How to Get Involved
Find the best way to support Carrying Hope
Make a Hope Pack
A Hope Pack is a backpack filled with comfort items and essentials intended to help ease the transition for children who are entering a new foster home.
You can shop for Hope Pack items at any of your favorite retail stores.
Attend A Carrying Hope Event
Houston: Sunday, July 10 || Austin: Thursday, July 21
SAVE THE DATE for Carrying Hope's annual Summer Drives!
It’s that time of year again –– Hope the Hedgehog’s 6th Birthday and the 6th anniversary of Carrying Hope becoming a 501c3 nonprofit –– and we’re splashing into summer by hosting fun-filled pool parties in both Austin (July 21) and Houston (July 10) for 60 children and teens living in local shelters and residential treatment centers. In addition to a splashy day of fun in the sun, each of these kids will go home with Hope Packs containing $100 gift cards so they can shop for new clothes that will enable them to enter the new school year with some added confidence and style.
Fostering Love Gala
We are still basking in the glow of our Fifth Annual Fostering Love Gala, which raised a record-breaking amount that will allow us to greatly expand our services for children in foster care. Check out the wonderful photos of this heartwarming, impactful evening taken by Ross Lucksinger Photography. We hope you will join us for our 6th Annual Fostering Love Gala in March 2023!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for Carrying Hope Houston’s inaugural fundraiser on May 5! We had so much fun at this Cinco de Mayo-themed event raising funds to expand Carrying Hope Houston’s programming! Special thanks to White Rhino for hosting this incredible evening, and to our amazing sponsors and hardworking Houston committee!
Interested in becoming a delivery driver?
Sign up to become a driver for the Austin, Houston or Central Texas area.
Sign up here!
Gender-Inclusive Hope Packs
Carrying Hope strives to ensure that our Hope Packs contain a range of items that reflect the diversity and interests of the children we serve, including those who are part of the LGBTQ community. Want to make a gender-inclusive Hope Pack? Purchase items from our Inclusive Wishlist or swap gender-specific items for gender-neutral items in any age Hope Pack.
Request a Hope Pack
If you are an agency or a caregiver in need of Hope Packs, we are here to help!
Make A Donation
Every dollar you give to Carrying Hope will positively impact the lives of children in foster care across Texas. From helping us to purchase Hope Pack supplies to allowing us to expand our services and programming, your donations are much needed and much appreciated.
Hope Pack Distributions YOY
- 550 Hope Packs in 2016
- 1200 Hope Packs in 2017
- 1563 Hope Packs in 2018
- 2700 Hope Packs in 2019
- 4010 Hope Packs in 2020
- 5000 Hope Packs in 2021
Hope Packs Distributed to Children in Foster Care
Hope Packs Distributed Every Day in 2021
$ Spent Directly on Foster Care Children
How You Can Help
Carrying Hope is always in need of volunteers willing to help serve our mission and further our cause. From large-scale corporate events that create hundreds of Hope Packs at a time to community drives to family service projects, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved.
Here are three of our most popular ways to help:
THE “HOPE ALL YEAR” GIFT: $600
Your gift of $600 will provide Hope Packs to more than a half-dozen children who are entering the foster care system.
THE “SIBLING HOPE” GIFT: $200
Your gift of $200 will provide Hope Packs for a sibling group that is entering the foster care system.
THE “CLASSIC HOPE” GIFT:$85
Your gift of $85 will provide 1 Hope Pack to a child who is entering the foster care system.
No matter the season, the need never ends for children in the foster care system. Your recurring monthly donation allows us to provide ongoing support in the form of Hope Packs and most-needed items to the children, youth and teens who need it most.
Short on time? Purchase a Hope Pack! Every pack is brimming with adorable comfort items and essentials for a child entering the foster care system, providing them with some much-needed comfort and hope in a moment of crisis.
Carrying Hope is thrilled to have a larger-than-life mascot, Hope the Hedgehog, who adores spending time with children and adults alike! You’ll frequently see her making new friends, passing out stickers and collecting Hope Pack items at Carrying Hope events. She’s also available for birthday parties, office visits and more!
Carrying Hope News
We are so very excited to announce the newest member of the Carrying Hope team, Quia Brown! Quia started this week as our Houston Programs Coordinator! Quia, who was born to military parents and has lived in almost every region of the country, is an incredible PR...
The refreshing splash of cool water after that first cannonball into the swimming pool. The laughter that fills the air on unscheduled days with friends. The palpable excitement walking into a store to pick out brand-new clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies...
Carrying Hope Houston was honored to host our annual Summer Drive this weekend at the Quillian Recreation Center, where we held a splashtastic pool and pizza party for 32 children and teens in foster care who are living in local shelters and residential treatment...
Is your business or office looking to give back in a meaningful way this summer? Carrying Hope is seeking corporate and individual sponsors to help provide $100 gift cards that will enable 60 children and teens living in local shelters and residential treatment...
Interested in joining the best nonprofit board in the business? Carrying Hope has a limited number of openings for new members on both our Austin and Houston boards! Read about some of our amazing board members at: https://carryinghope.org/board-of-directors/ If you...
May is National Foster Care Month, and this month Carrying Hope will be spotlighting our various programs that benefit marginalized youth in care. As an inclusive organization and LGBTQ+ ally, we strive to reflect the youth we serve by doing the following: -...
“Just placed a 10-day-old baby girl. She came with absolutely nothing (not even formula) and one of the diaper bags you guys donated was a lifesaver for her and the foster family! Thank you and all the donors so much for your hard work — you are meeting a huge need!”
– Grace Kelsoe, Helping Hand Home case manager
“I just wanted to thank you guys for helping yesterday go more smoothly and make my kiddos feel more comfortable. The Hope Packs you guys had ready for them when they arrived were wonderful!!!” – Bonnie Rushing, BSW, CPS Specialist IV
“We placed a sibling group of three this week, ages 1, 2 and 6. They didn’t come with any of their belongings and we were able to use your Hope Packs to help them feel welcome and comforted. Thank you!” – Kristi Duck, Helping Hand Home
“Hello, I am not sure what to call the wonderful bags you recently brought to our office recently for children who come into care. We have used the gifts you gave us and I wanted to say how amazing the bags are. They are perfect and give a sense of healing and sure hope. It is wonderful to have this resource to take out to new children when they are coming in. I recently went to an intake at 1:30 AM and the items in the bag were so good and needed. I thank you so much for the care put into each bag for every child. We are honored by these gift bags and how it has helped us help children.”— Sheila Falco, Angelheart Children
“We recently had a newborn placed whose parents were homeless and using drugs. They didn’t have any clothes for him at the hospital and he came in the middle of the night so the foster parents were extremely grateful for a Hope Pack with bottles, diapers and clothes for a little bitty baby.” – Grace Kelsoe, Helping Hand Home
“He loved the backpack full of goodies you brought for him. I know he really appreciated those things. He would sleep with the little flashlight and the cute pup.” – A local foster mom who received a Hope Pack for a little boy placed in her home
“Our kids love the Hope Packs! The foster parents and case managers say their faces light up when they get them. One little guy pulled each item out one at a time and asked, “this is mine?”. Some if our kids have never had items that are brand new before they came into care. We had one kid want to keep the packaging! Thanks for all you do!” – Keri Cooper, A World For Children
“I recently had the privilege of giving one of these bags to a young child who came to his new foster home with only the clothes he was wearing. The only toy he had from his birth home was a Ninja Turtle stick. We opened the bag, and he was so excited to find Ninja Turtle pajamas and a nightlight, Star Wars toothbrush, a car, a soft blanket and several other items, just for him!” – Carol Strychalski, The SAFE Alliance Foster & Adopt Program
“Over the last 12 months I have had 11 children placed in my home. Of those children, only six came with any personal possessions at all. Of those, four had their belongings in a black trash bag. What you do is extremely important, and I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart.” – William, foster parent
“On Saturday, we got a 2-year-old who was living in a tent. His parents were cooking methamphetamines, so all of his clothes had to be thrown away. We gave him a Hope Pack and he had toys and clothes and everything he needed. He especially loved a little fox stuffed animal.” – Grace Kelsoe, Helping Hand Home
“I wanted to thank you again for the Hope Pack donations you provided. They made placement really great for two of our kids. The kids were super excited to get the backs and were even more excited when they saw that there were Legos and a Batman figure in them. The child that got the Batman figure LOVES Batman, so it was extra special to him.” – Aaron Oeser, DePelchin Children’s Center Austin
“My son and I went shopping this morning for a 4-year-old boy. I am really proud of him. He picked out the things he liked but never asked if he could have one. And as soon as we got home, he put everything out and packed up the backpack.” – Erica Green, Hope Pack drive volunteer
“Receiving a Hope Pack with a child has provided our family a few extra days to just focus on the child before needing to go and pick up extra supplies. We have been blessed to be able to help and aid several children on their journey and knowing that when they arrive to our home they are accompanied by a Hope Pack full of love and comforts gives us and the child a sense that their needs will be met.” – Courtney Choffin, foster parent
One case manager reported that the new kids were so excited about receiving them and the kids already in the home said “Oh I loved my bag”. As I mentioned before, one of our families got a placement in the middle of the night and then were at our office as soon as we opened so that they could give the new kids their special bag. We are so appreciative – we sometimes have bags with some supplies but it wasn’t consistent so some kids got great stuff while other kids got very limited items so having such beautiful bags for every child consistently has been so supportive! – Keri A Cooper, LPC-S Clinical Director at A World for Children
“We started a partnership with Carrying Hope this year to distribute Hope Packs through our Rainbow Room and cannot say enough about how grateful we are for them. The children we serve love them and are always happy to receive their own backpack with a fun toy inside that always brings a smile to their face. Our caseworkers love them because of the ease and accessibility of them; when they are rushing to make sure a child is safe, they can quickly grab a Hope Pack knowing that it will have the items the child needs. Thank you to Carrying Hope for everything you have done for the children we serve!” – Marcus Cantu, Partnerships for Children
I was able to speak with a few of our case managers about the packs. They told me about two young girls who were recently placed who received your packs (are ages 11 and 9). They came into care with very little and they were very excited about everything in their packs! The items were age appropriate and contained a variety of items the girls loved. They were especially excited about the books and nail polish. I’m certain that these packs made an impact on their ability to feel safe and cared for in their new home. – Amanda Angell, Upbring Volunteer/Stewardship Coordinator