Downtime: Wanda The Wonderful


Wanda The Wonderful

This past year, our dear client and friend, Wanda, was recently nominated for the “Hometown Hero” award for her Comfort of Hope program. This program provides birthday gifts for current and former foster youth across the area. Thank you again, Wanda, for all you do for the community and children that you serve every day.

“Comfort and Hope” is not only the name of Wanda’s organization, but also truly describes her lifestyle. Year round, Wanda provides ‘comfort and hope’ to children in foster care. She ensures that every child placed in Mahoning County Children Services Foster Care receives a birthday gift bag on their birthday. The gift bags are a message to the kids to let them know they are not forgotten, especially on their birthday. Wanda and her husband deliver 40-50 birthday bags monthly to the agency. Each birthday bag is filled with a comfort blanket, age appropriate new clothing, plush toys, and other kid-friendly themed items.

As the number of children and families the agency serves begins to grow, so does the number of birthday bags Wanda keeps up with providing. For her Comfort and Hope Birthday Bag Program to sustain its success and keep smiles on these children’s faces, she needs to find others to help. Donations are what makes these gift bags possible.

Wanda started this birthday bag tradition in 2005. In addition to these birthday bags being given to the Mahoning County Children’s Services, she also contributes to the Northeast Ohio Adoption Services (NOAS). Wanda also recently expanded her mission to Trumbull County Children Services partnering with their Foster Parent Association.

“Amazing” is the word Mahoning County Children Services’ Jennifer Kollar uses to describe Wanda.

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