The group will open its storage unit at 20930 Drake Rd. on Oct. 14 in a storefront donated for the second year by plaza owner Bob Nottrodt.
"Help us provide for our kids here in America, tucked away in the beautiful mountains of coal mining Appalachia, West Virginia," said Terry Evans, who has organized the mission for the last 23 years. "We can care for them when no one else does. They suffer hunger in silence."
Volunteers will drive a truck to West Virginia loaded with shoes, coats, food and gifts for the children in several schools.
"Until you see it, you just don't understand that level of poverty can exist five hours from Strongsville," said Fire Chief Jeff Branic, who often drives the truck to deliver the goods.
Branic was moved by what he saw on his visits to the Appalachian region.
"I overheard one kid asking another what he wanted for Christmas, and he answered, 'I want a warm blanket,'" he said.
Strongsville firefighters stage a coat drive, load the trucks and drive them down. Members of Grace Church and Missionary Alliance Church in Middleburg Heights organize a Shoe Tree. Students at Strongsville schools collect food and buy gifts. People knit scarves and sew pajamas.
Any group or individual interested in donating can contact Terry at 440-826-0390.
"I get so much joy in knowing the kids down there are enjoying the holidays like we are," Evans said. "On Christmas, I'll know that tonight, they'll have something to eat."
The area is so depressed, many kids eat only the food provided for them in the schools, and don't own a pair of shoes.
Evans said she recently visited Boone County, where We Care focuses its efforts.
"My eyes were opened to see for myself the increase of poverty since the government has shut down more mines. My eyes filled with tears and I heard what our children are suffering," she said. "Hunger and abuse are on the rise. Schools also need our help for warm clothing and shoes to help especially in the cold months."
Throughout the year, We Care also provides "Love Bags" — sacks filled with fruit cups, peanut butter crackers, oatmeal packets and other food — for kids every Friday so they will have something to eat over the weekend.
"We always need more non-perishable food items and volunteers," Evans said. "To the donators in the past, we thank each of you. Be sure to know you are appreciated more than our words can tell."Donations are are tax deductible and checks should be made payable to We Care.