Foster children in all 55 counties can look forward to an extra present under the tree ahead of the Christmas holiday with the help of a fairly new program.

Boxes with a Purpose started as a conversation to fulfill a need in Barbour County and quickly spread throughout the state.

“It really came out of a kitchen table conversation from a group of women who had this experience of seeing children being taken out of their homes around Christmas time.  We wanted to figure out a way to tell them that their neighbors and the people of West Virginia care about them,” said Boxes with a Purpose Program Coordinator Rachel Propst.

The original goal for the program was to pack boxes for children in Barbour County by combining holiday traditions. After the first year’s success, the program grew.

“The people of West Virginia have the best Christmas spirit anywhere.  People, businesses donated their time, donated their employees, donated their resources; they have taken it to churches.  They’ve taken it to their families.  It is incredible what is happening with this,” continued Propst.

Organizers said they plan to continue growing by working with local agencies to serve all the children in West Virginia.

“Our goal for next year is to reach every single child in the state of West Virginia.  This year, the problem we ran into was we had more people request than we had children to give them,” said Propst.

More than 3,500 boxes are here at the New Life Family Worship Center in Barbour County and many more are on the way.  

Volunteers will be here throughout the week sorting through boxes and making sure they’re ready just in time for the holiday.