Kitty Seelig is the Founder and Executive Director of Helpings of Hope. She grew up in Centerville, IN and went to Ball State University, studying Dietetic Technology. Kitty brings seventeen years of experience as a registered dietician to her role as Executive Director. She has worked in various healthcare settings such as diabetes education, nutrition education, and hospice nutrition. With a Master’s Degree in Dietetics from Ball State, Kitty has established her own consulting business where she works primarily with people who are developmentally disabled in their group homes. Dietetics has given her a wealth of opportunities to provide nutrition care for individuals across the health care continuum. Through her experience as a registered dietitian, she has seen firsthand the effects of food insecurity on the health of individuals. With this knowledge and personal experience, Kitty brings her passion for empowering the marginalized and vision for reducing food insecurity, poverty, and social injustice in the greater Indianapolis community to her role as Executive Director of Helpings of Hope.
Bruce Garrison, President
Bruce Garrison grew up in Indianapolis, IN. After college, Bruce started the nonprofit organization, Timeless Impact International. He moved to England in 1986 and lived there as president and CEO of the organization for the next 21 years. Timeless Impact was heavily involved in publishing.
In addition to the publishing, Timeless Impact participated in famine relief in Central Africa, cyclone relief in Myanmar, educational projects in Asia and Africa, and clean water projects in Africa and Southeast Asia. They were also involved in numerous programs for orphans in eastern Europe, Africa, and India. Bruce’s work took him to over 40 countries. In 2007, Bruce returned to the USA where he continued as President of Timeless Impact until its closure in 2010.
Bruce currently serves as community pastor at The Dwelling Place, a unique church in the Indianapolis area that combines aspects of the Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions. As part of the work, Bruce is Chair of the Board for four nonprofit organizations: Helpings of Hope, Congo-American Bridge, Crane Center for Mass Atrocity Prevention, and Patchwork Indy.
Bruce is married to his wife, Debbie. He also has three children. Two of them, Josiah and Bethany, both graduated from Denison University in Granville, OH. His daughter, Chelsea, is an ER Nurse at Riley Children’s Hospital.
Bruce has nearly 35 years of experience in the nonprofit world, working with both local and global situations.
Karen Porter, Vice-President
Karen Porter acts as Vice-President of Helpings of Hope. Karen is a native Hoosier. She has an undergraduate degree from Indiana Wesleyan in Business Administration. Karen has worked in the health care industry for over twenty-five years. She held a variety of positions including the role of System Vice President, Chief Planning Officer at St. Vincent Health, one of the largest, non-profit health systems in Indiana. Karen has experience with start-up organizations having served as the Vice President of Operations for a joint venture management company developed by a large group of independent physicians and St. Vincent Health and she is currently the President of K. L. Porter Strategic Solutions, LLC, which she started in 2013. Karen has extensive experience in market analytics, business development, strategic planning, and process improvement. As a consultant, Karen continues to focus on health care and has provided pro bono strategic planning services to a variety of non-profit organizations, including a free clinic for the homeless and disadvantaged, and a national nonprofit organization that assists homeless individuals with education, employment, and shelter. Karen also serves as adjunct faculty at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She teaches Strategic Planning in Health Organizations. In addition, Karen serves on the Indiana Nurse Family Partnership Community Advisory Board, the Sisters of Providence Mission Advisory Board, and the Gennesaret Free Clinic Board of Directors and Governance Committee. Karen’s professional and volunteer experiences have prepared her to appreciate the opportunity to serve as a board member for Helpings of Hope, as the organization seeks to address hunger issues locally and globally.
Kathleen Brannen, Secretary/Treasurer
Kathleen was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. She attended Butler University in Indianapolis, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors in Anthropology and Religious Studies. Through different internships and volunteer opportunities in nonprofit organizations, Kathleen found her niche within the Indianapolis community. While at Butler, Kathleen secured a job working with refugees that continued after her graduation. She was the coordinator of a self-sufficiency program to aid refugees and their families in becoming self-sufficient by their 120th day in America. This program helped refugees with English lessons, job security, budgetary skills, and basic cultural understanding of America. Kathleen continued her professional journey at Horizon House, a local organization that serves the needs of the homeless. Here Kathleen conducts street outreach by providing basic needs and resources for clients to help begin the process of ending homelessness. She also coordinates volunteers by teaching and training them in the proper ways in which to interact with homeless clients and how they can best help to end the cycle of poverty. Kathleen is a young millennial that has found a passion for the Indianapolis community through her years at Butler University. She is excited to be a part of Helpings of Hope in order to help decrease food insecurity and poverty in the community she now calls home.
Patty Sanders, Director
Patty Sanders grew up in Colombia South America. She has a BA in Nutrition and she is also a certified herbalist. She has worked for Marion County Purdue Extension teaching nutrition and wellness to the low income communities in Indianapolis for the past 10 years. In 2017 she founded Chicas Fit in Facebook to do outreach to the Latinx population and connect them to gardening and outdoor fitness. She is an avid gardener, cyclist, and dancer. Her passion is to educate and connect people to plant medicine as our ancestors had done it for thousands of years!
Reba Taylor-Hill, Director
Reba has been an Environmental Health Specialist for the Marion County Public Health Department since 2001. In April of 2016 she was promoted to the position of Community Education and Outreach Liaison. She has an Associate’s Degree in Office Management, An Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, 45 hours of Skilled Development Training, and is currently seeking a BA degree in Organizational Leadership, and will graduate in 2018. Reba is a member of the Indiana Environmental Health Association (IEHA) and serves as Chapter Rep for the Central Chapter, member of the NW Governance Council, the NW QOL Housing Committee, Hunger Relief Committee member, Meridian Highland Neighborhood Association honorary member, and a member of the Health Committee Meeting at CAFÉ, NUSA member (Neighborhood USA) and participant in many more groups.