Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

'Cars for Kids' Supports Children's Home Society

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

'Cars for Kids' Supports Children's Home Society

Article excerpt

"Cars for Kids! That's an unusual combination. Why do kids need cars?

It's a car show, Shirley Drennen told Putnam Rotary members on July 21. "My husband and I were able to combine our two passions -- cars and children, she explained. "Last year we had about 20 cars and we raised about $1,000.

"That isn't a huge amount of money, she admitted, "but the number of people we talked to and the support that we garnered for the Home Society was the best part about it.

The car show for this year is slated for Saturday, Aug, 15 from 2 to 7 p.m. at Quaker Steak & Lube in Southridge.

"The kids are the judges, Drennen explained. "They get to pick out their favorite cars. We give awards by decade and for imports.

"A hundred percent of the proceeds go to kids right here in our area, and specifically the Davis Child Center location, she said.

The Home Society is the Children's Home Society of West Virginia.

The Society dates from 1896 with the arrival of D.W. Comstock, a retired minister who had organized children's homes in other states. At that time, West Virginia children who didn't have a family were placed in orphanages. Comstock's work marked the beginning of the foster care and adoption procedures now in place.

"He traveled around the state on trains gathering children and placing them in homes, said Drennen.

"With a grant from a Charleston philanthropist (Sen. Henry Gassaway Davis), he opened the Davis Child's Home in Charleston.

"The home was designed for one caretaker and four to five children. But after the influenza epidemic during World War I, the number of children grew to 110.

The Society today operates in 12 locations in the state, including nine emergency shelters.

"The nearest homes are Davis in Charleston and the Hovah Hall Underwood Home in Huntington, Drennen said. "Whenever you support the Children's Home Society, you are supporting the children that are right here. …

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