Having a similar background to those she helps, Nicole Shefrin started this charitable organization, Fostering Hope, in 2013. “Why Hope?” the website asks. “Because a foster child once told us:  ‘Before yesterday, I didn’t know people like you existed –- because I didn’t know people cared.’”

Knowing that being cared for in a residential treatment center is unique and has its own special challenges, Shefrin’s organization steps in, offering programs, celebrations, and more. There’s always something special going on during holidays –- and opening gifts is one of those things. But to these children without traditional families, having someone watch you open your gift is a gift in itself. Besides providing things, Fostering Hope gives the gift of time and attention to these children and youth.

The organization began with Sherfrin seeking corporate sponsors to provide holiday gifts. The community stepped up to the plate and her donations came pouring in. Soon, Shefrin knew, she would have to make it a business. And now with loving employees who can keep the details taken care of, Fostering Hope offers activities, celebrations, gifts, and more to several residential care centers in Ohio.

The organization has expanded to include renovating a playground and providing special “spa days.”

Shefrin knows she is achieving her desired results each time she opens her thick folder filled with ever increasing thank-you notes from the children whose lives are touched.