Who We Are

Our mission: to improve the lives of young women affected by breast cancer.

Here for the Girls, Inc. (H4TG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit improving the lives of young women affected by breast cancer (diagnosed under age 51). We offer social-emotional support through services that provide personal connections and a shared experience among our members. Our research-based support model focuses on the overall well-being of our members and delivers our services in a way that meets a member where they are in their breast cancer journey. The result is a robust, inclusive community that cultivates a sense of belonging and empowerment from diagnosis, through treatment, and beyond.

What We Do

We offer member services through education, social connections, and social-emotional support. All these services are available at no cost to those we serve.

Our History

The Here for the Girls story dates back to 2006, when Mary Beth Gibson and René Bowditch met at a retreat for breast cancer survivors. Facing this disease as young women opened their eyes to the gap in services to address their unique challenges and the limited resources for finding peers who “got it”– who understood the concerns, needs, and fears they faced because of their age. Together, Mary Beth and René developed a shared passion to provide support to young women like them.

They began by inviting young women with breast cancer to René’s home in Virginia to share encouragement and information. These monthly meetings blossomed in 2007 into a nonprofit they named “Beyond Boobs!” It was during those first meetings that these two developed their model of providing intimate, peer-led support in a comfortable environment. As the organization evolved, Mary Beth and René helped grow new support systems around Virginia and beyond and added program services.

Today, what started as a small monthly support group is a thriving nonprofit that serves women diagnosed with breast cancer in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. In 2015, after adopting another breast cancer nonprofit, Pink-Link, services expanded to include virtual support. That’s when the organization changed its name to Here for the Girls (H4TG for short).

H4TG offers in-person and virtual support through a variety of services and helps hundreds of young women each year. The vision these co-founders launched is reaching more young women every day with the positivity, compassion, and love they instilled in it from the start because Here for the Girls is built on this foundation of love and shared passion.

Our Team
Board of Directors

Mary Beth Gibson (Left) & Rene Bowditch (Right)

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one!"

~ C.S. Lewis

Executive Director

It is the gentleness and strength of our women, the tenacity and passion of our team, and the love and support from my family that inspire me to be Here for the Girls!

Operations Director

One of my favorite quotes from Brene Brown is "owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we'll ever do." I am inspired by all of the stories our members share which is my 'why' everyday as I work to fulfill the mission of H4TG.

Member Services Manager

As a social worker at H4TG, I will work both diligently and with humble dedication so that no one has to face the journey of breast cancer alone.

Partner Lead

“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” Oprah Winfrey

My calling is to serve those in need.

Engagement Lead
Operations Lead

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Community Outreach Coordinator

“It’s funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope.”

Outreach Lead

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." - Steve Jobs

Solutions Architect
Linda McKee, MBA – President
Service Line Administrator for Oncology – Riverside Health System
Newport News, VA
Joyce Ortiz - Vice President
Public Affairs Specialist (Strategic Communications Lead) - NASA
Hampton, VA
Rene Bowditch – Secretary
Co-Founder – Here for the Girls, Inc.
Williamsburg, VA
Chris Smith - Treasurer
Co-Founder + Managing Member - The Virginia Beer Company
Williamsburg, VA
Melissa Frank
RN Radiation Oncology - HCA Healthcare
Richmond, VA
Michael A. Franks
Senior Vice President – Commercial Lender - TowneBank
Williamsburg, VA
Sonia Hepburn, MD
Oncologist - Virginia Oncology Associates
Newport News, VA
Chuck Jarrett
Sr. Vice President - Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Williamsburg, VA
Michelle Lakins-Waller
Quality + Compliance Officer - Colonial Behavioral Health
Williamsburg, VA
Kandace McGuire, MD
Chief of Breast Surgery – VCU Massey Cancer Center
Richmond, VA
Jackie Mierle - Member Representative
Operations Coordinator- Alpern and Mesenbourg; KW Coastal
Woonsocket, RI
Arnethea Sutton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences - Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA
Elizabeth Voeller
Senior Manager in Risk and Financial Advisory - Cyber and Strategic Risk · Deloitte
Yorktown, VA
Mary Beth Gibson - Emeritus
Co-Founder – Here for the Girls, Inc.
Toano, VA
Thomas A. Smith, Jr., CPA – Emeritus
Owner – Masters Accounting and Tax Services, Inc
Newport News, VA


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© 2024 Here for the Girls, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity
EIN 26-0606190
1309 Jamestown Rd. Suite 204
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Contact us at info@hereforthegirls.org or at 757-645-2649

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