Stepping into September

Check out what's happening at Halo House!

As we step into September, we reflect with gratitude on the past months of summer and look forward to the season of fall soon approaching. One summer highlight was the installation of this beautiful bird bath and rose garden by Boy Scout Troop #55 making our peaceful gardens an even more lovely retreat for our residents. As we prepare for hopefully cooler weather, we are also excited that the Halo House 11th Annual Gala is only ten weeks away! Our theme this year is Back to the Future. Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 13, for this very special fundraising event with all proceeds benefiting Halo House residents.

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Halo House Residents Carlos and Catalina Llano

Halo House resident, native Colombian and father of three, Carlos Llano, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a cancer that begins in the bone marrow and develops into the bloodstream.

When Carlos was first diagnosed with AML, he began his treatment in Colombia, but ongoing riots in his city caused shortages of food, blood and medical equipment. In search of better treatment options, his family learned about The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and its remarkable reputation. His daughter Catalina explained that they informed her father that MDA is the number one cancer hospital in the world and immediately applied for treatment. In June 2021, Carlos began his new treatment plan.

While Carlos’ wife, son and other daughter are working to provide an income for the family by managing the family’s livestock and agriculture business, Catalina is by her father’s side taking him to medical appointments and acting as his primary caregiver. In her free time, Catalina volunteers at Halo House as a Resident Manager, helping answer phone calls, accepting deliveries, cleaning, restocking resident supplies and more. Halo House has given the Llano family hope and support through this difficult time.

“Halo House not only makes our financial situation less burdensome, but feels incredibly welcoming and safe,” Catalina shared. “It has been comforting to be around other patients and caregivers who are going through similar circumstances.”

The Llanos will know soon if Carlos requires a bone marrow transplant procedure, requiring him to stay in Houston within 20 minutes of the hospital for another 100 days. The Llano family has been in Houston for three months and plans to stay until Carlos is stable enough to go back to Colombia. 

A Warm Welcome


Elisa Dreghorn

Executive Director

Elisa is a seasoned nonprofit professional with over 17 years of fundraising experience directing, implementing and managing strategic development plans. She likes to focus on ways to broaden mission awareness, grow organizational capacity and execute best practices. She values organizations and teams that have a meaningful purpose to serve people living in greater Houston. She has a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and Masters of English Literature. Elisa looks forward to serving the Halo House mission with dedication and compassion. When away from Halo House, Elisa enjoys keeping up with her husband and three sons, walking and all kinds of other activities that promote wellbeing and happiness such as reading and visiting with friends.



Michele Schevikhoven

Development and Volunteer Coordinator

Michele is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University where she received a Bachelor's in Communication, a certificate in strategic communication and a minor in business. She joined the Halo House team just this August. Michele was born in Colorado but has spent the majority of her life in Amarillo. She attended Bushland High School where she was a varsity cheerleader, played flute in the band, and performed in multiple theater productions. When not at Halo House, Michele enjoys reading young adult fiction, binge watching true crime documentaries, baking and scrapbooking. Michele recently moved to Houston and is enjoying exploring the city finding new places to eat, shop and relax.

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Halo House Hero

Meet Dena Wilson, a compassionate and generous woman who has volunteered her time, talents and treasures to Halo House for more than five years! Originally from Pennsylvania, Dena accepted a job in Washington, DC at a trade association as a lobbyist for barge and tug boat owners. Through this position, Dena learned many skills and was the reason she moved to Houston.

After her long-time corporate position was downsized, Dena took this as an opportunity to spread her wings, including starting her own business as a professional organizer. One of the members of Dena's women's dinner group was Halo House co-founder, Kathleen Fowler. Dena was not familiar with Halo House, but was moved by its mission and passionate team and began volunteering to help plan and execute Halo House events. Now, Dena also helps fill available Halo House apartments.

"It's important to help organizations that mean something to me," she said. "I jumped on the opportunity to volunteer because having a connection with the residents and helping them alleviate the stress that they're feeling is beyond rewarding."

Dena's role at Halo House is crucial to the ongoing operations and mission to house as many residents in need as possible. She contacts potential residents and delivers the good news about their new home away from home. Dena has volunteered with various organizations throughout her life, but Halo House is closest to her heart. "This is an organization with a special mission that inspires volunteers to stay and help as long as they can," she said. "Anything you can do to put others first and help them thrive in your community is so important."

Thank you, Dena! Halo House is grateful to have you on its team!

Safe Travels

A big, heartfelt Halo House THANK YOU to

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

for its generous sponsorship of Halo House's

resident shuttle service for the month of September.

Our shuttle service is offered to all residents at no cost and allows them to

safely and quickly arrive at their appointments while navigating the

Texas Medical Center.

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Save the Date!

Tickets are now available for the Halo House 11th Annual Gala on Saturday, November 13! The event will be happening live at the Ballroom at Bayou Place. This year's Gala will feature cocktails, silent and live auctions, a delicious dinner, a remote control race car derby and a program highlighting the Halo House mission and who we serve.

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Click here for more information on how to purchase your ticket, be an event sponsor and

bid on auction items.

We hope to see you there!

When residents move in to Halo House, they receive a welcome bag filled with essentials they might have overlooked when packing such as paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, a water bottle, toothpaste, Chapstick, coffee filters, hand sanitizer, a mask, dishwasher tabs and disinfectant wipes.

Each bag is lovingly hand filled by staff and volunteers, and all the supplies are donated. As an added comfort, all residents receive a hand-made quilt donated by the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston that they can

keep with them during and after their stay.

What activity do you think our residents would like to participate in?
Ice Cream Party
Dinner and a Movie
Breakfast/Brunch Bash
Knitting/Crocheting Lessons
Group Painting

Would you like to support Halo House Foundation?

Visit or send an inquiry to to see how you can get involved!

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