WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – It began as an event begun out of necessity during COVID—that’s become an essential lifeline for Wheeling’s most vulnerable.

Campout for a Cause is breaking out the flashlights for the third year for Youth Services System this Friday.

Volunteers set up camp in their yard, in the woods, or even in their home, and collect donations through their social media friends.

That funding will then be sent to support youth shelters, recovery homes, and the winter freeze shelter.

All the while, YSS will put on an entertainment stream featuring Mountain State stars the event has never seen before—like a poet laureate and an America’s Got Talent winner.

I think it’s really just networking and building those relationships, I’m kind of new to the Wheeling area but I’ve been a West Virginia musician and artist for a long time so I brought a lot of those connections with me and was able to bring in some more folks.

Tucker Riggleman, Digital Media and Communications Coordinator, YSS

The outdoorsy fundraiser will support all of the YSS programs this year.

As for what the future holds, Riggleman says Campout for a Cause may eventually become an in-person event at a single site.