September 2020
Greetings!

Challenges are a part of life and for most people, facing adversity is difficult and, well, challenging. At Halo House, we face challenges head on, and we address them with a fierce spirit and a major dose of tenacity. If you live in or around Houston, then you might agree that life has most certainly not been boring.  As if a pandemic isn’t enough, we have now been through Hurricane Laura and its aftermath, but, with true Halo House determination, we have faced these obstacles head on and come through them with flying colors! It always amazes me at how reassuring and sometimes even life affirming it is to endure tough times and then reflect on the journey that you and your loved ones have traveled.  It reminds me that life is fragile and unpredictable but that the human spirit can be unparalleled in its resiliency.

As the mother of a young cancer survivor, I know firsthand how frightening it is to hear the news that your loved one has cancer. I know the agonizing pain, the unrelenting fear, and the paralyzing anxiety that a cancer diagnosis can bring.  I spent time bargaining and begging to be allowed to take on my son’s illness – only to know that what I said, did, or promised would not change one little thing about his prognosis. Looking back at my family’s experience and the long scary path from grave illness to vigorous health that my son and my family survived, I am very thankful for wonderful doctors, nurses, social workers, and countless others who provided care and comfort during that dark time.  I am also very grateful for places such as Halo House for providing patients and their families a wonderful home in which to rest their heads at night and while my family did not need to utilize services such as the ones Halo House provides, just knowing that these services were available was a great comfort.

Halo House thrives today because people and organizations in our community and beyond care deeply about people like me and my family.  They care about making a difference in the lives of people that they haven’t even met – and most likely never will meet.  They take the time to donate their time, talent, and treasure through volunteering, providing in-kind services and products, and by giving generously to our bottom line through yearly charitable donations and events such as our upcoming Gala.

In this edition of Halo House Happenings, you will learn of ways that you can support Halo House and the important service that we provide to hundreds of cancer patients and their families each year. I hope that each of you will be inspired to give in a way that is meaningful to you – through your time, talent and treasure – and that you will reap the benefits of giving back to our Halo House community. 

Very Truly Yours,
Kristen Stubbs 
Executive Director 
Halo House Gala Returns: 10th Annual Event! 
We could not be more excited for our 10th annual Halo House Gala – Be Kind & Rewind: Your Favorite Decade Replayed to be held virtually via live streaming on Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Make plans now to join us on November 14th beginning at 6:30 pm for a fun pre-party with the Gala kicking off at 7:00 pm.
Our theme this year is all about fun through the decades (we could all use some fun right about now, don’t you think?) If fun for you now is wearing blue jeans and baggy shirts and eating barbeque, great! If you want to get creative, think back to the best year of your life (or the year that you wish you could replay). Recreate the hairstyles, fashions, food, drinks, and décor of the decade and gather your friends or family around a screen as we celebrate Halo House and the many wonderful accomplishments that we have achieved through the support of so many.

Click here to sign up to be a “Gala Host” of your very own watch party. We have lots of exciting surprises in store for you and your guests and everyone will be able to bid on amazing auction items as well as donate to Halo House right from your phone. Checkout our Gala Toolkit for all things Gala including drink recipes from across the years, tips and hints on how to stream, log in, bid, and donate, as well as information on our Gala chair, the beautiful and talented Cali Sokol and our live auction items.

Not feeling up to hosting a small group? You can also tune in from the comfort of your own living room and curl up with a bowl of popcorn and your favorite pet – no mess, no fuss! Click here to sign up to “attend” the gala – lots of fun included and attendance is free.

Check out our raffle and purchase your winning ticket to score an Apple Watch or a 64GB iPad Air! Tickets are only $5 each or you can be a big spender and buy 5 tickets for $20 – now that’s a great deal! On Wednesday, November 10th, we will pick the winning ticket for the Apple Watch, and on Thursday, November 12th, someone will win the 64GB, iPad Air! Tickets are available now by clicking here and be sure and stay tuned for more information on the drawing for the winners.

And finally, should you or your company want to sponsor the Be Kind & Rewind Gala, please click here to view our sponsor levels and benefits.

We look forward to sharing this unique virtual gala experience with you and your family and friends. Hope to “see” you on November 14th!
Featured Family -
Leonor & Humberto De Los Santos
This month, we want to highlight a very special family at Halo House. Leonor and Humberto De Los Santos just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary and although they couldn’t celebrate with all their friends and family due to COVID-19, their children held a one-of-a-kind celebration in their home. Leonor requested THREE kinds of cake, which their kids were more than happy to have for them, and Humberto just wanted some bbq brisket.


Leonor and Humberto’s daughters, Nilda and Lekki, wanted their parent’s nearest and dearest friends and family to be able to celebrate with them somehow. They traveled from Corpus Christi, Austin, Wimberley, San Antonio and surrounding areas around their hometown to deliver small gold boxes with slices of wedding cake and homemade pan de polvo (Mexican wedding cookies) so everyone could have a little sweet treat just as they would if they would have been able to have a party.
Loved ones were asked to send pictures or little videos of them with their cakes, or just them, sending anniversary wishes in which Nilda and Lekki made into a slide show so Leonor and Humberto could “be” with everyone. The De Los Santos’ son Xavier and his wife put together a beautiful photo collage of ALL the family. They mailed each family household a printed letter to take a photo with, and when all pictures were put together, it read “50 Years of Love”
In these ever changing times, it is nice to take a moment to remember to be thankful and celebrate anyway we can. Congratulations to Leonor & Humberto De Los Santos on an amazing 50 years of love and marriage!
Be The Match Offers Social Services to Halo House Families 
Be The Match (BTM), operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), is one of Halo House Foundation’s wonderful partners. Throughout the years, BTM has provided not only financial support to Halo House but also has provided counseling and social services support to our families. One service BTM provides is one-on-one counseling.

Individual counseling is an opportunity to get support during difficult times. It involves developing a two-way professional relationship between a licensed counselor and the patient or caregiver. The counselor can help identify and resolve personal, social, and emotional problems related to illness and can also help improve coping skills and quality of life. For more information on the resources that are offered by BTM, please click the button below. 

If you or someone you know could benefit from this free support from BTM, please contact a counselor at 1 (888) 999-6743 or patientinfo@nmdp.org.
Halo House Hero - Dixie Neidhardt
Our Halo House Hero for the month of September is Dixie Neidhardt. Dixie is a friend of Halo House Founder, Kathleen Fowler, and just so happened to be searching for a volunteer opportunity around the time Halo House was founded. Dixie likes everything about Halo House but her favorite thing is the basic need that Halo House fulfills for blood cancer patients in treatment at the Texas Medical Center. Being our bookkeeper, Dixie understands finances, especially the financial impact that cancer can have on a family. Cancer “affects you emotionally when you have to spend all your money on treatment and housing needs that come with receiving treatment." Dixie loves that Halo House helps take “stress and emotional problems away from people that stay with us”. 
 
When Dixie first began volunteering at Halo House, it was before Halo House was in the beautiful building we know and love today. Dixie served as an “ambassador” for one of the apartments that Halo House subleased out to patients and their caregivers. Dixie enjoyed getting to know the patients as an ambassador. “Every family I moved in was so appreciative to have a place to stay with us” said Dixie. Dixie is so glad Halo House is now a 33-unit building because it means we get to serve more families in need.
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