Ladies in Pumps is busy at UF collecting for Haiti


Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:50 p.m.

Ladies In Pumps, one of the University of Florida's newest student-run organizations, is tabling this week in Turlington Plaza to help the relief effort in Haiti.

Ladies in Pumps is an organization built to help women on campus network with the community, empower themselves and work to build proud successful members, said Sha-Mekeyia Davis, president of Ladies in Pumps.

Though the name may be misleading, the women in this group didn't come together to shop or go clubbing. Instead, pumps, or high-heeled shoes, serves as the driving metaphor for the group, Davis said.

“When I interpret ladies wearing pumps, I see women with high confidence, women that feel good about themselves, and that's what we're trying to promote,” Davis said. “The organization should make every member feel like she's bettering herself as a person.”

The group was formed in July 2009 by Davis and some friends. Davis said there was no campus organizations like Ladies in Pumps, so she wanted fill a need and give women the opportunity to be a in club focused solely on them.

Part of the steps Davis advocates to ensure that her members are leading fulfilling lives involves community outreach. The group has already participated in a March of Dimes benefit, raising money and awareness during Breast Cancer Month. Now, they'll do what they can to help those in need in Haiti.

Beginning Tuesday, Ladies in Pumps started collecting donations, monetary or otherwise, that will go toward the earthquake relief in Haiti. The group is asking that if people can't give money, that they bring canned goods, non-perishables and even first aid supplies.

On Thursday and Friday, they'll conduct a speed dating event called Pick a Prince. To participate in speed dating, you must bring a children's book, or other items that could go to children in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Gators United for Haiti will help distribute all the collected items.

Ladies in Pumps, which has about 25 regular members, hopes to grow with these sort of events on campus, said Monique Rickman, vice president.

Rickman said Ladies in Pumps is one of the only women's organizations on campus dedicated to female empowerment.

“As women, sometimes we allow other people to define us, but we want to do different things to show that women can have their own path,” Rickman said.

Last semester, Davis and Rickman put together various workshops for Ladies in Pumps, touching on subjects like table etiquette, professional guidance and even image counseling. Individual self-worth is something the girls try to promote to every member, Davis said.

“Girls can come and not feel so pressured to have to do this and have to do that. We have no dues,” Davis said. “It's a come and go basis, and that's fine with us.”

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