SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN News is recognizing Remarkable Women of Kansas.
Back in December, KSN asked you to nominate women who make a difference in our communities, and we were honored to read each of the submissions.
Our first finalist calls Salina home.
On the same street, she’s worked to revitalize through downtown Salina efforts, you’ll find Haley Helzer.
“This job has rewarded me significantly,” Helzer said.
Helzer is now a successful insurance agent.
You’ll find thank you note, after thank you note in her office, that shows appreciation from many in the community.
“I think there are so many other women out there who do a lot more than I do,” Helzer said.
There isn’t a whole lot that goes on in the Salina community that Helzer isn’t involved in.
“She has donated to every organization near and dear to her,” Terry Hartsfield, Helzer’s mother said.
Take it from her mother, who knows her the best.
“She is a sweet daughter,” Hartsfield said.
Helzer’s success wasn’t easy.
Just a few years ago, she was a single mom, working three or four jobs to make ends meet.
She got her associate’s degree in business and became one of the first to graduate a self-sufficiency public housing program.
The idea was that as her rent went up, money would be set aside in a fund to help her in the future.
She completed the program so quickly, she didn’t have any money in the special account, but what she did have was enough to put a down payment on her first home.
“I still live in the same house, that I bought 10 years ago,” Helzer said.
She said she knows what it’s like to need a little help, so she spreads kindness through charity.
“I didn’t think that I influenced people in any way. I think I just push forward,” Helzer said.
Perhaps her biggest influence has been on her son, who she taught early, when something needs to be done, you get busy.
“He thinks it’s the most amazing thing, I mean, his mom is over here with these tools cranking away,” Helzer said.
Those skills came in handy when the pair built a Pinewood Derby car, just one of the many Cub Scout activities she shared with her son.
“Eventually, I was just all in it,” Helzer said.
Which is exactly the attitude Helzer takes when it comes to helping others, she is always doing things like buying winter gear and bags of clothes for those going through hard times.
“They have nothing and so anything to help them start out,” Helzer said.
Her job also allows her to be there for those who lose everything.
She said she is there for those who are victims of house fires, and other disasters, so she can reassure them, it is going to be okay.
Helzer said at times she had to remind herself of that.
“She has pulled herself up so good,” Hartsfield said.
She continues to climb, touching so many lives in remarkable ways.