remain in the program including attending recovery meetings, abiding by a curfew, and working a certain number of hours weekly at Take 2, A Resonance Cafe. The restaurant provides an opportunity for the women to build life skills, establish a work history, and save money. The Take 2 program also provides a safe, sobriety-based place to live while the women complete the six-month program.
Co-chairs Niki Grauberger and Erin Cole are leading JLT’s Take 2 Restaurant Committee this year. Erin became interested in chairing the committee after falling in love with the program during her Provisional year. “For many women, this helping hand is all they need to pull themselves out of their former life. Take 2 is a place of hope. It’s a place to start over fresh and have that second chance at life (Take 2 wink wink). It’s an inspiration and literally a life-changing program for women,” Erin remarked.
Take 2 Committee members spend time with the women in the program twice a month and serve as a positive influence for the women who have just been released from prison and might not have positive role models in their lives. The committee visits with the Take 2 participants at their loft that is located directly above the restaurant. They bring them dinner or cook for them and do crafts or other fun activities together like tie dying shirts, making sugar scrubs, or painting canvases to hang in the cafe.
Niki Grauberger, 2019 Co-Chair, explained, “Being part of Junior League, you can show them they can do fun activities without doing drugs or illegal activities, and you are being a constant for them, because a lot of them don’t have stability in their life. Coming out of jail, it is very hectic. Our being there every other week gives them stability, and they see that people can be dependable.”
Erin shared how much of an impact the women have made on her life and recalled one woman in particular who was graduating from the Take 2 program. “She really opened my eyes to just how hard it can be for someone to start over after time in prison. When she was ready to move out of Take 2, she had a tough road ahead. She had a house in her hometown, but it had been vacant for years. So, weather and people had taken a toll on the home. She had no usable furniture, kitchen essentials, beds, etc. Through the generous donations of my church and friends we were able to get her furniture and at least give her a start. It really showed me just how much they have to rise above to stay sober and to start over. She now has her home set up, a steady job for two years, a car, and regained custody of her kids.”
One of the new core objectives Niki and Erin started this year is an Amazon Wishlist to help the ladies get started toward meeting their goal of living on their own. Most of the women graduating from Take 2 have few belongings and appreciate any support to get back on their feet. The Amazon list includes household goods like measuring cups, cutting boards, and coffee makers.
If you would like to contribute to helping create a better world for the women of Take 2, A Resonance Cafe, you can visit Take 2: A Resonance Cafe, located at 309 South Main Street in downtown Tulsa. You are also welcome to donate items from the Amazon Wish List link below. After adding the item to your cart, there will be an option of shipping it to them directly: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/23XU1XMZFE4X3?ref_=wl_share