HOMELESSNESS HURTS. ART HEALS.

“Defying the Odds”: A Livestream HALO Art Auction Benefiting Homeless Youth Feb. 25

Watch HALO Film Premiere Featuring HALO Youth Ziere with Special Guest Appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Salma Hayek and More, Musical Performances Headlined by Sister Sledge ft. Sledgendary

Kansas City, MO HALO, a nonprofit that helps homeless and at-risk children around the world, is hosting its Virtual Art Auction fundraiser on Fri., Feb. 25, 2022, showcasing stories of HALO youth “Defying the Odds.” This is an action-packed night featuring entertainment, the HALO Documentary Short Film Premiere “Ziere”, and a live and silent auction. It is free to watch on HALO’s Youtube Channel @HALOEmpowersYouth. Special guest appearances by Oprah Winfrey, Salma Hayek, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gillian Flynn, Nigel Barker and Jack Barker, Riley Smith, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Salvador ​​Pérez, Sophie Grace, Tamara Day, Veronica Beard, Walker Hayes and many more celebrity surprises.

“HALO loves kids into a new way of life,” said Oprah Winfrey at the 2021 HALO Art Auction. 

Special musical performances include Sister Sledge ft. Sledgendary (Grammy nominated “We Are Family”), the multi-talented Blessing Offor, a soul-stirring singer/songwriter, and Tigirlily a chart-topping country music sister duo. Academy of Country Music Award Winner Tenille Townes visited HALO youth in Kansas City recently giving an encore HALO event performance. Pre-Show is 6:30 p.m. CST and the Program is from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. CST.

For over 17 years, HALO has provided housing, healing and education to thousands of homeless and at-risk children around the world, with locations in the US, Mexico, India, Kenya and Uganda. 

“HALO has seen a 62% increase of need with the rise of youth homelessness during this global pandemic,” said HALO Founder and CEO Rebecca Welsh. “Our work has become even more critical with so many kids who were living on the brink of homelessness who are now in dire need of support. It’s a simple question - How do we reach more kids? We need more people to help. HALO is fueled by volunteers, and this year we are so proud to announce that Oprah will join us again along with other actors, artists and musicians all lending their voices to help. Any donation can make a difference, big or small.

Nineteen-year-old HALO Youth Ziere is featured in the HALO Short Film Documentary premiering at the virtual auction. 

Welsh said, “Ziere’s story of resilience is one that will capture hearts around the world. He was born with a heart defect and doctors told his young mother he would not make it but for a few days. Ziere didn’t talk until age 3 and walk until age 4. He survived countless surgeries during his childhood and was called a ‘walking miracle.’ Ziere was never allowed to play sports because of his condition, but it remained one of his dreams.”

Ziere was brought to the HALO Boys Program that focuses on providing the foundation of a family for children without one. Through mentorship, tutoring, and connections to community resources, boys in the program are given a chance to reach their full potential. As part of the Boys Program, HALO started its first AAU Basketball team in 2021 called HALO Heat. This team is for kids with all different abilities, many of whom have never had the chance to play on a sports team. 

“Ziere was thrilled when he was invited to be part of the team,” Welsh said. “He suited up for every game and although he could only play for a minute or two at a time, the entire gym would light up when he played in a game. Ziere became an instant HALO super star on the court.”                     

Ziere said his proudest moment was winning a third-place medal in one of the tournaments. He and the other boys at HALO have formed a brotherhood that is much like a family, and it has been their safe-haven through tough times. 

Welsh shared, “Ziere had a difficult year. His mother passed away unexpectedly in March of 2021, which has been absolutely heartbreaking for him. Ziere continues to defy the odds. He was hospitalized with COVID-19 and survived. Ziere will soon be placed on a heart transplant list. Through it all, Ziere continues to be the brightest light in any room, bringing hope and laughter to everyone around him. It is our goal to shower Ziere with love and share his story with the world so that others can be inspired by his positive energy.”

The HALO Virtual Auction is free. Watch from the comfort of your home or host a HALO Watch Party with family and friends to make a big impact. HALO has a goal to have at least one Watch Party in every State. Register at haloworldwide.org/artauction. As featured on The CBS Evening News, the live and silent HALO auction boasts items from HALO youth, professional artists, businesses and individuals for almost 20 years. The Executive Producer Presenting Sponsor is Mariner Wealth Advisors.

ABOUT SPECIAL GUESTS AND EXCLUSIVE AUCTION ITEMS:

    • Oprah Winfrey: Talk show host, media executive, actress, author, and philanthropist. Winfrey donated two pairs of autographed shoes by Sophia Webster and Jimmy Choo.
    • Salma Hayek: Actress and producer. Hayek donated a day and night bag. The day bag is a one-of-a-kind Gucci bag with the letter S for Salma. Her night bag is a Gucci.
    • Bryce Dallas Howard: Actress and Director. Howard donated movie set collectibles from Mandalorian and Jurassic World, including tickets to Universal Parks or Disney Parks and a personalized video message as a favorite character she has played in a movie.
    • Gillian Flynn: Author of Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Gone Girl, all three of which have been adapted for film or television. Flynn donated books from her private collection with a personalized message.
    • Nigel Barker & Jack Barker, 16: Famed Photographer, TV Personality, Creative Director and Dad to Jack, creator of the new JacksMonstars NFT art collection. Jack donated a Monstar designed specifically for HALO. 
    • Riley Smith: Actor and musical artist donated a signed pair of his character Ryan Hudson’s boots from Riley’s starring role on CW’s “Nancy Drew”. 
    • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: English model and actress. She donated a white leather Salvatore Ferragamo shoulder bag.
    • Sophie Grace, 15: 2021 Emmy Award Winner for her role as Kristy Thomas on "The Baby-Sitters Club" donated three items from her closet, including a pair of earrings made personally, and a Zoom meet and greet with Sophie Grace and 6 of the winning bidder's friends.
    • Tamara Day: Interior Designer and Host of Magnolia Network's Bargain Mansions in addition to owning Growing Days Home, a retail and design company. Day donated artwork by Lorra Kurtz, as seen on Season 4 of Bargain Mansions.
    • Veronica Beard: Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard are entrepreneurs, fashion designers and co-founders of Veronica Beard, a contemporary fashion company. They donated a shopping gift card and a Dickey Jacket of choice at Veronica Beard.
    • Walker Hayes: 2022 Grammy Award nominee for Best Country Song "Fancy Like" performed at Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship Game. Hayes donated a signed basketball, two tickets and a backstage meet and greet to any Fancy Like Tour concert.
    • And many more surprises! 

      Register to bid on these exclusive live auction packages at haloworldwide.org/artauction.

      ABOUT HALO:

      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,” and Variety Magazine, HALO serves nearly 3,000 children and supports 11 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 www.haloworldwide.org.

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      If interested in interviewing HALO Founder Rebecca Welsh and/or need access to our online media kit, please contact nicolegerken@haloworldwide.org. 

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