When Russia imposed martial law over her
native Poland in 1980, for example, Rowan Damone
organized a drive throughout the apparel industry to collect warm clothing to be distributed to the citizens of Poland through Catholic Relief Services.
"My childhood and early years made me stronger - and I'm happy that I had some suffering, so I can appreciate what I have now and what I can do for others," Mrs. Rowan Damone
She founded the Rena Rowan Foundation for the Homeless in 1995, recognizing the needs of Philadelphia's most vulnerable citizens - particularly homeless women with children.
The Foundation has supported such projects as Rowan House, with People's Emergency Center, and Rowan Homes, with Project H.O.M.E.
These facilities, which care for homeless families, children, and teens in West and North Philadelphia, respectively, were born out of their benefactor's keen memories of and experiences in her
This philanthropist helped, moreover, to raise funds from other donors for these projects, and for the Rena Rowan Breast Center
at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
, also a beneficiary of her
This generosity, too, came as a response to a difficult time in Rena's life, when she
herself was treated for breast cancer.
dedication to the American Red Cross
, Rowan Damone
was awarded the Spectrum award.