In December the Little Heroes Foundation issued two new grants for $5,000 each. One grant was given to the HALO Foundation headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri and the second was given to Friday’s Kids Respite located in Utah County.
The HALO (Helping Art Liberate Orphans) Foundation provides orphans around the world with basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, clothing, etc., as well as provides education and art therapy to help them overcome past traumatic experiences and prepare for the future. Founded in 2005 by Rebecca Welsh, HALO now has orphanages located in Missouri, Colorado, Mexico, India, Nicaragua, Kenya and Uganda. Some of the artwork that children create during therapy is brought to the Unites States and auctioned off to raise support for the continuation of programs. Currently, HALO is also creating Educational Centers at each of the orphanages in order to provide the orphans with a better education.
Friday’s Kids Respite provides care for children with special needs in order to help strengthen their families. On Friday or Saturday nights parents and families can drop off their child to be taken care of for the evening. Volunteers spend the evening one-on-one with a child and qualified nurses are in attendance to give children any needed medical attention. Friday’s Kids has three separate locations throughout Utah in Orem, Salem and Lehi. The foundation was co-founded in 2001 by Diane McNeill, a mother of a special-needs boy, and Kimber Dower, an Occupational Therapist. Seeing a need in the community for this type of care, McNeill and Dower partnered to create respite care for families of children with special needs in Utah County. In 2008-2009, Friday’s Kids held over 80 sessions, providing care for 45 families.