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”.
Not only are these duffle bags practical, but they also convey the message that the child is valued. We plan on including a label in each of the bags with a message of hope and inspiration from former foster kids to the bag recipient.
Throughout the months of June and July, Discount Fabric Warehouse stores will be having a Hope Bag donation drive. We are looking to collect large bags (tote bags, duffle bags, backpacks, and the like) to bring love and hope to foster children. All of our stores will be having in-store bag sewing events where you can come and learn how to make various large bags for donation. At all of our in-store events, we will provide all of the materials, all you have to do is show up, help sew a bag, and donate it! Dates and projects will be listed in our E-Blast newsletters and on our website and social media as they are scheduled.
We will also be collecting completed large handcrafted bags (24”x9” or larger, unused, made
with new materials suitable for children ages 4 – 16), fabric and supply donations (such as
zippers, nylon webbing for straps, etc.), and monetary donations. Those who donate quality,
large bags will receive a $5 gift card for their donation (limit 3 gift cards per person).
We are currently working on creating a list of various easily accessible patterns, bag inspiration ideas, video tutorials, and tips and tricks to help you create your large bags of hope. Please check back as throughout the next two months, this site will be updated.