Helen Colin: Partnering with HMH to Endow a Legacy of Compassion
Only days after liberation from Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, Helen Colin testified in front of a mass grave about her experiences there to the German citizens who lived around the camp. That day marked the beginning of her personal mission to actively foster compassion, respect, and tolerance. Helen eventually made her way the U.S. and continued her testimonials, but to a different audience: children and teens. She has since spent almost 70 years speaking to any student group who wanted to hear her message.
Today, Helen is 92 years old. Her trademark greeting is a warm hug. She has a sly sense of humor that peeks its head out when you least expect it. Compassion and love flow freely from her, matched only by her unyielding drive to ensure that nothing like the Holocaust can happen again. She has recently curtailed her speaking schedule, but she has found a way for her work to continue for years to come through Holocaust Museum Houston.
Helen has created and endowed the Helen Colin Speak Out for Tolerance Endowed Scholarship at the Museum. This award promotes peer-to-peer lessons among students about the dangers of bigotry and intolerance, while encouraging acceptance and understanding. Winning students will be granted a stipend and matched with a professional mentor to implement their program ideas.
In addition to the gift to establish the endowment, Helen has also dedicated all proceeds of her recent book My Dream of Freedom to the scholarship, providing a unique way to grow the fund beyond her initial investment.
Throughout Helen's 20-year relationship with the Museum, she has viewed it as a living embodiment of education. Today, she is using it as a catalyst. Her gift ensures that when she can no longer speak to students about tolerance and compassion, they will still be speaking to each other.