MVB Bank to host virtual ‘Housewarming Party’ for foster youth

MVB Bank is hosting a month-long virtual Housewarming Party for West Virginia and Virginia young people who are aging out of foster care.

Often times, older youth exit the foster care system without the same support and connection that they previously received. Many continue to need additional assistance as they transition into life on their own.

”It’s unrealistic to believe that any youth is ready for independence at age 18 or 21. Think back to that time in your life,” said Julie Bowman, program manager for Fairfax County (Va.) Department of Family Services. “Who supported you? Many youth in foster care don’t have the same connections or support as their same-age peers.”

MVB Bank recognized the increased risk of financial strain for newly aged-out foster youth. In response, MVB partnered with Fairfax CountyDepartment of Family Services, Children’s Home Society of West Virginia and the Our Children Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia to create the MVB Housewarming Party.

The Housewarming Party aims to provide items needed for those new to independent living, such as kitchen tools, bedding or cleaning supplies. Gifts can be selected through Amazon Wish Lists, built by Housewarming Party recipients. Additionally, monetary donations are being collected to acquire any unpurchased items remaining at the end of the fundraiser and to meet ongoing emergency needs as the recipients get established without aid from family.

“These young adults have spent a majority of their lives institutionalized and have never had to worry about daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, ensuring they have enough toiletry products, taking their medications on time or scheduling doctors’ appointments. The list goes on. All these tasks were done for them, and now they are expected to live on their own and know how to be an adult,” said Abby Miller, permanency supervisor and site manager at Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. “With the help of the community donating items, it alleviates the stress of having their very own apartment.”

MVB Bank wants to help where it can.

“Young people aging out of foster care are vulnerable to precarious housing situations. MVB Bank believes that with a little help from our community, these young people can thrive despite their obstacles,” said Laura Rye, CRA and fair lending officer at MVB Bank.

MVB will match up to $1,000 of community donations for the agencies. Funds raised through this effort will go directly to the agencies to support the young people’s needs. Those who wish to support the Housewarming Party can do so at through Nov. 30.

There are two MVB Bank branches in Morgantown: 51 Donahue Drive, off W.Va. 705; and 10 Sterling Drive, off W.Va. 7 in Sabraton.