MARION -- For Johnston City business owner Kelly Kendrick-Tyson, the decision to step up and help a group of young girls was an easy "yes."
"Of course I want to help," she said.
Kendrick-Tyson, the owner of Downtown Style, jumped in to volunteer her services and expertise when Stephanie Willis, the director of the Boyton Street Community Center in Marion, put out a call on Facebook asking for volunteers.
Willis needed help to provide a session of the Center's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" program, which has been in operation since 1995.
"In the past, we've done activities like prepare for careers, career exploration, social skills, etiquette skills, and journaling," said Willis. "We haven't had it for a while because we haven't had any volunteers."
The lack of volunteers is also an issue with the male version of the program, "Boys 2 Men."
"It's a mentoring program as well," said Willis, "but we just can't get enough volunteers."
Willis said the girls were interested in doing something like getting their nails done, but the cost of that was prohibitive.
After a short discussion on the needs, Kendrick-Tyson put out the word to her "Facebook peeps" that help was needed.
"I wanted to put together 12 bags of hygiene supplies for the girls," she said.
Within hours, her needs were met by individuals and organizations from both Marion and Johnston City, some donating money and others bringing supplies.
"I have a friend who coupons," said Becky Robertson, who stopped by the Center after work on Monday to see the action for herself. "I just called her up and said I needed supplies to fill a dozen bags."
Robertson not only got to witness the event, she even got to participate after the initial class, getting a "facial" from three-year-old Alaysia Green, who watched as her big sister, Aiyana Williams, participated in the class. When Williams wanted to share her newly acquired knowledge with her mom, Green chose Robertson to play along.
Along with putting together gift bags, Kendrick-Tyson taught a class on skin care, with a hands-on learning approach using typical household products.
Cynclaire Marshall and her friend, Tashauna Reliford were two of the participants in the class.
"I love that the girls are getting facials and learning how to take care of their skin, as well as proper body etiquette," said Reliford.
For Marshall, the lesson took an economic turn. "You can use regular things to clean your face," she said, as she and Reliford enjoyed a yogurt facial. "Some people spend $50 on high-end brand. This is something I can do at home and it's easy."
Lisa Jones-Wilson, board chairman of the Center, said programs like this are important for the kids.
"If they're not understanding the care they need from home, we can bring it here and offer them the supplies they need," she said.
Willis said the center tries to keep supplies on hand throughout the year. "We have parents that come in asking do we have deodorant or soap," she said.
While there are programs and services that help with food and even school supplies, families in need often have a hard time coming up with money for needed hygiene supplies.
"There's consistently always a need," Willis said.
For the second half of the class on Monday, Kendrick-Tyson focused on equipping the girls with tools to help them deal with daily life.
"We are looking at things that focus on self-love," she said, "like journaling and meditation."
Kendrick-Tyson said she is looking to help others love themselves.
"There are so many messages all day long that tell us what not to like about ourselves, and what we need to change," she said. "We need to be comfortable in our own skins. That's the first step to building on everything else in life."
That message hit the mark with 12-year-old Aiyana Williams.
"I like that I learned different ways to calm myself when I'm stressed," she said. "I can get through something without feeling the urge to punch something."
Willis said she hopes to bring together other volunteers from the community who can share their knowledge with both the girls and boys groups.
Anyone interested in participating or volunteering should contact the Center at (618) 997-1113.