Meet Our Team

Kristin Finan

Kristin Finan

Co-founder, Executive Director

Kristin is a lifelong Austinite and proud Longhorn who set a goal of becoming a foster parent as a teen after befriending a group of children who lived in a foster home in her South Austin neighborhood. In 2015, she and her husband and their two young biological daughters realized that goal by becoming a licensed foster family that has since welcomed a half-dozen children in various crisis situations. They had the great joy of adopting their now-7-year-old son in 2017, followed by the adoption of their now-8-year-old daughter in 2020, both out of the foster care system. Kristin, a firm believer that hope is always stronger than fear, has been humbled and honored to help grow Carrying Hope from a small neighborhood project to a full-fledged 501c3 nonprofit that has made a difference for thousands of Texas children. Learn more about Kristin’s foster care journey by reading her series, Heartbreak and Hope, which was published in the Austin American-Statesman in 2017, at mystatesman.com/fostercare. Contact her at kristin@carryinghope.org.

Mauri Elbel

Mauri Elbel

Co-founder, Managing Director

Mauri is a native Texan, University of Texas at Austin grad, and has called Austin home since 2008 after working as a reporter on the tiny Caribbean island of St. John and earning a master’s of journalism from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Mauri has been an advocate for foster children for more than a decade, with volunteer experiences ranging from teaching weekly creative writing classes and reading bedtime stories to foster children living in a residential treatment center to providing respite care for children in the system and as a court-appointed CASA advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. As a mom of three who grew increasingly frustrated with the way children were coming into foster care with absolutely nothing, Mauri co-founded Carrying Hope to help bring positive change and much-needed hope and comfort to the kids who need it most. Contact her at mauri@carryinghope.org
Quia Brown

Quia Brown

Houston Programs Coordinator

Quia, who was born to military parents and has lived in almost every region of the country, is an incredible PR Specialist with a passion for diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is also a “huge foodie” and, when she’s not with friends, she loves to binge-watch TikTok videos, read self-motivational books and strengthen her green thumb.