Those who dine at Salute E Vita Ristorante in Richmond on Thursday will help raise funds for the West Contra Costa Family Justice Center.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Salute owner Menbere Aklilu is donating 15-percent of all restaurant sales on Thursday to the Family Justice Center, a one-stop shop of services and resources at 24th Street in Richmond for abused women and their families. Last year, The Family Justice Center served over 1,000 families and launched an elder abuse prevention program.
A domestic abuse survivor who was once a homeless single mother, Aklilu has become famous in the community for her charity works, having earned the prestigious Jefferson Award for volunteerism in the 2015, the same year that she donated $15,000 to the Family’s Justice Center’s at its grand opening at 256 24th St.
Aklilu, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Italy, survived unspeakable violence in her past, having witnessed as a child her mother being fatally shot, and later in life fleeing horrific domestic violence while nine months pregnant, ending up at a homeless shelter in Italy. After making her way to America, Aklilu’s first job was at Salute E Vita, working as a host. She quickly climbed the ranks, and ended up buying the restaurant.
Aklilu regularly contributes to the Family Justice Center “to support their mission of ending violence against women,” according to restaurant representatives.