celebrates Christmas in July by raising money for charity. Get to know Sarah, her beneficiary, and her answers to our questions about the virtues of generosity and compassion with this post from the Balsam Hill blog. 


For Sarah Halstead, achieving happiness in life is all about enjoying the little things no matter how good or bad they may be. A loving wife to her husband and mother to two amazing boys, Dustyn and Carsyn, Sarah makes it a point to always support her family in every way she can. And even after finding out that her two boys were diagnosed with special needs, she continues to show the same dedication in turning each day into a memorable one for her family.

Today, Sarah is an active member of Inspiration Through Art, a non-profit organization devoted to empowering other people to give back to the community and make a difference through art. She is one of many artists passionate about sharing their time and talents in order to let children around the world know that they are loved in spite of serious illnesses or life-altering disabilities. Through her skills in photography, Sarah tries to capture the little moments in life so that they can become unforgettable memories for other beautiful families such as hers.

Families for HoPE!

Sarah shares with Balsam Hill why she picked the Families for HoPE, Inc. as her charity for our Christmas in July campaign. She was introduced to the organization when her son, Carsyn, was diagnosed with Holoprosencephaly when he was almost a year old. Holoprosencephaly is a serious medical disorder where the forebrain of the embryo fails to develop into two hemispheres. This ailment leads to facial deformation. Left undiagnosed, it can cause mental retardation, epilepsy, various endocrine maladies, and even behavioral problems.  The people from Families for HoPE helped her understand her son’s condition and gave her hope. As a token of her gratitude, Sarah devotes her time and efforts in helping spread knowledge about the disease and to support other families who might be going through the same situation.

The spirit of charity is alive in Sarah Halstead and in her deeds. Hers is a story about savoring the beauty of each moment in spite of adversities. And just like Sarah, we can also do our part in sharing hope to others.

BH: Could you tell us a bit about the cause you’re supporting and what it means to you? 

Sarah: My son Carsyn was diagnosed with Holoprosencephaly when he was almost a year old. I had never heard of it and the doctor didn’t give us much hope. I came across Families for HoPE, and it instilled new hope in me.

BH: Deciding on a charity to support can be difficult. What led you to choose the charity you’re helping for this campaign?

Sarah: I really want more people to know about Holoprosencephaly. Their mission is to spread information about it and to spread HoPE.

BH: Charity and giving are two things that are often associated with the holiday season, but can be easy to forget in our day-to-day lives. Do you have any tips for how people can incorporate the spirit of giving more into their everyday lives?

Sarah: Go out of your way to donate your time or items you no longer need to families in need.

BH: Could you share a story about a time someone did something kind for you that really touched you?

Sarah: When Carsyn needed some equipment that insurance wasn’t really covering I had a lot of my friends and family step up to help us pay for that. I was really surprised how quickly we received the amount of money needed.

BH: How do you encourage your kids to be giving?

I get them to donate toys that they no longer play with.

BH: Is there a time when your children acted generously in a way that surprised and delighted you?

Sarah: Dustyn has surprised me a few times while playing with friends. I thought he would be really selfish and not want to share a toy, but instead he would offer it without even being asked.

BH: What do you think is a simple way people can give back to their communities?

Sarah: Sign up to volunteer at food banks, get involved in church and donate clothes to homeless shelters.

To see Balsam Hill’s list of philanthropic work, please visit our Charity Events page.

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