The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated, founded in 1946, is one of the oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women, who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. The organization consists of 276 chapters and more than 12,000 members, who documented over 500,000 volunteer community service hours in 2012. The organization is the recipient of numerous national awards for its premier programs.
Sacramento Chapter History
The Sacramento Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was organized in 1952. It’s membership of 48 professional women are concerned, dedicated, talented and skilled volunteers, who are influential decision makers, individual leaders and distinguished women making a difference in the community. In 2012, The Sacramento Links provided over 4100 hours of community service. Like the national organization, this chapter has also been recognized locally and regionally for our contributions to the Sacramento community.
The Sacramento Chapter has developed and sponsored outstanding programs that support youth development, scholarship, the arts, health and wellness, community outreach, and cultural activities. Our educational, leadership and scholarship programs include a seven year partnership with an inner-city elementary school that provides academic support through mentoring and student based activities; and The Achiever Program, which began in 1988. This distinguished program for African American high school senior men recognizes academic accomplishments and community involvements. The young men attend a series of workshops on college preparedness, business entrepreneurship and life skills; write an essay on a designated program theme; and volunteer at community based organizations. The culmination of the six-month program is an event called “The Beautillion: An Affair of Honor,” when the participants are recognized and awarded for their entrepreneurial and scholastic achievements. Since its inception, over 300 young men have completed the Achiever Program and The Links have awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships.
The Links, Incorporated has a rich history of collaborating and partnering with educational, community and faith based organizations that also help to strengthen our community. For the past four years, our initial partnership with the University of California, Davis, related to health disparities, heart health and other high-risk diseases, has evolved into our current Preventing High-risk Diseases (PHD) Program. The mission of the chapter’s program is to reduce heart diseases and other high risk diseases in African American women through education, prevention, lifestyle changes, diet and behavior modification. The success of this program continues to further new research opportunities with UC Davis, enabling additional grant funding and new community partners.
Other community partnerships include: The Ernie Barnes Lecture series with students at area High Schools and an open forum at The Crocker Art Museum; presenting Three Generations in concert; The Harlem Quartet Concert; 29 years of hosting a Christmas luncheon for a diverse group of senior citizens in Oak Park; donations of food and clothing to the Sacramento Birthing Center; sponsoring The Pirates, an Oak Park little league baseball team for over 35 years; participating in the Walk-A-Thon with Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated to raise funds for Sickle Cell Anemia research; annual contributions to the United Negro College Fund; performances at local venues promoting Hill Harper, Rubye Dee, Danny Glover, Betty Saar, B. Smith, Charles Bibbs and others; donations of medical supplies for HIV+ women in African countries; sending decorated shoe boxes filled with school supplies to children in Namibia, Africa; and writing letters to cable television owners supporting an interest in bringing “The African Channel” to Sacramento.
The Sacramento Links have provided services and programs that have been well received by the community. Our outreach is widespread and offers opportunities for growth and participation for everyone.
National Headquarters website: www.linksinc.org