When Gail Bartlett scrolled across a Facebook post from CrossRoads women’s shelter requesting a volunteer to bring a meal for their guests, she felt the need to serve.
Bartlett wanted to provide something different and opted for Chick-fil-A, one of her favorite restaurants.
“I just thought it may be a treat for the ladies to have Chick-fil-A,” said Bartlett, who will serve her meal to CrossRoads tonight.
Hoping Chick-fil-A would provide a discount or possibly a portion of the food for free, Bartlett contacted the south Frederica restaurant. Much to her surprise, Zetta Carmon, marketing director for Chick-fil-A Owensboro, offered the whole meal — a 200-piece chicken nugget platter, fruit and cookie tray — for free.
According to owner Mark Whiteman, serving the community is something Chick-fil-A Owensboro does often.
“Our goal is to have a positive influence with all that come into contact with Chick-fil-A,” Whiteman said. “We are happy that we get to make a special meal for the shelter.”
Whiteman says there is not a certain number of donations Chick-fil-A Owensboro tries to meet, but they do look for opportunities monthly on how to serve whether that is through donated gift baskets or food.
“Chick-fil-A is a platform to serve the community,” Whiteman said. “People are more important than food.”
CrossRoads, Owensboro’s only emergency women’s shelter, does not have a kitchen and relies on volunteers to supply meals nightly. The shelter has a capacity of 20, which Executive Director Michele Ison says is met every night.
“We are almost always full,” Ison said. “One night we had to turn away 11 people.”
CrossRoads opened in 2016 and has served more than 400 women and children since, with stays lasting one night or up to a few months, Ison says.
“We serve any woman, with or without children, who find themselves without a home,” Ison said, adding that the shelter is open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and provides hunger relief during the day.
Ison said CrossRoads is in need of volunteers like Bartlett to bring meals, but also to serve as companions, helping watch over the shelter guests in the evenings. She encouraged those interested to connect with CrossRoads on Facebook or visit their website.
“Don’t be afraid to try,” Ison said.