Hope Village for Children has now been open for over 10 years. At their campus just North of Downtown Meridian, they house about 35 children each day, and have helped over 2,000 since they opened. While they don't have the staff to do a whole lot of fundraising, Executive Director Tina Aycock says that the surrounding community has been extremely generous and is always willing to help.
"We have community professionals that donate those things for us. When there's an event, a concert, we have people that pay for our kids to go, the Ralph Morgan Rodeo, if they need baseball uniforms. We're always asking for those kinds of things, and we always get them."
When Hope Village first opened, their sole goal was to take care of children in the foster care system. Now that they've been around 10 years, those children have grown up, and are young adults. That prompted Hope Village to build two transitional houses to help out their residents aged 17-21, and that transitional program is where the $200,000-plus raised on Saturday night is going.
"Those needs have no funding, no state funding, no federal funding. Those are the needs my child had when he was 22, 23 years old and wasn't quite ready to be on his own, and our children deserve those things."
Most of their residents have been through many foster homes before coming to Hope Village, and Aycock says they will always be there for their kids.
"They just need someone that's going to stick with them, and some place they can't fail, and that's what we strive to be, some place they can't fail."