In these troubling economic times, people have become upset, depressed, and some, at times, desperate. However, there is one Burlington based community group doing everything they can to inspire hope.
Help Me, Help Someone is a support and networking group for people facing difficulties. Whether it's unemployment, poverty, or general unhappiness, Help Me, Help Someone is out to encourage and connect people in order to better the community.
“We connect people who don't have, with those that do in order to help the Burlington community […] we're like a family,” stated Founder of Help Me, Help Someone, Joyce Deliyiannis.
Two and a half years ago, Deliyiannis, a hairdresser working out of Delleria Salon and Spa in the Burlington Mall, decided to give up her day off (Monday) and offer families whose bread-winners are unemployed, a free haircut.
After 1,800 free cuts and an appearance on NBC Nightly News Hour with Brian Williams, Deliyiannis has helped between six and seven hundred people find work through simply listening to the problems of those that sat in her chair, and connecting them with other people who were able to help them.
“The haircut was the bait,” explained Deliyiannis, “it's really to build hope, to find jobs, or make someone's life better.”
Help Me, Help Someone is a non-political, non-religious, non-profit social group that was summed up wonderfully by member Kitty Walker when she told Patch, “Help Me, Help Someone is an emerging public gathering to encourage help for all those that need a hand […] We want to promote the development of all good deeds world-wide, and we are starting locally.”
Even though they are based out of Burlington, Help Me, Help Someone has already pushed beyond town as evidenced by the stories and thanks written in Deliyiannis' journals she had her free cut customers write in while getting their new do. The kind of kindly efforts Help Me, Help Someone has spurred run from book donations, to inspiring a local Tampa, Florida hairdresser to mimic Deliyiannis and give away free cuts to those feeling the pains of the recession.
Deliyiannis plans on publishing her journals and stories of donation and kindness to generate some money for the growing group in order to turn it into an official non-profit.
The meetings held at 7 p.m. in the are open to all. Currently Help Me, Help Someone is working on the building the foundation of the group, creating their official by-laws and assigning specific ways dedicated members can help grow the group. Help Me, Help Someone is also hoping to plan an awareness week in which they bring together a host of communal efforts like the Burlington Food Pantry and other non-profits to aid the community and expand their resources.
Networking, understanding unemployment, resume writing, skill sets, money sense, donations, time, compassion, just general good deeds; these are the unspecified, community-orientated ideas that make up Help Me, Help Someone. All are welcome to, “help grow my baby,” as Deliyiannis put it.
For more information on this auspicious group, please visit their website at HelpMeHelpSomeone.com.