WebScout® Cares: Growing Beards—A Masculine Stance for a Women’s Cause

WebScout® Cares, founded in December 2012 by WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno, is a program that devotes online marketing time, resources, and talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty. One organization takes a unique stance on supporting women in the fight against domestic violence. It started with a beard growing contest. 

Beards BeCAUSE:

Beards BeCAUSE

When it comes to sexual and violent abuse against women, men are typically seen on the defensive end. Beards BeCAUSE turns the tables. It started in 2007 with a beard-growing contest. The founders, Jared Yerg and Scott Doerr, decided that their hairy competitions made all in good fun should support a cause, so they started by raising money for the United Family Services’ Shelter for Battered Women of Charlotte.

With 36 men growing beards, they raised $22,000 for the shelter. Thus, Beards BeCAUSE was born.

Beards BeCAUSE has since spanned across the nation, raising awareness and money for victims of domestic violence. But it all started here in Charlotte.

For Greeno, domestic violence is also close to home. Both her and at least two of her sisters have suffered from abusive relationships in some way. A very sad ending to an abusive instance for her oldest sister involves the estranged boyfriend shooting her in the back as she tried to escape, intending to kill her. Greeno’s sister is now a paraplegic, reminding her and her family daily how domestic violence can change our lives and potentially take our loved ones from us in an instant.

Growing beards for a feminine cause reminds us that the fight against domestic violence must be combated on both fronts. Men taking a stand to support women is just as important as women standing up for themselves.

Greeno’s family suffered from domestic violence in a way that has impacted them forever. Greeno donates to this organization because she knows that this cause cannot only be fought by women for women; everyone must take a stand against issues of domestic violence.

Greeno wanted to thank a fellow marketer and entrepreneur Wendy Shanahan with Asterisk Creative for introducing her to this cause. Wendy has been instrumental in raising awareness and funding to support this organization nearly since its inception. Thanks Wendy!

WebScout® Cares: Finding the Hope in Situational Homelessness

WebScout® Cares, founded in December 2012 by WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno, is a program that devotes online marketing time, resources, and talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty. This week focuses on the Hope House Foundation, an organization that offers an oasis of protection for women who cannot escape situations of violence and abuse.

Hope House Foundation

WebScout Cares Hope House Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

The Hope House Foundation offers a safe haven, a home for women who have nowhere else to turn. Greeno’s special connection to this organization comes from personal experience, yet again. When she found herself in San Jose, without aid, she was compassionately escorted by an official to a local halfway house. After asking an officer for an “inexpensive, hostel-like place to stay,” the officer discerningly recognized the greater need.

Once there, she met and befriended a pregnant woman who was only weeks away from delivery. Coping together, the two became friends.

“I was a part of her life during that time and I witnessed her hardship,” Greeno said. “She is still a very important friend to this day.”

Important because she was a comrade during a time of hardship, important because she introduced Greeno to God in a new way, and important because only five years later, Greeno found herself in a similar situation…a single parent, abandoned by her husband, with little resources to stay afloat, let alone “get ahead.”

Living as a single parent, working multiple jobs, working to obtain a college degree, and struggling to get through that tough period of time, Greeno remembered how her friend relied on Christ and just kept moving forward. Celeste was her friend’s name. She was “crazy for God,” is how Greeno puts it. Celeste was determined to provide for her family as a single mom, even if that meant she would need to voluntarily live in a halfway house for a period of time in order to get the best care (and housing) she could for her newborn and his first years in this world. This similar rough spot in Greeno’s life, where she just needed a little help to make it to the next step toward a better life, and with Celeste in the back of her mind, had inspired her to help places like the Hope House.

“I know first hand how these situations create circumstances beyond our control, and sometimes we need a little help getting on our feet,” she said.

Hope House Foundation does not identify itself as a battered women’s shelter or a substance abuse recovery center; rather, they seek to be a place to call home for up to six months for women who need time to regain strength and get back on their feet. Situational homelessness is extremely prevalent for single mothers or other women who are trying to escape from abuse or a violent situation in their home. Hope House fights this homelessness by offering a comfortable environment where these women can transform their lives for the better.

WebScout® Cares: Putting an End to Human Trafficking in North Carolina

WebScout® Cares, founded in December 2012 by WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno, is a program that devotes online marketing time, resources, and talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty. These last few weeks, we’ve covered three non-profit organizations that are helping women find success and happiness in their personal and professional lives. This week, we are taking a look at a non-profit that combats one of the biggest global and national issues of today — human trafficking.

NC Stop Human TraffickingNC Stop Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is typically thought of as an issue that inhabits foreign countries. This organization fights to stop human trafficking in our own home, North Carolina.

Using the Preventing, Advocacy, Victim Services, and Education Awareness (PAVE) method, this non-profit seeks to put an end to sex slavery and other types of human slavery in North Carolina. There are active NC Stop HT member groups all over the state, and they work to raise awareness and provide tools for the prevention of human trafficking.

For Greeno, this cause is especially close to her heart. Having seen and experienced first hand the cruelty and manipulation that so many people (especially women) are subjected to, she speaks out against human trafficking.

Before fleeing to San Jose, CA, Greeno was subjected to sexual exploitation and abuse in a similar fashion. She knows first hand the manipulative techniques used to take advantage of people, and she understands that human trafficking manifests in many different forms. Most importantly, she understands that it can happen to anyone…your daughter, your little brother, your friend.

Greeno was fortunate enough to escape from her situation, but so many others can’t. It’s nearly impossible to do it alone, without help. That’s why it is so important to raise awareness right here in NC, and funding, for the all too present issues facing young women, young men, people from other cultures who have crossed the border for a better life – only to be enslaved by others – tormented by fear – these people are here in our very own neighborhoods. Be vigilant, pay attention! Don’t be a part of another Cleveland, Ohio scenario where 3 teenage girls were enslaved by one man for so many years…in a regular house, in a regular neighborhood, where the homes were just feet from each other. Learn the signs of human trafficking today.

WebScout® Cares: Dressing for Success is Half the Battle

WebScout® Cares, founded in December 2012 by WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno, is a program that devotes online marketing time, resources, and talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty. Last week we covered Circle de Luz, a non-profit that supports young Latina women through an educational mentoring program. This week, we will explore an organization that has a knack for high-quality, hand me down fashions for women who are scheduled for job interviews, but may not have the means to obtain that professional image necessary to help them actually secure the position…and dress for their first week at work.

Dress For Success

Dress for Success

In order for women to have the confidence to take on the world, they have to dress for success. Dress For Success Charlotte (DFS Charlotte) accepts women’s hand me down dress clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories which are then donated to the women who are working hard to become financially independent. I will tell you, these items are not just thrown into a pile and “donated” – these women are treated to a very special boutique experience, including a professional fitting and style session. Many times they are also given a mini-makeover to help them present their best selves during their upcoming interview(s). Resume help and professional career coaching are also available – for free!

For Greeno, the memory of one mauve colored suit and a pair of $30 flats inspired her to donate to Dress for Success.

When she was 19, Greeno fled a situation of exploitation and abuse, and ended up in San Jose, CA. Without transportation, food, or a job — let alone proper interviewing attire — she spent her last $30 on a pair of flats to wear as she scoped out the downtown area for potential jobs, walking into businesses and simply asking around until she found someone willing to give her a chance. She talked her way into a front desk job at the Holiday Inn Park Center Plaza, and wore those same shoes with a polyester mauve suit every day to work for the next year.

“I wore those shoes until they had holes in the bottom,” she said.

Now that Greeno owns her own company and dons business attire every morning, she donates money and time to this organization. As an ambassador to the organization, she collects donations and raises awareness about the Dress for Success cause.

“My absolute favorite thing was a ‘what not to wear’ type speech that I gave to the female students at Garinger [High School], teaching them how to dress for interviews,” Greeno said.

WebScout® Cares supports Dress For Success in Charlotte, NC because we understand that a professional wardrobe often comes at too high a price. By donating hand me downs to this organization, you may be giving another woman the opportunity to land the job interview she needs to support herself. Greeno understands what it’s like to be without the clothes to look the part, and she donates time as an ambassador so that she can spread the word about Dress For Success.

If you have barely-used business clothing sitting in your closet, donate it to Dress for Success. You could be helping a woman to be financially independent, potentially helping her take care of an entire family, and likely teaching her children to do the same.

WebScout® Cares: Supporting Young Latinas in their Educational Endeavors

WebScout® Cares, founded in December 2012 by WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno, is a program that devotes time, financial resources, and online marketing talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty. This month we are exploring the organizations that WebScout® Cares supports. Greeno donates her time and resources to this particular organization for many reasons. She believes that young women deserve to have fulfilled professional lives, and that they often need mentors and big sister figures to help lead the way. Her involvement in Circle de Luz is just one example of how Greeno believes mentoring a young girl can make the difference between graduating high school, and getting left behind.

Circle de Luz

Circle de Luz

This organization is dedicated to helping young Latina women take control of their own lives through mentoring and a unique set of course studies. Circle de Luz offers extra curricular courses to these young women from middle school all the way up through high school graduation. These courses are designed to teach them how to care for themselves and make the right choices when it comes to reaching wholeness and success. Circle de Luz lists these unfortunate statistics on their website:

51% of Latinas get pregnant before the age of 20.
13% obtain a college degree.
44% do not graduate high school.

Studies show that having a big sister figure, or an adult mentor, can help a young person stay in school and graduate.

Mentors can also help when it comes to bigger issues, like making the right decisions and using sound judgment when making life choices.

That’s why Circle de Luz offers a program that pairs each young Latina women with a mentor. Mentors are responsible for helping these young students receive an holistic education, and have the opportunity to reach their goals after high school.

Upon graduating, each young woman in the Circle de Luz program receives a $5,000 scholarship to put toward the next step in her life, be it education or life in the workforce. WebScout® Cares supports Circle de Luz because we believe that every woman deserves the chance to be successful, not only academically but also in terms of well being.

Greeno is currently a M’ija for this organization. M’ijas, or “girlfriends,” invest money and volunteer time to Circle de Luz. The money they invest goes toward the $5,000 that each high school graduate in the program receives.

The struggles that young Latina women face every day are unique and often insurmountable without the help of a mentor or a proper educational program. These women need the attention of our community, and WebScout® Cares believes this cause is worth fighting for.

WebScout® Cares: Men Helping to Spread Awareness of Sexual Assault

WebScout® Cares, founded in December 2012 by WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno, is a program that devotes time, financial resources, and online marketing talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty. For the next several weeks we are exploring the organizations that WebScout® Cares supports. The first organization we will discuss is one that helps to raise awareness about the important and difficult to talk about issue of sexual assault—the causes, the prevention and the healing process—in a unique way.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

This organization hosts walks for men (and women) to raise awareness in their communities for serious crimes against women. The annual events are known as the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault, and Gender Violence. These walks are not only fun, memorable ways for communities to get together, but also a way to start a dialogue on an issue that is prevalent but often difficult to talk about. We all know that sexual violence exists, but those who have not been affected by it don’t want to think it exists, and those who have been victims want to forget. It’s important to discuss this issue in an open, receptive environment. For the event itself, men walk a mile wearing women’s high-heeled shoes. Then, discussions are started to include issues such as preventative education, etc. in order for men to learn more about women and their experiences.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was founded in 2001 by Frank Baird. It may have started out small, but today the organization has grown exponentially, raising millions of dollars for programs and resources that help victims of sexual assault, including rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and other programs that provide education, prevention, and relief.

The organization helps to show sexual violence is not only a problem affecting women. It affects the men who know and love them, their friends and family, as well as their communities and coworkers. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes also aims to show us that men are helping to spread awareness in order to put an end to sexual violence against women.

This year marks the first time a Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event will be held in Charlotte (woo-hoo). The event will take place at 10am on August 24th in NoDa. The one mile walk will begin at NoDa Brewing Company and end at Heist Brewery, where an after party will be held. Registration is $25 per walker. All proceeds from the walk will go to Safe Alliance. Go to Walk a Mile Charlotte to learn how to register or get involved.

walk a mile in her shoes postcard

WebScout® Cares: Raising Awareness for Women in the Online Marketing World

WebScout<sup>®</sup> Cares

Domestic violence, human trafficking, and poverty are issues that span across the globe. We often think of these issues as foreign, far away from our us.

But abuse and violence often happen close to home, right under our noses where they can be hardest to see.

These cultural problems affect people of all ages, races, and genders, but there are certain violent crimes and societal restraints that affect women deeper than wounds on the skin. Poverty and violence can break us down, defeat us to a place beyond repair.

That’s why Laura Greeno, CEO of WebScout® Marketing, founded WebScout® Cares in December of 2012. It’s a program that devotes time, financial resources, and online marketing talents to local non-profit organizations that help women overcome difficulties of exploitation, violence, and poverty.

Greeno’s dedication to this cause is deeper than what meets the eye. She is a successful businesswoman. She greets with smiles and speaks with confidence. But she has been there—the place where hurt and defeat take over hope. Greeno understands that we all must help one another overcome the difficulties that are all too prevalent in our world.

Over the next several weeks, we will take a look at how these organizations are taking a stand for women, and why WebScout® Cares prioritizes devoting our services and profits to support these foundations. Here are the organizations we will be exploring this month:

Circle de Luz: An organization dedicated to helping young Latina women take control of their own lives through mentoring programs. WebScout® invests financial resources and time to help these girls and young women graduate high school with confidence and stability.

Dress For Success: This organization accepts donations of women’s business clothing and passes them on to women who cannot afford a professional wardrobe. Find out why this organization is close to WebScout® CEO Laura Greeno’s heart.

NC Stop Human Trafficking: Using the Preventing, Advocacy, Victim Services, and Education Awareness (PAVE) method, this non-profit seeks to put an end to sex slavery and other types of human slavery in North Carolina. Sometimes, the most heinous crimes occur right in front of us, and WebScout® Cares is determined to help put an end to these crimes.

Hope House Foundation: The Hope House Foundation offers a safe haven, a home for women who have nowhere else to turn. Greeno’s special connection to this organization comes from personal experience. Learn more about her connection to this unique organization for women.

Beards BeCAUSE: When it comes to domestic violence, men are often seen as the abusers. This organization proves that men can also take a stand alongside women in the fight against domestic violence. Find out how a simple beard-growing contest turned into something much more important for women.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: Raising awareness for sexual violence against women in a unique way, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes organizes events where men walk one mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. The events aims to include men in the fight against sexual violence, as well as give people a way to openly discuss this very difficult issue.

A.W. Tozer once said, “It is doubtful whether God can use a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” Greeno has survived the place from which so many women cannot escape. She uses her experiences to help others, donating a variety of talents, funds, and other resources to these non-profits and others.

While Greeno may also provide web marketing services, SEO tactics, website conversion design, blogging, social media marketing, and other public relation services to some of these organizations, what she gets in return is something far beyond the world of online marketing.

“These organizations’ missions all have very personal connections to me,” she said. After unveiling her life experiences and her personal bonds with each of these causes, we can begin to understand the passion with which Greeno devotes herself to these organizations.

Greeno hopes to raise awareness for young women who have been through some of the difficult circumstances she has also gone through.