Did you know that 54,000 children in South Carolina are cared for by grandparents or other relatives instead of their parents? Neither did I until I got involved with HALOS. I learned that more and more relatives are taking in children and becoming “kinship caregivers” so that the children will not have to enter foster care. These relatives do not receive financial or any other kind of support. They face tough economic, legal and emotional challenges when they assume primary care and responsibility of their relatives’ children. HALOS was the first organization in our community to provide support and assistance to these special families.
“I found hope, love and acceptance at HALOS when the HALOS staff believed in me.” This was shared by a kinship caregiver at a recent event. HALOS reaches out to kinship caregivers through bi-monthly support group meetings, referrals for services, home visits and respite events. Most kinship caregivers feel isolated and when they suddenly have one or more children in their care, and they don’t know where to turn for help. Participants in HALOS’ program report feeling more supported by their community and more aware of available resources needed for their family.
HALOS is a strong organization with a diverse fundraising base and a record of sound financial management, and this was recognized when HALOS received the 2011 Erin Hardwick Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management from the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations. HALOS, like many nonprofit organizations, has experienced a significant decline in donations this year. We know this is temporary. Summer is a slow fundraising time and we will receive a grant in the spring to expand the kinship care program. But right now, I am reaching out to you for your help in making sure we continue to provide this needed service for kinship families as well as the other ways HALOS helps over 2,000 child abuse victims annually.
Any amount will help. Donations can be made conveniently and easily at the HALOS website at http://www.charlestonhalos.org. You can also contact HALOS directly at 953-3714 for more information or other ways to donate.
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