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Campaign Raises Funds For Adoption, Child Care

Reported: Apr. 4, 2014 11:26 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 4, 2014 11:37 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) - Every child deserves a loving home, which is the goal of a fundraising campaign for West Virginia children in crisis.

It's estimated that more than 4,000 kids statewide are in need of some sort of out of home care, and more than 1,200 are waiting for to be adopted.

But it takes lots of money to care for them until, they can find their forever homes.

"How does a dinosaur say goodnight, when papa walks in to turn off the light?," West Virginia first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin asked.

She hosted the event at her home and the kids were all ears, as she read them the story, “Does A Dinosaur Roar”?

"Does he throw his teddy bear all about?,” she asked the kids.

“No way!," one of them enthusiastically replied.

It is all part of their Mother's Day campaign. The Oil Marketers and Grocers Association, or OMEGA, partnered with The Children's Home Society of West Virginia.

"Together, together, we can make a difference," Jan Vineyard with OMEGA said.

Money is needed for emergency shelters and foster homes, so look for bright pink paper flowers to start popping-up in stores everywhere!

"Their member's stores are around the state, from Wheeling to Williamson, chip-in and sell these flowers," said Tish Chafin, who is chair of the Children's Home Society.

And the flowers only cost a dollar.

"I'm gonna put my mother's name on this," Tomblin said, adding that her mother, Margaret Jaeger, taught her everything she knows. So she gave the first $25 toward the first flower sold, in honor of her mom.

"And when it comes down to children, I don't think there's anybody in West Virginia that will not donate to such a wonderful cause," Tomblin said.

Chafin said everyone can contribute.

"We can't all adopt children, we can't all be foster parents,” Chafin said.“But everybody can give one dollar and buy a flower in honor of their mother this year."

Brett Ballengee and his wife decided when they got married, they would foster and adopt.

"Bringing them into a safe environment, where we could love on 'em and give 'em stability,” he said.

So when an opportunity to take on four brothers came up, they didn’t shy away.

"Simon, Ignatius, Malachi, and Zack," Ballengee, who introduced them, plus their newest addition, baby Jan Marie, said.

"On Sept. 10, 2013, was actually when we finalized the adoption,” Ballengee said. “That wasn't our plan, but we wouldn't have it any other way!"



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