COMMITTED TO THE CAUSE
Volunteer of the Month
Our volunteer of the month, Ruthie Pride is celebrating her retirement from Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas after 25 years of service. She began her career as a library technician, and through the years advanced to assitant librarian and most recently, Interim Library Director. She has served the College and her community as Book Club Sponsor, Student
Support Tutor, Switchboard operator, community event usher and member of the Adult Education Department Advisory Board. She has served with a caring and grateful heart. We are beyond excited that she is now serving as the Program Manager for our newest Birthing Project in Arkansas- the Legacy Birthing Project in West Helena. Welcome Sister Friend!!
PREVIOUS VOLUNTEERS OF THE MONTH & BEYOND
Fawntella Maxwell is assisting with Sister Friend and Little Sister recruitment as well as providing administrative support to the project. We are so excited to have Fawn join our Birthing Project Team!
Ryan is a 4th Year Medical/MPH student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, who is doing a community health project with the Arkansas Birthing Project this semester. He is promoting awareness of our program among Prenatal care providers in Central Arkansas. Ryan will also serve as our guest blogger for the month of November addressing the maternal health crisis in Arkansas.
Ryan, thanks for your important contributions!
Our August Volunteer of the month is Loretta Alexander, MHSA, is an Arkansas Birthing Project Board member and is one of the ABP original Sister Friends. She serves as the Policy Director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and has a long history of providing support to families who live in communities affected by systemic inequality. She is a long- term supporter and advocate for the Arkansas Birthing Project
She also supports our outreach to the community in so many ways including always ensuring that we have a location reserved to host our Annual Conference. We appreciate you and thank you, Loretta!
Alice Rogers-Johnson is not only a member of the Arkansas Birthing Project Board, but she is a Women's Health and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner as well as a committed volunteer and trainer for National Birthing Project, USA. Alice has played an instrumental part in the development of the Birthing Project in Arkansas, serving as the coordinator of the Footsteps to Freedom Birthing Project in Southeast Arkansas.
She is a passionate, action oriented caregiver, speaker and advocate on behalf of improving the health of women and children. Arkansas Birthing Project is richer because of Alice's influence. We are blessed that she is one of us!!
Sylvia Halliburton has served as the Bunch Manager for the Monroe County Birthing Project for the past several years. In addition to the work she has done to solicit cribs, sleep sacks, and other needed items for Moms-to -be in her community, she also has supported the Cottage for Kids educational effort. Sylvia is currently planning to extend her Birthing Project reach to surrounding counties post-COVID.
Sylvia is also an entrepreneur, licensed insurance producer, notary, community educator, and Strengthening Families Facilitator who is passionate about educating youth, adults, and community to grow from where they are by introducing them to resources, and providing services. She is always excited about being the mother of Jeremiah D. Jeffer.
We are blessed to have the energy and support of Sylvia in improving conditions for Black-birthing moms in Arkansas!
“Your I WILL is more important than your IQ.”
- Marva Collins
Favorite Bible Verse:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding our own selves.” James 1:22
Our volunteer partner for the month of May is Shakia Jackson. Shakia is the Maternal and Child Health Coordinator in the Arkansas Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity and HIV Elimination. In her CD role she designs and implements health education and patient service program initiatives aimed at improving women's health and birth outcomes, collaborating with volunteers and community partners. She has served as a Bunch Manager and Sister Friend for the Arkansas Birthing Project in the past.
She is always willing to support our efforts to share information and reach out to women in the birthing community in Arkansas.Her most recent assist has involved her work with Ujima Maternity Network, Inc., where she is Secretary and a founding Board member. She assisted the Arkansas Birthing Project to facilitate a partnership with Ujima Maternity Network in our effort to offer telehealth Doula support to women served by the Arkansas Birthing Project during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Shakia is a public health shero, an active community advocate, as well as a loving mother, daughter and friend. We are lucky to know her.
Cierra Mayberry is always ready to provide to provide support to the Arkansas Birthing Project when asked to do so. She has helped with Little Sister recruitment, Annual Meeting preparation and registration, recruited volunteers for our educational video re-makes and makes deliveries to program participants when needed. Thanks Cierra for your dedication and support!
This Women’s Health Month 2021 we recognize the support of our ride -or- die Sister Friend extraordinaire - Tamesha Lewis Shavers! Tamesha has been an unwavering supporter of the Arkansas Birthing Project since she first became involved as a Little Sister and then Bunch Manger a few years ago. Along the way she has become wife to her husband, Brandon, and mother to their 3 little girls. Even though she is terribly busy these days with her own family, she still is always willing to lend a hand of support for others! We love you!
Elder Kathleen Oates joined the Arkansas Birthing Project family after the death of her sister - who was one of our Senior Elders. Elder Oates is always willing to lend a hand to assist and support the Project and our Mothers and Babies. She is a lovingly fierce advocate for families and has been especially supportive during the Covid-19 pandemic giving consult and material support to others. We are overjoyed that she claims us!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, several babies have been born in Ashley County, Arkansas. Along with the support of Hope Birthing Project Sister Friends and Elders, Ruby Johnson shares a sense of gratitude for her community and gives to help others mentally and physically during this difficult time for many. A primary task of the Birthing Project currently is to continue to provide a sense of purpose. which in turn helps protects her community against developing depression while missing widespread socialization with others.
Assisting with material and social supports to pregnant and new moms, The Hope Birthing Project has a passion for supporting the entire family. The Birthing project is connecting and strengthening ties to the community to embrace social distancing, promote the importance of getting the flu shot, and of wearing of masks when interacting with others and handwashing often.
The Hope Birthing Project is also informing families of neighborhood resource, keeping in regular contact with others to help develop a solid support system. All these things are being accomplished while staying indoors, and isolating self and family from exposure to COVID-19.
Volunteer Technical Assistant
Surabhee Eswaran joined Arkansas Birthing Project in the summer of 2020 as Volunteer Technical Assistant, after learning about the organization during one of its annual meeting. As a Volunteer Technical Assistant, she has helped in ensuring that members of Arkansas Birthing Project have access to educational material dealing with pregnancy and infancy. She has also assisted in increasing the organization's online presence while learning about the importance of communication, hard work, and dedication.
In addition to volunteering at Arkansas Birthing Project, Surabhee is currently a college freshman. She has also been a trained classical dancer for over 13+ years.