, April 23, 2020 | More Post by

Our lives right now are all about staying home as much as possible, keeping our family and ourselves safe, and trying to contain our worry in a worrisome time. H4TG staff are right there with you trying to figure out how to navigate this new daily (temporary) normal! We’d like to share with you some of the ideas that have worked for us when it comes to de-stressing, figuring out how to work from home efficiently, managing kids, working in some sort of fun time, and more.

If you are like me, you suddenly find yourself searching for things to do with those extra cracks of time we now have. Suddenly, the wish that “if I just had more time to spend at home” has been granted. Absolutely not the way I would have wished for but here we are. Most of my time is filled with work, my family, reading and attempting to keep our house clean and organized. Not super exciting, I agree. So, I decided to use this interruption in my regular routine to try a little something new.

On a recent trip to Joann Fabrics with my husband, who needed some additional material to sew our COVID masks, I did something crazy. I bought yarn and a crochet hook. Full disclosure, I am not a crafty person by any means. But as I ogled all the pretty yarn colors, I thought to myself, here is your something new!  Once home, I make myself a cup of tea, get a comfy seat and proceed to search YouTube for videos on crocheting. I eagerly click on my first one, “How to Crochet Let Handed for Absolute Beginners”, sounds promising. I watch the instructor slowly go through the basics: how to hold the hook, how to correctly wrap the yarn around my fingers to create just the right amount of tension, create the slip knot and make the chain. I take a big gulp, pick up my hook to create my slip knot. Okay…just barely got that down, now onto the good stuff. I begin to make my chain. Hmm, okay how did she hold the yarn again? Let me go back and watch one more time. Oops, not quite right. Rewind. Well, that was a little confusing, I need to find another video!

Fast forward two hours and 5 videos later, my head is pounding, and I have a small foundation chain that looks as if its been mangled by a wild animal. I won’t even go into my attempts to learn how to single crochet! I have made a promise to myself not to give up, but I think I would get the most benefit from in-person instruction. So once life gets moving again, I think I will look for a class and see where it goes. But for now, I hear my husband and son in the den, and it sounds like they have got a good movie on. I make some popcorn and go join them.

-Karen Wilson, Fundraising & Marketing Manager 

, April 13, 2020 | More Post by

Our lives right now are all about staying home as much as possible, keeping our family and ourselves safe, and trying to contain our worry in a worrisome time. H4TG staff are right there with you trying to figure out how to navigate this new daily (temporary) normal! We’d like to share with you some of the ideas that have worked for us when it comes to de-stressing, figuring out how to work from home efficiently, managing kids, working in some sort of fun time, and more.


How in the world do you not go crazy sitting at home, confined with your family all the time in a small space (I love them, but who knew my hubby could chew loud enough that I can hear him from anywhere in the house?!), while still keeping the household running, the chores done, the kids’ homework done, the animals walked/fed, your job tasks completed, and the cows milked? Ok, so I don’t have cows, but the other stuff is legit. I am an introvert by nature (weird job choice for me, right?), so the staying home isn’t bugging me — it’s the NEVER ALONE part that is difficult. I love my husband and son, but I am absolutely not used to them being in my space all day, every day (well, almost every day – my husband is required to go into work 2 days a week). What’s a girl to do?Here are a few ways this introvert is carving out some ME (away from YOU) time over the past several weeks:

  • I’ve designated our guest room as the escape room. This is where any of us can go to get away without being disturbed. When the door is closed, the rest of the family knows that the person inside needs to not see your face for a bit. We’ve fixed up the inside to be as relaxing as possible.
  • I’ve been going on a walk by myself here and there. While it’s been great having family walks, I’ve decided it’s okay to take the dog and (in the kindest way possible) not invite anyone to come along.
  • I hate working outside, but it sure is an easy way to keep (at least my son) from wanting to tag along! Pulling weeds in the peace and quiet is ALMOST not a chore!
  • I started having baths again, versus showers. Who ever had time for a bath? Not me! Though my job still keeps me busy, I’ve decided that adding a bath-time back to my life (which I used to love as a teeneager) is a really good way to unwind a little bit. Keeping clean doesn’t always have to be a chore. Throw some candles and music in there, and it’s like a scene from a movie!

-Desiree Parker, Communications Manager

, October 14, 2019 | More Post by

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King

If we use the benchmark set by Mrs. King, the greatness of the community at Here for the Girls is immeasurable. Having worked with Here for the Girls for many years, the team at ALOR is constantly blown away by the good that they do for their community and the unwavering support they offer to young women during the toughest times of their lives.

The part of Here for the Girls’ mission that resonates the most with the team at ALOR is their unshakable desire to create a community of women who are strong, courageous, and genuine. Community is a necessity to thrive and survive even in the most mundane of times and to build such a strong network during times of strife is truly awe-inspiring. This community-centric philosophy is part of what inspired our Affirmation Collection and ultimately what connected us with Here for the Girls.

Through no easy feat, the committed members of this organization have made a lasting impact on so many lives and ALOR is proud to play even the smallest part to help maintain this network of women relying on and inspiring each other. It is our ultimate hope that through the channels of communication that this organization has created, no one has to go through their journey alone but instead are surrounded by their sisters and, of course, the good health fairy!

-The Team at ALOR

A portion of the proceeds for bracelets sold from ALOR’s Affirmation Collection (pictured here) in October will be donated to Here for the Girls.

, June 13, 2019 | More Post by

Being a part of this amazing organization has brought so much joy to me and becoming friends with our ladies and the staff here make it so special. One of my favorite things about working and volunteering at Here for the Girls is that I get to also bring my family to events, fundraisers, retreats, and more! They have been so helpful with everything from traffic control at our annual run to cooking in the kitchen at our annual retreat. They get to join me in the feeling of seeing the impact it makes in the lives of our women and in our community.  It truly takes a village to run a non-profit, and I am so happy that village includes the people I love most!

-Vicki Vawter, Program + Community Relations Manager

, May 23, 2019 | More Post by

Amber (far left) with volunteers Sami and Annalee and H4TG Events and Development Manager, Amanda.

Amber (pictured at far left) is the Here for the Girls Bookkeeper + Office Manager. 

I am here for the girls because this is more than just a job for me. Though I do have lots of numbers to enter, every time a donation comes through in honor, and unfortunately sometimes in memory, of our ladies, they are on my mind! After attending the 2019 Renew Restore Retreat, I finally got to meet a lot of the women that we serve and was able to put faces to the names I see continually.

Even in our busiest times, I just take a deep breath and remember why we are doing it!

– Amber

, October 26, 2017 | More Post by

Fine jewelry company ALOR has been a supporter of H4TG for several years. Here, they share why the company is Here for the Girls:

The younger generation is our future, we at ALOR see importance in that. Here for the Girls take young women under their wing to give support to those affected by breast cancer. Can you imagine being in your twenties and finding out you have this disease? No, neither can we. Being young and hearing the word cancer would scare anyone. It can be hard or even intimidating to reach out to others to express what you may be going through. Women can receive the help they need through this organization, which is why we wanted to be a part of it.

Here for the Girls, in our eyes, is like an extended family. Yes, these young women with breast cancer have families of their own but it is great to have outsiders who understand as well. To have this resource to reach out to others with breast cancer can be easier than a talking to an immediate family member. Having someone there for you who understands what you are going through gives you a feeling of comfort. With the combination of family and Here for the Girls, you have an abundance of support and love.

We at ALOR want young women to not feel alone when it comes to the dark side of breast cancer. Being young and experiencing life on its own is scary, but throwing in this type of curve ball is devastating. We want the curveball to feel like an obstacle that you can come out of on top. Here for the Girls showed us the light and their overall mission to help these young women in more ways than imaginable is why we chose to become a partner.

, September 14, 2017 | More Post by

Melissa Weaver and the Good Health Fairy (a.k.a. H4TG Co-Founder Rene Bowditch) at the Pink Carpet Gala 2017.

Melissa Weaver, a current volunteer and Boober! who was also a volunteer group facilitator for Beyond Boobs!, shares why she’s Here for the Girls:

I was broken, battered, and bald, and that’s when the my love affair with Beyond Boobs! (Here for the Girls) began. I had just received my second dose of “the red devil” when I attended my first BB! retreat. It was at this magical place that I learned, for the very first time, that I was no longer alone. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing support system, but as any breast cancer survivor knows, until we have walked the road we cannot fully understand the terrain. I do not know if it was the food, new friends, or fantastic weather, but I knew that I was finally home.

The concept of time takes on a very different meaning after cancer. The desire to go one more year without receiving a visit from the stalker and the need to have the beautiful moments of life frozen forever happens simultaneously. Through this uncertain journey, this amazing organization has been a constant presence and source of unwavering support. These women truly understand the special challenges faced by individuals receiving a cancer diagnosis. We have traded conversations about shopping for shoes for conversations about selecting the best breast surgeon. Instead of chats about the latest hair style, we are discussing the latest wig options. Don’t be fooled though, we laugh, we cry… and we sometimes do talk about shoes.

The truth is we are forever changed and will forever be tied to one another. When you meet another cancer “thriver” you instantly feel a connection that is deep and life changing. Beyond Boobs! was a lifeline at a time when I was drowning in the idea of an uncertain future. It was through this organization that I found a purpose, passion, and place in this ever changing landscape.

-Melissa

, September 04, 2017 | More Post by

Jeff Morrill is H4TG Co-Founder Mary Beth Gibson’s brother. Here he shares why he’s Here for the Girls:

Schopenhauer said that talent can hit a target no one else can hit, but genius hits a target no one else can see.  Mary Beth Gibson, co-founder and executive director of Here for the Girls, is the latter.  And I would know, because she’s my sister, and I’ve been observing her successes for a lifetime.

After surviving cancer herself, Mary discovered the enormous needs of a population of young women reckoning with breast cancer, and she decided to do something (actually a lot) about it.  With the focus, tenacity, and ambition of a Silicon Valley start-up, she and her co-founder, Rene Bowditch, started from scratch and created an organization that would be there for the girls.  But ultimately it’s not about Mary—because her vision and effort have inspired a legion of women and men to join in the mission.  Collectively, they do so much for so many people…delivering love and services for people navigating terrible circumstances when they need it the most.

I am here for the girls because I am one of the legion who has been inspired by my sister.

-Jeff

, July 18, 2017 | More Post by

Desiree Parker is our Pink Link Program Manager. Here’s why she’s “Here for the Girls”:

Years ago, I had a job where I didn’t feel like I was making that much of a difference to anyone, even though I wanted to. If you think about it, your job is often where you expend the most effort (aside from what you do for your family), and I wanted to do something with my life that was useful and meaningful. I volunteered for Here for the Girls back when it was just Beyond Boobs!, and I loved what I did there. When I got the chance to work for the organization, I was thrilled to become part of the team!

Cancer has touched my life – as it has for many others. My mother had lung cancer when I was a teenager that ultimately metastasized and caused her death. She also had an early-stage primary breast cancer after her lung cancer diagnosis (it’s unusual for someone to have two primary cancers, especially when they occur close together) which was treated with a lumpectomy. After she died, I felt guilty because I didn’t think that (as a somewhat self-absorbed teen) I had done all I could to be there for her after she was diagnosed and through the five years until she passed away. (The photo is of me when I was little, sitting next to my mom).

I’ve come to realize over the years that we all handle tough situations like the death of a loved one in different ways at different times in our lives; we simply do what we can based on where we are emotionally. It makes me happy that now, as an adult and as a mother myself, I have a chance to work on behalf of women who are dealing with life after a breast cancer diagnosis. I’m glad to be a part of offering them a network of love and support. Many of the women we serve have happy outcomes, though some do not – but the important thing (to me) is to make sure they all have support at every phase of their treatment and beyond. You can face so much more in life when you have a hand to hold. That’s why I’m Here for the Girls!

, July 06, 2017 | More Post by

Jamin Riley is the husband of Victoria Riley, our Business Development and Operations Manager. He explains why he is “Here for the Girls”:

This past October, I was fortunate enough to volunteer at the annual “Run for the Hills” event on behalf of Here for the Girls. The spirit that was present was something else all together. Teams festooned with all manner of sparkle and shine chugged along in support of an organization unlike any other.

As a marshal for the race, I manned one of the checkpoints on the course and watched as group after group of uniquely exuberant racers walked, jogged, trotted, and even skipped along. I ran cross country in high school, but I had never seen a race quite like this. Spectators and runners alike were out of breath. Not from the race itself, but from cheering and uplifting. Every time a new group sprung from the woods, they echoed the screams of the volunteers and were given new life while rounding the turn.

I watched all of this unfold and couldn’t help but draw a comparison to the organization that we were all there to support. Here for the Girls makes a real difference in the lives of the women it embraces. This unique organization, festooned with all manner of sparkle and shine, gives Boobers! the breath they need to keep running each and every day.