Mission West Virginia changes the lives of youth and families. We promote positive futures by recruiting foster families, providing life skills education and creating community connections.
Gov. Underwood asked Rev. Dr. F. Emerson Wood of Huntington to serve as the organization’s first executive director. A board of directors numbering 21 women and men were recruited. These directors represented all areas of the state and were comprised of religious leaders, business leaders, community organizers, leaders of higher education and various other professionals. 501(c)(3) status was granted by the Internal Revenue Service in 1997. Under Dr. Wood’s leadership, Mission West Virginia began to grow and flourish. Early program successes included a statewide recruitment of adoptive and foster parents, a program called Faith and Families that linked local congregations with families receiving public assistance, and the beginning of the organization’s technology initiative.