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Hometown Hero makes birthdays special for foster children

Hometown Heroes

Wanda Marland has been putting together gift bags and blankets for children since 2005

POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Comfort & Hope — that’s what Wanda Marland offers foster children around the Valley to let them know they’re not forgotten.

Step inside Heritage Presbyterian Church in Poland and you might find Wanda, who’s been putting together gift bags and blankets for children since 2005.

“Then I was a church secretary and people would come into my office, and they would tell me their stories and I just wanted to help them,” she said. “I thought I’d do a three-month trial and it just broke out and, as you can see, I’m still doing it.”

Donations have made all of these gifts possible.

Kathy Evans, with Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, said Wanda is a Wonder Woman.

“When these kids get these gifts, they just light up. They truly light up. It makes them know that they matter, that people care.”

“Amazing” is the word Mahoning County Children Services’ Jennifer Kollar uses to describe Wanda.

“To be able to offer special birthday gifts to children on their birthday who are in foster kinship care — just amazing,” she said.

“I’ve met so many wonderful people,” Wanda said. “The people that tell me, ‘You’ve given me a purpose in my life.'”

If you donate a Walmart or Target gift card, your name will be put in a drawing for an overnight stay at Best Western in Columbiana. The drawing is happening June 30.

You can message Wanda via the Comfort & Hope page on Facebook.

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