Who We Are


“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress” (James 1:27). We consider kids in foster care to be America’s orphans. We believe God calls us as a church and a community to care for and look after each of them.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11) Though children in foster care come from hard places, we refuse to believe that they are destined for a life of chaos and pain. Our goal is to show them the love of Jesus and help them to see a hope in their current circumstances and for their future.


Fostering Hope and The Caring Closet both launched as separate ministries in early 2012, unbeknownst to one another. Fostering Hope was started by a group of people including Sarah and Jeff Burch who felt called to get involved and make a difference in the life of children in foster care in our community. The Caring Closet was started by Joanna and Zach Holden, who as foster parents, knew there was a great need for practical resources to be available to kids as they came into care (e.g. clothing, toiletries, baby items, etc). The two ministries merged later that year with the goal of becoming a Christ-centered, non-profit organization that would serve as an avenue to bring our community together to support local kids in foster care. Fostering Hope received its nonprofit 501(c)(3) status in February of 2015 and has grown steadily since that time.


Fostering Hope exists to support and serve our local foster care community. We currently have a variety of programs that are in place to support, encourage and provide resources to children in care, foster families, and agency workers. We aim to bring the community together and partner with local churches, businesses, and organizations with the idea that we can do more together than apart.

Directors / Coordinators

Board of Directors


Maggie Schade


Community Impact Minister at Christ's Church of Oronogo

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Jenny Worrall

Vice President

Teacher in the Carthage School District & Former Foster Parent

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Jake Harp


Finance & Operations Staff at Christ's Church of Oronogo

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Ana Beezley


Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Pediatric Associates of SWMO

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Christina Lackey


Clinical Supervisor at Turnaround Ranch & Current Foster Parent

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Joe Hensley


Jasper County Circuit Court Judge

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Advisory Board

Amanda Collins

Guardian Ad Litum

Caroline Charleton

Lead Supervisor MBCH Children & Family Ministries

Cody & Whitney Belk

Foster Parents

Jeff Burch

Co-Founder of Fostering Hope

Michelle Woolverton

Program Supervisor Jasper County Children's Division

Renee White

MSSU Social Work Department Chair

Shane Munn

Pastor at One Church Joplin


Community-Based Partners

Zimmer Radio's News Talk KZRG

Promotes & fund raises for Christmas of Hope


Pallets For A Purpose

Donates 10% of all proceeds to Fostering Hope

Facebook Group:


Provides free kid’s meal coupons for birthday cards


Pediatric Associates of Southwest Missouri


Tara Arefieva/Salon Central

Provides discounted and free haircuts for children in care



Partners with us in connection with The Pajama Program to collect donations of pajamas


Mason's Closet

Donates clothing and other items every month through their consignors


Faith-Based Partners

Fairview Christian Church

  • Provides monthly monetary support
  • Provides building for the Carthage Caring Closet
  • Partners in the Christmas of Hope Campaign
  • Small groups provide freezer meals


One Church Joplin

  • Provides monthly monetary support
  • Provides storage space for the Caring Closet
  • Hosts the annual Christmas of Hope Gift Pick-Up Event
  • Partners in the Christmas of Hope Campaign
  • Provides space for various events


Christ's Church of Oronogo

  • Provides monthly monetary support
  • Hosts Foster Parent Night Out twice a year
  • Hosts the annual Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner
  • Provides space for various events


Carterville Christian Church

  • Hosts Senior Graduation Banquet
  • Partners in Christmas of Hope campaign
  • Provides monthly monetary support


Pathways United Methodist

  • Hosts annual Fall Festival


Joplin Family Worship Center

  • Hosts Child Abuse Prevention Awareness event


Villa Heights Christian Church

  • Provides space for events


Destiny Church

  • Hosts Kids’ Fest Event
  • Partners in the Christmas of Hope campaign


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