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2017-2018 Major Grant Beneficiary Announced

posted Sep 21, 2017, 5:39 AM by Kelley Minucci

Mt. Lebanon, September 19, 2017

The Mt. Lebanon Junior Women’s Club (MLJWC) is honored to announce our 2017-2018 major grant beneficiary, Foster Love Project.

“Foster Love Project's mission is to provide love in action to foster children as well as support to the foster families who are providing care for them. Each child is provided with a placement bag, and upon arrival at our donation center foster families can also shop - free of charge - for clothing, books, baby gear, toys, bedding, diapers and more. We also offer gift cards and financial grants to fund beds, cribs, camps, sports fees and other expenses,” states Kelly Hughes, Foster Love Project Founder.

With often short notice of their arrival, foster parents must scramble to provide basic clothing and necessities for the children. Foster Love Project started in 2014 as a placement bag drive to collect necessities and a few comforting items children could call their own when placed in foster care. Some of the items included are a blanket, a stuffed animal, a book, a toothbrush, new socks and pajamas. To date, Foster Love Project has distributed over 5,000 placement bags to over 30 agencies and shelters in Western Pennsylvania.

What started as a placement bag drive, has quickly grown into a one of a kind donation center in our area. Just this summer, Foster Love Project opened a free donation center for children in foster care. This donation center, located in Dormont, is the first of its kind in Pittsburgh. Here, in a store like setting, foster families and children can "shop" for the items that they need providing more dignity to foster youth as they can choose the clothing and styles that they like.

“There are over 15,000 children in foster care in Pennsylvania alone. And every time we can touch these lives, show them love and show them someone cares it can go a long way. We hope to be one link in the chain for positives in their lives. With the help of a grant from the MLJWC, Foster Love Project can ensure this donation center is a lasting, sustainable part of our community and can continue to provide for and support the many foster families who have come to rely on our help,” adds Hughes.

To honor Foster Love Project, MLJWC will hold its 21st Annual Charity Gala, “The Mad Hatter’s Ball” with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Foster Love Project. The event will take place on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Cefalo’s Banquet and Event Center, 428 Washington Avenue, Carnegie.

The benefit co-chairs are Jessica Netzloff and Alison Sehgal.  This year’s MLJWC board is:


Becki Campanaro – President                                                    Katrina Kletzly – Corresponding Secretary

Lori Keener - President Elect                                                     Shanyn Winnowski – Membership Chair

Debbie Klein - Treasurer                                                            Kim Love – Programs Chair

Manisha Iyer - Treasurer Elect                                                   Aly Chirumbolo - Philanthropy

Amy Taylor - Public Relations                                                   Tess Carter - Parliamentarian

Tracy Lopez – Recording Secretary

Information about our grant beneficiary can be found here: