oFster students in the Roanoke Valley are getting the “celebrity treatment” just in time for the new school year.
Famous actress Jen Lilley… you may recognize her from the Hallmark Channel… is originally from Roanoke County. She has a passion for children in foster care.
“Children enter foster care every two minutes in the United States. Seven-hundred children enter foster care in this nation every single day,” said Lilley.
For the 2021/2022 school year, Lilley started a backpack campaign called “Christmas in July”. This program partnered with four charities; Comfort Cases, City Serve, Child Help, and the Roanoke nonprofit ministry Straight Street. “One of the reasons we chose to do school supplies, backpacks full of school supplies, is because about 55% of children in foster care do not graduate high school,” explained Lilley.
Straight Street is a faith-based nonprofit that began in 1994, providing skills and training for at risk youth in the Roanoke Valley