Sisters Breaking Chains Together

Bree Covington and her daughter, Breanna // photos Emilee Prado
Bree Covington and her daughter, Breanna // photos Emilee Prado

At an event in 2017, Bree Covington felt led to share her story with the community she had built in North Texas. Born to a teenage mother, she did not speak to her mother on a regular basis until just a few years ago. Bree’s mother had experienced the same issue with her own mother, and once Bree became an adult, she didn’t want to continue that cycle of negative mother-daughter relationships.

“To be honest, I felt abandoned by my mom and biological father at a young age. I was fortunate to have my grandmother, who helped raise me. I learned about God at a young age, and through my faith I was able to later realize that everything that happened was part of God’s plan for me,” Bree said.

When Bree’s mother reached out to her asking for forgiveness after 25 years of little communication, Bree had already forgiven her mother in her heart. But in asking for forgiveness, her mother healed a wound in both of their lives.

When Bree became pregnant, she had a daughter, Breanna.

“God has a sense of humor. He was telling me, ‘This is your opportunity to break the chains of the generational cycle you grew up in. You can make a difference,’” Bree reflected.

Bree Covington and her daughter, Breanna // photos Emilee Prado
Bree Covington and her daughter, Breanna // photos Emilee Prado

At the same 2017 event where Bree first told her story, attendees were asked, “What chain do you need to break in your life?,” before praying over and then breaking a long length of paper chains. This experience sparked something within Bree, and she knew she needed to continue what she’d started with her testimony.

In the fall of 2018, Sisters Breaking Chains Together (SBCT) became an official nonprofit organization based in Allen and serving the surrounding cities. Its mission is to educate women, from adolescent years into adulthood, on important issues. Bridging any gaps is of the utmost importance to Bree as she knows teenagers need support to face both daily life events, like passing a test or trying out for the basketball team, as well as more serious challenges such as domestic violence and food insecurity.

Though the organization’s mission focuses on educating and supporting teen girls, women of all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend events. Bree wants the group to be a resource for lower-income mothers and daughters to access education together.

“Our annual event is normally in October. Last year, our event was at the North Texas Food Bank and focused on human trafficking,” she said. A police officer, child protective services worker and judge spoke to the teen girls and women on the realities of human trafficking. Afterward, the group volunteered at the North Texas Food Bank.

SBCT hosted an online educational series this summer on healing for the mind, body and soul, in lieu of its annual in-person event. In July, a woman shared her story of feeling abandoned by her biological mother and then being adopted. In August, the event focused on mental health.

In September, the organization held an event addressing how to interact with the police and discussing increased community engagement. The event was specifically geared toward any women who are concerned about their husbands’ or teenage boys’ safety.

Bree Covington, founder of Sisters Breaking Chains Together
Bree Covington, founder of Sisters Breaking Chains Together

On top of educational events, SBCT also offers a mother-daughter Bible study. As a faith-based organization, Bree feels it is important to share the word of God with others.

“[Bree] created an experience for mothers and daughters to come together to discuss important topics,” said Bonita Conley, a mother who participated in a Bible study that ran from January until mid-March.

The mother-daughter pairs met weekly and followed a study that interwove themes from the movie “Overcomer” with the Bible. “Overcomer” is the story of a young Black woman who pushes through many obstacles and, through the experience, learns more about how she defines herself. Through the study, the mothers and daughters watched excerpts from the film, read Bible passages together and discussed identity.

“The way the study was set up – you could speak to your kid on their level about issues that came up in the movie,” reflected Bonita. “We asked our daughters, ‘How do you define yourself?’ It was special for me to learn more about how she sees herself.”

On top of further bonding with her daughter, Bonita also found herself surrounded by a new group of friends who share her faith.

“Community is important. It’s important to have people in your life who will give you faith-based advice, and to have a place where you can speak safely about your life experiences,” Bonita said. “I found that through these women.”

courtesy Sisters Breaking Chains Together
courtesy Sisters Breaking Chains Together

As SBCT grows, Bree envisions the organization as a way for teenage girls to find community and rest. Though COVID-19 presents challenges, Bree hopes that programming will eventually run during the school year and break in the summertime, tracking with its teenage members’ schedules.

“I’d love to do our quarterly events along with the Bible study, and then movie nights and other casual gatherings,” Bree said.

She also hopes to eventually have a safe space where members can go after school every day if they want, to do their homework, be around encouraging people and get a meal if it’s hard to find food at home.

“I just want to be a resource for our community, and help kids as they go through challenging times like I did,” Bree said.

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