Riedel Foundation funds program that helps Hannibal foster children transition to independence

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Riedel Foundation trustee Bill Craigmiles, right, presents a $10,000 grant to Faith Bridge director Andie Jamerson. The grant will help teenagers who are aging out of the foster care system. | Photo courtesy of Riedel Foundation

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The George H. Riedel Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to Faith Bridge for its Carry On Program in Hannibal, which helps children aging out of the foster care system.

The goal of Carry On is to provide young adults with tangible goods and tools to help them become successful, contributing members of the community. It provides furniture, bedding, kitchen and bath essentials, small appliances, cleaning and laundry supplies, basic tools, hygiene and first aid items, home décor, clothing, shoes and career wear at no cost.

“These kids already have had a rough start in life. That’s why they were placed in foster care,” Faith Bridge director Andie Jamerson said in a press release. “Too often, the outcome when they leave the system is homelessness, poverty, addiction, even prison. We hope that by giving these young adults a fresh start, we can break that cycle.”

A $5,000 Riedel grant in 2022 helped establish the Carry On program in Hannibal. With that money, Faith Bridge worked with national companies with excess inventory to buy $185,000 in furnishings and supplies for the Carry On program. They supplied six apartments for former foster children and helped with supplies for another 32 children.

“We were so impressed with what the group was able to do with our start-up grant, and we’re excited to see what they can do with this latest award,” Riedel trustee Bill Craigmiles said. “Though there are several organizations in Hannibal that help foster families, this program is unique because it helps the transition to responsible adulthood.”

Faith Bridge hopes to fully furnish up to 25 apartments with this latest $10,000 grant award.

“This serves to alleviate the initial cost of independence for former foster youth and gives them the freedom to begin adulthood with the things they need,” Jamerson said. “They participate in mentoring programs, support groups, job training, life skills classes and college-level tutoring.”

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