Celebrating Volunteers: Judy Ritchie


Foster families across West Virginia can expect a present under the tree each year for Christmas Eve. This is made possible by the help of our December’s Celebrating Volunteer, Judy Ritchie.

“The age of these kids it’s the time we are either going to make or break what they become in the future. I want to see all of these kids have an opportunity to know that there is love and affection and people out there that care,” said Judy Ritchie.  

Judy Ritchie has dedicated her life to helping others.  

“I do volunteer at a lot of places, but kids are the weakness,” Ritchie said,

This year she made sure foster kids in Randolph County had a Christmas present through ‘Boxes with a Purpose’.

“Each box will contain a pair of pajamas, a bag of microwave popcorn, a box of hot chocolate, a stuffed animal, a book and a DVD movie,” explained Judy. 

‘Boxes with a Purpose’ is a statewide campaign with the mission of giving children in foster care a little holiday joy.  

“That’s not what I see when I think of ‘Boxes with a Purpose.’ To me the purpose is that loving environment that a lot of these kids have not had.  I see them curled up in the new pajamas leaning against a mom or dad, bag of popcorn, cup of hot chocolate and watching that movie on Christmas Eve. I think the items are not as important as the environment it gives those kids,”  Ritchie said.

In West Virginia, more than 6,000 children are in the foster care system, and ‘Boxes with a Purpose’ will reach more than 4,500. 

“One of the foster care parents went back to her church and told her church about the boxes she got last year. The church was so excited and so impressed at how it had really made that foster parent feel, that church this year filled around 400 boxes for us. So, just that one story lets me know that it did have an affect on the foster parents and if it had an affect on the parent, what did it do for the child?”   

For more information on ‘Boxes with a Purpose,’ click here.

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