92 Bowery St., NY 10013

+1 800 123 456 789


Room in our home, room in our hearts … interview with an Angels’ Arms foster mom.

When you meet an Angels’ Arms foster parent, you begin to understand that these are very special people. People who love and care for children, and are willing to sacrifice more than you can imagine to give them the life they deserve.

One of our newer parents joined Angels’ Arms in the middle of the covid pandemic. After a year as an Angels’ Arms foster parent, we checked in with Lawreene Hall to learn more about her and what this past year has been like.

Room in our home, room in our hearts

Although Lawreene and her husband Will Hall joined Angels’ Arms as a foster parents in July 2021, they began fostering in 2013. Lawreene watched her own mother foster children for 18 years. It made a big impact on her, and she felt that “God placed it on my heart to become a foster mom. We had room in our home and our hearts.”

She watched former foster children return to her mother and say, “I don’t know where I would be if you didn’t course correct me. In the midst of fostering, they may not have understood or appreciated what was going on, but it made a difference that changed their lives.”

Lawreene’s three biological sons and Will’s son and daughter were grown and had homes of their own, which left them with “room in their home.” Now they care for six foster children, and they also enjoy nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way. But even with their own children out of the house, the Hall’s realized that their 3-bedroom home and small backyard were not ideal for raising a big group of boys.

Much needed support

With Angels’ Arms, everything changed. Lawreene explained that at first, “the biggest change was our location, a totally different school district which we love. And more space. We now have four bedrooms, and a huge back yard. The boys having more outdoor space was just fantastic.”

But for Lawreene and her family, it’s the extras that come with being an Angels’ Arms home that makes a huge difference. “We are just able to do so much more for the boys. They definitely see and feel the difference. Something as simple as an extra bowl of cereal is huge. When you raise boys, they are always hungry. The word of the summer is ‘snack,’ and I constantly hear, ‘When is it time to eat again?’ The extra groceries and the gift cards – those are just a godsend.

“And there are so many other things, things I never thought about. We were going on a weekend trip, and Angels’ Arms supplied us with sunscreen, beach towels, life jackets, water shoes, everything the boys needed to have a special get-away. Not having to shop at a thrift store or look for hand-me-downs, that makes them feel good, too. It really ups their self-esteem. They can really blend in at school or wherever they go. Used clothes are great, but it feels good to get them brand new things sometimes, just like all the other kids they are with.”

Another real plus for Lawreene is the other Angels’ Arms parents. “I have a support system with Angels’ Arms, this core group of parents I can talk to. That extra support really helps.”

Navigating a year in covid

Lawreene didn’t know exactly what the future would hold when she came to Angels’ Arms last July in the middle of the pandemic. When the world shut down, Lawreene was still caring for six children. The resources that Angels’ Arms provided, from extra laptops and a printer to help with school work, were critical to helping the family get through the school year. “My hats go off to teachers. I couldn’t do it — but I had to do it for 2020. Covid was tough emotionally. You had the worry of keeping everyone healthy. I needed to stay healthy for them because they had underlying fears – ‘Miss Lawreene what will happen to us if you or Mr. Will get covid?’ That was extra stress for them.”

Homeschooling was difficult because the children are all at different levels. “They may be the same age, but they are not on the same playing field school wise. Imagine you are in kindergarten, and your first experience with school is on a zoom – that stinks. They needed the socialization with their peers. That was the roughest part of covid for us, and everyone was relieved when they got to go back to the classroom, even a few days a week.”

On the positive side, “2020 was a slow-down moment. We are always so go, go, go. We learned that things that we thought mattered, really didn’t matter. Things that we thought we couldn’t survive without were not as important as we thought. The health and safety of those around us was really the most important thing. I think God just told us to slow down. Breathe. Look up. I felt like the birds were chirping more. I wondered if they had always been there chirping in the morning. And it seemed like the grass was greener, the sun was brighter. I don’t know if it really was, or if we just slowed down and were able to see it and hear it for the first time.”


May is Foster Care Awareness Month

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, a time to recognize foster parents, families, volunteers, mentors, and child welfare professionals who provide loving homes and resources to children and youth in foster care.

Did you know that close to 700 children enter the foster care system every day and currently there are more than 440,000 children and youth in foster care in the United States? We encourage you to find a way to get involved in their lives. Below are a few ways you too can support foster children in our community during National Foster Care Awareness month and beyond:

  • Donate for Give STL Day and help send our families to Trout Lodge this summer!
  • Volunteer to make and deliver a meal to a foster family. Give a family a night off from cooking.
  • Host a collection to support foster families. Help us re-stock the Angel Depot for our families.

For more ways to get involved, visit


Warehouse Name Revealed!

We are thrilled to reveal Marion’s Angel Depot as the official name of our donation and distribution center located in South St. Louis County. We hosted a dedication ceremony on March 12th to recognize Marion Bradford for her steadfast commitment to our organization over the last eighteen years.

Marion, aka Dumpster Diva, Garage Sale Queen, Junking Pro, immersed herself with the organization immediately after our first home was purchased (in 2003). She was the Volunteer and Workday Coordinator Extraordinaire while we tackled the very daunting project of transforming the first Angels’ Arms’ house into a child-friendly, family home. Ever since then, Marion has remained involved by supporting the organization financially and collecting specially-themed items for our auctions, scouring sales and shops for baskets, and spreading the word about our mission. Her commitment and compassion make her one of the best volunteers any organization could dream of.  In March 2021, we honored Marion’s steadfast commitment to our mission by dedicating our donation distribution center in her honor and naming it Marion’s Angel Depot.

“Angels’ Arms captured my heart from the moment I attended their fall event 18 years ago and heard their message, I knew I wanted to be involved with this wonderful organization.  Founder Bess Wilfong projects such warmth and passion for the Angels’ Arms mission and inspires me to this day.  Volunteering with Angels’ Arms allows me to use my passion for “junking” as I scour the county for decor and projects to upcycle for their auction and their foster homes.  I am also proud that Angels’ Arms recognizes and utilizes the unique talents of each volunteer.  The efforts of those who mow lawns, paint rooms, provide family meals, donate boxes of cereal, plan birthday parties, and a thousand other things to support Angels’ Arms is so important.” – Marion

Foster Family

A Day of Sunshine

I was a bit fatigued the day after receiving my 2nd COVID-19 vaccine. But it was a beautiful Saturday in February, and I know I wasn’t feeling nearly as tired or cruddy as one of our house moms who’s in the biggest battle for her life. She has breast cancer, her2 positive, which means it spreads quickly. Her treatment plan includes chemo that goes right through her—many times a day. Needless to say, she’s always tired and feels like the life has been zapped from her. 

Ramona, foster mother, and cancer fighter.

We all know people who battled cancer: some of them fought and lost and some fought and are still here, including me. But this is different. This single foster mom has 7 children living in the home. They’re all learning virtually. As a foster parent, you never know who you’ll get, what behaviors they’ll exhibit, and how long they’ll be with you.

This group of 7 kids is special. They are a family unit. They laugh, argue, clean, eat, and play together. Every single one of them has a happy disposition. Some of them are siblings. But if you didn’t know differently, you would think they’re one group of siblings.

I took all 7 of them to Forest Park Saturday so mom could rest and just have a bit of downtime. What a tremendous blessing this turned out to be. When I arrived at their home, they were waiting by the door. Each one of them had one of the specially-themed denim quilts made just for them in their arms.

Exploring the beauty of Forest Park.

The gratitude they exhibited was completely unexpected. “Thank you for taking us to this really cool park.” “Thank you for setting up this picnic for us.” “Thank you for taking time from your weekend to be with 7 kids.”

We walked in creeks, walked some trails, played Zombie Tag (I was “it” most of the time since I’m a slow runner), but even then, they came to my rescue and allowed me to catch them. We had a picnic lunch with everyone sprawled out on their personalized blankets. Other kids even came to play with us and shared their kites and balls with them.

The kids loved having a picnic in Forest Park on their personalized quilts from DenimQuilts.

I can’t begin to tell you what this day did for my heart and my soul. It’s quite evident that these kids are experiencing what love is. They know what it means to be part of a family. They’ve learned what it means when someone has their back.

I talked with them about how hard it is to endure chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. I talked about the fatigue, the sick feeling, the metallic taste of almost all food, the inability to sleep due to frequent trips to the bathroom. I let them know that their foster mom’s cancer is treatable and has a very high success rate. Regardless of what the doctors say, it’s scary as hell, and each day in treatment (and after) brings its own challenges.

But all the while this beautiful mama manages to smile. In fact, her tears are tears of gratitude. She and her big family have been enveloped with more love than they know what to do with. They’re receiving delicious meals from supporters, from Pink Ribbon Girls, and from Angels’ Arms. One dedicated supporter redid her bedroom to make it more of a tranquil place. Others have assisted with laundry, cleaning, building another room for storage…the list goes on.

Ramona excited about her donated meals from Pink Ribbon Girls and volunteers building out a laundry room in her home.

Ramona’s new bedding and decor thanks to long-time volunteer, Linda Robben.

The kindness Ramona is experiencing is the sunshine that’s attempting to take over the always-looming clouds.

At the end of the day, I brought the kids home. They each went in to say hello to their “mom” and let her know how much fun they had. Then I went in to tell this mama how full my heart was. When you get outside of yourself and spend time with kids whose parents have died, given up parental rights, abused and neglected them, it certainly diminishes your “problems” and gives your existence a new perspective.

A selfie to remember this fun day!

We’re here to help each other. It takes more than a village. It takes one big-ass village.

Bess Wilfong
Executive Director and Founder
Angels’ Arms

Happy New Year!

Thank you for all the LOVE in 2020!

Thank you for being our support system this year. We leaned on you during the most challenging times and you came through for our foster families with your donations, meals and grocery deliveries, gifts for our kids, your time and so much more.

Our 20th anniversary year has come to an end, but we have big goals for 2021, which include expanding our reach to provide resources to even more foster families in the community.

We love having you as a part of the Angels’ Arms family and we wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

All our best,
Angels’ Arms Staff and Board of Directors
Check out a special message of thanks from our Board of Directors

Give Back


Giving Tuesday is a global day highlighting the importance of charitable giving. From giving your time to giving a donation, everyone has something to give!

Your contribution to Angels’ Arms on #GivingTuesday will ensure that the foster children living in our 13 homes receive the essentials they need to live happy and healthy lives. Your donations will help supply clothing and shoes, toiletries, school-related needs, funding for sports equipment and uniforms, camps and extracurricular activities, college related expense, and so much more.

Visit us on Tuesday, 12/1 to donate via Facebook or our website.


Grace Plates Benefit Angels’ Arms in November

We are so excited to partner with our friends at Grace Meat + Three for their November Giving Grace Campaign!  A portion of each Giving Grace Plate purchased in the Month of November will Benefit Angels’ Arms.

Quarter Special Grace Plates – $13.50
Quarter Bird – Rick’s Famous Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Johnny Cakes
& Collard Greens
*Feeds 1 Person

Family Special Grace Plates – $42.00
Whole Bird – Rick’s Famous Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Johnny Cakes
& Collard Greens
*Feeds a Family of 4

Order HERE:


Help us stock our new warehouse!

Angels’ Arms Founder/ED, Bess Wilfong, holding the keys at our new warehouse!

It’s official…we have a new warehouse! The generosity of our community has forced us to acquire a larger space that will serve as our donation drop-off and distribution center. With close to 4,000 sq ft of space, we will be able to accept even more resources to support our foster families. Check out the LIVE tour we hosted on facebook!

We are kicking off our “Stock our Warehouse Campaign”, we are accepting your donations. We encourage you to rally your family, friends, coworkers, business, church, and school and host a drive on behalf of Angels’ Arms. Below is a list of our ongoing needs:

Food items:
– Cereal and breakfast foods – Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, Honey Nut Cheerios,
Cap’n Crunch, Reese’s Puffs
– Breakfast foods – granola bars and oatmeal
– Pasta noddles, pasta sauce (in cans/plastic containers), chicken noodle soup, canned green beans and corn, rice
– Peanut butter and jelly, apple sauce, snacks (goldfish, pretzels, chips, popcorn, crackers)

Household Items:
– Paper Products (toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates)
– Laundry Detergent, dishwasher liquid, dish soap, and bleach
– Twin sheets 
– Dark towels

– Toothpaste and toothbrushes (kids and adults)
– deodorant (men’s and women’s)
– pads and tampons
– shampoo, conditioner
– body wash and lotion

– ALL sizes of diapers 1-5 
– Pull-up’s – sizes 3T-4T and 5T-6T
– Adult depends (sizes S/M)

We will accept furniture on an as-needed basis. We cannot accept used clothing, books, and stuffed animals.

Contact Ashley Cook if you are interested in hosting a drive for any of the following categories and to schedule a drop-off. or call 314-842-8400


WINNER ANNOUNCED: Groceries for a Year Raffle

UPDATE: November 14, 2020
Congratulations to KEVIN DOLL on winning the 2020 Dierbergs Groceries for a Year raffle. Thank you to everyone for helping us sell out the raffle. We raised $20,000 in support of our foster families.

In honor of our 20th Anniversary, raffle tickets are ONLY $20 EACH and only 1,000 tickets will be sold.

One lucky winner will be selected at random on 11/14/2020 and will take home $5,200 in Dierbergs gift cards. Don’t forget to share this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with your family and friends!

*100% of all raffle ticket proceeds will benefit Angels’ Arms.
*For raffle rules and regulations, contact

Lots of Groceries

Check out what last year’s winner has to say:
“We were very surprised when our name was called and very happy to know that we had supported this great organization and actually won something, especially something this big. Angels’ Arms is such a great organization and we never thought we would win but we wanted to take a chance and support a fantastic cause.  I would encourage anyone to buy a ticket for the chance to win but even better to support the many foster kids that are being helped in our area. We were elated to have won the gift cards and we’ve even used them at times to buy food for donations.” – Bill C.

Special thanks to our raffle sponsor:

dierbergs Frito Lay Logo  sara lee


Bingo is their Game-o

This week, the Angels’ Arms Junior Board took the many fundraising setbacks they have faced this year due to COVID and turned them into something positive! Jordan Shelton, Angels’ Arms Junior Board president, designed fun Bingo Cards for our Junior Board to post on their Social Media and help raise funds for Angels’ Arms foster children. 

“Typically Angels’ Arms Junior Board hosts three happy hours that help raise money to fund activities for the foster children living in Angels’ Arms homes,” says Angels’ Arms Event Coordinator, Maria Chandler. “Sadly, this year, because of the pandemic, we couldn’t. So we had to get creative on how to recoup those lost funds. The Junior Board quickly jumped right into action to make up the difference!”

Example of a Bingo card post from one of our Junior Board members.

Over the last week, The Junior Board posted on all Social Media outlets raising awareness for Angels’ Arms and raising an incredible amount of money!! Their one week total of posting the Bingo Cards raised nearly $2,500! Far exceeding what they would have raised traditionally at their Happy Hours. 
“We are so thrilled that our families and friends have really stepped up this week to help us raise additional funds for the Angels’ Arms families,” says Jordan Shelton, Angels’ Arms Junior Board President. “When we started this fundraiser we set what we thought was a lofty goal and we have already surpassed that thanks to our amazing Junior Board and supporters!”
“To be honest, I wasn’t really sure how this fundraiser was going to go but once we got started it was so fun,” says Lindsey Van Duyne, Angels’ Arms Junior Board Vice President.  “Seeing the fellow JB members filling up their cards and trying to fill mine up as fast as I can (because everything is a competition) was so satisfying! Very rarely am I speechless but I am completely blown away by the amount of love from my family and friends! With all of the crazy going on in the world it was nice to see that there is still so much good as well.”
“This is just another example of how blessed we are to have these young professionals on our Junior Board, constantly advocating for our foster children and foster families, plus it shows how amazing our supporters are,” says Maria.
The Angels’ Arms Junior Board is comprised of 20+ young professionals in St. Louis, Missouri. If you’re interested in getting involved, please visit and fill out the Junior Board application today!