2017-06-28 / News

Buzzerd urged readers to give

West Virginia’s Children’s Home Society has been caring for the Mountain State’s children since 1896 and recently an issue of their quarterly magazine featured bits of their 121-year history.

One full page in the magazine featured these three clippings from The Morgan Messenger in July 1947, 70 years ago next week. In them, editor S.S. Buzzerd urged readers to give to the Children’s Home Society, and the paper kept and published a tally of local people who did, indeed, send in contributions.

The Society began as an effort by ministers and church laymen, who organized themselves in May 1896 at a meeting in the Charleston YMCA. The group helped find homes for children whose parents or families couldn’t care for them.

In 1900, the Society dedicated its first shelter, the Davis Child Shelter. Over the years, the group purchased a farm, built or bought additional shelters for children across the state, and worked to place children into permanent homes through adoption.

Today, the Society runs Emergency Child Shelters, providing 106 emergency shelter beds, in 10 cities – Parkersburg, Charleston, Daniels, Holden, Ona, Northfork, Romney, Summersville, Rupert and Martinsburg.

There are nine Children Homes across West Virginia where children awaiting a permanent home live in a “homelike environment.” Those homes are located in Charleston, Huntington, Lewisburg, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Parkersburg, Princeton, Romney and Wheeling.

Children’s Home Society runs a wider range of programs today, though all focus on giving children a healthy start and a healthy family life as their foundation.

“The mission of the Children's Home Society is to promote the well being of children. Our current efforts are directed at helping children find lifetime families, protecting and nurturing children, and helping preserve and strengthen their families.”

Children’s Home Society of WV can be reached at 1422 Kanawha Blvd., East in Charleston, WV 25330 and by phone at 304-346-0795. The Martinsburg location of the group is located at 653 Winchester Avenue and can be reached at 304-264-0225.

The group is always seeking contributions, volunteer help and families interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents.

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