ROANOKE, Va. – About 5,000 Virginia children are in foster care. Roanoke City has the highest number of children in care at 250 children, which is 5% of the total number across the Commonwealth as of May of this year.
Not everyone is called to foster or adopt children, and that’s okay. But there are really easy ways to help the families that are: by donating your time, items or even money. A program called CarePortal fills the gaps with things like gas money, clothes or meals. The needs are vetted through agencies like the Department of Social Services or the school system and then posted online for people in the community to respond to.
10 News told you about the program in 2022.
[READ MORE: CarePortal combats foster care crisis by connecting families in need with people who can help]
Coca-Cola Consolidated donated money CarePortal to help local families.
“We want every request to be met. We do not want a request to be sitting out there not being able to be met. So, by having more churches and more community members involved we can meet every request in the city,” said Kim Tulou, CarePortal community coordinator for Roanoke City.
Tulou says the most common requests in Roanoke are beds, clothing, help with rent and utility bills and dressers and furniture for children’s rooms.
“We are so excited about seeing CarePortal spread and the impact that will have for local children and families,” said Tulou.
“The Roanoke teams, our sales facility and production facility are always looking for ways they can practice servant leadership, and we really think it’s important to give back to the communities in which we live, work and play in,” said Wayne Tyree, Coca-Cola Consolidated community engagement manager.
CarePortal has served more than 4,900 children in Virginia, with an economic impact of over $2 million since it launched here in 2020.
Anyone can help support families in need. Individuals, businesses, sports teams or other groups can provide what these families need to thrive.
Here’s how CarePortal it works:
- An agency like the Department of Social Services or the Rescue Mission will put the request on the CarePortal website.
- You can sign up to respond to the needs as an individual, church, or organization.
- Then, you start responding to requests.
CarePortal has been supported by 127 Place since 2018. 127 Place is a local nonprofit that is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and families. For more information on 127 Place, visit 127place.org.