The holiday season marks the end of a long year and a time to reflect on our blessings with friends and family. Some think about work, relationships or New Year’s resolutions that have or have not been met. Others consider what good deeds they have done and wonder…could I have done more. It’s those people that Joolwe.com would like to honor in our second annual Selfless Woman Awards. These women are tirelessly giving their time and dedication to others without asking for anything in return. After pouring through tons of nominations, we are proud to announce the winner of this year’s Selfless Woman Awards.
Judy Beckett traded the business world for a life dedicated to helping others overcome their adversities in a truly unique way. She is the founder of the Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center in Romona, California. The center uses horseback riding as therapy to help the disabled, mostly handicapped children and veterans returning from the Gulf. In order to get the center started, she sold her house to finance the project. After a year of preparation and living on a trailer on land near the Riding Center, the California Wildfires hit and burned all of her hard work to the ground. Judy managed to start over and get the center going again. Her family, friends and those whose lives she has touched say Judy is a truly remarkable woman.
After graduating college in 1993, Julie DeGennaro began work at a Connecticut children’s nonprofit, the DomusKids.org, that helps homeless children who’ve lived through a terrible life-altering trauma. She works long days and weekends making sure the programs they run are high-quality and truly meet the needs of these kids. Some may look at children in these situations and see an impossible challenge, Julies sees the potential that they have and helps give them the opportunities they deserve. Julie has helped the organization grow and properly serve the children who need the residential, educational and community programs. Domus now serves more than 800 children a year. Julie’s passion and tireless advocacy for children who are too often forgotten sets the standard for a selfless woman.
In 2007, Meaghan Edelstein defied the odds and beat stage 3B cervical cancer. After receiving months of internal/external radiation, chemotherapy and numerous surgeries, Meaghan was on the road to a slow but steady recovery. Meaghan says she credits small touches of love such as visits, cards and gifts with giving her the extra strength she needed to keep fighting for her life. This inspired her to start a blog called I Kicked Cancer’s Ass where she wrote openly about her experience. As her readership grew, Meaghan realized that she could match those who wished to give with those who needed support, thus began Spirit Jump. Spirit Jump allows those who wish to give the chance to send uplifting cards to men, women and children battling cancer. Meghan works full time and still finds the time for Spirit Jump. It’s her spirit that that serves as an inspiration to us all.
Melissa Scott dedicates herself to hundreds of families who adopt oversees. When various orphanages are suffering from a lack of supplies, she contacts corporations and even individuals asking for donations. Melissa has secured over 600 toothbrushes for older orphans in northern Kazakhstan and over 400 cases of sanitary napkins for girls in the same orphanage because they were being forced to wash out the already used ones. As if all of these good deeds weren’t enough, Melissa is currently sponsoring five older kids from various orphanages in Kazakhstan and 21 kids from an orphanage in Uganda. As the founder of the Dream Prosperity Charity, Melissa and her group also work directly with orphanages and foster care programs to artistically design personalized pillowcases and chalkboard tote bags for children in orphanages worldwide. Described by her friends as a phenomenal person, Melissa is an excellent example of a selfless woman.
Hilary Sheinbaum has spent thousands of hours organizing charity concerts, preparing and distributing food at shelters and soup kitchens as well as bringing awareness to the Locks of Love organization. She has thrice grown and donated more than 10 inches of her hair to help the victims of alopecia universalis. The third time she donated her hair, she arranged local magazines and newspapers to cover the event to raise awareness for the cause she believes is the easiest ways to help people who live with the physical and social effects of being unable to grow hair. It was while Hilary lived on Long Island, New York, that she delivered and served food at a local soup kitchen. One would think all of these projects would exhaust Hilary…but she also spends time as a mentor and participates in recycling projects. Whether it’s providing alopecia sufferers with a full head of hair, giving food to the hungry or serving as a mentor, Hilary is a prime example of a selfless woman.
Joolwe.com would like to thank everyone who sent us their story of someone they know that works in overdrive to help improve the lives of others. Judy, Julie, Meaghan, Melissa and Hilary…thank you so much for spreading positivity, love and compassion to everyone you meet.