November 27 2019

HELPIS Connects Those Who Can Help to Those In Need

By: Tad Stephanak

A Burlington based 501(c)(3) organization, HELPIS ,connects people in need with people and organizations who want to help. 

HELPIS founder and hair stylist Joyce Deliyiannes started the charity from her salon chair during the housing recession providing free haircuts to people for job interviews. To date Deliyiannes has provided over 8,000 free haircuts to the homeless as HELPIS has blossomed into full-fledged charity endeavor.

HELPIS has eight core networking members in Burlington with thousands of contributing participants from all over the country. HELPIS interacts via Facebook with people willing to donate from as far away as California, acting as satellite benefactors to the main group in Burlington.

Their process is simple, there is a request for certain items and a call is put out on the HELPIS Facebook or HELPIS Helpers Facebook pages. People respond to the request with donations of goods and financial assistance. HELPIS gets near constant requests from Boston area homeless shelters and homeless children. 

HELPIS volunteer Cheryl Shafman shared an anecdote from last holiday season where Deliyiannes heard about teenagers in shelters who were getting nothing for the holidays. At the eleventh hour Deliyiannes thought of putting together packages of sweat shirts, socks, Chapstick and little things. HELPIS volunteers posted the request to Facebook and in no time had an overwhelming donation response of clothing and money and through Venmo. All through their simple Facebook request. 

The holidays are the season for giving but the need is year round and HELPIS has been particularly active during back-to-school time by providing clothing, backpacks and school supplies to homeless children and those in need. 

Deliyiannes has also been busy in the Massachusetts Legislature working towards making May the Month of Kindness which Governor Charlie Baker signed into law May 2016. Deliyiannes is continuing her legislative efforts with her current campaign to make the Month of Kindness recognized nationally and saluting those who promote generosity and kindness.

“Burlington is a great community for generosity,” Deliyiannes said. “Just put the story out there, and people see that.” 

HELPIS volunteer Karen Parker said her children enjoy being a part as well and how the joy of giving can become infectious.

“It lifts me up and I’m so happy to be able to lift other people up,” Parker remarked.

HELPIS is the guest for our December edition of BNEWS Special available for viewing by Clicking Here.


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