After years in a successful marketing career that took her across the globe, Kellie decided it was time to settle back into her hometown of Des Moines, where she began flipping houses for income. She leaned into volunteerism as a way to reconnect with the community and make friends.
While volunteering with teen girls at Y.E.S.S., Kellie was shocked by the nature and severity of abuse the children in our community endure. She was inspired to become a foster parent. It wasn’t long before her worlds merged: she discovered the home that would become Dorothy’s House.
She purchased the home, the adjacent home and the empty lot between the two. She immediately began working on the properties and found a groundswell of support in the community. The homes opened in January 2016 as a “safe place for the practice of life for those whose lives have been interrupted by human trafficking, exploitation and prostitution.”
For the past decade, Aimee has put her expertise and passion for serving to work, operating in different leadership roles within the nonprofit world in and around Des Moines. What started as a volunteer position to give back to the community became a successful career serving the local homeless population, helping them overcome hardships, heal and grow. It was during this time her desire to work more closely with women in challenging situations grew as she discovered the growing need for resources and support in the areas of abuse and human trafficking. She is passionate about seeing individuals overcome obstacles and reach their full potential and is blessed to be a part of the Dorothy’s House team.
A scientist by training, Kayla was inspired to get involved with Dorothy’s House after seeing Kellie Markey speak at her church. Working at Dorothy’s House was a big shift in her career path, but journeying with and guiding young women as they find new directions for their lives wasn’t a new idea to her. She’d been volunteering for years as a leader and teacher of youth and young adults in both academic and faith-based settings. The one thing she hopes for all participants at Dorothy’s House is that they depart our program with a greater sense of self-worth and self-love than when they joined us.
Dawn’s passion for helping women see their own beauty started when she was a certified cosmetologist and esthetician. But she took that passion much deeper and began seeking out ways to do more for women and work with survivors. She’s volunteered for many organizations throughout the metro and, after attending several support groups and seminars related to human trafficking, landed with us at Dorothy’s House. She says one of the best things about our work at Dorothy’s House is helping survivors become aware of their strengths and build from them — giving them hope for their futures.