Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Cedillo.
Rebecca, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a child, I watched my mom literally give the clothing off her back to others, give her last penny to the offering plate at church, and put others before herself regularly. Through her selflessness, my passion was fostered. I have enjoyed serving others in all capacities- whether it be making someone a meal, giving someone a fresh glass of ice tea, or helping children learn to read at a shelter, I find my joy in those moments. To say my life hasn’t been easy is an understatement. I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of six and given a grim expectancy. I spent a lot of my younger years sick and depressed because of CF and for a while, my diagnosis hindered my ability to actually LIVE.
I finally got a grip on my life in 2013~ when I started seeing a counselor, working towards a degree and took my medical condition seriously. I started implementing positive psychology techniques and found that life had so much more to offer than to simply passively live. Unfortunately, in 2017, I had a major setback. I was in an accident and sustained life-threatening injuries. During this time, I saw my family, friends, and coworkers rally together to help me. I was so shocked by the number of people who cared and loved me that it took some time to really grasp what was happening. I spent a month learning how to walk again and about a year to recover fully.
While on sick leave, I realized how much people have done for me throughout my life- ranging from school volunteers to friends going out of their way to check on me. I fell into a bit of depression and “why me” mindset after the accident…things got pretty dark. But out of that darkness, the Hope Through Help Foundation was born. I promised myself that once I was fully recovered, I would pay it forward to others and share the blessings I’ve had. I’m so fortunate to have a support system of family, friends, and coworkers who push me, motivate me, and inspire me to become a better person than the day before. I’ve learned that everyone’s journey is different but helping others along the way makes it a bit more enjoyable for all of us.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’ve faced a lot of obstacles but to be honest, my biggest obstacle has always been myself. Self-doubt, feelings of worthlessness, fear of failure…thoughts like that creep into my mind and hold a lot of power over my next move. When I first realized I wanted to start a nonprofit, I took a year to really think about what mattered to me and who I wanted to serve. I knew that if I picked something I was passionate about, it would be worth all the failures and setbacks just to be able to serve others.
We’d love to hear more about your organization.
The Hope Through Help Foundation’s primary goal is to provide individuals and families with chronic illnesses access to mental health care services- whether it’s a psychiatrist, social worker, or counselor. We also provide other forms of assistance such as paying for prescriptions and assistance with mortgage and utilities. I miss a lot of work due to doctor’s appointments and days where I’m simply not feeling well due to the progression of my lung disease. As a result, my paychecks are sometimes smaller than normal and it can be difficult to balance necessary medication costs and bills when I’m sick. We hope to help others in that same situation to alleviate their stressors and provide them with support to focus on their health.
Individuals can complete a short application for assistance, indicate what type of help they need, and we will follow up and verify the information and begin pulling resources to help them. We have a turnaround time of 1 week in which our families receive the assistance they’ve requested. We’ve refined the process and made it as user-friendly and short and we communicate throughout the application process to make sure our clients know we care, we’re listening, and we’re working to help them.
I’m most proud of the families we’ve helped. I received an email yesterday from a family that had me crying in my car because of their gratitude and the situation they’re in:
“I am so lucky to have found The Hope Through Help Foundation. I don’t know what I would have done If I had not. With my mom being blind and on dialysis, my dad getting sick threw everything into chaos. The amputation of his foot blindsided us. I took time off work to stay home and take care of my mom but that meant a significantly smaller paycheck, and being the primary income earner in the house it seemed almost impossible to pay every bill. A friend told me about “Hope Through Help,” and from the very beginning, the foundation was more than willing to help. I did not hesitate to assist. So many thanks to The Hope Through Help Foundation, a true godsend. I hope to be able to help the foundation when this is all over, and pass this goodwill onto others.”
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I’m still in the early phases of the nonprofit industry but I think having more knowledge about grant writing and fundraising would have been super helpful. I’ve been learning along the way which has been successful but I definitely see areas that would have blossomed with more experience. I’m thankful for the opportunity to simply learn along the way and don’t want to diminish our efforts at all!
- Website: www.hopethroughhelpfoundation.org
- Phone: 469-352-8000
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hopethroughhelpfoundation/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HopeThroughHelpFoundation/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/HopeThroughHelp
- Other: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/3681489