Hallie Geier

On May 15, 2004, 11-year-old honor student Hallie Geier got ready to take her dog for an afternoon walk. Just as she stepped into the street in front of her house, she was hit and killed by a car.

Hallie's parents, Ted and Sofia, say their daughter was a compassionate soul who wanted to help other children. During the last year of her life she had been saving her lunch money to help children affected by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. With Hallie's savings, along with contributions to the Love, Hallie Foundation, Ted and Sofia donated $10,000 to Oprah's Angel Network

Oprah told the Geier family she would personally see that Hallie's money would be put to good use. Now, she gets to make good on her promise!
Kids Haven

Oprah found the perfect place for Hallie's money when she traveled to South Africa— Kids Haven , a residential shelter for abused and abandoned children outside Johannesburg. The home takes in extremely traumatized children, many of whom have left their families because of severe abuse. Many of the girls have been victims of rape. "Most of the children at Kids Haven have slipped through the cracks," says Moira Simpson, the home's founder.

The resources at Kids Haven had been stretched thin, with broken beds, leaky plumbing and dreary hallways. Oprah wanted the building to reflect the great work that Moira and her team do. To honor Hallie's life, a new dorm was donated in her name! Hallie's donation and additional funding from Oprah's Angel Network funded the desperately needed renovations.
Kids Haven makeover

What a transformation! Walls that were once gray are now splashed with color. The bathrooms have all been retiled. The brand new beds, windows and bathrooms are dazzling, but one of the most beautiful additions is a poem of Hallie's, painted on the wall:

"When I was younger, my cradle was the whole world. When I was younger, everyone talked to me and I talked back, but only in my mind I could see who I was and who I was going to be: You, because you took care of me."
Children at Kids Haven are thrilled with their new rooms!

On the count of three, Oprah opens the door—and the children go wild! The girls love the pretty pink décor, and in the boys' dorm, the cool blue bunks are a big hit.

Oprah expresses to the kids Hallie's wish that they have a better life. "Because of her we're all here today," Oprah says. "We want you to be very happy here, to study hard and grow up and be strong."

Oprah's special message for the girls of Kids Haven: "You have been through some really tough times. … But you are not what happens to you—you are what you choose to do with what has happened to you. You are what you decide.

"We wanted to create a beautiful space for you because we believe that you are beautiful girls. You are beautiful girls who deserve to live with beautiful things. This is just the beginning for you in your life!"
Hallie's parents and sister, M.J.

Hallie's parents and sister, M.J., are delighted to see Hallie's spirit living on at Kids Haven.

"Just seeing the look on their faces! … 'You did something special,' Sofia tells Oprah. "That's the little motto of [the Love, Hallie Foundation]."

"This is exactly what Hallie wanted," Ted says. " What you did with it—what you created—was so powerful. It was so beautiful. It was exactly what should have happened and [is] beyond our dreams."
FROM: The Child Rape Epidemic
Published on April 20, 2006


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