Kristin Finan, co-founder/president/CEO
Kristin is a lifelong Austinite and proud Longhorn who set a goal of becoming a foster parent as a teen after befriending a group of children who lived in a foster home in her South Austin neighborhood. In 2015, she and her husband and their two young biological daughters realized that goal by becoming a licensed foster family that has since welcomed a half-dozen children in various crisis situations. In November 2017, they also had the great joy of adopting their now-5-year-old son during Austin Adoption Day. Kristin, a firm believer that hope is always stronger than fear, has been humbled and honored to help grow Carrying Hope from a small neighborhood project to a full-fledged 501c3 nonprofit that has made a difference for thousands of Central Texas children. Learn more about Kristin’s foster care journey by reading her series, Heartbreak and Hope, which was published in the Austin American-Statesman in 2017, at mystatesman.com/fostercare. Contact her at email@example.com.
Mauri Elbel, co-founder/vice president
Mauri is a native Texan, University of Texas at Austin grad, and has called Austin home since 2008 after working as a reporter on the tiny Caribbean island of St. John and earning a master’s of journalism from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Mauri has been an advocate for foster children for more than a decade, with volunteer experiences ranging from teaching weekly creative writing classes and reading bedtime stories to foster children living in a residential treatment center to providing respite for children in the system and as a court-appointed CASA advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. As a mom of three who grew increasingly frustrated with the way children were coming into foster care with absolutely nothing, Mauri co-founded Carrying Hope to help bring positive change and much-needed hope and comfort to the kids who need it most. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Garza, co-founder/creative director
Rachel grew up in Austin just 3 houses down from Kristin Finan and shared the same profound experience of meeting and playing with children living in a foster home just a street over from them. She graduated high school, went to art school, got married to an amazing man that makes her laugh every day, welcomed biological twin daughters, and had a few other of life’s milestones here and there. But the desire to foster stayed with her and 2 years after her daughters were born, Rachel and her husband went down the road to become foster parents. She has since been fostering for over a year and has seen first hand the powerful and important impact one Hope Pack filled with comfort items and essentials can really have. If it wasn’t for Carrying Hope, all of her foster children would have arrived with almost nothing. Contact her at email@example.com.