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.
While our Bags of Hope project has ended, we are looking to continue spreading the Aloha at our Hilo store by creating an Aloha Care Bag Ohana. This would be a group of talented sewist who would love to share their sills to become part of an ongoing group to make duffle bags, comfort pillows (travel pillows) and luggage tags to create Aloha Care Bags for foster children in East Hawaii.
Bags can be made both at home and/or in our sewing room with other members of our Aloha Care Bag Ohana.
All levels of sewing skills welcome – as long as you can sew a straight stitch and stuff a pillow, we need you!
Learn a new skill and help a foster child! You might even find a new passion in sewing duffel bags!
So what can you expect at these Aloha Care Bag Ohana meetings? We provide all materials for you to use in
your duffel bags (or other large bags) as well as pillows and tags that you’ll also be donating to the project.
We’re also looking at having Guest Bag Experts showing new and different bag designs, so not only will you
get to hone your skills with bags you already know, but you’ll also learn how to create new styles of bags and
add new sewing techniques to you repertoire.
The first meeting of the Aloha Care Bag Ohana has been scheduled for August 18, 2018 at 1PM. Please tell your friends and others who may be interested in coming to see what it’s all about!
You can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at the Hilo store at (808) 935-1234 for more information. Thank you for helping us draw the line and say that we’re not going to let foster children feel like trash ever again.
Need a duffle bag pattern? Here’s one created by Jessie. You can download it here: Bag of Hope