Kids in Care: Finding new ways to offer help and hope – Charleston Gazette-Mail

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Updated: February 19, 2022 @ 5:03 am

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As Mission West Virginia begins 2022, we have two areas of focus: appreciation for all the help we receive at the end of the year and planning for the year ahead.
Our agency is a non-profit working with foster, adoptive and kinship families across the state and funded through federal, state and private foundation grants, as well as by community donors. For kids in care, the holiday season is a time when the difference between the basics provided by the Department of Health and Human Resources and the needs met by the community is most visibly demonstrated. Every year before Christmas we assemble wish lists for the children that we work with in anticipation of the many community members, businesses and groups that will reach out and ask to fulfill Christmas gift lists.
While DHHR strives to meet the essential needs for kids in their care, there are not always funds for the special items that dominate the thoughts of a child anticipating Christmas. This year our donors fulfilled so many special requests: dolls and spicy snacks for an 11-year-old girl, top-quality art pens for a teen boy, Lego sets, tennis shoes, roller skates, Nintendo games and Christmas stockings filled to the top were all gifts that went in and out of our office prior to the holidays.
We make sure to pause at the end of the year, after all the gifts have been delivered throughout the state, to thank and acknowledge the generous donors who have it on their hearts to provide these normal childhood experiences to all children, in spite of their status in foster care.
Looking ahead to 2022, we are excited about new programming and projects. Our agency has worked with children in foster care for over two decades. Some work, like foster parent recruitment and finding families to adopt waiting children, has been ongoing throughout this time. Other projects and programs are newer and the result of new funders or individuals who donate. The best part about working for a non-profit that works adjacent to the foster care system is our ability to identify service gaps and meet unmet needs.
Plans for new programming in 2022 include:
To be a part of the foster care community, as a volunteer or foster parent, visit, email or call 304-512-0555.
The 2022 G.L.A.M. Gala is being held at Valley Park Conference Center in Hurricane, WV, from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Friday, February 11.. For more information visit:
Rachel Kinder is a program director with Mission West Virginia, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure safe and loving families for children through life skills education and foster family recruitment. She can be reached by email at
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