Every year, roughly 400,000 children throughout America are put into the foster care system and given trash bags in which to gather their belongings. My Saturday night was spent with friends as we decorated duffels and filled the bags for those children. My friend Chris holds a Christmas party each year where you pay $25.00 to decorate a bag and fill it with comfort items such as a teddy bear, blanket, a hygiene kit, coloring book, and crayons.
There were stencils, fabric crayons, and permanent markers on the table. I couldn’t decide between decorating a bag for a boy or a girl, so I did a tie dyed sea turtles design. I remember liking tie dye as a child, and it’s a great pattern regardless if the duffel is given to a boy or girl. After all of the bags are decorated, Chris irons them so the fabric crayon becomes permanent onto the material. The bags are then given to The Villages, a local foster agency.
The evening was filled with laughter, friends, crockpot hot chocolate, homemade marshmallows, holiday desserts, and helping others. It was the best way to spend my Saturday night.
If you are interested in making your own duffel bag to help a foster child or teen, you can visit http://www.togetherwerise.org to assure one less child will travel through the foster care with a trash bag.