DENHAM SPRINGS -- The Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce named The Foster Village its 2019 Community Impact Award winner during its annual business awards ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

The Foster Village is a Walker-based donation center that aims to equip local foster families with gently used/new items and necessities free of charge. It started in the spring of 2018 under Shayna Landry and Amy LeJeune, two foster mothers from Livingston Parish who met through Facebook.

Located on the grounds of Judson Baptist Church in Walker, the donation center invites foster parents to take items they may need or exchange ones they no longer use. The village also offers pre-packed welcome bags filled with clothes, toiletries, toys and other children’s goods, as well as larger items like cribs, twin-size bedding, strollers, swings and infant tubs.

It held an official grand-opening ceremony in May 2019. Less than a year later, it’s become an award winner.

“Amy and I were so honored to accept the 2019 Business of the Year Community Impact Award from the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce!” Landry wrote on The Foster Village’s Facebook page. “Thank you to everyone who has supported The Foster Village this year and made everything that we do possible! This one is for y’all!”

The Community Impact Award recognizes organizations "that are a community partner and have done outstanding work in addressing issues directly related to Livingston Parish," according to the Chamber’s website.

In a press release, CEO April Wehrs said the Chamber has worked with The Foster Village since it launched through a service project for a recent Leadership Livingston class. The group hoped “to bring awareness to foster care and the staggering numbers in Livingston Parish.”

“For their ongoing work with children in Livingston Parish, the organization's ability to engage volunteers and for filling a need, the Community Impact Award of 2019 was awarded to The Foster Village,” Wehrs said.

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