Bags for Kids in Foster Care

Did you know that when kids in foster care are relocated, they often have to pack up their stuff in garbage bags?
Foster Kids Need Backpacks, Duffles and Suitcases, Not Trash Bags.

I didn’t know anything about this till I spotted this petition to get foster kids duffle bags on the activism-centered site DoSomething.org. Signing and sharing is a great way to make your stance on the issue known and to help garner support for the cause, but I started thinking that there must be more we can do. Here’s what I’ve found out so far:

First, I learned that the kind of donation you make matters a lot. It looks like the best donation is almost always money, followed by time and then materials.

  • Money can instantly fill any number of needs the organization faces, including unseen needs like facility overhead, utilities and shipping needs. This clip from VOAD about Super-Storm Sandy shows how.
  • Time is extremely valuable too, not only volunteering directly at an organization, but also calling public officials, writing letters and supporting campaigns.
  • Materials can be very useful, but only if you find out exactly what the group needs and how much they can handle. Donating unneeded goods or dropping goods off in the wrong place creates havoc and can impair group’s ability to serve its purpose.

It’s also very important to do your research and get in touch with the group when you want to make a donation. Here are some of the groups I’m looking into:

  • MyStuff.org has a program that provides comfort bags to kids in the foster system. I’m a bit crafty, so I love that they accept high-quality handmade items and clearly show what kind of blankets they need for kids’ bags.
  • TogetherWeRise.org has a great infographic on their programs and how they work with kids from age 4 through the process of aging out. They have a feature to help you get involved through donation and hosting your own drives.
  • Bags4Kids.org is another site that supports kids in foster care with comfort bags, as well as personal care items and even prom dresses.

Are you interested/involved with getting bags for foster kids?
Like I said, I’m researching these groups to find out how to help, so if you have suggestions I’m all ears!

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