Staff Highlight: Mary Ellen

Meet Mary Ellen Blue, Rodman for Kids’ Administrative Assistant! Mary Ellen is our first ever admin and we are SO excited to have her with us!  You may recognize Mary Ellen if you frequented Cilla’s Coffeehouse in Norfolk, MA as that was her coffeehouse, named after her mother. After closing Cilla’s last year, Mary Ellen began working at Rodman for Kids and we are so excited to have Mary Ellen join our team!

We sat down with Mary Ellen to chat a bit more about why she decided to join the Rodman for Kids’ team and what she hopes to see in the future.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Rodman for Kids!

Mary Ellen:  I am the Administrative Assistant here at Rodman for Kids.  Back in August, I shut down my coffeehouse that I opened and ran for eight years.  I loved it!  I haven’t worked in an office for over 30 years so this is quite humbling, however, I’m working hard at getting those skills back!  Anyone who knows me knows that I love kids!  I have four kids of my own, one grandson, with another arriving shortly.  I am very close to all 21 of my nieces and nephews.  One of my favorite things about my coffeehouse was managing my young staff & even getting to know all the kids who would come in daily.  They truly felt like family.

Congratulations on the new grandchild!  What inspired you to join us here at Rodman for Kids?

ME: Being a single mother & having a child on the Autism Spectrum, as well as having kids that hit bumps along the way, I found resources that truly got my kids through some tough times. Sometimes providing the love and care of a parent is not enough & looking back, I’m incredibly grateful that there were resources out there for me to turn to. It’s incredible that Rodman for Kids is providing those resources for their Charity Partners, and therefore, thousands of kids and families like mine. I’m so happy to be able to give back in this way.

“Being a single mother & having a child on the Autism Spectrum, as well as having kids that hit bumps along the way, I found resources that truly got my kids through some tough times.”

What aspect of Rodman for Kids’ mission resonates with you the most?

ME: Opening a coffeehouse in a community that had nothing, I built a space where everyone was welcomed, judgement-free!  I saw friendships form from people whose paths would not have ever crossed. I hired 14-year-olds who worked out a lot of their stuff & who truly blossomed.  Working is empowering, especially for kids who don’t have self-confidence or who are struggling in school or socially.  I have not been able to financially support charities, but I’ve always given my personal time. At my shop, I supported lots of non-profits by hosting events, and was able to help lots of families by providing meals out my back door. Being able to give back in this new way is exciting!

What are your aspirations for Rodman for Kids and how do you hope to contribute to it?

ME: I am very service-oriented & love to work!  I enjoy taking some of the day-to-day stuff off everyone’s plate to make their days easier.  When I can free up time for the women in the office, I feel good!

One last question, and this is a fun one: If you could swap roles with anyone at Rodman for Kids, who would it be and why?

ME: If I could swap roles with anyone in this organization, I truly don’t know whose I’d chose. I think at this stage in life, I’m in the perfect role for me.  I am hoping that my life experience as well as my work experience will be helpful to this group of women.

We’re so excited to have you with us, Mary Ellen!

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