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Please help me say yes.

Every week I receive scholarship applications from deserving HALO youth from around the world. These youth have grown up in our homes, receiving basic needs and a lot of care. The big question comes when the kids get older and are ready to move from secondary school into college or vocational training. What next? Before HALO, most of these kids …

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So that we have something

At our strategic planning meeting last week our Program Director, Lacy Voight, read the letter below from one of our HALO youth. That night 13 hard working volunteers heard Lacy read the letter. They each went on to share a bit about why they started h…

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HALO Mission Video

HALO’s most recent mission video. Thank you Josh Fry and Ambitious Pixels for volunteering your services to this project!

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8 years old with many layers

This week, Chelsea Herzberg, HALO Center Director shares a story about a talented youth in the Kansas City Center.

8 year old Dakota unknowingly quoted a famous artist. In an interview, artist Robert Rauschenberg was asked, “How do you know when you are finished with a painting?” and Rauschenberg replied, “When I sell it”. Dakota was sharing with HALO Center volunteer, Heidi Wetzel, about the different layers on his painting. Heidi asked Dakota how he would know when he was finished with his piece. Dakota simply replied, “When I give it away.” We’ve got a young artist on our hands!

Dakota also impresses with his vocabulary and intention. When asked about his self-portrait, Dakota went into deep detail about why he chose to layer different colors and why he chose the colors he did. You can see bits of blonde hair poking out above brownish-purple paint; Dakota spent a lot of time adding detail to his shirt, face and hair. Upon what appeared to be a nearly finished piece, Dakota mixed together red, blue and a touch of black and applied as a top layer over his face and shirt.

Layers return in another work of art done by Dakota. In this piece (a quilt block to be added together with many other HALO Center youth’s blocks to create a community art piece that will be displayed throughout Kansas City) Dakota uses black material to symbolize mountains, brown for buildings that make up the cityscape and blue and purple to represent the people living within the city.Dakota has chosen to lay a striped piece of cloth on top to signify how the community quilt will ultimately bring the city together.

Robert Rauschenberg started his art career here in Kanas City at the Art Institute in 1947. Throughout his life, Rauschenberg was able to live in or travel to Paris, North Carolina, New York, Rome, Florence, France, India, China… to name a few. It is inspiring to see how art can transform your life. We can’t wait to see how it will continue to transform the life of young Dakota and many other homeless, foster and at-risk youth in Kansas City.
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I took a hiatus from my posting as I have been reveling in the new addition to our family, Klaebel James Welsh. We adopted him 9 weeks ago and are thrilled to have him with us every minute.Motherhood has shifted my paradigm quite a bit. I have always h…