Naomi Smith relaxed in a chair while Tequila Butler filed her nails in a makeshift salon at Prince George’s Ballroom in Landover, Maryland.
Smith joined 149 other women who received gifts that included toiletries, a catered lunch, shoes and even a fresh hairdo.
The special treatment took place on Thursday, May 5, during an annual Mother’s Day event hosted by Anew Inspired Change with the theme, “She Rocks Anew Voice!”
Smith and others currently live in various shelters including Oxford House, which has locations in both D.C. and Baltimore, as they make inroads in their recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.
“I feel great,” said Smith, who has two adult daughters and a 10-year-old granddaughter to whom she refers as ‘my sunshine.’ “I’ve been at the Oxford House since 2018. But I don’t plan to stay there forever – I plan to get a nice place of my own.”
The luncheon, now in its 11th year, occurred in person for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the state in March 2020.
Porshia Everett of Clinton, program director for Anew Inspired Change, received assistance from major companies and other nonprofit organizations in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City.
Anne Arundel County-based Amerigroup Maryland partnered with Anew and helped pay for the rental of the ballroom.
Wegman’s donated food and employees from M&T Bank who helped decorate the more than two dozen tables.
Some women received massages from Healing Hands Physical Therapy Services, Inc., located in Southeast.
Everett also received a helping hand from family members like her mother who registered attendees, her son operated the sound system, her husband who served food and her sister, Tequila Butler, who donated her skills as a nail stylist.
“It really does take a village to do all of this,” Everett said. “This is something all of these women deserve.”
The women also received undergarments and a bag of toiletries. Before departing, each woman would be allowed to select a dessert of their choice including a slice of a three-layered, chocolate cake with white icing or a cake popsicle.
When Marjorie Gleaton looked at the table decorated with gold utensils, she remarked, “This is nice – somebody loves us.”
For the past four years, Gleaton has lived at Hyacinth’s Place in Northeast which supports homeless women diagnosed with mental illnesses.
The mother of two children and grandmother counted Thursday as her second time attending the event.
“I attended pre-pandemic and missed this,” Gleaton said. “It’s a blessing to fellowship with other ladies going through similar circumstances. Being pampered is also a blessing. I’m thankful for this.”
Marion Gray also expressed her thanks, particularly since regaining “a good relationship” with her son during her stay at the Oxford House.
“It’s a haul – every day is a battle,” Gray said. “Some days I could use a drink. I fight it every day. This Mother’s Day event is so needed for everybody here. It boosts your spirits. This is so awesome.”