Interview with ProNica Donor Belinda Moss: “I Just Do What I Can”

By Kathy Hersh, ProNica Board of Directors


Belinda Moss'  job is to make other people look good. Last week it was Paul McCartney and dozens of other celebrities who performed at Madison Square Gardens for Hurricane Sandy relief. Belinda is a freelance make-up artist whose clients include not only Sir Paul, but also the show America’s Got Talent, the Tonys, and the Emmys, just for starters. She lives in New York but was raised in St. Petersburg and considers it her hometown. That’s how she found out about the Quaker nonprofit ProNica.


“A friend was telling me about a woman doing hair cuts in Straub Park for an organization called ProNica.” Belinda was intrigued about the beauty school helping impoverished young women learn the beauty trade. “At the time I was working a lot with L'Oreal. Whenever they discontinued a line or changed packaging, they would just throw the stuff out. I thought, ‘This would be good for the girls.’ I just started donating from anybody who had discontinued stuff. I want them to have good things. Not dollar store crap. Hopefully they can have enough in their kits [when they graduate] to go into town and work.”


Watching the video online about the Acahualinca Beauty School really got Belinda hooked. “All you have to do is look at the video. You can’t have a heart if you can’t feel for these poor girls.”


Although Belinda has been donating to ProNica for the past eight years, she had never met Pam Haigh, co-clerk of ProNica and the force behind the Acahualinca Beauty School. This past Thanksgiving, Belinda flew into St. Pete after doing the makeup for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.


“I called Pam and said I’d like to meet you.” So Belinda visited ProNica’s one-room office behind the St. Pete Meetinghouse and met Pam and Melissa Ajabshir, Executive Director. “Pam mentioned they [the school] had only one class now and she needs $2500 to keep the school running. So I gave her $1000.”


“I don’t feel I’m doing anything that special but it makes me feel wonderful.” Belinda tells “everybody” she knows about ProNica. “It’s so refreshing to have my friends say, 'What can I do to help?'‘ She and her colleagues talk about “the girls” as if they are their young protegés.“I had to start my life over eight times,” says Belinda. “I needed help. So now I’m paying back, just doing what I can.”


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