By Anne O’Meara, Executive Director
In last month’s newsletter, we shared that over the past year HALO has touched the lives of many patients, families, and caregivers. Whether by battling medical futility policies, fighting unjust discrimination, praying with or for patients and Helpline callers, HALO truly made a difference. While we are proud of HALO’s accomplishments in 2020, we are even more excited to see what we can do in 2021! Below are some of the activities and projects we are already working on.
Prayer Warriors – In our world today, we are engaged in spiritual warfare. As is written in Ephesians 6: 10-18:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. [Emphasis added.]
To combat the spiritual warfare we are facing, we recently created a Prayer Director position filled by HALO Board Member Mary Merrit. By creating this position, we are officially acknowledging that prayer is an indispensable and fundamental element of HALO’s life-affirming mission. As part of this initiative, we soon will be introducing the HALO Prayerline in addition to the HALO Helpline!
COVID-19 Care Facility Visitation – Due to COVID-19, many care facility residents across the country have been denied the right to receive visitors – this includes visits from family members and members of the clergy. In recent weeks, HALO has been hearing from family members and clergy who have been unable to gain entry to care facilities. HALO is in the process of creating a brochure that outlines actions you should take if you are unable to visit your loved ones or people in need of your spiritual support in a care facility. This brochure will be ready for distribution within the next few weeks.
HALO Website Transformation – Halovoice.org contains many inspirational stories, informative resources, helpful tools, and so much more! However, we recognize that it is sometimes difficult to quickly find the information you are searching for. Therefore, in 2021, we will be transforming the HALO website to make it easy to find the information you need.
Multi-generational Outreach – It is an indisputable fact that our children are the future of the pro-life movement. With that in mind, it is critical that we educate the younger generation on the sanctity of every human life. In 2021, expect to see projects and initiatives that encompass all age groups.
Church Pilot – Churches can provide a wonderful opportunity to promote HALO’s life-affirming, life-saving services and to expand our network. We currently have a pilot program for churches underway in Oregon and hope to use this model in other parts of the country to help local volunteers start such programs in their churches.
Community Patient Advocate/Ambassador Role – In addition to our volunteer Helpline Patient Advocates, we plan to introduce the role of Community Patient Advocate/Ambassador. The primary role of these volunteers will be to heighten awareness of the life issues and spread the word about HALO’s work throughout their communities.
Social Media Presence – Over the last several months, we have witnessed unprecedented censorship of internet communications. It has become more than clear that not all views are welcome. We don’t expect to be canceled any time soon, but we are in the process of setting up alternative communication channels so that HALO’s voice for the vulnerable can continue to be heard.
Foundation Grants – Financial grants from foundations provide critical assistance to nonprofit organizations like HALO, making it possible for nonprofits to continue the charitable work we do. We are always on the lookout for a foundation who embraces HALO’s mission to protect and defend the medically vulnerable. If you know of a foundation that might be a good fit for HALO, we would love to hear from you!
The above are just some of the projects we will do our best to accomplish in 2021. We hope you are as enthusiastic about these activities as HALO’s board members, staff, volunteers, and advisors are. If you would like to comment or share ideas for new projects you would like us to focus on, please send an email with your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please pray with us that, in the months and years ahead, HALO will continue to faithfully serve the medically vulnerable. We invite you to join with us to accomplish this mission. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller
This will be our last monthly e-newsletter. In place of our e-newsletters, we will be sending weekly email news/action Alerts. Additionally, we offer a quarterly print edition HALO Herald newsletter. If you are not already receiving our quarterly print newsletter , please provide your contact information here.
On January 16 and January 23, 2021, Anglicans for Life hosted its annual Summit: Mobilizing the Church for Life. At this event, Julie Grimstad, HALO’s Board President, spoke about the role of patient advocates and how the shift in medical ethics has impacted patient advocacy efforts.
As a relative, friend or volunteer, have you ever been called upon to support/advocate for a person in a healthcare setting? This patient advocacy video will answer the most common questions when assisting those who are medically vulnerable. Watch it here.