Holiday Gifts That Give Back: “Handbags for HALO” Online Auction Benefiting Homeless Youth


Kansas City, MOHALO, a nonprofit that helps homeless and at-risk children around the world, premiered its Handbags for HALO auction benefit Nov. 9 at the Crosby Street Hotel in Soho in New York City and will close its online auction on Dec. 4. Anyone can register for free to bid on these exclusive handbags at with all proceeds providing a gift that gives back to homeless children in need. 

Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and more have donated their favorite handbags from their closet or by their favorite designer to directly impact the 3,000 homeless and at-risk youth HALO serves each year. Major Brand participation by Coach, Kate Spade, Herschel Supply Company, Bronx & Banco, Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Il Bisonte, Published By, IRO, Summer Wheat, Mikayla Lane Collection, Dolce and Gabbana, NLA Collection, Jimmy Choo, Ethan K and more. 

“The Handbags for HALO Auction is filled with luxury handbags generously donated by supporters of HALO who want their bag to benefit the homeless kids HALO serves,” said HALO Founder Rebecca Welsh. “Oprah donated two of her favorite bags and even autographed them with a special message! Each bag is a gift that will give back to children in need and is a perfect gift this holiday season.”

For almost 20 years, HALO has provided housing, healing, and education to thousands of homeless and at-risk children around the world. 

During HALO’s New York premiere on Nov. 9, guests joined to see the handbags in person and watch the new HALO Short Film Documentary titled “Caylin” featuring the inspiring story about 25-year-old HALO Alum Caylin, followed by a special Q&A with Caylin and HALO Founder Rebecca Welsh. The event was sponsored by Moroccanoil and was recently featured in The Daily Front Row. Notable guests included Moroccanoil’s Co-Founder Carmen Tal, as well as Sophie Sumner, Greivy, Karina Bik, Daniele Carettoni, Sarah Son, Monica Forman, Gage Kearns, Miracle Laurie, and more. Event photos crediting Sofia Belhouari are available here.

The “Caylin” documentary will premiere locally at “Defying the Odds”: A HALO Art Auction Benefiting Homeless Youth on Saturday, February 24, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. at the Midland Theatre. Her documentary is the third film of the award-winning HALO Stories series that amplifies young voices of homelessness. 

“HALO believes every child should have the support of a family,” said Welsh. “For years, we’ve supported kids like Caylin, who share powerful stories of resilience and become contributing members of our community. When we invest in our kids, their life’s trajectory can positively change forever.” 

HALO provides the foundation of a family by providing homeless kids a safe place to sleep and fulfilling a spectrum of needs, from simply surviving the night to surviving their first job interview to helping them learn how to make it on their own as successful young adults. 

“HALO met Caylin at the age of 15 when she was in search of stability and a safe place to live and raise her baby Avalynn,” Welsh said. “Caylin was a hardworking, young teen mom, who wanted to give her daughter everything she could. Through the years, she has remained involved with HALO and always comes “Home” for the holidays. Caylin graduated high school and went on to college. She has a secure job with benefits and just bought her first home. Caylin dreams of creating the best life for her 10-year-old daughter Avalynn to provide her with the opportunities she never had. When we invest in the youth of our communities, great things happen. Caylin just needed some support, and she absolutely deserved it. She has broken the cycle for her daughter Avalynn and generations to come.”

HALO Alum Caylin shared at the HALO New York Premiere event, “When you help someone like me, you’re not only helping me, but you’re helping the next generation. You’re helping my daughter have a better life. So the fact that I can give her a good life, she can give her kids a great life, and we can have a better world."

In 2013, HALO Founder Rebecca Welsh was selected for the Moroccanoil® INSPIRED BY WOMEN™ Short-Film Series directed by Bryce Dallas Howard entitled “Rebecca’s Story”, and Caylin was featured in this film. Moroccanoil and HALO celebrate 10 years of this impactful partnership. 

In the greater Kansas City area, HALO serves 700+ homeless youth in the HALO Learning Center. The Learning Center’s main objective is to educate and heal youth to help them set and attain goals for their future. Each night, HALO youth are served a warm meal, participate in programs, and are surrounded by positive role models, including HALO Staff and trained volunteers. Programs facilitated at the HALO Learning Center include Education, Art and Life Skills, and Specialized Individual Services. The new Kansas City HALO project opens in Spring 2024. This includes a Boys Home, Girls Home and expanded Learning Center, allowing HALO to serve over 800 kids per year in Kansas City. Ongoing project updates are here.

The number of homeless children is growing every day. The demand is outpacing the supply. As cited on Voices of Youth Count, each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness, of which 700,000 are unaccompanied minors, meaning they are not part of a family or accompanied by a parent or guardian. On any given night, approximately 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness.

The Handbags for HALO online auction opened Nov. 1st and will close Dec. 4th. All winners will be notified once the auction closes to coordinate handbag deliveries. 


HALO believes every child should have the foundation of a family. Since 2005, HALO has provided love in the form of housing, healing and education to heal homeless and at-risk children. Featured in the Moroccanoil INSPIRED film series, “American Spirit” of CBS Evening News, “Heroes Among Us” and “25 Women Changing the World” of PEOPLE magazine, “The Today Show,” Variety Magazine, and Oprah Daily, HALO serves over 3,000 children and supports 15 programs around the globe each year. It has Learning Centers and Housing programs in Kansas City, and Jefferson City, Missouri, and art programming in New York and Portland. HALO also supports orphanages and programs in Uganda, Kenya, Mexico and India. Learn how Love Heals at HALO and help one more child spend one less day alone at


If interested in interviewing HALO Founder Rebecca Welsh, please contact [email protected].

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