“My mission is to let fellow burn survivors know they are not alone. I want to offer a hug, a smile, and a heart that cares. It is crucial to educate the public about the needs of burn survivors and their families as well as the lack of services available to them. We are here to care for burn survivors, their families and those who have lost a loved one to a burn injury.”
Celia Belt is the founder of the award winning, Moonlight Fund Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial, emotional and in-kind assistance to burn and blast survivors and their families. A burn survivor herself, Celia noticed the need for care and support for burn survivors throughout the country, and, along with Henry Coffeen III, she started the charity in 1998 in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, the organization has helped nearly 12,000 people across the U.S.
Celia oversees grant writing, program development, event planning and fundraising for The Moonlight Fund. Additionally, she works hand-in-hand with staff members, attends monthly board meetings and coordinates activities and meetings involving partners and sponsors. Celia also provides support to burn survivors and their families by visiting them at the hospital, hosting support groups and by providing them with information, and access to funding. She also organizes and executes award-winning healing retreats for burn survivors and her families. Celia has been providing her services pro-bono for the past 21 years.
Before starting The Moonlight Fund, Celia spent 8 years in commercial and residential real estate. She received many awards in this field, including top producer, top agent and rookie of the year. Celia also spent 7 years as a national sales manager for food manufacturer VanHoltens where she successfully led a team of 280 food brokers nationwide. Celia was hands on in the development of marketing, branding, sales and new product introduction. During her time at the company she increased distribution from 7 to 31 states.
Celia has serves as a public speaker for the Moonlight Fund and other organizations. In 2012, she was invited to speak at the Pentagon on behalf of the Moonlight Fund, when the charity was named the top non-profit in the country and given the Fisher House/Newman’s Own Award for improving the quality of life of military members and their families. Her audience included key military members like General Martin E. Demsey and Admiral Winnefeld. Celia continues to speak on several topics, on behalf of the needs of burn survivors, non-profit management, overcoming childhood trauma and women’s empowerment.
Celia and the Moonlight Fund have received numerous awards. In addition to the Moonlight Fund being named the top non profit in the country, Celia was awarded the business journals- Woman in Leadership Award and was chosen as a mentor, three years running for the Business Journals, Mentoring Monday. Most recently, Celia was presented with the Distinguished Citizen Medal by the Daughters of the American Revolution. (DAR) She also sits on several committees at the American Burn Association.
Originally from Rockford, Illinois, and now a Bandera, Texas resident, Celia has published various articles in prominent publications including San Diego Magazine, San Antonio Medical Magazine, Dallas Safari Club, The New York Times and others, her book, Remarkably Intact, launched in 2018 and has received multiple outstanding reviews and been nominated for several awards. All proceeds benefit the Moonlight Fund. Celia is a member of the Phoenix Society, American Burn Association, National Association of Women Business Owners, Association of Fundraising Professionals and the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on the Aftercare Reintegration Committee at the American Burn Association.
When Celia is not caring for burn survivors or writing grants, she enjoys spending time with her three children Justin, Jarred and Hillary and her grandson, Korben. She has been an equestrian for many years, and although retired from competing, she still enjoys riding on her ranch. Celia also enjoys the outdoors, fishing, hunting and working on the land.