There is nothing more wonderful than witnessing the compassion of others. We are constantly moved by the goodness of the heart and watching others help others motivates us to get involved. The joy felt by the giver and the receiver is contagious, which is why we always cry at the rescue stories we see on TV. We already know how harsh our world can be so witnessing everyday heroes is powerful.
When asking folks to volunteer for HALO, there is no need for us to share the painful stories of the children we serve. You know their stories. You know if they are in foster care or of if they are adopted, at some point in their life they were rejected by the people that were first in line to protect and love them.
When asking others to volunteer for HALO, we are straight forward in telling our success stories. We say, “Just watch as the children come ‘on-line.’ Watch how their families are no longer frustrated and watch for the laughter and the creativity of a child that feels safe.” After all, people are donating their time and resources so they can impact the future in a positive way not so they can dwell in the pain of the past.
HALO is here to tell you to focus on what happens next. ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE HEALING! Focus on what HALO and you are doing together. Put all your energy into the solution. Rejoice here, sing praises from the roof tops – you are the one who gets to be a part of bringing healing to a family. HALO is successful and we invite you to be a part of it.
There are so many caring people out there who desire to help but do not know how. They may not be able to be a foster parent or adopt but have a heart for children. HALO can help you with that. We have an amazing new way for you to volunteer – FORM A “PRAISORSHOP TEAM!”
A Praisorship Team is a team of individuals that come together to support one family participating in the HALO project. You volunteer to be a team leader and then you form your team. Many of you are already a member of a Praisorship Team, you just CALL IT bible study, Lifegroup, playgroup, men’s group, PTA or Buncko group. Many of you are not already in a group but have the desire to make meaningful connections with others and can use this as your opportunity to bring people together.
One way YOUR TEAM shows love to the HALO families is by providing a meal during their HALO class time. This meal sends a message that they are supported as well as strengthens their mood and ability to cope with all they are trying to accomplish. Each team commits to bringing a meal to the participants one night during the program. This means you would deliver the meal to the location of the HALO program and generally provide enough food to feed 12.
In addition, your team would commit to donating much needed craft supplies and fidgets. Fidgets are small toys the children can hold to help calm them down and to help them focus. HALO uses A LOT of fidgets! HALO would supply your team with a list of supplies to gather and donate. Since fidgets are sometimes hard to find, your team can donate an amount of your choice to the HALO Fidget Fund and we will shop for you. Each child that goes through the program receives 11 fidgets by the time we finish the program.
In addition, each team is given the option of praying for the family weekly. Due to the fact that HALO is not formally a faith-based program, families and praisorship teams can privately opt out of the prayer request option.
How does the Praisorship Team witness healing?
The HALO staff will send each team leader an email update each week as well as a prayer request as the family goes through the program. Each week, the HALO Buddy that works directly with the child writes something cute the child did that week and the family writes out the prayer request themselves. The names of children and families would not be released to protect confidentiality.
Here is the interesting part. We piloted this program a few months ago to see if was impactful. HALO had 6 amazing teams that were invested in these families. I witnessed a softened mood and a more loving start to each HALO class as the families came together to share a meal. I witnessed the buddies excited to share the progress of each child with the team and I witnessed an increased level of hope by the families as they wrote out their prayer requests. As for the teams, I witnessed individuals feeling good about being a part of the solution. So much that one team brought meals for 4 nights!!!! These teams were given unique insight into the foster care world and great discussions about the system resulted. They all wanted to do more. Also, HALO is using the money we saved on buying supplies to expand our program to more locations in the fall.
Please join the HALO team by become a Praisorship Team Leader. If you would like to enlist, just email us at email@example.com. We will help you by coming out to talk to your group directly. Thank you in advance and we can’t wait to work with you!
To sign up to bring a meal – click here: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/9040D4EACAA2BAB9-meals/17488030
To sign up to bring supplies – click here: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/9040D4EACAA2BAB9-supplies/17488030
Cindy R. Lee, LCSW, LADC
HALO Project Executive Director