WVU CED fundraiser brings holiday cheer to foster youth

Gifts benefit youth ages 17-23 in the MODIFY program who have aged out of foster care and have limited or no family support

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

An annual fundraiser aims to make a difference in the lives of young people who would otherwise go without during the holiday season.

The Mentoring with Oversight for Developing Independence with Foster Youth (MODIFY) program at the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (WVU CED) helps youth ages 17-23 who have aged out of foster care transition to independent living. Each year, MODIFY seeks donations so gifts can be purchased to brighten the holidays for the young people they serve.

Transitioning to adulthood can be a challenging time for young people that age out of foster care. They have a higher risk than their peers of experiencing homelessness, mental and physical health problems, substance use disorder and more (Institute of Medicine & National Research Council). The MODIFY program provides education and training supports to help youth through this process.

“In our work, too often we see students who have been raised in the foster care system and then are completely left on their own when they turn 18 years old,” said MODIFY Program Manager Michelle Fleece. “These students do not have homes to go to during the holiday breaks and it can be a very tough time of year.”

MODIFY is accepting financial donations which will be used to purchase gift cards for the youth in the program. Donations will be accepted until December 14, 2023. All donations are tax deductible through the WVU Foundation.

“In past years, youth in our program have been very thankful to receive something from the MODIFY program thanks to this fundraiser,” Fleece said. “These small gifts can show them that they are not alone and allow them to get something that they have been wanting or needing.”



CONTACT: Melina Danko
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing
WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities
304-293-4265; mdanko@hsc.wvu.edu

Make a donation.

Learn more about the MODIFY program.