CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Paper flowers will be purchased with a purpose in the coming weeks at hundreds of locations across West Virginia.

On Friday, those with the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association, also known as OMEGA, launched the 8th Annual “Every Child Deserves a Loving Home” campaign to benefit the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.

“They help so many children in our state every year who are living in crisis,” said Traci Nelson, OMEGA president.

OMEGA represents gas station, retail, grocery and convenience store locations across West Virginia.

Nelson said about 300 locations have signed on to participate in the 2018 fundraising campaign with sales of paper flowers to customers at $1 each.

“A lot of these stores are operating in the communities where these homes are. They love it. They love to be a part of this campaign,” Nelson said.

“Every dollar helps and every dollar helps a child in crisis.”

The fundraising effort runs through Mother’s Day, May 13.

All of the money raised will go to the assistance programs the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia offers including emergency child shelters, foster care, adoption support, mentoring and early intervention.

“Children in our state, like any other state, they are being affected by the terrible drug crisis, instability in their homes and Children’s Home Society does so much to help these children,” Nelson said.

“Last year alone, they helped more than 15,000 children in our state.”

In 2017, the “Every Child Deserves a Loving Home” campaign raised about $45,000 for the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.

“They have our heart,” Nelson said of the organization. “We’re just asking West Virginians to support this program.”

Since 2003, Nelson said OMEGA has collected and donated upwards of $2.4 million to a list of children’s charities.

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