When children are entering foster care or are transitioning from one home to another, they are usually given a trash bag to put their belongings in. According to the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawaii, children are taken from their homes and placed into foster care for their immediate safety, at no fault of their own, and often remain in care until they become adults. They frequently change foster homes, and when moving, take none of their belongings, or the little that they have is placed into trash bags. Already experiencing sadness, trauma, and anxiety, children relate themselves to trash, like their belongings that are so frequently thrown into trash bags. Jade, a former foster youth, shared that it was hurtful and “it made me feel like I was the trash being carried around”. Kekoa, another former foster youth, agreed with Jade, and supports the idea of every foster child having their own duffel bag. Kekoa stated ”it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.”
Discount Fabric Warehouse has made it a mission to show these children that they’re worth more than just a trash bag. Throughout the year, we encourage folks to make duffle bags and bring them in for donation to organizations that help foster children.
This year, May, June, and July have been designated as Aloha Bag months at our stores. These bags will be kept on-island and in many cases donated to the local Friends of the Children’s Justice Center. There are many ways for you to help and show that you care:
• Come in and join us at one of our in-store bag-making parties. These parties are free and we provide all of the materials and instructions. You provide the enthusiasm and time. Learn how to make a duffle bag and help a foster child at the same time!
Hilo – July 20, 2019 | 1PM
Saturday, July 13, 2019 • Thursday, July 18, 2019 • Thursday, August 01, 2019
10AM – 2PM
Kona Open Sew – Every Wednesday in June and July! | 10AM – 4PM
Kauai – July 13, 2019 | 10AM
Friday, July 12, 2019 • Saturday, July 20, 2019 • Monday, August 05, 2019 • Saturday, August 24, 2019
10:30AM – 2:30PM
• Pick up a pre-cut kit and make a bag on your own. Instructions will be included. Once you have the bag done, bring it back in for donation!
• Have a favorite duffle bag pattern? Make your bag at home and drop if off at any of our Discount Fabric Warehouse locations! We’ll make sure it gets donated!
• Donate fabric or DFW gift cards so more bags can be made!
When you bring in a bag to be donated, you’ll receive a $5 DFW gift card as a thank you! (Limit 1 per person. Gift card is only for the first donation. You can donate as many bags as you’d like and can bring bags in at multiple points throughout the drive, but you will only receive one gift card.)
While we encourage you to use your favorite duffle bag pattern or experiment with a new one, there are a few minimum requirements that we have for any bag donations:
24”x9” or larger, unused, made with new materials suitable for children ages 4 – 16. We suggest making the bags out of canvas as it’s typically sturdier, however lined cotton will work as well.
Have A Group That Would Like to Get Involved?
We’d love to have your group join in the fun! Girl Scout troops, 4H groups, even Boy Scout groups – or maybe you and some friends want to get together to make some bags! While we can provide the space and machines for your group to sew Aloha Bags, we ask that at least one of the adult participants attend one of our bag parties as staffing may not be available for your group. Please contact the store manager at your local Discount Fabric Warehouse store for more details.
Patterns and Videos
Need a pattern to get you started? Here’s a simple duffle bag pattern by Jessie to help you out! Click here to download the pattern!
More patterns, videos, and instructions to come!