MASON COUNTY — Residents of Mason County have the opportunity to make a foster child’s Christmas Eve one they will not forget.
Mason County is involved with the campaign “Boxes with a Purpose” this holiday season. Boxes with a Purpose is a grassroots campaign focused on serving foster children, showing support to foster parents, and raising awareness about foster care shared Jessy Scott, Barboursville Middle School counselor and graduate of Point Pleasant High School.
Founded last November and spearheaded by Vanessa Short, the campaign volunteers were able to provide 3,500 foster children with special Christmas fun boxes. These boxes contain Christmas pajamas, a blanket or stuffed animal (children 12 and under receive a stuffed animal), a Christmas book, a Christmas movie, a box of hot cocoa, and a box of unpopped popcorn.
With only a few counties participating for the first year, the success was so good the campaign organizers decided to make this campaign statewide with all 55 counties being involved. Scott reached out to the campaign to be Mason County’s point of contact as she is familiar with a few of the local foster families within the county.
For those in Mason County interested in donating either a full box of items or individual items, they may take the box and/or items to either Four Seasons Florist on Main Street in Point Pleasant or Valley Health in Gallipolis Ferry. However, if an individual is not able to make it to one of these locations or if a group or organization collects a large amount of boxes or individual items, they can contact Scott and she will be of assistance. She can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, those interested in donating a full box are encouraged to fill out a commitment form, so appropriate items for a child receiving the box can be purchased. The children’s identities will not be given, just basic information. These forms can be filled out at www.boxeswithapurpose.org.
The collection of donated items will be going on until Wednesday, Nov. 28, then all of the items gathered from the collection points will be taken to Barbour County where the boxes can then be prepared for distribution. The boxes will be delivered to the children on Christmas Eve. The overall goal this year is to have 6,000 Christmas fun boxes for delivery.
This campaign is a great tradition to start for foster children, commented Scott, as many of these children have not had this sort of consistency in their lives. This is a way to give back to the foster families, showing the foster children how special they are as well as showing appreciation for the foster parents. These families are in the thoughts and prayers of many within the county all year long.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.