Here for the Girls, Inc.

aka Beyond Boobs!, Pink Link   |   Williamsburg, VA   |  www.hereforthegirls.org

Mission

Mission Statement: To improve the lives of young women affected by breast cancer. Our services are limited to women diagnosed under 51.

Notes from the nonprofit

Please learn more about Here for the Girls, including how to get support and how to get involved with our organization, by visiting our website at www.hereforthegirls.org.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Chris Schwab

Co-founder, Board Secretary

Rene Bowditch Esq.

Main address

1309 Jamestown Road, Suite 204

Williamsburg, VA 23185 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Beyond Boobs! Young Breast Cancer Survivors, Inc.

EIN

26-0606190

NTEE code info

Breast Cancer (G32)

Health Support Services (E60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Research shows that young women diagnosed with breast cancer face unique challenges that older women do not. They experience higher rates of depression and anxiety and lower quality of life; they often have young children and worry about the impact their diagnosis will have on their family; they face long-term treatment-related health problems that can include infertility, bone density loss, neuropathy, neurological damage, heart damage and more; their careers can be disrupted and their financial security upended; and they often experience intimacy and self-esteem problems that arise from treatment and the changes to their bodies. Also, unlike older women, they likely don’t know peers facing the disease, nor how to find them. This is the population Here for the Girls serves and is the driving force behind our mission: to improve the lives of young women affected by breast cancer.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Social-Emotional In-person and Virtual Support

The Here for the Girls model of support begins when a woman fills out an initial intake form and is personally welcomed by a staff person or a trained facilitator. If the survivor is in an area where an in-person support system is located, the closest trained volunteer group facilitator (who is also a survivor) reaches out to the woman with an email or a phone call to welcome her to the organization. Robust virtual support is also available for women who cannot attend in-person meetings. Members can also take part in social work led support series and groups. New members also receive a welcome packet in the mail that includes and A Calendar to Live By (the organization’s annual calendar featuring survivor members' breast cancer stories and a breast health guide). When needed, they also receive individual attention from staff, or other member/survivors. Sometimes that means a phone call during a crisis, a visit, or a card to honor a significant life event.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Women and girls

In the Private Member Hub, young survivors can find resources, helpful videos, blogs/vlogs, an online calendar of events and support gatherings, chat choices on various topics, and ways to connect with other women from anywhere. An invitation code will gain them access but then they can create a profile, share more about themselves, and come back anytime. New members also receive a welcome packet in the mail that includes and A Calendar to Live By (the organization’s annual calendar featuring survivor members and a breast health guide). Online support also includes membership to the Here for the Girls secret Facebook pages for young survivors.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Women and girls

To foster an environment where women can learn to embrace their post-treatment lives, young survivors enjoy fun (and sometimes challenging) activities that build rapport, help women step outside comfort zones, or just relax. Members are also invited to a free, virtual, annual weekend retreat that provides restoration and renewal through educational workshops, talks, and hands-on activities. Members with metastatic breast cancer are invited to a no-cost retreat that offers end-of-life planning sessions and time to bond with one another. Also, members are able are encouraged to participate or volunteer in large fundraising events held by the organization – they’re invited to become calendar ambassadors who are featured in the annual A Calendar to Live By, and they can volunteer at the Here for the Girls annual Run for the Hills event (physically or virtually) or the annual “Breast” Ball Golf Tournament.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Women and girls

Where we work

Awards

People Taking Action Certificate of Appreciation 2010

News Channel 3 - WTKR, Norfolk, VA

Women of Distinction Award 2009

YWCA Virginia Peninsula

Certification of Appreciation for Soldier Support 2010

Fort Eustis 10th Transportation Battalion

Women in Business Achievement Award 2011

Hampton Roads Business Journal

Gold Award Best Non-Profit, Gold Award, Most Informative 2018

Calendar Marketing Association

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We are improving the lives of young women affected by breast cancer; our primary goal is to ensure that women we serve report that their mental and emotional wellbeing and, thus, quality of life has improved thanks to our support services.

The Not-Your-Typical Model begins when a woman fills out an initial intake form. A staff member reaches out to her with a personal message of welcome. If the survivor is in an area where an in-person Beyond Boobs! support system is located, the closest trained volunteer group facilitator (who is also a survivor) reaches out to the woman with an email or a phone call to welcome her to the organization. If the survivor chooses to use Pink Link, the online, private social site for survivors, she is welcomed by a staff member within the site as well as by volunteer survivors. New members also receive a welcome packet in the mail that includes and A Calendar to Live By (the organization’s annual calendar featuring survivor members and a breast health guide).

Women receive support from a trained peer facilitator team, which includes at least one breast cancer survivor, once they enter an in-person group or join Pink Link. They also receive individual attention from staff, former facilitators, other member survivors, or the organization’s co-founders (who are also breast cancer survivors) when needed. Sometimes that means a phone call during a crisis or a personal message on Pink Link; sometimes it means a visit or a card to honor a significant life event.

To foster an environment where women can learn to embrace their post-treatment lives, build confidence, and live life to the fullest, in-person groups have periodic free, fun (and sometimes challenging) activities that build rapport, help women step outside comfort zones, or just relax. Survivors in certain regions are also given the chance to participate in larger events, and all member survivors are invited to a free, annual weekend retreat that provides restoration and renewal through educational workshops, talks, and hands-on activities. Also, members who are able are encouraged to participate or volunteer in large fundraising events held by the organization – they’re invited to become calendar models (and organizational ambassadors) who are featured in the annual A Calendar to Live By distributed across the country, and they can volunteer at the Here for the Girls annual Run for the Hills event (physically or virtually) or the annual “Breast” Ball Golf Tournament. Participation in these events is a way for women to give back to the community while promoting their own healing.

In 2019 the organization increased its focus on its young women with metastatic disease, offering in addition to the Metastatic Workshop at the annual Renew, Restore, Retreat an annual You're in Charge Metastatic Retreat, a dedicated social media site, and a You're In Our Hearts remembrance program for when a member passes.

Here for the Girls has a passionate, dedicated staff of five full-time and three part-time staff as well as many volunteers with specific as well as general skills that add to our capabilities to make progress with our goals. We also have a committed volunteer board with expertise in the medical and business arenas and a volunteer development team to ensure our success in meeting the needs of our young women and reaching more of them as we grow.

Here for the Girls, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit headquartered in the state of Virginia, is staffed by 5 full-time and 3 part-time employees and supported by over 100 regular volunteers. Though it has grown since its inception, the organization is dedicated to making a meaningful connection with each survivor it touches and for improving the quality of life for its members. Since its founding as an independent not-for-profit in 2007, over 1,000 survivors have been directly supported by Here for the Girls, and more than 5,000 people have participated in the organization’s mission; currently, 300+ survivors are receiving active support. Here for the Girls’ in-person support is offered in various locations in Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida; its virtual support is offered nationwide.

Once a year, Here for the Girls engages the local community and volunteers to organize a retreat that provides a weekend of restoration and renewal to more than 80 young survivors at no cost to them called the Renew Restore Retreat. The organization also offers free activities for in-person group participants as well as opportunities for young survivors to meet and rediscover their joy at larger, regional events. To help the organization provide these events and to support its mission, Here for the Girls works with a large number of community partners, including Sentara Healthcare, Riverside Health System, VCU Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Oncology Associates, Hudgins Contracting, Towne Bank, and many other businesses and organizations.

The organization also produces A Calendar to Live By annually that features member survivors and their stories, as well as a removable breast health guide to help all women (and men) take control of their health and well-being. Over 8,000 calendars are distributed at no cost each year to individuals, community organizations, free clinics, schools, healthcare organizations, and more.

The organization's future plans include adding a new retreat specifically for young survivors with a terminal, metastatic diagnosis; increasing the number of Beyond Boobs! in-person support systems; hiring one additional FTE staff position; and streamlining its main website.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Young women with breast cancer (diagnosed under the age 51).

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Member HUB,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    To combat feelings of isolation and loneliness some of our members are feeling, we are offering in-person social activities and events to help build connections.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Asking for feedback from our members equips them with a sense of ownership in Here for the Girls. Effective two-way communication creates member trust and provides us with meaningful feedback.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Here for the Girls, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Here for the Girls, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 11/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Robin Wyatt

Colonial Behavioral Health

Term: 2018 -

Rene Bowditch

Co-founder, Here for the Girls, Inc.

Robin Wyatt

Colonial Behavioral Health

Donald Styer

Whitney, Bradley, and Brown (WBB)

Thomas Smith, Jr.

Thomas A. Smith, Jr., CPA

Michael Franks

TowneBank

Ashley Smith

Channel 13 News, News Anchor & Reporter

Kandace McGuire, MD

MCV/Massey Cancer Center, Chief of Breast Surgery

Mary Beth Gibson

Co-founder, Here for the Girls, Inc.

Teresa Simms

Member Representative, Here for the Girls

Joyce Ortiz

Member Representative, Here for the Girls

Linda McKee

Service Line Administrator for Oncology, Riverside Health System

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/03/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data