We Have a Purpose, Inc (WHAP, Inc). was founded November 4, 2014 by Tiesha N (Williams) Bryant. After Bryant graduated from Florida A&M University with her Bachelors in Social Work , she decided to return home, to Russell County, AL. Upon arrival, she noticed the “village” was no longer in existence and the crime rate amongst the youth was on the rise. She was ready to assist in answering the call to the village returning and finding a solution to reduce the crime rate amongst the youth in the community. Bryant received support from the state representative, late Lesley Vance in July of 2014. Judge Buster Landreau approved We Have a Purpose’s Civil Citation Program to partner with the Russell County Juvenile Justice Department in November of 2014. WHAP received their first referral November 24, 2014. Within the first year, there was a 50 percent reduction in the amount of juvenile cases the judge was hearing.
November 2015: We Have a Purpose celebrated its 1st Anniversary by hosting a Youth Rally. At the youth rally there where over 200 attendees to include many community icons on the panel to answer questions, local officials, and attorneys, in addition to, Superintendent Dr. Brenda Coley as the guest speaker. This event brought light to the topic “The Village Returns”. Williams believes that it takes a village to raise a child and she is concerned that the village has disappeared. Therefore, solutions to the issue were given by the community through words of encouragement, poetry, song, dance, and unity.
January 2016: We Have a Purpose offered a self help support group for parents who has lost a child. The group is entitled NAHPRO (Never Allow a Heartbroken Parent to Remain Oppressed). The group allows parents to come together and gain knowledge and support on handling their grief. The group met one Saturday out of the month.
January 2016: We Have a Purpose offered parenting classes. Parenting classes focused on the five love languages (Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, and Quality Time by Gary Chapman. Once a parent discover the love language of their child they will be able to better communicate with them and love them effectively.
April 2016: We Have a Purpose celebrated Child Abuse Awareness Month by hosting its 1st Child Abuse Awareness Dance a Thon to bring awareness to the community. This event included local churches, dance groups, organizations, vendors, local entertainers, and fun activities for the youth. Director Lynn Hammock of the Russell County Child Advocacy was the guest speaker. Stuffed animals were collected to give to the Child Advocacy Center.
May 2016: We Have a Purpose hosted its 1st Mother Daughter Dance. During the latency ages and years, 6-12 years old, a daughter looks up to her mother as an idol and the perfect image of what she strives to be when she is older. Children who are deprived of these essential responses or who instead are subjected to criticism, ridicule, or abuse for their efforts to achieve, their development could freeze (in a sense) at that stage in their life. Research tells us, that the mother-daughter bond is so enduring that despite continued bouts of conflict, that 80 to 90 percent of women at midlife rate their relationship with their mother as good. Therefore, this event benefits and strengthen our young ladies to become productive citizens and make sound decisions, while presenting themselves as young ladies and gaining knowledge from Guest Speakers. There was a total of 350 people in attendance.
” I personally feel there is a great need for the services We Have a Purpose can offer to this area.”– Alabama State Representative Lesley Vance, 2014