DALLAS - The Bonton neighborhood is a severely impoverished Dallas community in need of help. But there lives a woman inspiring and empowering the women of South Dallas.
"They need a light. Bonton is a very hard, dark place. They need someone showing up with a smile," says Alecia 'Chocolate' Watson. She's a shining light in the community and the founder of Redeemed Women, a non-profit she runs to help empower women she relates to closely.
"I grew up in poverty," Chocolate says. "Extreme poverty. I had a baby at 14. I've been homeless, molested, abused, and I had cancer three times."
Redeemed Women focuses on ministering to the women of Bonton, whether it be relationship advice, help finding a job, or gifting them laundry detergent, Chocolate is there. "I'm not from the outside in. I'm from the inside in," she says. "I know all of the language, and I know all of the stereotypes. I know everything that goes on inside this community."
As an insider, Chocolate is able to gain the women's hard-earned trust -- and really make an impact. "They need someone showing up with a smile. If I can do it, you can do it, and let me show you how," Chocolate says.
And Chocolate says the first way people can help Redeemed Women is through prayer. "Pray for protection and pray for peace," she says. Pray for softened hearts, that the ladies will be open to mentorship and life skills training and discipleship."
Chocolate and Redeemed Women are also always looking for volunteers. To learn more and lend a hand, visit RedeemedWomen.org.