Unique to West Virginia, inmates throughout the state have created and donated art to “Giving Back with Heart,” a benefit auction that raises money to provide scholarships for youth who have experienced foster care or had a parent incarcerated during their childhood. Unlike any state in the nation, West Virginia’s Division of Corrections in partnership with Mission West Virginia is providing a new and innovative way to create social change while also creating moral rehabilitation among inmates who are able to give back to the community in a way they never thought possible.
A contributing inmate wrote “Art allows us to express ourselves, it doctors the mental scars and stabilizes the moods of both the artist and the viewer. As inmates, we have very few ways to reach out or help the outside world. Art is a great way to be able to help others.”
Because of Giving Back with Heart, Mission West Virginia has been able to award thousands of dollars in scholarship funds to deserving youth. The application for the 2017/18 school year will be published in a couple of months, stay posted!
Walk with Me is an annual event held at the Appalachian Power Park every May in celebration of National Foster CareMonth. Walk with me is a 5k walk (at your own pace) with a carnival-like atmosphere. Families can enjoy face painting; balloon animals; cotton candy; popcorn; a jump house; outdoor games and raffles.
The 2016 Walk with Me event will be held on May 20th.