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 some of America’s most vulnerable citizens. We believe God calls us as a church and a community to care for and look after each one 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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Nikki Head


Accountant, Leggett & Platt

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Ana Beezley


Nurse Practitioner

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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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Amy Ryder


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Aryn Crawford


Development Director at Rapha International

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Emily Dunavent

Board of Directors

Director of Development at Atlas Safe Rooms

Advisory Board


Community-Based Partners

Zimmer Radio's News Talk KZRG

Promotes & fund raises for Christmas of Hope


Joplin Area Sonic's

Provides free ice cream coupons for birthday cards for gifts & coupons for free drinks for agency workers.



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


Rhea Lana's of Joplin

Consignors donate items to the Caring Closet


From Your Closet

Consignors donate items to the Caring Closet


House of Bounce

Partners with us each year for a flamingo fundraiser

David Meyer Law Office

Donates items to various Fostering Hope programs

JopliMo Mattress

Assists in providing mattresses for children in care and offers discount on mattresses to foster families

Lundy Homes Team


Prints greeting cards & canvases made from children’s artwork to be sold at our annual benefit dinner


Bittner Mini Storage

Provides free & discounted storage space for Fostering Hope’s Caring Closet

Grace Lanes Bowling

Provides family bowling passes for foster families

Schuber Mitchell Homes

Provided funding to expand and extend our mailing program that encourages foster families and children in care

JOMO Moving

Assists in picking up large items that have been donated & delivering needed items to families.



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
  • Groups provide freezer meals twice a year


Carterville Christian Church

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


Villa Heights Christian Church

  • Provides space for events


Destiny Church

  • Partners in the Christmas of Hope campaign


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