Community members have an opportunity to extend their support to homeless youth as HALO celebrates its ninth annual Artreach Auction from 6:30-10:30 p.m March 3.
Rebecca Walsh, executive director of the Jefferson City HALO, is excited for two reasons: This will be the first time it will be hosted at the new HALO location on 3519 Bennett Lane; and this is an opportunity to continue building onto the foundation of support the organization already has.
"Our goal is to provide our youth with a sense of family — those who stand behind them and continue to support them throughout their journey," Welsh said. "For instance, when a kid goes off to college, we want them to be able to come back and enjoy their holidays with us, but we need people who can support us monthly or annually."
Welsh explained the art auction began as a way to get kids to communicate with them, letting the counselors peek inside of what they have been through. Eventually, the youth started giving the art pieces to HALO, and since then, the organization has auctioned them off as a way to raise funds for the organization.
This year, there will be artwork that depicts various stories of HALO youth, complimentary to the event's theme surrounding storytelling.
"This is one way that the artists have used their talent to connect with the youth, ultimately amplifying their voices," Welsh said. "The youth will also be on site to share their stories and the way they were able to overcome their struggles."
The first HALO fundraiser raised $35,000; Welsh said the amount has risen every year.
"I would love to thank all of the donors — you know who you are," Welsh said. "This is an opportunity for the community to come out and see what they have done for our organization. If you save one kid's life or their trajectory, you can change the community."
The event will be at the former Rickman Center, located at 3519 Bennett Lane. Tickets can be purchased at haloworldwide.org/jc-artreach-auction.