In honor of Father’s Day, we would like to highlight some of the important men involved in our HALO Kansas City program. These strong fathers and father figures make a huge impact on our youth.
DEREK YU - Derek has been volunteering with HALO for over a year and a half now. He consistently attends art workshops to serve our youth in the Learning Center and pours his heart into every minute he is there. Learn a bit about his experience with HALO below.
Why did you choose to volunteer with HALO initially? I was searching for opportunities to make an active impact on the community.
What does HALO mean to you? HALO is family. It’s a place where anyone can find a support group, decompress, while also having a lot of fun.
What is one lesson you have learned from HALO and its youth? Practice active listening. I have a habit of thinking how I will respond and end up missing what is being shared.
What is your favorite part of volunteering in the Learning Center? I witness the creation of awesome art week in, week out. Not sure how many others get that privilege!
What do you hope HALO youth can learn from you? Feel your emotions fully. Don’t avoid them.
OSCAR - Oscar is one of our HALO youth in the Kansas City program who has continually impressed us as a father. He is a dad to his young son Kai and also has adopted his younger brother to raise. Oscar has been an active member of the HALO community for years and still attends many of our events throughout the year. We are so proud of him and his ability to step up as a positive influence for his brother and son.
See what Kansas City Program Director Carly Manijak has to say about Oscar below!
"Truly, seeing Oscar as a dad has been one of our greatest full circle moments at HALO. It’s clear that his son is a happy child growing up in a supportive environment. Oscar has brought him to multiple HALO events, such as our HALO Family Thanksgiving, and we have been able to help collect Holiday Gifts for them. Not only is Oscar showing daily love and unwavering support for his own kiddo, he also has taken over caring for his younger brother. He is definitely a role model for them both."
TODD LOWENSTEIN - Todd has been volunteering with HALO for 6 months. He is a great positive influence in art workshops week after week. Learn more about Todd and his service to HALO below.
Why did you choose to volunteer with HALO initially? Because of a love for those in need, particularly kids.
What does HALO mean to you? HALO means another way for me to feel connected to the community.
What is one word you would use to describe HALO? Inspirational.
What is your favorite part of volunteering in the Learning Center? Seeing the smiling faces on the kids when they can just be kids for an hour.
What do you hope HALO youth can learn from you? That there will always be someone who cares about them.