Statistics reveal that the number of children living in multidimensional poverty has soared to approximately 1.2 billion globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In such dire situations, the need to provide needy communities with necessities, vocational and educational opportunities, and uplift one significant life at a time has become paramount. Dawn Airhart Witte, author, speaker, humanitarian, and Founder/Director of the Desire to Inspire Foundation and The Be Line Products, is making little changes in her own way and being the change that she wishes to see in the world.
Dawn grew up in a small town in Ohio and wanted to go into the Peace Corp, where she could travel to places and help people. She attended Cornell University and earned certification in Animal Assisted Therapies from Harcum College. Prior to following her passion to improve the world, Dawn held several leadership positions. She served as PTA President, NCL-LA Founder Chapter President, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Big Sister, Public Works Commissioner for the City of La Canada Flintridge, etcetera.
During her freshman year, Dawn started questioning her career choices and decided to get some real-world experience to find out the true path. She moved to Los Angeles, took up volunteer work, did online college courses in psychology, and seven years back, embarked on the journey to self-discovery.
Taking the Leap
After holding several leadership positions, Dawn took the plunge into entrepreneurship because she “wanted to do more”. It was after her first trip to Africa that Dawn fell in love with the community there and saw for the first time what she wanted her life’s work to be. She had a mission – to inspire people around the world to find their purpose and live it. She founded the Desire to Inspire Foundation, a non-profit organization that connects with communities across the globe to break from the cycles of extreme poverty.
Making necessities like food, clean water, education, and medical care accessible to people are some of the areas that the foundation has been working in across many countries, including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. Today, the foundation is in the process of building sustainability centers that will combine real-world training with transformational life coaching principles to help people discover and use their talents to support themselves, their families, and their communities.
Be the Change
Poverty, hunger, and joblessness break Dawn’s heart and hurt her soul, and “The Be Line Products” was created to sell inspirational items that can help raise funding for her causes, including inspiring merchandise, nourishing skincare items, and beautiful jewelry.
Dawn feels blessed to have met deep thinkers, inspiring leaders, and tremendously amazing human beings from around the world and shared deep and powerful conversations with them. This inspired her to start the Soulful Conversations podcast to create a platform to help others get through adversities with peace, happiness, grace, and ease.
The Road Ahead
Dawn’s exemplary humanitarian work has not gone unnoticed. She is the 2021 Women of Achievement Ms. Elite Southern California titleholder, as well as a member of the USA Ladies of All Nations International (LOANI) group for California. In addition to helping others through coaching and her foundation, Desire to Inspire, Dawn is currently working on her “Be…” books (which impart a vital message on perseverance, purpose, and putting kindness out into the world) and merchandise, as well as her “Recipes for Being” series. She is also working on a branded skincare and fragrance line, which will help raise money for her sustainability projects in Africa.
As advice to future businesswomen, Dawn asks them to believe in themselves first. “Follow your heart and remember that your dreams and goals are yours to own. No one else has to understand your calling except you. When you put your heart and soul into something you love, and that is of service to others, you will be met with a success your future self will be tremendously grateful for,” Dawn added, while speaking with WomLEAD Magazine.
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