About Carrying Hope

Our Mission

Carrying Hope is a 501c3 nonprofit founded in Austin in 2016 by foster parents and advocates who were heartbroken watching children arrive on their doorsteps time and time again with nothing but the clothes on their backs. We knew they deserved better. So we came up with the idea for Hope Packs: backpacks filled with everything a child would need during his/her/their first 24-48 hours in a new home. Since our inception, we have distributed more than 15,000 Hope Packs to CPS and foster care agencies across the state. 

A newborn discharged from the hospital into foster care with nothing, not even diapers or formula. A 6-month-old dropped off at a foster home wearing a party dress two sizes too big because it was the only clothing option her CPS caseworker could find. A 4-year-old desperate for distraction, and comfort, after being taken into foster care on the worst night of his life.

As foster parents and advocates for children in the system, these aren’t just stories we’ve heard. These are stories we’ve lived when children have arrived at our doorsteps with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Even when children who are entering the foster care system are allowed to bring along items from home, typically those items have been hastily shoved in a trash bag, years of memories reduced to a container best used for last night’s leftovers. More than 22,000 children are removed from their homes by CPS in the state of Texas every year.

FAQ

How do I volunteer with Carrying Hope?

Thank you for wanting to volunteer and get involved with Carrying Hope. We rely on our incredible community to help us make a positive difference in the lives of the foster children and families we serve, and we welcome volunteers of all ages to get involved in the process. Whether you’re an individual, couple, family, group of friends, school, team, organization, church, business or corporation, please visit our GET INVOLVED page to find out all of the different ways you can help us bring some much-needed comfort and hope to the kids who need it most! 

What is a Hope Pack and what goes in one?

Hope Packs are backpacks containing new, age-appropriate necessities and comfort items designed to ease the transition for children entering the foster care system. Hope Packs are broken down by age (newborns through teens) and designed to provide everything a child needs for the first days and nights in a new placement. Want to make a Hope Pack? Please refer to our HOPE PACK SUPPLY LISTS. Want to donate a Hope Pack, but don’t have time to shop? You can PURCHASE A HOPE PACK here and we’ll handle the rest!

Where do I drop off Hope Packs and most-needed items in Austin?

We accept donations at our Austin office (8711 Burnet Rd. Ste. E-52, Austin, TX 78757) every Wednesday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

We also have a mailbox at Postmark’d http://www.postmarkd.com/  (9600 Escarpment Blvd. Ste. 745-239 Austin, TX 78749), which accepts Hope Packs for Carrying Hope during their office hours Monday through Saturday. If these options don’t work, we have a dedicated team of volunteer drivers –– please email us at info@carryinghope.org to coordinate.

Where do I drop off Hope Packs and most-needed items in Houston?

We accept donations at our Houston office (8556 Katy Fwy #104 Houston, TX 77024) every Thursday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. We also have a mailbox at 5318 Weslayan St., Unit #311, Houston, TX 77005, which will accept Hope Packs for Carrying Hope.

Do you accept donations of previously used clothing or items?

Carrying Hope only accepts new (tags-on or in-the-package), never-used items to include in our Hope Packs. We believe each child going through the often-traumatic transition into foster care deserves his/her/their very own Hope Pack brimming with new, high-quality items that exclusively belong to them.

How does my foster care agency/organization receive Hope Packs?

Carrying Hope distributes Hope Packs directly to CPS and foster care agencies throughout Texas. Our goal is for the Hope Pack to arrive with the child being placed in a new home. To apply to become a partner, request a Hope Pack here.

How do I receive a Hope Pack for my recent foster placement?

While our intent is that every child entering foster care arrives with a Hope Pack, Carrying Hope happily fulfills individual requests from foster and kinship families. Please request a Hope Pack to let us know when you received a placement; the age, gender, clothing/diaper size of the child; and which agency you are licensed with.

What are Carrying Hope’s biggest needs?

More than 22,000 children are removed from their homes by CPS in the state of Texas every year. Carrying Hope’s biggest ongoing need is donations to help us to create more Hope Packs and expand our distribution throughout Texas. If you would like to contribute any amount, please make a donation. Please consider become one of our monthly supporters to help us as we continue to transform the once-heartbreaking scenario of children arriving to a new foster home with nothing but the clothes they are wearing into a transition that begins with hope and healing.  

I’m interested in replicating what Carrying Hope does in my own area. How do I do that?

Carrying Hope receives requests and inquiries from people in other cities and states passionate about helping children entering foster care in their own areas. Email us at info@carryinghope.org to start the conversation about everything from opening a Carrying Hope affiliate location to holding a Hope Pack drive that benefits foster children in your own community. 

This little girl would have arrived to her new foster home with nothing if not for her Hope Pack. “This 2-year-old came with nothing at all. She especially loved her pink socks and glittery brush,” her case manager wrote.

We want better for them. We consulted with local foster care agencies and CPS, and we came up with the idea for Hope Packs — backpacks or diaper bags filled with items that children who are entering the system need most. The item lists for Hope Packs feature a mix of necessities, such as formula, diapers and wipes, and comfort items, such as stuffed animals, jammies, nightlights and coloring books, intended to ease the transition for kids who are coming into care. After we receive completed packs, we distribute them to foster care agencies and CPS caseworkers who can take them along when they’re placing children in new homes.

Since we became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in July 2016, we have distributed more than 15,000 Hope Packs to foster children.

Make A Donation

Mission Impact

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