September 29, 2022
US Army Specialist Mary Chitwood, who is a native of Butler, PA, (a northern suburb of Pittsburgh, PA) served honorably and received numerous awards during her time in the Army. Since Mary’s active duty ended, she has dedicated her life to serving fellow veterans with housing needs, employment opportunities and support services. Mary has personally worked with and helped more than 200 veterans in Western PA. Her most recent project is “Robin’s Home”, the first housing program for homeless woman veterans and their children.
After seeing the tribute to Mary and her nonprofit organization, we decided to reach out to her the next day to introduce the 9dollarclub and learn more about Robin’s Home. I had a wonderful conversation with Mary for more than hour and learned all about her journey and the creation of Robin’s Home.
Named after a fellow veteran and good friend who unfortunately passed away in 2017 from complications of a surgery, Robin’s Home is an actual home in Butler, PA designed to provide supportive housing to homeless women veterans and their children. Mary obtained the house in a partnership with a local business and began a long process of renovation to get ready for their future residents. What was once an abandoned old house at 401 E Pearl St. in Butler, PA is now a loving home for up to 6 veterans (and their children) at a time as they work to support and help low income and homeless female veterans obtain stable employment and ultimately safe housing.
Mary is continuing to extend her outreach to the community in need. Her next initiative is opening up a local Robin's Home thrift shop and donation center where they will receive physical donations to support female veterans. By opening the Robin’s Home Thrift Store and Donation Center, Robin's Home will be able to put these generous donations to work by including them in our new thrift store.
What is the 9dollarclub doing to help?
Toward the end of our conversation, I asked Mary how can we help? I anticipated they would probably need something for the house, perhaps a replacement appliance or some other upgrade.
Mary thought for a moment and said she would really like to organize more outings with the residents. She talked about how important it is for the residents to get out more in the community, have some fun and be more involved socially as a very important part of the rehabilitation and transition period for these women. She talked about how isolating and mentally difficult the process is for many of these veterans. Mary told me that local organizations have been extremely helpful in providing necessary items for the house, but getting donations for these types of outings has been a real challenge.
We are excited to announce that thanks to your contribution this month, the 9dollarclub will be sending Mary and all of her current residents on a wonderful 2.5 hour dinner riverboat cruise aboard the “Gateway Clipper” in downtown Pittsburgh. Located very close to the confluence of Pittsburgh’s iconic three rivers, The Gateway Clipper provides sightseeing and dinner cruises up and down the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. Mary was very excited to tell the residents of the upcoming evening out and we look forward to sharing updates with you all after the event!
As another sign of her never ending commitment to giving and dedication to helping others, after learning about the 9dollarclub and the impact that we are all trying to make, Mary joined with us that same evening! On behalf of all of our members…. Welcome to the 9dollarclub Mary!
You can take a virtual tour of the house here and can watch a few videos of Mary telling others about her mission and story below!