Imagine what it would be like to leave home with nothing...
Often that is the experience of children who must be removed from their home because of abuse and neglect. Children who are placed in foster care often arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs. What belongings they may have often end up in garbage bags. Even more important than providing for the basic needs for living, MyBag gives these children dignity and comfort at a very frightening and difficult time in their lives. MyBags are stuffed and labeled to be age appropriate. Children served are newborn- 17 years of age.
MyBag was initiated by several Friends of CASA (volunteer group) in the spring of 2015. They set up a display in the annual Light of Hope benefit to raise funds for the program, and reached out to local business for in-kind donations. The MyBag Committee was formed from these members to layout the details of the program and plan for its implementation.
The MyBag Committee reached out for input from CASAs, foster parents, and Child Protective Service (CPS) workers. An initial list of essential items was created from these meetings. In late 2015 the first bags were packed by committee members and delivered to CPS.
CPS keeps on hand items and bags for easy access. When a child is removed they are able to quickly grab the age/gender appropriate items to fit that child's needs. CASA staff replenish items as needed.
CASA's partnerships with local businesses and individuals make the MyBag program possible. Organizations such as Associated Dental, Crafty Quilters, and the Elk's Lodge helped get the program off the ground with in-kind and financial support. Individual donors have ensured the funds to replenish needed items when inventory runs low. Our partnership with CPS makes it possible to get the bags to children when they need them most, upon removal.
Monetary donations are welcome to purchase bag supplies. Due to storage limitations CASA is not currently accepting physical items at this time.
For more information relating to the My Bag program please email: firstname.lastname@example.org