The holidays are meant to be special, a time of giving and love when we are all reminded of what is important. At HALO, the holidays are extra special because we get to help our kids experience the magic that can be felt when you're loved. Many of them for the first time. At our Girls Home in Jefferson City, we planned an entire month of activities to help our girls learn about new traditions and experience all the holidays have to offer. They visited the tree lighting at the Governor's Mansion, decorated cookies, and made special holiday recipes.
We couldn't make the holiday happen on our own and are always so grateful to special volunteers and donors who make sure our kids have special gifts to open. This month, we want to recognize our Jefferson City Volunteers of the Month who took wish lists from all our Jefferson City Girls Home kids and makes sure their wishes come true. They truly make Christmas happen in Jefferson City. They also make sure there are gifts for the HALO Alumni to stop by and pick up for themselves and their children. This year, we owe a special thank you to Libby Farmer, Anne Rost, Kathi Harness, Amy Freeman, Jamie Farmer, Allison Kingsbury, Jody Mow, Kelly Jackson, Mary Jo Schneiders, Sarah Carden, Sally Moore, Nikki Thompson, Jessica Christiansan, Sarah Alsager, Maria Vogel, Kim Vogel, Jen Schnieders, Ashley Freeman, Lesha Neidert, Morgan Lehmen, Lindsay Rowden, Brandi Bax, St. Martin's Catholic School, Allergy and Asthma Consultant, and Heisinger Bluffs. They made sure that no child was left without some holiday happiness.
Each year, our current HALO youth enjoy an evening at home with each other and HALO staff opening their special gifts and eating a delicious meal. This year, our favorite moment was when one of our current youth started to open a gift and got a bit emotional. "I can't remember the last time I opened a gift," she stated and went on to let us know that holidays weren't celebrated at her house. We are grateful to have given her a moment to be celebrated and hopeful she felt the love of every volunteer and donor who put their heart into making this a happy HALO Holiday.
At HALO Kansas City, our kids live all around the city, but we always want them to know that HALO stands for love and home. We make memories together with special holiday snacks and crafts during our programming time throughout the month.
We understand that the holidays can be difficult for our kids and their families, both emotionally and financially. Because of that, our incredibly generous volunteers take wishlists from our kids and do their best to make their wishes come true. These sensational people take time to choose and purchase gifts, wrap them with each child in mind, and then some even hand-deliver them to homes and shelters all around the Kansas City area. We truly have the greatest volunteers in the world. This holiday season would not have been possible without the help of our Kansas City Volunteers of the Month: Katrina Radenberg & Mariner, Mandy Frey, Nikki Barker, Julie Arnold, Catherine Kelly, Lindsey Smith, Christi Mynatt, Lisa Knight & the folks at The Woods of Cherry Creek Apartments, Torchy's Tacos, and Apex. Thank you all for making this holiday extra special.
Our HALO Boys Program in Jefferson City is an incredible group of young men who are always ready to make a difference. It has become a yearly tradition for our boys to get special gifts to give to their families during the holidays. It is incredible to see their excitement at giving a gift to someone they love, many of them for the first time. They carefully select the right present and wrap them together while enjoying dinner. We are grateful to the generous donors that see the importance of empowering these young men to give during the holiday season. Special thanks to our Jefferson City Volunteers of the Month that made this possible: Vera and Matt Schmitz, Donald White, Kelsie & Joe Holahan, Linda Brannon, Matt & Carly Roach, Gant Elmore, Corey Norton, April Harper, Britnee Kenyon, Drew Logeman, Derek Messmer, Griffen Dahlstrom, Meredith Elmore, Leandra Hulett, and John & Kayla Neuenswander.
As our boys have time off school, we make sure there are outings and exciting traditions they can participate in to show them their worth, and help them make new memories of the holiday season.