When Rickkita Taylor was at Tidewater Community College, she earned more than an associate degree. She learned how to support people in need through her work as a peer counselor with the college’s Women’s Center.
That’s where she came up with an idea for what’s now her own nonprofit. Sisters Healing Sisters aspires to provide help and hope for single moms, homeless families and others in need. Its mission is “empower, educate and elevate women from all walks of life.”
Taylor served as the in-house marketing supervisor for Diamond Resorts International for three years. She now works as a leasing consultant for an apartment complex.
“Now that I have a better paying job because of my TCC degree, I can afford to give more, help more,” she said.
A single mom of two boys, Taylor understands what it’s like to struggle. Losing her retail job led her to TCC to forge a new beginning. She graduated in 2016 with her Associate of Science in Business Administration.
She launched Sisters Healing Sisters nearly a year ago to become part of the solution. Working with a team of volunteers, Taylor organized a “Homeless but not Hopeless” community feeding event that provided meals and toiletries to more than 50 people at the Oceanfront. The group seeks out others to help, often in unexpected locations.
“Our goal is to reach those with the greatest need. If we have to venture into the woods to find them, that’s what we do,” Taylor said. “We not only give out meals, but we also give out hugs, we talk, we motivate them, and let them know that they are not alone and we are here to help.”
The group also hosted a free workshop on securing credit and career readiness. More than 25 people participated and at the end of the sessions, they received interview outfits and shoes.
Sisters Healing Sisters is currently sponsoring a family for back-to-school, providing clothing, shoes and school supplies. Community partners have joined the effort, offering everything from haircuts to tutoring.
Taylor invests her own money to keep the charity afloat. She juggles that with her work at the apartment complex and will soon sit for her real estate license.
“We definitely want to expand on what we are doing,” she said. “This is not a one-and-done thing for us.”