Polly’s is so much more than just a place for the Chelsea community to buy their groceries. 

As a member of the St. Louis Center Development and Communications Department, I went to the store to speak with the manager about taking photos with her for an upcoming publication. 

As I entered the store I bumped into a friend, who is also an SLC supporter. As we were chatting, Lee, an SLC resident who was at work that day, joined the conversation. He told her the whole story about how he is part of the Chelsea High School football team and how Coach Lucas included him when getting state championship rings. She was nearly moved to tears at how inclusive and welcoming the team has been. What an amazing community we live in!

But wait … it gets better.
black man standing in a grocery store


In order to speak with the manager,  Lee showed me to her office upstairs just beyond the break room. After our brief discussion we went back into the break area where Antoine and Matthias, also SLC residents, were taking their lunch break. Matthias was sitting with the job coach and one of the cashiers. Matthias was so excited to show me that he had been given a Christmas gift by the store – a $25 gift card for use in the store. He was overwhelmed with joy at this gesture. As a matter of fact, the day before when Lisa, another SLC resident who works there, got hers, she cried.


The cashier went on to tell me that she has noticed how much better of a day Matthias has when he takes his lunch at the same time that she does. He seems to have better stamina to finish out his work day. I just wanted to hug this co-worker for noticing this and caring so much about Matthias.

So the next time you pop into Polly’s to grab a few things be sure to say hello to your friends, and thank the staff for welcoming the SLC residents as employees. If you see the residents, say hello to them too. They are always ready to share a smile!

St. Louis Center cannot thank Polly’s and the Kennedy family enough for all of the good that they do to support the residents and SLC events. May 2022 be a great year for all of you!
-Kelly Flaherty


Jacqui talks about Independence College.



Read more Stories of Independence and learn more about St. Louis Center “Independence College”!




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