By Mary Merritt

It is likely that many of you have “stepped outside the box" sometime in your life. If so, it probably was neither an easy nor a comfortable experience. However, when embarking on a new venture, having a goal keeps a person focused, trusting and persevering, especially when it involves the work of God’s Kingdom.

Last month, a group of us stepped out in faith, forming the Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization (HALO). The HALO board officers are people whose names many of you will recognize: Julie Grimstad, President; Jo Tolck, Vice President; Mary Merritt, Secretary (as well as Executive Director); and Ann Olson, Treasurer. It is our prayer that many of you, individuals and organizations, will support HALO and join with us to accomplish the mission of promoting, protecting and advocating for the rights of the medically vulnerable.

The dictionary lists a number of synonyms for the word support: advocate, uphold, assist and help. “Support” means "to promote the interests; to serve as a foundation; to hold up; and to keep going." We, the founders of HALO, wish to express our gratitude for support already received and for assistance HALO will receive to keep going and growing.

1.  We are grateful for the support of dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced and well-respected individuals who are serving on HALO’s board of directors.

2. We are also thankful for the leaders of important ministries and individuals with specific expertise who generously said “yes” when asked to share their wisdom and talents as member of HALO’s advisory board.

3. We appreciate and are indebted to family and friends who encourage and accompany us on this journey.

4. To everyone who has asked to receive the HALO Monthly newsletter because you desire to become better informed on the issues, we express our gratitude. Please share this newsletter with others. You are invited to be our grassroots supporters who help educate others, contribute articles, and donate time and talent.

5. Funding is often the first thing to be associated with support. HALO definitely has financial needs and goals. We appreciate donations of any amount.

6. We mention last the most important help—prayer support! Prayer is vitally important. Please ask God to keep us focused and faithful to our mission. Pray for our board of directors, our board of advisors, their organizations and their families. Pray for more individuals and organizations to join with us to assist the medically vulnerable and their families. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Already we have had answers to prayer. Doors are opening before us. In future issues of the HALO Monthly, we will keep you informed about how our prayers are being answered.

In the past two months, we have done a number of things to lay a solid foundation for HALO. We are incorporated and have filed for 501(c)(3) tax status so donations will be tax-deductible. Julie Grimstad just completed a video on “Patient Advocacy.” We’ll let you know when it is available on our YouTube channel. And our website will soon be ready to launch.

We call your attention especially to the inspired design of the HALO logo. It includes the Greek letters alpha and omega, signifying the First and the Last, a name the Scriptures apply to God and His Son, Jesus (see Isaiah 44:6 and Revelation 22:13). It is fitting that we acknowledge and honor God in our logo since we are trusting Him to guide us and bless our work. However, there is a double meaning. The HALO logo also symbolizes our recognition of the common dignity shared by all human beings, from the first moment to the last moment of each person’s life on earth.

None of our progress would have been possible if it weren’t for the various types of support I’ve listed and then some. To all who have helped and all who will help us, we humbly say, "Thank you for assisting us to take that big, high step outside the box!”

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