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20 March 2018 @ 04:25 pm
Stuff A Duffel.  
This past month my town’s Chamber of Commerce teamed up with a local high school’s Leadership Class to do a drive for foster kids. It was all the Leadership Class’ idea and I am very proud of them for thinking of this, instead of doing one of the big organization like The Cancer Society (a good cause, but glad they picked something unrepresented). Basically they were calling it Stuff A Duffel and asking people to buy things that the foster kids’ could carry from home to home.

As you may know, a lot of these kids get put into foster care with nothing of their own. Some are given the chance to pack a bag, but many are not. Things that they have in one foster home, they may not be able to take to the next - items that the foster parents consider for their home, not specifically for the kids, ie blankets, toys, bookbags, even clothes. If they get attached to an item, they probably aren’t going to be allowed to take it with them, like say a stuffed animal. And when they do move, they often carry things in a garbage bag, as they have no duffels of their own.

Idk why this has always been an issue I cared about. I knew many homeless teenagers as a teen, but I never was in foster care myself. I did have a friend taken away when she was 9 and returned when she was 16 and that ordeal may have stuck with me. I’ve just always been passionate about this issue, as you can see.

So the drive encouraged people to buy things for all age ranges, starting with diapers, all the way up to like teenagers. (probably a ‘how to apply for college’ book would have been a good idea for the oldest kids). I had a duffel that was in good shape, so I washed it up and decided to donate it. Then I thought it would be fun to go shopping for a teenage girl, like a 11-13 year old, and stuff the whole duffel for her.

Stuff A Duffel.jpg

As you can see I donated PJs, undies, barrettes, hairbrush, toothbrush, deodorant, pencil bag, pencils, colored pencils, pencil sharpener, lip gloss, a journal, ‘girl power’ tee, sports bras & a fuzzy Star Wars blanket. I hope the blanket offers comfort in every place she lives. And I do hope they kept all my items together.

I also included an anonymous note in my bag that said basically, “I know things are tough, but I promise it gets better. Being an adult is the best and it may seem like you won’t get there, but you will. Sooner than you think. So when things get rough, just remember this. And know that I believe in you. You got this, kiddo.” I was hopping maybe the students would see that and decided to do little notes for all the bags. (An idea I got from Little Miss Flint, who did a drive to get people to write positive, encouraging notes to the kids of Flint, who desperately need the hope.)

I have honestly always wanted to foster, but they would never give a child to a disabled single person. Sis has said what she would like to do with my room when I am gone - we live with the knowledge that it could happen sooner than we like - is to foster two teenage girls in my bedroom. Teenagers are the least likely to find permanent stable foster homes and my sister could offer them a place, that even after they turn 18, they would be able to return to, to call home. I like the idea of this, fostering kids in my room when I’m gone. But she also says she’s going to turn it into a ‘cat room’ and completely fill it with cat towers, ledges and toys. And rescues cats instead. I like this idea too.

Okay then. I’m off to find a dentist. It has been too long since I’ve been.

This entry was originally posted at https://dodger-sister.dreamwidth.org/240470.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Shireboundshirebound on March 20th, 2018 10:35 pm (UTC)
things that the foster kids’ could carry from home to home

What a MARVELOUS idea. I love the items you chose.

lindahoyland: Ginger Boyslindahoyland on March 21st, 2018 07:18 am (UTC)
What a lovely idea. Hope it is a long time before your room is vacant.
Jo Ann: GOT: Joffrey applauding GIFyeuxdebleu on March 22nd, 2018 04:36 am (UTC)
What a wonderful idea and I'm so glad your Chamber of Commerce and high school got together to do this. And it's great, too, that you are taking part in their endeavor. You rock!