PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In West Philadelphia, a woman has adopted a community, specifically her children, in hopes of protecting them. CBS3 brings you Rose’s Clubhouse in this week’s Brotherly Love story.
On Friday afternoons, children flock to the Lucien E. Blackwell Community Center under the watchful eye of Rose Bryant.
“For some reason, I’m like a magnet for kids,” Bryant said.
It’s Rose’s Clubhouse at the hangout, a free program at Blackwell Community Center, that keeps kids busy Fridays from 5-8 p.m.
“She was always doing things like that when I was growing up,” said 16-year-old volunteer Destini Lewis. “It didn’t matter if it was like block parties, book bag giveaways.”
At the clubhouse, children have the opportunity to paint, pick up a book from the reading coaches, play on the computer, or just bounce around a ball. There is also plenty of food and snacks. Volunteers help Bryant keep going.
“We may not be able to take away from them the things that are happening to them that are very toxic and play on their mental health,” said volunteer Rachel Honoré, “but what we can show them is that when they come here a decent meal, some love, a brain break.”
The mission is to give children a safe place, in an area where gun violence is all too common.
“If people don’t feel love,” Bryant said, “then they do stupid stuff.”
Bryant is always there to chat, even though she says she can’t stand bullies.
“You’ll get an hour-long sermon from me,” she said. “They don’t want that.”
Rose’s Clubhouse organizes outings like a late summer trip to Dorney Park, free for kids.
“Anytime someone calls me and says they’ll provide a bus for the kids, we go,” Bryant said.
Bryant says it’s essential that the whole community gets involved.
“We have to take care of our children,” she said. “Whether they are yours or not.”
Bryant says she wants to hear from people who can share time with the kids. You can reach her at 215-900-5871 or by email at email@example.com.