Today we’re checking in with Rebecca Welsh, Founder of the HALO Foundation and one of our partners for our Inspired by Women™ platform. Watch the video below for more information about HALO, then read on to find out more about how she got started, what she’s been up to recently and how you can help.
Tell us about how The HALO Foundation got started. What’s your mission as an organization?
I lived in Honduras for 6 months right out of college. During this time, I met a little girl named Daisy. She was 6 years old and had nobody to care for her. She lived on the street with other children her age. Once I met her, I knew I could never go back to life as it was before.
HALO’s mission is to help one more child spend one less day alone. We do this by providing housing, healing, and education to children in need around the world. We are the foundation of a family for children without one.
How have things changed for HALO since you participated in the Moroccanoil Inspired by Women campaign?
So much has changed since we were selected to be part of the Moroccanoil Inspired by Women campaign. Doors have opened for us that we never would have imagined. This campaign has helped us tell our story in a way that inspires others to give and to get involved and for that we are incredibly grateful to Moroccanoil.
What has surprised you most about working with homeless and at-risk children and teens?
I am surprised every day by the incredibly sad stories that come across my desk. But to balance that out, I am surprised by the resilience of the children. Once they are given a safe place and the love of a family, they are able to defy the odds that have been stacked against them.
What’s something people probably don’t know about homelessness?
People are usually unaware that many homeless children don’t want to be identified as such. They are hiding in the shadows, sleeping in compromising situations, and walking through the mall like any other child. They don’t want anyone to know because it is humiliating.
What’s most rewarding about your work?
The most rewarding part of our work is watching the kids grow up and support themselves. Their self-worth and pride shines so bright because they have come so far.
What are the greatest challenges you face as an organization?
Our greatest challenge is always finding funding to support our children on a long-term basis. We are always searching for donors who are committed to helping us keep the promises we make to the children we support.
What’s next for HALO?
We continue to open our doors to children in need. With every donation, we are able to open another door. It may be giving a child warm socks in the winter or a safe bed to sleep in. With every dollar we raise, an impact is made.
How can people help?
The best way that someone can help is by making a donation. We value our donors at every level because every penny counts and we cannot do what we do without the tremendous support of our global community. There are so many ways that one can donate, whether it is one time, recurring, or through their planned giving. Every gift is needed and greatly appreciated.
What inspires you to help others?
I believe we are born with empathy and compassion, and when I see the single mom of two reaching in her pockets to give what she can, I am inspired. Or to watch a child that we support, give back, maybe not monetarily, but with a helping hand to a peer in a similar situation. I am continuously inspired by those less fortunate.
What does women helping other women mean to you?
Empowered women, empower women. We need to unite to make this world a better place.
Tell us about the salon in Uganda. What was your goal when creating it?
The Uganda Salon is located in the HALO Learning Center the goal was for young at risk and homeless women to have a place to sharpen their skill to become a hairstylist to one day support themselves and their families. When they graduate the receive a certificate that they can use to get a job or start a salon of their own.
What inspired you to begin the salon licensing and mentor program?
Our girls needed a place to learn and grow and feel comfortable to make mistakes and learn from them.