Toledo Area Parent sat down with Dr. Kamala Tamirisa of Promedica, Northwest Ohio Cardiology Consultants. The busy physician juggles patient care, poetry, painting, music and most importantly spending time with her husband and two young children. She is passionate about helping women at the Sparrow’s Nest, a shelter for homeless and abused women. Dr. Tamirisa stresses the importance of community involvement and urges others to take steps toward making a difference- no matter how small.
How did you become involved with the Sparrow’s Nest?
A few friends told me about the Cherry Street Mission and the great works they accomplish. We began volunteering and learned about their ministry for women called the Sparrow’s Nest. This ministry provides shelter, medical care, assistance with obtaining a degree, and employment counseling for the women in the shelter. I help with providing medical care and find I can relate to the women there.
How do you relate to them?
Through suffering there is inspiration. I was very poor growing up. My mother was extremely polite, very quiet but so strong. She had to sew clothes for my sister and me. Our one pair of shoes had to last for the entire year. If she had material left, she would make a small gown for another mother’s baby. She was always giving. She had a master’s degree and had a strong interest in world history. She taught other children English. When our situation improved she did not go to clubs as other women to play cards and socialize. She preferred to teach children and give back to the community.
How do you foster giving to others with your children?
My seven-year-old has a celebration for his birthday. He keeps one favorite item and the rest we take down to the shelter. His friends are so generous and give new clothes and money for the Sparrow’s Nest. Many mothers have told me that they feel he did not come up with this idea on his own. That is true. I planted the seed and have watched it grow. He gets a receipt for the donated items. He is so proud. Small steps go a long way.
What are your hopes for women in the future?
I hope that women can be fearless. We can be the best of everything. Women are so gifted, so talented. Why the fear?
How can others get involved in the Sparrow’s Nest?
If you have a spare moment- even 30 minutes a week- volunteer your services. If you have no time, ask what you can purchase, especially during the holiday season. The gift of time, money, toys, badly needed medical supplies will make a big difference in the lives of homeless and abused women.
The Sparrow’s Nest
The Sparrow’s Nest is a 24/7 facility. They have a “No wrong door” policy meaning women will never be told that they have come to the wrong place.
The percentage of women who find shelter from homelessness and abuse at the Sparrow’s Nest is continually on the rise. There is no time limit on staying in the shelter.
Feminine hygiene products, toiletries and other nonperishable items are continually needed, especially as the shelter increases its occupancy.
Women are usually the last to be labeled “homeless” as it is more common for friends and family to take them in than men. Due to an increase in joblessness and foreclosures, relatives of many of the women in the shelter are unable to offer assistance.
For information on how you can help,
call 419-242-5141 or visit