Breakfast Club at Sullivan Apartments builds bonds
If it’s Friday morning, breakfast is on the agenda at Sullivan Apartments.
That means there will be good food and sharing of thoughts and ideas at the Springfield Housing Authority family development located in the Liberty Heights section of the city.
And that’s a good thing for the dozen women who have faithfully attended the late morning weekly sessions, where both food and conversation are provided by participating residents.
“I love this,” said Melania Peralta, who has lived at Sullivan the past three years.
“I love meeting new people, learning about new cultures and visiting with neighbors,” she added. “We’re getting a lot closer with each other at the breakfasts. I like the discussions, sharing different experiences and making new friends.
SHA Executive Director Denise Jordan said the club helps foster ties and create support among people who live near each other, but otherwise might not get to know one another.
“Sharing in a weekly breakfast together is a perfect way to make strong friendships and discover new information that can enrich lives today and for many years to come,” Jordan said. “The Breakfast Club at Sullivan is a strong and positive thing for our residents.”
The Sullivan Breakfast Club meets every Friday in the Community Room, and all residents are welcome. It is brought to residents by SHA’s Talk/Read/Succeed! family-based early literacy program.
T/R/S! Program Coordinator Zenaida Burgos said she created the club as a way for residents to get to know each other, stay in touch, share a meal, and discuss sometimes weighty topics.
Residents plan menus and bring in food, which is cooked and eaten in the Community Room. They also share in the clean-up. On a recent Friday, breakfast sandwiches – scrambled eggs, ham, Mortadella and cheese – were the carte du jour
After the clean-up, Burgos introduces a topic for discussion that keeps the group lively and stimulating. Recent topics included giving details on a personal or professional struggle that members have lived through and overcome, contemplating on how raising children has changed since past generations, and telling two truths and one lie about oneself, with other residents trying to guess the lie.
“The discussions are a great way to get to know each other and to talk about issues and things that might be on their minds,” Burgos said. “We all learn something from each other, and it makes us closer.”
Burgos added, “It’s been really great for all of us. The residents are enjoying themselves. Many times they do not want it to end.”
Residents agree that the Breakfast Club is making them closer and helping to form new friendships as well.
“This is great,” said Sullivan resident Betsy Bonilla, who is a regular at the breakfasts.
“It gives us something to do on a Friday morning, and it really helps connects us with our neighbors. And you always learn something in the discussions. We’re becoming good friends,” Bonilla added.
As the mother of two young children, Yomary Smith finds the breakfast meetings both fun and informative.
“I like this a lot,” Smith said. “It gives us time off from the kid. It’s just moms getting together and talking about things that matter to us. I’ve made lots of good friends here.”
Resident Maria Colon agreed.
“It’s a great chance to get together with neighbors and talk about things that are important to us. The food is good too because it’s always something different, and we all pitch in,” Colon said.
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