, May 04, 2017 | More Post by

Welcome to the first in our series called Co-Founders’ Corner! These are posts by either of our two Here for the Girls Co-Founders, Rene Bowditch or Mary Beth Gibson. Enjoy these (sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always interesting) reflections on life!

Poor Monday. It has a real image problem. Most everybody loves Saturday. It’s the creamy filling in the Oreo cookie that is the weekend – sandwiched right in between the chocolate-ly goodness of Friday, the official launch of the weekend, and Sunday, the traditional day of rest and renewal. Thursday is pretty popular too as the prelude to the weekend. Wednesday’s claim to fame is as Hump Day gains it points and even the nondescript Tuesday has status as being the day after Monday, when one can breathe easy again. Poor maligned Monday.

Let me give you a few examples of just how bad it is. When I googled sayings for Monday, here are some of the ones I found:

If Monday had a face, I would punch it.

Go home Monday. No one likes you.

If each day is a gift, I would like to know where to return Mondays.

There should be a holiday for all the brave people who show up to work on Mondays.

Monday. How do I block you in real life?

Keep calm and pretend it’s not Monday.

Shortest horror story in history. Tomorrow is Monday.

Dear Monday. I think you should take a vacation. Seriously, no one will miss you.

I also unexpectedly discovered an interesting correlation between Mondays and coffee.

Too much Monday. Not enough coffee.

May your coffee be strong and your Monday be short.

Coffee. Because Monday happens every week.

Monday. I don’t think there will be enough coffee or enough middle fingers for today.

Apparently, if you don’t show up to Monday armed with massive quantities of coffee, you are doomed.

So who is responsible for this sad state of affairs? Well if we are going to assign blame, I guess we have to go back about 4,000 years. It was the Babylonians. They are the ones who decided to divide the 29 day lunar cycle into smaller periods of time and picked seven because it had mystical significance. And then beyond the Babylonians, we can attribute it to whoever decided in more modern times that Monday would be the official start of the work week and school week.

Because when you come right down to it, I believe the reason most people who resent Monday feel that way because it means they have to go back to either work or school. So the problem isn’t really Monday!! The problem isn’t even our attitude about Monday. The problem is we may not be content with what we have to do on Mondays – whatever our responsibilities are – and Monday is a reminder that we have to start it all over again until our next break from it. So here’s the solution. It is simple but may not easy.

We have two options:

We can change our responsibilities, or we can change our attitude.

I used to be one of the Monday moaners. And then I faced a serious health crisis that compelled me to reevaluate my life, my priorities, my values and also how I was spending my time versus how I wanted to be spending my time. That seismic shift resulted in a new attitude about many things including Mondays. Ultimately, here is what I believe is the most significant fact about Mondays:  They represent 1/7 of your life. So do you really want to spend your time dreading, complaining about, and wishing away 1/7 of your life? I know I don’t. So I embrace Monday as I do every other day of the week – with gratitude and the knowledge that I own it, and I am going to make it what I want it to be. Mondays are a gift I have no desire to return.

So I suggest we reconsider Mondays, and to help us, here are a few of the very few positive sayings I found in my Google search about Mondays.

Monday. A fresh start. Embrace it.

Monday, Funday. Live, Laugh, Love.

Monday is a new start of your life, new beginning, new perspective. Make today count.

Monday, just another day to be amazing.

Do what you love, and you will never dread Monday.

And of course, we can’t forget the coffee. It’s Monday. Grab some coffee and be awesome.

And if you are still not convinced, I’ll share this little-known fact with you: Monday is the only day of the week that is an anagram of a single word. And that word? It’s dynamo. So I leave you with this thought. When Monday rolls around again, and if you are lucky, it will continue to do so over and over and over again, just use it as a reminder that Monday is a special day for you to shine as the dynamo you are! And the coffee? It’s optional.

Mary Beth Gibson

, May 16, 2016 | More Post by

lucy mckayKristin O’Keefe, freelance writer, recently wrote a touching blog entry about our beloved Boober!, Lucy McKay, who passed away on Mother’s Day this year. Kristin and Lucy were childhood friends, and in her blog, Kristin shares how Lucy impacted her life over the years. Click HERE for a link to the post.

Lucy, you will be missed, and your life will be celebrated by those who knew and loved you.

 

, April 25, 2016 | More Post by

A Celebration of Beyond Boobs! Volunteers

“Volunteers are love in motion.” Unknown

Beyond Boobs! volunteers are the best and every day they give their best to our Boobers! We are overjoyed to have such an amazing group of volunteers, and it is because of them that the young women we serve have hope for the future, inspiration to overcome, and the power to thrive.

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week, but we have been blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that we want to celebrate all month long! Stay tuned to the blog as we recognize Joanne, Chaunai, Kim, and Ben for the incredible work they do every day for BB!

Check us out for Beyond Boobs! volunteer opportunities. The more the merrier!

Kim NortonKim Norton jumped at the chance to volunteer with Beyond Boobs! when she saw a posting from the group online, and for the past year she spent every Wednesday afternoon with BB! Managing Director Chris Schwab in the group’s Williamsburg office, filing and organizing.

Kim’s schedule recently changed and she is no longer able to volunteer with the group, but the staff is grateful to have had her as part of the team.

One of Kim’s big projects was helping out with A Calendar to Live By, which also does double duty as a breast health guide. While there are many different ways to sponsor the project, Kim kept track of all the individuals and businesses who purchased a day of the year to honor a loved one. She also kept the paper files in order.

“I really enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I have when tasks are completed and things are organized,” Kim said.

Although she loves paperwork and data, Kim also enjoyed the camaraderie in the office. “Everyone is so nice and upbeat,” she said. “I really enjoyed working with Chris because she is so easy to talk to.”

Kim and her husband Ron have been married for 33 years and have three grown children. One of their favorite new pastimes is kayaking on the Chickahominy River.

, April 18, 2016 | More Post by

A Celebration of Beyond Boobs! Volunteers

“Volunteers are love in motion.” Unknown

Beyond Boobs! volunteers are the best and every day they give their best to our Boobers! We are overjoyed to have such an amazing group of volunteers, and it is because of them that the young women we serve have hope for the future, inspiration to overcome, and the power to thrive.

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week, but we have been blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that we want to celebrate all month long! Stay tuned to the blog as we recognize Joanne, Chaunai, Kim, and Ben for the incredible work they do every day for BB!

Check us out for Beyond Boobs! volunteer opportunities. The more the merrier!

Ben&BettyAnneBen Smykowski lost his wife, Betty Anne, to ovarian cancer in 2014 and he volunteers with Beyond Boobs! in her memory. “Betty Anne was such a great person,” he said. “She was the love of my life and my soul mate. Volunteering is my way of honoring her.”

Ben is retired from the IT industry after 45 years and volunteers at the BB! office in Williamsburg every week. He worked on BB!’s website to help get all of their information into Salesforce, a cloud computing program. Normally he is a member of the Tuesday Tag Team (T3s), but he is on call 24/7 if a need should arise.

“The women at BB! make me laugh,” Ben said. “I admire them so much, especially after all they have been through.”

In addition to his volunteer gig at BB!, Ben also volunteers three days a week at the front desk at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Before she passed away, Betty Anne worked at Cullom Eye & Laser Center as a medical records person, and Ben volunteers at the Doctors’ Surgery Center every Thursday when Dr. Cullom is performing cataract and LASIK surgeries. “Everyone there still talks about her,” Ben said. “They even have the slogan WWBD – What would Betty do?”

This year Ben is the presenting sponsor for BB!’s annual “Breast” Ball Golf Tournament, donating the money in Betty Anne’s memory. “I can’t do enough for Beyond Boobs!,” he said. “I love the organization and everyone involved is so dedicated.”

Ben is the father of two grown children and has a 13-year-old granddaughter. He lives in Williamsburg and is very active with his church.

, April 11, 2016 | More Post by

A Celebration of Beyond Boobs! Volunteers

“Volunteers are love in motion.” Unknown

Beyond Boobs! volunteers are the best and every day they give their best to our Boobers! We are overjoyed to have such an amazing group of volunteers, and it is because of them that the young women we serve have hope for the future, inspiration to overcome, and the power to thrive.

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week, but we have been blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that we want to celebrate all month long! Stay tuned to the blog as we recognize Joanne, Chaunai, Kim, and Ben for the incredible work they do every day for BB!

Check us out for Beyond Boobs! volunteer opportunities. The more the merrier!

Joanne HenkDiagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2011 at the age of 53, Joanne Henk knew she wanted to get involved with Beyond Boobs! when a family member told her about the group. Beyond Boobs! co-founder and Good Health Fairy René Bowditch took Joanne under her fairy wings and taught Joanne how to be a fairy herself.

“I wear a little bit of pink and a lot of wings,” joked Joanne about her gig as a Good Health Fairy during BB! signature and community events. She especially loved being part of a parade in Urbanna one year. “There was lots of hooting and hollering,” she said. Her favorite part was when the dozen or so fairies walking in the parade all spun around at the same time.

When she isn’t carrying a wand and educating everyone about breast health, Joanne is a member of the Tuesday Tag Team, also known as T3. Every Tuesday Joanne joins her fellow T3s at the BB! office in Williamsburg to work on admin tasks and help get stuff ready for the events BB! hosts throughout the year.

“The T3s are amazing,” Joanne said. “We do a lot of grunt work, but we have a blast. The other volunteers and staff hold me up, and I know I can say anything and they will understand. The BB! office is a place of miracles.”

, April 01, 2016 | More Post by

A Celebration of Beyond Boobs! Volunteers

“Volunteers are love in motion.” Unknown

Beyond Boobs! volunteers are the best and every day they give their best to our Boobers! We are overjoyed to have such an amazing group of volunteers, and it is because of them that the young women we serve have hope for the future, inspiration to overcome, and the power to thrive.

April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week, but we have been blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that we want to celebrate all month long! Stay tuned to the blog as we recognize Joanne, Chaunai, Kim, and Ben for the incredible work they do every day for BB!

Check us out for Beyond Boobs! volunteer opportunities. The more the merrier!

Chaunai McKnightOriginally from Queens, New York, her time in the Navy brought Chaunai McKnight to Southeastern Virginia. She learned about Beyond Boobs! through her public administration master’s program at Old Dominion University and she interviewed for an internship with the group. Chaunai has lupus and it is her dream to one day start a nonprofit to provide support to those diagnosed with the disease.

“I want to learn more about all women’s health issues and be able to help people no matter what,” Chaunai said.

Chaunai is part of the Tuesday Tag Team, known as the T3s, and helps out behind the scenes with the group’s events and fundraisers. She also traveled with the Good Health Fairy to an outreach event held at Thomas Nelson Community College.

“As a T3 I really feel like I am part of the team,” Chaunai said. “Everyone is super nice and BB! is very family-oriented. I want my future nonprofit to be just like BB! because they keep it small and personal.”

, April 22, 2015 | More Post by

Volunteer Embodies Attitude of Gratitude

Four years ago Gail Gruen moved to the Williamsburg area and was looking for a new project to take on. She and her husband, Martin, had relocated from New Jersey to Virginia, where she had been a social worker for close to three decades. One of her neighbors in Toano invited her to volunteer at BB! and Gail agreed to help out. After getting to know her personality through her volunteer work, BB! staff came up with a position that would use Gail’s talents as a people person to the fullest – Gratitude Ambassador. Gail writes thank-you letters to everyone who donates to BB! and is also on hand at events to thank volunteers and those who come out to support BB!’s mission.

“Showing gratitude is the simplest yet most powerful thing one human being can do for another,” Gail said.

BB!’s mission of supporting young women diagnosed with breast cancer is especially close to Gail’s heart. Her mom, Dorothy, was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away at the age of 44.

“My mom was a fun lady, always reaching out to other people,” Gail said. “I inherited that from her and when I am volunteering with BB! I feel like I am honoring her and following in her footsteps.”

As a social worker in New Jersey Gail supervised a group of 40 volunteers, so she knows the tremendous impact they can make on an organization. “I love working with volunteers,” she said. “I so appreciated the role the volunteers played in my job in New Jersey, and now I’m a volunteer myself!”Gail & Martin

Gail and her husband Martin have been married for 39 years. They have two adult daughters, Danielle and Rachael. They also have two cats they adopted from the Heritage Humane Society, Mac and Cheese.

, April 16, 2015 | More Post by

Beyond Boobs! celebrates our volunteers

We’re celebrating YOU!

Our Devoted Volunteers

On behalf of Rene, Mary Beth, the BB! Board, and the BB! Staff ~
Thanks to each one of you for your time, talents, and treasures.  You help this organization meet the needs of all the young women we serve!  It is because of you that these women have….

Hope for the Future   Inspiration to Overcome    Power to Thrive

“I alone cannot change the world,                                                                                                                                but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

~ Mother Teresa

Join us for the next few days to read about a few of our volunteers who continuously cast their stones.  Meet Kim, Hannah, Gail, and Jamie 🙂  Looking to volunteer with Beyond Boobs!, check us out!

, April 16, 2015 | More Post by

Volunteer Kim Coulter Pledges Full Support to BB! Mission

 

Every Tuesday Kim Coulter volunteers at the Beyond Boobs! main office in Williamsburg, placing orders for office supplies or searching online for event supplies. Lately she has been scouring the Internet, looking for just the right items for the upcoming 8th Annual “Breast” Ball Golf Tournament. Kim has been a volunteer with BB! for almost three years. She enjoys volunteering so much that she has also started coming in a couple of hours every Wednesday to work on the metrics that impact BB!’s end-of-year financial reports.

“The women at Beyond Boobs! have become like family,” Kim said. “We all get along so well together and I look forward to seeing everyone when I come in to the office.”Kim with Great-Niece

When Kim retired after 30 years working for the government in the CIA, she searched for ways to give back to her community. She discovered Beyond Boobs!, began volunteering, and now she is hooked.

“My mother had breast cancer in the 1980s and my maternal grandmother died from cervical cancer,” Kim said. “I always donated to cancer organizations, but after my grandmother passed away I wanted to get more involved.”

Beyond Boobs! and their work with young breast cancer survivors has made a big impact on Kim. “I have learned a lot about breast cancer,” she said. “One of the things I enjoy the most is talking with survivors and seeing how resilient they are. BB! is there for women, helping them find the resources they need. It’s a great place to volunteer.”

In addition to logging in volunteer hours at the Beyond Boobs! office, Kim also donates her time at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, where she helps out in the volunteer office and other places in the hospital. Kim also enjoys helping animals. While working at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, she met and adopted Tikka, a dog found roaming outside the building. Kim brought Tikka back with her to the U.S. and now the two spend lots of time together, getting in three or four walks a day.Tikka the Dog

“I named her after chicken tikka masala, a spicy Middle Eastern dish,” Kim explained. “The name fits her so well because she has such a spicy personality.”

Kim loves baseball and is a diehard fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates. She is a season ticket holder for weekend games and travels when she can from her home in Williamsburg to Pennsylvania to root for her favorite team.

 

 

 

, December 25, 2013 | More Post by

Poem By: Vicki VawterChristmas.png

 

 

 

 

 

This season, we wish you a holiday that is full
Of magic, happiness, and good cheer.
For this is the time to reflect on the things
that bring us a smile now and into the year.

Perhaps you have seen people helping others
With a gift, or a smile, or helping hands.
It’s not always easy to find time to be giving,
With the all that this busy season demands.

“Angels” have appeared in many different forms
In our office, at events, and in our midst.
There are so many, we can’t even begin
To thank all of you on our “nice” list

We’ve seen angels at meetings, in emails,
and on our Facebook pages or posts.
A gift of encouragement, an inspirational message,
Or a hug that is needed the most.

We’ve seen you at events, helping to promote
The message we all want to share
The mission of support, of love, and of hope
To women and families everywhere.

Volunteers give their time, talents, and gifts
Without you, we would be lost.
Some open their homes and open their hearts
Every time, no matter the cost.

Some angels have appeared as a host of givers
Who vow to match every December dollar we receive
And donors who’ve hosted events of their own
Donations we definitely need.

Our sponsors are angels, they keep us ‘alive’
For each one we are truly blessed.
When others said no, you answered the call
With a loud and resounding “Yes!”

There are angels who help other ladies in need
Through surgery, through treatment, and more
Ones who say “You are not alone,
I’m here, I’ve been there before.”

So thank you angels, from the depths of our hearts
With your help, we will continue to grow.
We’ll keep up the fight until there’s a cure.
Your angelic gifts mean more than you know.