Mission: For a moment, imagine stepping into the shoes of a foster child. You have just been taken from your home, your family, your friends, and everything you know. A stranger puts you in a car headed for an unknown place filled with unfamiliar people and things. Leaving everything behind, you are left with absolutely nothing. No warm hugs or teddy bears to take comfort in, no clean clothes to change into, and often times, not even a toothbrush - just the clothes on your back. You could be waiting for hours at a local police station or social worker's office before being moved by another stranger into another unfamiliar office or even a temporary foster home. At this time, you are terrified by your fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of your future. You have no books to read or a journal to write in to distract yourself from your scared thoughts or the pitying faces and whispers of the strangers that surround you. Now, imagine experiencing such intense fear, solitude, distress, and sadness when you are ONLY 4 years old. Experiences like these are not just stories. Experiences like these are real children facing incredibly confusing and terrifyingly real circumstances. Experiences like these are the reasons that Bags4kids was founded - to provide some form of comfort to the scared and distressed children left with nothing after being removed from their homes and families. Since its founding in 2002, Bags4kids has distributed over 27,000 bags to children, all filled with age/gender-appropriate items designed to comfort and entertain. Examples of these items are personal hygiene items, books to read or color, crayons, stuffed animals, school supplies, clothes, shoes, games, and blankets. These comfort bags are a blessing and allow for these children to have their own familiar belongings upon arrival at their new home.
Target demographics: comfort an abused, neglected or abandon child.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 69 agencies and 400 disadvantaged families
Geographic areas served: California
Programs: We fill over 2,000 backpacks and diaper bags a year. These are called "comfort bags' and they are given (FREE) to police stations, social workers, schools, foster care agencies and shelters.