Published On: Tue, Jul 29th, 2014

It takes a village

The Children’s Home Society (CHS) will host its 10th Annual Make It Right for Kids Auction at the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Center on Friday, Aug. 22.

The event will be hosted by Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester and his wife Connie; and will begin at 7 p.m. with a social hour. There will be food, wine and a pre-viewing of both the live and silent auction items. Promptly at 8 p.m., local auctioneer and CHS Advisory Council Member Martha Hilton will begin the live auction. Auction items will include dining experiences, artwork by area artisans and entertainment packages.

The Children’s Home Society is a nonprofit child welfare agency providing foster care, adoption and emergency shelter services to our community. Since opening its doors in December of 1992, CHS has been able to help thousands of children at its current location. Children from Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Summers, and Monroe Counties come to the shelter and live for varying lengths of time. Once a child arrives, a team identifies the individual needs, develops a plan, and helps the child move on to the most appropriate placement for them.

Some children return to their biological families if the circumstances which brought them to the shelter have been resolved. A few children find permanent families while residing at CHS. Some are placed in foster or group homes. The one constant theme provided by the staff at CHS is “Home.” CHS Director Janet Richmond says, “Our staff know that we are not a replacement for a child’s real home and family; but we always understand that while a child lives with us at the shelter, we are charged with providing them the best possible care and support, in the most comfortable environment as we are able.”

The current facility is approximately 50 years old, and in need of insurmountable structural repairs. A newer facility is a must.

A new location for the Children’s Home Society has been identified in Rupert. In addition to great financial support needed for the new facility, it is rather pertinent to know that the surrounding community is behind the proposed facility. At a town-hall type meeting at Village Park in Rupert on June 2, community members were invited to express their concerns and be informed. Richmond says, “Almost all of the discourse showed overwhelming support for the new emergency shelter in their town.”

Altogether, more than $650,000 is needed to purchase the building and make repairs and renovations, which will bring everything about the building into code in regards to safety, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Currently CHS is able to house eight children. With the new facility, there will be immediate room for 10 children; and the possibility to expand in the future to house up to 14 children at a time.

The special committee formed for this project, called the Capital Campaign, has so far raised just over $103,000. Money raised at the auction on Aug. 22 will help fund the CHS as a whole; but there will be a special element to the fundraising event. Individuals and families will have an opportunity to sponsor a room at the new facility. If one is not able to sponsor a whole room, then maybe they could sponsor furniture for a room. There will be many particulars available to sponsor at the auction. Sponsors will have permanent recognition within the new facility. If anyone is interested in having a room named after them, or simply in sponsoring one of the needed situations at the new CHS, please attend the auction, or contact Janet Richmond. She may be reached for information by phone at 304-647-3430, or via email at jrichmond@childhswv.org.

Visit the CHS website at www.childhswv.org.

Other financial support may be sent to Children’s Home Society, 9579 Seneca Trail South, Fairlea, WV 24901.

Tickets for the 10th Annual Make It Right for Kids event are $35, and may be purchased at CHS, or at the door on the day of the event.