When you grow up worried about what you're going to eat and where you're going to sleep, you don't have much time for things like buttercream frosting and decorations. The holidays can be a difficult time of year when you're used to spending them alone. At HALO, we want to remind every child that they are loved.
The month has been filled with new traditions like going to see light displays, putting up decorations, decorating cookies, and receiving gifts. We hope that happy moments like shopping together for a holiday outfit, or looking at lights with hot chocolate in hand, will show them that family can mean love, acceptance, and a better future.
Sometimes we take gifts of necessity for granted, but for our kids, they're often the greatest gifts. This year, we celebrated our very first 12 Days of Christmas in Jefferson City with gifts donated by our amazing volunteers and local organizations. One resident even said, “I can't believe this is really mine, and I get to keep it” as she opened her new blow dryer.
In Kansas City, we celebrated our Annual Holiday Party on December 13th. Nearly 40 HALO children celebrated by decorating cookies, crafting holiday cards, eating a meal together, and taking photos. At the end of the evening, the children got to visit our Holiday Shop to pick out a gift for themselves and something to give to a friend. Thank you to Apex Systems for turning the Learning Center into a magical place and volunteering at the party, our Advocate Board for collecting so many amazing gifts, Mariner Wealth Advisors for providing Holiday Shop gifts and to the Hollo Family for making the delicious dinner.
Most of our youth did not come from families that had the opportunity to make holidays memorable. We are working to change that. As HALO Jefferson City Director, Suzy Wilson said, “We hope that all our kids are exposed to happy holiday traditions here that they can take with them to their families for years to come." By starting these new traditions, our hope is that our kids can begin to see the kind of future that's possible for them and break the cycle.
Find out how you can get involved this holiday season here.