BARBOURSVILLE — A Barboursville business is once again helping youth in foster care.
Orangetheory Fitness studios in Barboursville and Charleston hosted a “packing party” to support the over 6,800 children in foster care in West Virginia.
This is the third year in a row Orangetheory Fitness has partnered with international nonprofit Comfort Cases for two days of “packing parties” to provide essential and comfort items that will support the children, particularly during the first days they enter foster care.
Money raised by Orangetheory Fitness members Nov. 12-26 was used to purchase “comfort cases” filled with items including a new set of pajamas, a new blanket, age-appropriate hygiene kit, book and stuffed animal to be given to foster care youth in need.
Comfort cases were packed at Orangetheory Fitness studios and then distributed by NECCO in Huntington and Charleston.
“This is our third year partnering with Comfort Cases to benefit these local organizations and our kids here in West Virginia,” said Matt Higgins, Orangetheory Fitness franchisee. “It’s our mission to give back to our community — through a healthy lifestyle regimen at our studios and by providing to those in need. Our members are just as excited as we are to participate at our packing parties.”
West Virginia has one of the highest rates of youths in foster care in the nation. Nationwide, there are 437,500 youth in foster care and 700 children enter the system every day.
“With more than 700 children entering foster care every day and more than 400,000 children in foster care nationwide, it’s so important to not just raise awareness, but to also provide hope and dignity to them by giving back to these children,” said Comfort Cases founder Rob Scheer.
Comfort Cases, an international nonprofit, has distributed over 150,000 comfort cases to youth in need in every state in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.
“Comfort Cases’ mission is to eliminate the demoralizing practice of placing children in homes with their belongings stuffed into trash bags,” Scheer added.
Another packing party is scheduled at Orangetheory Fitness in Morgantown for items to be distributed by Genesis Youth Crisis Center.
Fred Pace is the business reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Follow him at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.