Turn ‘Creativity’ Into a Safe Place to Live for Homeless Kids

Nonprofit HALO​ launches a new online ART-a-THON for all ages called #ArtDoesGood​ to benefit at-risk and homeless children around the world. An ART-a-THON is like a marathon except participants are not running, they are creating or performing art.

“Art is good for our mental health. It can be making music, painting, dancing, martial arts, cooking, videos, photography, yoga, whatever your art is,” said HALO Founder and CEO Rebecca Welsh. “2020 has challenged us all, so we created #ArtDoesGood to spread positivity and inspire others through the power of art. We invite you to join this movement because with every hour you spend making, and every piece you take the time to create, you’ll be giving one more homeless child a safe place to call home.”

Individuals and teams of all ages can create their support page at ​haloworldwide.org/artdoesgoodand start making art. They are encouraged to share creative inspiration and inspire others to join and donate to their page. Participants can also simply fundraise for HALO or donate without participating in the creative challenge. Funds raised help provide homeless children with therapeutic art, safety, support, and a path to future success.

“We believe in the work that HALO is doing and love that art is unique and fundamental to HALO’s mission,” said Welsh. “HALO believes art heals, transforms lives, and gives children a safe outlet for self-expression when they feel they don’t have a voice. We all could use #ArtDoesGood right now in our lives to challenge ourselves with creativity, while also helping homeless children.”

#ArtDoesGood is also a collective creative movement to boost mental health during COVID-19. According to a study in June 2020 by the CDC, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation have all increased greatly from the prior year (Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm)

➔ Anxiety Disorder: 25.5% Growth vs. 8.1% Growth from 2018-2019

➔ Depressive Disorder: 24.3% Growth vs. 6.5% Growth from 2018-2019

➔ Suicidal Ideation: 10.7% Growth vs. 4.3% in 2019

HALO Learning Centers across the globe utilize art as a powerful tool to promote healing for HALO youth. Youth who attend the Learning Centers have experienced varying degrees of childhood trauma, including abuse, neglect and homelessness, that they must begin to heal from in order to visualize themselves with a positive, stable future. Rather than having HALO youth explain to yet another person or stranger what has happened to them in the past, HALO gives them the expressive outlet of art to tell their story, to get to know them, and to begin that healing process. Through this method, HALO has seen positive results such as beautiful memorials made for loved ones a child has lost, to youth learning how to accurately identify and express their emotions using different paint colors.

The HALO #ArtDoesGood ART-a-THON is October 12 – December 31, 2020. Participation can start anytime. The campaign goal is to raise $150,000. Matching sponsors include Moroccanoil, WireCo., Mariner Wealth Advisors, and Wagstaff & Cartmell. Sponsorships opportunities are still available h​ere and a downloadable sponsor packet is h​ere. An online #ArtDoesGood Celebration will be January 6 highlighting art from participants and announcing fundraising prizes and totals raised. Interested individuals, groups and businesses can learn more and get involved at haloworldwide.org/artdoesgood,​ email halo@haloworldwide.org or call 816-472-4256.

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 over 1,400 children each year and supports 21 homes and programs around the globe. HALO 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 w​ww.haloworldwide.org.​

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NOTE TO PRESS: If interested in interviewing an #ArtDoesGood participant or HALO Founder Rebecca Welsh, please contact Nicole Gerken at nicolegerken@haloworldwide.org or 816-472-4256. A downloadable news release is also available here.