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SKIRT builds morale for young women

By Eason Franklin
The Lowndes Signal

Sisters Keeping It Real Throughout (SKIRT) is sponsoring an event to educate young women about the problems they face everyday.

The free event is scheduled to take place at the Hayneville Town Square on May 15 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

People attending the event will be able to participate in dance, singing and rap contests. Contestants will be judged by two of the seven members of the SKIRT Board of Directors and two students from Central High School.

A handful of guests will be speaking at the event, including John Billups from the Freewill Baptist Church, Franklin Nettles from the Mt. Zion Church in White Hall, Martha Hawkins, owner of Martha’s Place in Montgomery, Tierra Bedgood of the Loveless Advanced Magnet Program (LAMP) and Natasha Holcomb with Final Request.

Each will speak on a variety of topics from “loving the skin you’re in”, which is about self-esteem, drug and alcohol abuse, family planning and sexual education, the value of money and prioritizing academics and extracurricular activities.

The goal of SKIRT is to mentor and build morale for teenage girls and young women throughout Lowndes, Montgomery and the surrounding counties, according to Founder and President Ella Robinson.

SKIRT targets rural areas to educate families about how to manage finances, safe sex, family planning and the effects of alcohol and drug abuse.

Robinson started her organization in October of 2008 after noticing a large number of youth were deterred from church after being demoralized, beat up and hounded about teen pregnancy.

After going unheard, Robinson “stepped out on faith” and turned to Facebook to recruit and organize an external ministry to help support these youths.

SKIRT has worked with organizations such as Sisters Utilizing Intelligence to Survive (SUIS) to donate food to needy families.

Robinson’s ministry also participates in the Aid to Inmate Mothers (AID). Once a month members transport children with incarcerated mothers for visitation.

SKIRT members also take part in the Pack a Purse Project, where volunteers will pack purses or bags with toiletry items for incarcerated mothers.

Donations to SKIRT are tax deductible and can be made thru calling Robinson at 334-315-2800, visiting the ministry online at www.skirtexhale.com or by emailing Robinson at ellarobinson@skirtexhale.com.