Today is Founder’s Day of Caring and for the past few weeks 7News has been asking the Ohio Valley to join us in helping foster children, and you delivered.

As part of our Founders Day of Caring Weekend, we partnered with Foster Hope Ohio Valley. This organization creates bags filled with essential and comfort items for children in foster care.

From backpacks, to stuffed animals, to bars of soap and toothbrushes, hundreds of items all part of a generous donation from the Ohio Valley. 

“We just got started at the beginning of April and to see the community support that we’ve received in just this one day and these past two and a half months has been phenomenal,” said Amanda Hession, President and Founder of Foster Hope Ohio Valley.

People came with armfuls of items to Riesbeck’s in Elm Grove and St. Clairsville. Organizations even got involved too, like Kathy’s House Foundation with 300 bags filled with donations, Tiltonsville United Methodist Church, Covenant Community Church, the Residence Inn a Marriott Hotel in St. Clairsville and an anonymous $2,000 donation. 

“Oh my goodness I’ve got goosebumps!,” Hession said when hearing about the monetary donation. “I just thank you, thank you so much! Not only do these donations help right now, they’re going to help kids in December when this isn’t’ going on. This is amazing. This is absolutely wonderful. Thank you. Thank you very much!” 

Many people also dined out at the Vagabond Kitchen. A portion of the proceeds from a sold-out special dish went towards the day’s mission. 

“It’s hard sometimes because we all have our own personal struggles and we all have personal challenges to go through, but it’s important to remember how really lucky we are and that there are many people out there who have it much worse than us,” said Chef Matt Welsch. “To be able to reach out and kind of give them a lift up, not only does it help them, but it makes us feel better and helps us right, so it just makes everyone better.” 

Foster Hope Ohio Valley is going to take these items, and provide comfort to hundreds of foster children in the area, some of whom are facing the unfamiliar. 

WTRF and Foster Hope Ohio Valley can’t thank the community enough for the support. 

“Sometimes there’s 10 to 15 minutes notice before the children are removed from the home and then all their belongings go into a trash bag if they have any,” explained Kellie Loudin, Board Member for Foster Hope Ohio Valley. “We’ve had that situation confirmed by adults that were in foster care. So, we know this to be true and that this is what happens. There’s been  lot of support from adult former foster children.”) 

Now instead of a trash bag, these children will have something to call their own. 

Again, THANK YOU to everyone who came out and donated.

Today we will be giving these items to Foster Hope Ohio Valley, as our Founder’s Day of Caring Weekend continues, and we’ll be sure to let you know how many children receive these backpacks and bags full of items. 

If you’d like to learn more about Foster Hope Ohio Valley, check out their Facebook page.