West Virginia has more than 6,000 children in the foster care system.
StepStone Family and Youth Services wants to make sure those children have a blanket, something of warmth and comfort to take with them to their foster homes.
“It’s a scary experience for that child to go into foster care, and we want them to feel confident and feel like they can take that blanket with them in their placement,” said foster parent recruitment manager Tina Gray-Russell. “Hopefully, that’ll be their only placement but if they happen to travel they can take that with them.”
With chilly temperatures, StepStone is kicking off its winter blanket drive in Fayette County to help provide cozy comfort to West Virginia’s most vulnerable youth.
You can wrap them in love.
Once you drop off a blanket, it goes back to the StepStone agency office. Foster parent recruitment manager Tina Gray-Russell says anytime a child comes into foster care they ensure they can take that blanket with them to their first foster home.
“Unfortunately, kids will come into foster care without much. If they’re moved in an emergency they may not have anything,” gray-Russell said. “Just to have something that’s gonna bring them a little comfort and a sense of security.”
According to Russell, she dedicates her life to being a helper and says it’s important for us to help those who are most in need. It’s the third year of the blanket drive. In the past, they received more than 100 blankets.
Tina says there’s nothing more valuable than our children.
“I believe it’s very important that every child feels loved and cared for and safe and in this way,” she said. “We can kind of help facilitate that through our foster care program, by making sure they have that blanket to take with them no matter where they go.”
All those previous blanket donations show the community cares.
“We walked away with a lot of blankets and those blankets got to the children. People want to help and help children in their community,” said Gray-Russell. “So I think the fact that we’ve had such good turnout and good donation numbers shows that it’s been effective.”
Now accepting new blanket donations until February 14.
Visit https://www.stepstoneyouth.com for all West Virginia drop-off locations.