I’ve been living here in the Peninsula for nearly two years now, and I’m still discovering new things every week. This weeks’ discovery was ‘Deborah’s Palm’. A fellow CCIS volunteer at Stanford pointed me in their direction. I met with Katie Ritchey, Founder and Executive Director, to learn more and wanted to share this great resource with all of you.
Katie, born and bred in Palo Alto, retrained to be a counselor after her children had grown. As part of her final project she was tasked with researching a non-profit that she would be interested in working for upon graduation. She set upon searching for a non-profit center for women; San Francisco and San Jose had lots of community services and support for women, but there was nothing to be found in the Peninsula. Here, women were largely left to cope on their own…until Katie decided to fill the gap by creating Deborah’s Palm in the heart of Palo Alto.
The Mission: ‘Deborah’s Palm is a non-profit organization offering all women a place to unwind, connect with others, discover new options, and restore a sense of well-being. In a warm and welcoming environment, women can find encouragement and support via professional counseling, access to resources, activities, classes, mentoring and community service projects.’
Evolving from a passion to help women;different classes, events, and resources have been offered and trialed since the center opened three years ago – what remains are the services that have been of the most value to women in this community. From counselling services to knitting circles Deborah’s Palm is meant to be an open resource to assist women in any stage of life. There is no membership fee. You can sign up for a class or just drop in for a cup of tea and a chat with one of the friendly volunteers and other women. Whether providing assistance for women transitioning back into the work place after raising a family, or counselling services to those going through a tough time in their lives, Deborah’s Palm welcomes women of the peninsula to come together and connect.
Their relocation support is particularly valuable, and something I wish I had known about when I moved into the area. Offering regular newcomer coffee events, and helpful guidance for getting settled in the Peninsula; there is always an open door. You must put Deborah’s Palm on your list of things to check out in the Bay Area.