The Fort Bend County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is one of 281 chapters located throughout the United States and internationally that is committed to improving the lives of men, women, and children in our community through our programs of service. The Fort Bend County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has a strong and rich record of service in Fort Bend and surrounding areas. The group first organized as Southwestern Ladies of Equipoise; they were officially charted as The Fort Bend County Chapter on March 2, 1996 as the 266th chapter of The Links, Incorporated. The illuminating flame of service was ignited by 25 visionary women. From the inception of the chapter, members have worked tirelessly, through hundreds of programs, projects and scholarships to improve lives and our community.
In Our Community
Over the last decade, The Fort Bend County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated has evolved into a strong network of friends working tirelessly to empower young people, advance the arts and elevate awareness of national and international concerns that impact the lives of people of African heritage. The chapter has established an exemplary record in Ford Bend and surrounding counties and is recognized as a premier community service provider.
The Chapter's first outreach initiative was a service program for students at Powell Point Elementary School in Kendleton, Texas. This commitment was done to improve the lives in their community under the Chapter's past program theme: WHISPERS (Women Helping Impact Lives Through Sustained Projects Ethically and Responsibly Through Sustained Service).
In 2004, the Chapter was selected by Habitat for Humanity as one of the 12 women's organizations nationally to partner with Lowe's for the first "Women Build" in Fort Bend County. This effort culminated in over 2000 volunteer hours from participants and the completion of a well-constructed, affordable home for a single parent family with three children in Richmond, Texas.
The Chapter sponsored Project ERNEST (Early Right Nutrition Everyday Staying Tight): Linking for a Healthy Start, a partnership with HEB that addressed the prevention of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and cancer in the African American community. The goal was to elevate the importance of healthier eating habits and exercise in order to lengthen and improve the quality of individual lives.
To meet the goals of Project ERNEST, the chapter and local partners sponsored health fairs, including a wide range of screenings and immunizations; hosted a weekly Walk in the Park; distributed educational materials that addressed prostate and breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and sickle cell disease; and participated in the UNCF Walk-a-thon in support of this program.
The Linkages of Life: Organ Tissue and Bone Marrow Donation Awareness Program--a partnership between The Links, Incorporated and Roche--encouraged African Americans to become organ donors. The Fort Bend County Chapter made annual presentations at a local church to highlight the critical need and to provide educational information.
The Fort Bend County Chapter of The Links, Incorporated commitment to youth was evident in the implementation of the "Linked to Healthy Living" project predominately through Missouri City Middle School and The Fort Bend Church. The focus of the "Linked to Healthy Living" project is to educate African American children and their families on how to live a healthy lifestyle with a goal of reducing childhood obesity as well as reducing pre-diabetes and Type II diabetes amongst their family members. The Chapter participated in various activities with the school including, but not limited to conducting seminars on healthy life style choices, healthy cooking classes, and learning how to plant a vegetable garden. The Chapter held a Healthy Living poster art contest and display for students. In addition, the Chapter partnered with The Fort Bend Church to host a health fair.
Past events supporting children include:
- Project Walking Feet: Make Health a Habit, at Edgar Glover Elementary School which taught children the importance of exercise.
- Mentoring Programs: Students benefited as a result of their mentorship of a female community service organization at Thurgood Marshall High School. The Chapter hosted a retreat for the young ladies focusing on "life choices" and community volunteerism as a means toward building positive self-esteem.
- School-In-A-Box Program: Through the contributions of local Links chapters and friends, books and educational supplies were sent to the Caribbean and Africa.
Nationally, the Organization has worked to strengthen linkages globally, particularly on the African continent, by sponsoring international outreach initiatives. In the past, chapters nationwide contributed financially toward building water wells and making quilts for the children of AIDS victims in Africa. The World Health Organization aligned with The Links, Incorporated for the Safe Motherhood Initiative. As active participants in the campaign, the Fort Bend County Chapter purchased "Mama Kits" to support sterile baby deliveries for mothers and combat the problem of neonatal mortality.
The Chapters' linkage to the communities continues through partnership programs such as: EA Jones and Missouri City Middle Schools -- mentoring, donating books, planting a vegetable garden; Missouri City Middle School -- donating school supplies and uniforms, awarded a grant to implement a childhood obesity program, conducting Zumba classes, coordination of a poster art contest and career day; The Fort Bend Church -- community voter registration drive; dress for success.
An organization of "Well-Linked" members . . . meeting our goals . . . moving forward . . . providing friendship and service.
Jean Thompson 1996 - 1998
Artice Hedgemon 1998 - 2002
Vernon Chambers 2002 - 2006
Jeanette Anderson 2006 - 2010
Kimberly Mayberry 2010 - 2012
Carolyn Grovey-Brown Stevens 2012 - 2014
Lillian Poats 2014 - 2016