Jan. 1, 1970
Orangetheory Fitness to kick off annual fundraiser for WV foster children
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Starting this Friday, Orangetheory Fitness will be having a fundraiser across four locations in the state in partnership with Comfort Cases “to raise money for local foster children here in the Morgantown area, as well as the Bridgeport and Clarksburg area,” according to Matthew Higgins, one of the owners of Orangetheory Fitness in Morgantown.
Higgins said that over the years, there have been four fundraisers at the Morgantown location, and this year marks the first time that the organization’s Bridgeport location will be getting involved as well. In addition to the locations in Morgantown and Bridgeport, Orangetheory’s locations in Charleston and Barboursville will also be participating.
The fundraiser will go on until Dec. 1, with the money raised going towards backpack purchases that will be filled with comfort items and donated to children across the state who are being sent into foster care.
According to Higgins, there are more than 6,200 children in the foster care system across West Virginia “and we saw that as an opportunity to bring our community together and to raise some money, and partner with a great organization to really just help with that challenge.”
Higgins said that it’s Comfort Cases’ mission to “really restore dignity and hope to children in the foster system.” By working with them, Higgins said that the Orangetheory team learned that “more often than not, when a child enters the foster care system, they’re given a black trash bag to place their belongings into.”
“And what’s more kind of demoralizing than that? And it sends a message that you’re—you know, what are you worth, right? If you’re given a trash bag for your belongings,” Higgins added.
The fundraiser will look to provide foster youth in the area with a backpack to carry around their belongings, as opposed to a trash bag. Higgins said that the backpacks given out will contain a blanket, a brand new pair of pajamas with a tag on them, an age-appropriate book or coloring book, crayons, pencils, and other similar items.
There will also be hygiene kits put in each bag, with items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, and even a new bar of soap. “I mean, can you imagine going into a home that’s new to you and having to use a dirty bar of soap? It’s those small things that we may not think about, but if you’re a foster child that’s going into the system, you’ve got your own bar of soap,” said Higgins. “It’s a big deal, so this is our opportunity to really help the community from that aspect.”
Higgins said that Orangetheory is a very community-based organization, which is why they’re been participating in this fundraising effort for the past few years. He described Orangetheory as “a very unique facility when it comes to the type of workout that we do—we’re a group fitness studio and we help people achieve more life.”
According to Higgins, Orangetheory’s partnership with Comfort Cases is an opportunity “to carry forward what we value—and that’s our community, and bring the community together to bring greater good to the local area.” He said he’s also hoping that a lot of community members will get involved “so that we can get more fundraising dollars, more Comfort Cases, and then be able to impact more children entering the foster system in West Virginia.”
You can donate to this initiative by stopping by or calling one of Orangetheory’s studios in Bridgeport, Morgantown, Barboursville or even Charleston. “And you can be assured that that money wherever you are residing in West Virginia is gonna stay local to that community,” Higgins added.
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