“Veda is a lot like WIT” – Corinne, Executive Director of Women In Transition (WIT), reminisces about her visit to Veda

I stepped into Veda Restaurant for the first time on a cold, rainy day this spring, 2 years into a pandemic that had left me exhausted and worn down. My purpose that day as Executive Director of Women In Transition (WIT), a non-profit that provides counseling services to Survivors of domestic abuse/intimate partner violence and substance use, was to pick up a check for the donation Veda was making to WIT. I had never been to Veda before and was out of the habit of even being in restaurants.

True to their nature as experts in hospitality, the staff at Veda – Kiran, Laura, and Cassandra, insisted that I take my jacket off and sit down. I resisted at first, then caved. Unwinding at a table, Kiran bought me a delicious chai tea. Relaxed and warmed up, the conversations began flowing. Stories from the Veda team about their own experiences surviving abuse and seeking safety. A long discussion about gender in Indian culture and the discrimination and misogyny women and girls, LGBTQ and trans people continue to face around the world. It made sense to me how the staff were able to raise so much money for WIT from their diners – they were speaking from personal experience and from a shared sense of mission. Veda’s space is warm, calm and relaxing. The staff are incredibly welcoming and team-centered – it is clear that they are working together to make their guests feel comfortable and cared for. By my second visit, I realized why I felt so at home there – Veda is a lot like WIT. At WIT, we put special effort into making our physical and virtual office space a warm, safe, calming for our clients and their children – so many of whom live in chaotic and unsafe environments. We offer clients a non-judgmental place to make sense of their situations. The teamwork I see from WIT staff leaves me speechless some days like the day our Hotline Counselor, Emergency Placement Counselor and Program Director worked together to get a Survivor out of her abusive home and onto a plane, which took her to her out-of-state family and safety.

I am now a regular at Veda. I go there because I feel so cared for every time I go. The fact that the food is excellent is a bonus. Our WIT community is so grateful for the support of Veda and their guests, who were so generous in their giving. Like many social service agencies, WIT is experiencing a tremendous surge in demand for our counseling services due to the stress and escalating abuse resulting from COVID. Veda’s donation will support WIT in expending our counseling team so that we can meet this increased demand. Thank you again for all of your support.