FAITHFUL GILGAL VOLUNTEER
My name is Bretta Carithers, and I am the past President of the Metro-Atlanta Professional (MAP) Chapter of SISTUHS, Incorporated. SISTUHS is an acronym for Strength, Initiative, Spirituality, Tenacity, Unity, Health, and Substance. This is my Gilgal story.
One of my first community service projects as a member of MAP was with Gilgal. I spoke with Val Cater (Founder and Executive Director) and learned how we could partner with Gilgal. Our first program was a career preparedness workshop. We assisted the residents with the job application process, resume writing, 30-second elevator speeches and how to search for a job. Soon thereafter, Cheryl McClure (Program Director) came on board and we began to do more events here and there at Gilgal.
One of our signature events is the Breast Cancer Awareness Tea, which MAP has had the pleasure of hosting at Gilgal. The event involves a brief talk from a breast cancer survivor, various bra fittings, bra drive, bra decorating and manicures for the ladies. We have hosted this event twice at Gilgal and always have a wonderful time. At Christmas, we personalize stockings for the residents and fill them with small gifts and deliver to Gilgal. It’s always so enjoyable and humbling to spend time and encourage the ladies.
My favorite success story relating to Gilgal involved a resident named Breanna. She attended the last tea and was just casually visiting with me telling me about her dreams, goals, and aspirations. She said she wanted to attend Kennesaw State University (KSU) once she graduated from Gilgal. At that point, I explained to her that I was on staff as an Associate Director in Financial Aid at Kennesaw State and for her to reach out to me once she was ready to apply.
A few months later, Breanna did just that, applied and was accepted into KSU. I helped her secure financial aid. She is doing great and just made the dean’s list, despite the present Coronavirus crisis. She stops by my office regularly and we have such a great connection. I’m so proud of her and that I was able to assist her in her path to college. She and I attended the Blue Jean Gala last fall.
It’s a passion for our organization to give back and make a meaningful connection with whoever we partner with. The ladies of Gilgal help us as much as we help them. Everyone wants to tell their story and we are here to support them in any way we can. Initially, we didn’t know what to expect. Once we came, we understood Gilgal’s mission.
Gilgal is the first place I recommend to anyone wanting to volunteer. The residents love everyone and genuinely appreciate the time we spend with them. Volunteering at Gilgal is humbling, and your time spent there will be meaningful and impactful.
Change Happens at Gilgal because of faithful partners like Bretta and the Metro-Atlanta Professional (MAP) Chapter of SISTUHS, Inc. To learn more about them, visit their website at www.metroatlsistuhs.org.
You can also follow them on their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/MetroAtlantaSISTUHS
Download their story HERE.