Thursday, March 30, 2017

Karen Koontz Finds Something More by Pamela Hale-Burns

Karen Koontz after her makeover.

Meet Karen Koontz, a regular, hardworking woman, who met with an unfortunate fate three years ago, when she lost her husband to cancer.
Fresh into a life of retirement, she and her husband moved to Florida, where they began to plan their life of leisure together.
“Six months after we moved to Florida, my husband was dead,” she said.
Instead of planning trips together and exciting things to do together with her husband, Karen found herself planning a memorial service.
When the emotional dust cleared, Karen realized that, with the death of her husband, she no longer had the financial income needed to sustain a life of retirement. She had medical bills, which mounted from treatments done, in an attempt to save her husband’s life, and her savings account was wiped out. Not long after his death, Karen lost her home.
Things looked bleak for Karen. No money, no job, no home – what was she going to do?
Then she was introduced to Lydia House, a 50-bed facility which provides solace and hope in the face of abuse, addiction, financial hardship and abandonment for women and their children.
Karen before her makeover.

Today, Karen is getting back up on her feet with the help and mentorship of people like Nancy Rench, who she met through Lydia House. Rench is the founder and president of Finding Something More, an organization dedicated to inspiring women to look beyond their circumstances and reach for Something More.
“Nancy has been awesome,” Karen says. “She’s bringing up some of my challenges and, with her help, I’m building up my self- esteem.”
After the death of her husband, Karen had no remaining family and friends became scarce.
“When money is gone, friends go,” she said.
That was until she met Nancy.
With the help of her mentor, Karen has undergone a full makeover, to include, hair, nails, makeup, wardrobe and employment mentorship.
Together, she and Nancy have been doing some mock interviewing to prepare Karen for her return to the work force.
Karen, who worked in the administrative field for years before retirement, aspires to return to that field, as possibly a secretary or who knows? She is interviewing with a variety of different companies and fields of interest. But most importantly, she aspires to someday “help others get back on their feet - help others in need.” Like Nancy did for her, she said.
“I am so grateful for Nancy. I thank God he put her in my life,” Karen said. “She is an awesome mentor. I’ve experienced through this program that there are other good human beings out there.”
Lydia House services are not available to walk-ins or emergencies. For referrals and walk-in services for families, please visit the Long Beach Multi-Service Center at 1301 W. 12th Street, LB 90813 or call (562) 570-4500.
For more information on Finding Something More visit

For more on Nancy Rench or for mentorship, personal coaching and business consultant inquiries, visit