How The HALO Foundation Is Helping Children Around The World

by Eddie Roche

While on a mission trip in Honduras, Rebecca Welsh encountered a 6-year- old homeless child who begged her for water. The life-changing moment led her to found The HALO Foundation, whose goal is to help children around the world. She tells THE DAILY SUMMER about their incredible work.

For those who haven’t heard of it, what does HALO do?
HALO is the foundation of a family for children without one. We provide housing, healing, and education to at- risk and homeless youth around the world.

Why is the foundation called HALO?
HALO stands for Helping Art Liberate Orphans. As you can imagine, the youth we serve suffer from trauma, neglect, and abuse. Therapeutic art has been an incredible tool for our kids to use for expression, to heal from their pasts, understand their present, and set goals for their futures.

What have the goals been for you to help children?
Our goals are to give children the foundation of a family. This means exposing them to and teaching them about life skills, ranging from how to make a bed to how to successfully do a job interview. Our programs meet basic needs to long-term needs.

Why are you personally connected to helping kids?
When I was right out of college, I did a mission trip in Honduras for six months. I met a 6-year-old named Daisy who was living on the streets, begging me for water. I knew in that moment that my life had changed, and I knew my calling was to help kids like her.

Why do you think people can relate to HALO?
I think people can relate to the mission of HALO. Everyone needs and deserves a family, and all of us have something to give. You may have an aunt or a neighbor who taught you a skill that impacted your life.

You got a boost from Oprah Winfrey. How did the O factor help you?
Oprah’s support has been helpful from behind the scenes to helping us get the word out about our work. We’re grateful to have her as a mentor and as a voice committed to helping children who are in the greatest need.

What do the donations do for the kids?
Every donation is important to our kids. Their needs range from food to dental care to prom dresses to having safe shelter over their heads each night.

Your alumni have gone on to some amazing life milestones. Who are some of the superstars who have accomplished great things, and where did they come from?
We have two great HALO alum stories to share from our recent short-story documentary series of Ziere and Marjai [Neal]. This is a special series to amplify young voices of homelessness. Ziere was brought to the HALO Boys Program, which focuses on providing the foundation of a family for children without one. Through mentorship, tutoring, and connections to community resources, boys in the program are given a chance to reach their full potential. Marjai joined HALO when she was 10 years old while staying in a homeless shelter and participating in HALO therapeutic art programs. Her powerful story is one of many we can share of HALO kids who had one chance to make a change, one person to turn to, or one volunteer who stepped up. Just like that, both their life’s trajectory positively changed forever.

You have had the support of Moroccanoil and it’s co-founder Carmen Tal. How did your relationship begin, and what has their support meant to the organization?
We met Moroccanoil about eight years ago when they started their Inspired by Women campaign. Their support has been an integral part of HALO. They’re always willing to help us, not only by amplifying our voice but through product donations, sponsorship, and by doing drives for our youth. We’re beyond grateful to have Carmen Tal and the Moroccanoil team as part of the HALO family. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.

What have been some of your best moments collaborating and partnering together?
It’s hard to choose! The Inspired by Women campaign has amplified the voices of the youth we serve in ways we could have never imagined. We have gained the support of thousands of important donors, volunteers, and celebrities who continue to be involved. It will continue to have a ripple effect on our organization for years to come.

What have you learned from Carmen Tal about leadership?
One of the things I have learned from Carmen over the years is that she leads from the heart. Moroccanoil is such an incredible brand and is such a generous company. Her passion to build the company while giving back at the same time makes such an impact on those who are part of the Moroccanoil team and on the organizations they support. We love working with the Moroccanoil team. Their passion to serve others is inspiring, and I believe this comes from the top.

How can people learn more about HALO?
By visiting our website at haloworldwide.org.

What is your long-term dream for HALO?
There’s such a need for ongoing, consistent love and care for homeless and at-risk youth. My dream for HALO is that we’re able to serve children in need across America

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