A History of Abundant Love and Support

About Us

Our Purpose

Anyone—not just foster parents—can help end the orphan crisis. When families have it in their hearts to foster, they need our love and support. We created the Ruth Project to provide real, practical, day-to-day support for families, enabling them to help more and more children for years to come.

Our Purpose

Anyone—not just foster parents—can help end the orphan crisis. When families have it in their hearts to foster, they need our love and support. We created the Ruth Projected to provide real, practical, day-to-day support for families, enabling them to help more and more children for years to come.

Our Vision

Our vision for the Ruth Project is to continue helping foster families find long-term success while also expanding our reach and planting more Ruth Storehouses. Together, with the help of donations and volunteers, we can end the modern-day orphan crisis.

Our Vision

Our vision for the Ruth Project is to continue helping foster families find long-term success while also expanding our reach and planting more Ruth Storehouses. Together, with the help of donations and volunteers, we can end the modern-day orphan crisis.

Our Story

Tammy McMahan and her husband had raised their family and thought that their role as parents was complete. Thankfully, they were mistaken—it was only the beginning.

Tammy is the author of a series of family bible studies, each focusing on a different book of the Bible. She was in the midst of writing her series on the Book of Ruth—a part of the Bible with particular emphasis on orphans—when she and her husband attended church on what happened to be Orphan Sunday.

Being so moved by the Book of Ruth and this service, Tammy and her husband felt compelled to help. In 2016, they became licensed foster parents and on the very same day they received their license, they took in their first children. Since then, they have fostered 23 children. The Ruth Project was already on the McMahan’s hearts, but it wasn’t until they were placed with one-year-old triplets during a global pandemic that the need for more support became emphasized. They paid rent on the first Ruth Storehouse in November 2020 and opened their doors in the following May.

Since then, the Ruth Project has provided ongoing support and community to foster and adoptive families in Elgin, Il and surrounding Chicago suburbs.

Our Story

Tammy McMahan and her husband had raised their family and thought that their role as parents was complete. Thankfully, they were mistaken—it was only the beginning.

Tammy is the author of a series of family bible studies, each focusing on a different book of the Bible. She was in the midst of writing her series on the Book of Ruth—a part of the Bible with particular emphasis on orphans—when she and her husband attended church on what happened to be Orphan Sunday.

Being so moved by the Book of Ruth and this service, Tammy and her husband felt compelled to help. In 2016, they became licensed foster parents and on the very same day they received their license, they took in their first children. Since then, they have fostered 23 children. The Ruth Project was already on the McMahan’s hearts, but it wasn’t until they were placed with one-year-old triplets during a global pandemic that the need for more support became emphasized. They paid rent on the first Ruth Storehouse in November 2020 and opened their doors in the following May.

Since then, the Ruth Project has provided ongoing support and community to foster and adoptive families in Elgin, Il and surrounding Chicago suburbs.

Meet the Team

Tammy McMahan

Founder and Executive Director
Directs all activities; visionary for expansion; deeply experienced in franchising. She has been a trainer, teacher, and sought after subject matter expert in parenting and fostering. She and her husband have also fostered over 20 children.

Ron Frahler

Director of Development
Brings forty years’ experience with Fortune 50 companies in Sales, Marketing, and Business Development; capitalizes on long-term and new relationships to develop partnerships for support of The Ruth Project mission.

Lynne Tellschow

Director of Community Connections and Events
Brings twenty years’ experience building and running ministry programs; establishes community relationships and partnerships to support foster families and children; manages large scale events for training and connecting.

Ashley McMahan

Storehouse Manager
Manages all day-to-day aspects of the Elgin Storehouse including inventory, family visits, volunteer activities, item donations, individual appointments, and family support events.

Maureen Fox

Corporate Writer
Writes and edits communications of all types for various media; works with the team to develop and deliver key messages and document processes for future expansion.

Meet the Board

Kellie Henninger

Entrepreneur and owner of Triple Creek Ranch; is a court-appointed special advocate (CASA), supports children with learning challenges and is long-term volunteer in her church AWANA club; mother of two adopted children.

Joanna Rozier

School occupational therapist seeing firsthand the struggles of foster children at school and home; works with homeless families and food pantries; recently fostered a teen aging out of the system who has since become a part of their family. 

Debbie Sommers

Owner and president of Lakeview Precision Machining; is active in community and a leader in her church, volunteers in local school to help students improve literacy skills.  

Lynne Tellschow

Focuses on serving the marginalized; leader of women’s ministry for 20 years at her multi-campus church; earned an MBA and has 15 years’ experience in Human Resources at two major corporations.  

Kristy West

Experienced in ICU nursing; home educator and serves at a local crisis pregnancy center and as director of a Home Education Cooperative; has first-hand experience ministering to the orphan with two adopted younger brothers.  

Tammy McMahan

Founder and Executive Director of The Ruth Project.

Our Advisory Council

Carla Brumfield

Customer Service Management

David Brumfield

Finance & Business Processes

Huron Claus

Native American/1st Nations Ministries

Mike Fox

Carpentry & Remodeling

Phil Tuttle

Restaurant Operations

Barbara Widdoes

Prayer Initiatives

Tom Widdoes

Operations and Franchise Systems

Susan Wesner

Higher Education

Jen Van Winkle

Early Childhood Education

Scott Wright

Commercial Banking

Our Community Partners

The Ruth Project has a growing number of amazing Community Partners. We collaborate with over 30 area organizations and hundreds of individuals. These partnerships and volunteers are the reason we can continue to provide a refuge of relief for foster families and restore foster children’s dignity in the process.

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