How this volunteer makes Jefferson City an incredible community.

I’m going to be honest with you. Until recently, I was completely ignorant about the depth of our community. Jefferson City was a wonderful place in which to grow up and go to school, but I didn’t understand what makes our city — the capital city — special. The capacity of giving here is, without question, truly remarkable. Without really thinking about it, we structure our social events, sporting events, professional lives, and more around giving back to those in need. And as we’ve shown, there is need here. Thankfully, we’re a community of philanthropic warriors, each and every one displaying a passion for what they do.


There seems to be a trend coming out of Jefferson City of people creating national and international charitable organizations. HALO is one of them. Someone who saw the potential and importance of this venture from nearly the very beginning was another former JCPS teacher, Betty Sundermeyer.

“I’ve kind of grown up with HALO here in Jefferson City,” Betty says. “In 2007, my husband and I went on a mission trip to Mozambique and worked with orphans. When I came back, I ran into Joyce Neuenswander [mother of HALO Founder Rebecca Welsh]. I knew immediately I wanted to be part of HALO. I volunteered to help with the art auction first, went to a retreat in Kansas City, met Rebecca, saw her passion and commitment, and fell in love with the mission. My main reason for involvement is my connection with that mission and the fact that, through them, I know I’m part of making a difference in the world one child at a time.”

Betty is a jack-of-all-trades within HALO. Today, most of her work involves supporting HALO in the background by overseeing income, working with donor management, and serving as a resource person for HALO Jefferson City as needed. “My work is important to HALO because anything I can do in this capacity helps to free up the rest of the staff to focus on our kids,” Betty says.

“It is such a privilege to work with an organization like this within a community that is so giving,” she adds. “We have volunteers who come out of the woodwork when we need them, and none of them are looking for recognition. It’s been such a journey and a privilege. I think we realize what an amazing and caring community we have, filled with caring individuals who try to assure that all youth have an opportunity to reach their potential. People give whatever they can give and they give from the heart.”

Betty’s passion for this cause is obvious not only in her dedication to and flexibility within the organization, but also in her eyes when she talks about the children she’s helping.

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