Robin Helm received a Bachelor’s in Social Work in 2012, after working as a special education paraeducator with the Vancouver Public Schools for 10 years. Desiring to alleviate suffering while working within the family system, Robin joined the Clark County Juvenile Court in 2013 as a Family Assistance Specialist to work with families facing the added challenges of mental illness.
In 2013, Robin was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her recovery, Robin connected her losses with the work being done by Free the Girls, an international organization that provides business opportunities for women rescued from sex trafficking by supplying donated bras for boutiques run by the survivors.
Determined to begin collecting bras locally, Robin pursued partners. In fall of 2014, NWCAVE agreed be a sponsor. When Robin approached her surgeon, Allen Gabriel, the project solidified. In 2010, Dr. Gabriel had founded The Gift of Lift and collected gently used bras from his patients to distribute in impoverished countries and to local charities. Over time, the project had lost momentum.
Thrilled with Robin’s enthusiasm and NWCAVE’s support, Dr. Gabriel joined the partnership, and The Gift of Lift was reborn. In January 2015, The Gift of Lift presented 1,150 bras to Free the Girls and YWCA Clark County’s WORTH Program.
Robin has two grown daughters, five step children–also grown and four grandchildren. Robin is an artist specializing in pottery and beadwork and loves to grow things in her yard. Robin lives in Vancouver, Washington with her husband, Paul Gerhards.
Visit our Gift of Lift page.