Bags for Foster Kids
Bags of Hope in New Mexico
Just the facts...
This year 300,000 kids will enter foster care with whatever they can grab in about 2 minutes. Some come with nothing but the diaper on their butt. The majority will arrive at their new home with the "Official luggage of the foster care system" AKA a hefty bag. Would you want a child you know to go thru this? No...I think not.
I know you are thinking...what about the foster parents? Well, if a kid is in your home for a couple days you really cannot afford to buy lots of stuff to plan their departure. My state pays foster parents a whopping $9.70-$12.80 per day...yeah you read that right. This has to include clothing, food, transportation, toys, bedding, birthdays, Christmas, furniture, car seats, fun stuff, school pictures...really the list is endless. Sometimes just getting them clothing is the biggest priority. However like most other foster parents I have given out every bag I own and then some to move kids. After 7 years that is about 15 duffel bags, 8 pieces of luggage & 50 backpacks. We also keep a good stash of tubs just in case we need to move lots of stuff.
How you can help? It's easy, everyone has spare backpacks, bags, luggage, duffel bags, or tote bags cluttering up their closet! Do a little spring cleaning & help out some kids so they don't feel like a throw away child. Every city or town has drop off just for foster kids, and if you have a bunch of stuff they will usually find a volunteer to come by & pick it up! A tireless crew of awesome helpers clean up the bags & get them ready for the kids that need them.
If you're not sure where to donate in your area please contact me & I'll be happy to find the resources for you.
This is Not a suitcase!
New is nice too!
Kids in foster care get hand me down everything. They live at a strangers house, have weird sheets, a room that countless kids have lived in...you get the idea. So imagine their delight to have something new...and all theirs!
So next time you see backpacks on sale lot up! Then stock them will fab stuff like crayons & coloring books. Don't forget those older kids that might want a journal or glitter pens. It may seem like such a small thing but these kids deserve some happy in their lives. For just $20 it could mean the difference between using an old shopping bag to head off to school & a shiny new Hello Kitty backpack. If you're like me then you are a thrifty shopper, I stock up on a dozen or so backpacks every fall after school starts. That 's perfect for the next summer backpack drive! You get 9 months to hunt for fun goodies to load into the packs...how cool is that?
Don't have time to shop?
- Children's Action Network : A Project of the Tides Center
Children's Action Network is dedicated to finding homes for the more than 129,000 children in the United Staes who are waiting for an adoptive family and improving outcomes for the more than 500,000 children in foster care.
- Duffels for Kids
Collecting cash for kids to each get their own bag.
- Together We Rise: Improving the Lives of Children in Foster Care
Together We Rise is a non profit dedicated to improving the lives of foster children in America by funding programs that give them a sense of normalcy, comfort, and build self-esteem.
- Welcome to MyOwnBag.org
Make a donation & this company will stuff a bag for a foster kiddo in need. It's super easy & you'll even feel good about it!
Sweet Cases for kids in Foster Care
Did you know foster kids moved with trash bags?
What else do they need?
These kids travel light & not always because they want to. They often don't have their own blanket or favorite toys when they arrive. They may not have many clothes & those they do have may not fit very well. All in all it's just a cruddy time for them.
So what would make them feel more normal?
- Toys of course!
- New kid friendly blankets.
- Plush toys (even the older kids love these)
- Fun accessories for teens...Shades, necklaces, earrings, rubber bracelets, You know cool stuff that all the teens have.
- Dig out your old iPods! This will make a kids entire year. Toss in some new ear buds & maybe a iTunes gift card for good measure.
- Anything for their rooms, lava lamps, fuzzy pillows, goofy posters...kids love to make that spare room feel like theirs.
- Those cool notebooks with design, fancy pencils, the BIG box of crayons, coloring books, markers, glue sticks, colorful rolls of tape, a snazzy pencil case. Again anything that can help then feel normal.
These things won't get them home faster or fix the bigger problems in their life. They will still be foster kids, they just don't have to Feel like foster kids.
© 2014 Samantha Devereux