What a year 2020-2021 has been! While most other nonprofit organizations stopped or decreased their services because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Women in Training, Inc. went into high gear. As Breanna and Brooke, our teen visionaries, declared: “Let’s End Poverty. Period!” To that end, we are focusing on developing a culture of wealth, compassionate leadership and cultural awareness to end the plight of generational poverty.
Thanks to the love of countless donors, volunteers and our illustrious Board of Directors, WIT collaborated with other agencies in the Alabama River Region to serve girls, women, transgender and nonbinary individuals to End Poverty. Period! in the following ways:
Distributed 6,000 WITKITS to meet basic hygiene needs, which is a 100 percent increase from last year. Each WITKIT includes a month’s supply of sanitary pads, unscented soap, lotion, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush and floss, a pair of fuzzy socks, a bottle of WIT hand sanitizer, a facial mask and a pair of disposable gloves. For our first-time WITKIT recipients, we also include a WIT journal, a handmade bracelet decorated with a butterfly and an inspiring word, and the WIT Guide to the Menstrual Cycle pamphlet.
Advocated for passage of Alabama House Bill 88, sponsored by Representative Rolanda Hollis, to require school districts to provide cost-free sanitary pads and tampons to students in need. In 2020, the bill passed unanimously in the House Ways and Means Committee Education and the House of Representatives; however, the session ended before the Senate could vote on it. Rep. Hollis presented to Brooke and Breanna Bennett a House Resolution to solidify their support of the bill.
Initiated the WIT Rites of Passage Circle to provide academic and experiential learning opportunities to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) middle school girls about their cultural heritage and history. The WIT Rites of Passage Circle also includes African drumming and dancing, and highlights the connection between the moon energy and our menstrual cycle. We received substantial leadership and programmatic support for this initiative from the Alabama Indigenous Coalition and from Nature’s Garden for Victory and Peace in Tuskegee.
Initiated the WIT Leadership Development Circle to provide academic and experiential instruction to high school girls in cultivating curiosity, how to be a good community member, financial literacy, values-based leadership, the power of self-reflection, empathy, leading change, civil rights, and the power of personality and resilience.
Initiated the WIT Girls STEAM Initiative to provide academic and experiential learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). Faculty members and doctoral students at the University of Maryland at College Park, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, the University of Virginia, Texas State University and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are presenting the workshops.
To provide these services, we have raised a total of $215,492 in the form of in kind contributions, pro bono services, grants, government support and donations from private individuals. This is almost a four-fold increase in donations from last year.
Thank you for believing in our vision to End Poverty. Period!