Alisha & Don Wambolt
Executive Director, HOME International
HOME: Hands Of Mercy Extended
Debbie Hollinger's family history influenced her to begin the work of helping orphan girls and women in need. "My parents gave selflessly and generously to others. Their example made a positive impact on my life. Their inspiration cultivated a desire in me to pass that gift on to my children and future generations."
Debbie was not afraid of hard work. "I was always invested in many projects where I knew I could make a difference. But when I traveled to India and witnessed so many abandoned young girls, I was challenged to do something. I realized that, while I couldn't save them all, I could save some."
Debbie started HOME International. "HOME" is an acronym for "Hands of Mercy Extended." A childhood dream was realized when, in 2000, HOME International opened its first of two homes. Since then, young girls have been rescued from hardship and abandonment to our homes and under our care. They are learning to give to others in need in the nearby villages. This act of kindness enriches their lives in a very positive way.
Dozens of girls have graduated from our homes, and they are thriving. Over the years, some have married, started their own businesses, and received a college education. But all of these young women are influencers right where they are. Now, we have a new generation of girls receiving the same love and care as those before them.
Many would come to us wanting to contribute things like clothing, housewares, books, and toys for the girls. But these things are expensive to send overseas. So, we decided to open Second Street Thrift Store to allow the community to participate. Since then, our store, now called Welcome Home Thrift & More, has served as a strategic link between the local community and women and children in need, domestically and abroad.
On January 1, 2023, Debbie transferred HOME International leadership to Alisha Wambolt. While Debbie will continue to oversee the two girls' homes, Alisha assumes oversight of the entire organization, including the thrift store. We look forward to the continued work of HOME International in our local community and in strategic parts of the world.
When you contribute financially, donate goods, or shop at Welcome Home Thrift & More, you become an essential part of this dramatic life change for these girls and women. Thank you!