BOSTON (CBS) — Each month, WBZ Cares highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community.
This month’s organization is The Home for Little Wanderers, the nation’s oldest child welfare agency providing services to support and encourage youth to become successful adults.
Each year, their flagship fundraiser “Voices and Visions” raises over $1 Million Dollar from art and creative projects created by kids in the program, according to Executive Vice President Michael Pearis.
“It’s an opportunity for our guests, our donors, our supporters to see in actuality all the programs we offer and in-depth the real people putting the names and the faces to programs and services,” Pearis said.
Many of the agency’s volunteers attend the event, Kara Rainey among them.
“The themes and the art has been growing, and everything has been growing. It’s a great event especially the kid’s artwork, I think that’s the best part of it all,” she said.
Rick Houpt is the agency’s Development Officer. He says what they do is unique.
“These are kids who have been through some pretty difficult and frankly horrific backgrounds, and they have got a lot of work to do,” he said. “What they really want is to just be kids. They just want to be kids. But what they have got to do, right, is some work. They have got to heal. They’ve got to recover, and that kind of work can be really hard.”
The Home for Little Wanderers also makes sure kids are remembered during the holidays through a toy drive which has been in operations for over 50 years, according to CEO and President Joan Wallace-Benjamin.
She believes it is one of the largest toy drives in the Commonwealth.
“We calculated I think this year, that in gifts and toys we gave away over a million dollars’ worth,” she said.