A new TV show inspires youth to engage in community service

by Robert Abare

Yesterday evening, Nickelodeon debuted the first episode of an inspirational new series “The HALO Effect,” which features the stories of real teens, or “Champions,” who are Helping And Leading Others to make our world a better place for all. Each month, the show encourages viewers and their families to get involved in a community-building project started by a HALO Effect Champion.

Yesterday’s episode featured the story of Jessica Collins, a 16 year old from Shelbyville, KY who started the organization A Place to Sleep. By raising money and delivering bedding supplies to children in need, Jessica’s organization has since helped over 700 kids get beds of their own since she started the project—when she was 10.

Jessica supports A Place to Sleep through a “Pajama Walk-and-Run” fundraiser, which brings together people in her community for an amusing day of exercise in sleepwear—all while raising money and awareness for children who lack the proper materials to get a good night’s sleep.

There are many ways you can get involved in Jessica’s project this January:

  • Take a selfie of you wearing pajamas in public, or a selfie of you donating bedding or pajamas to a charity, like the Salvation Army.
  • Share the hashtag #HALOEffectChallenge on social media to raise awareness of Jessica’s project in your network
  • Host a pajama day fundraiser or donation event at your afterschool program to get multiple kids and their families involved in the Challenge—be sure to share pictures with the hashtag and you may get featured by Nickelodeon or the Afterschool Alliance!
  • Check out this microsite created by the Salvation Army with more ways you can help out.

As a HALO Effect partner organization, the Afterschool Alliance will be sharing details about HALO Effect Champions and the work they are accomplishing in their communities. Be on the lookout for updates, and in the meantime, put on your PJ’s and help out!

© 2013 Afterschool Alliance