$10 Monthly Donation Provides Comfort Cases® and/or Comfort XLs to Youth in Foster Care Across the United States. "Trash Bags belong in trash cans, not as luggage for a child!"
ROCKVILLE, Md., May 1, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- What would it take to end the practice of giving youth entering foster care a trash bag to carry their belongings? Today, on the first day of National Foster Care Awareness Month, Comfort Cases, an international non-profit organization whose mission is to promote hope and dignity to youth in foster care, has the solution, announcing the launch of the #BagBusters Challenge. A $10 monthly donation sets up the donor as an official "BagBuster" insuring that foster care agencies can provide Comfort Cases® rather than black trash bags to youth transitioning into foster care. (Click THIS LINK and/or visit ComfortCases.org/bagbusters to donate today and become a #BagBuster.)
According to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, there are currently more than 400,000 youth in foster care in the United States. During National Foster Care Awareness Month, Comfort Cases wants to immediately register a minimum of 1600 new #BagBusters to provide Comfort Cases® and/or Comfort XL duffel bags to youth entering or transferring into a foster care facility. The program is set to grow throughout the year (and beyond) by having thousands more accept the #BagBusters Challenge in every state, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, providing even more Comfort Cases® to those in need.
A Comfort Case® is a new backpack filled with essential comfort and personal care items, given to youth who are entering foster care. Items in each case include a new set of pajamas, a blanket, a stuffed animal ("stuffie"), a hygiene kit, book and/or journal/coloring kit – along with a handwritten affirmation note lovingly created by a volunteer, letting the child know they are loved. A Comfort XL duffle bag is a large duffle bag that youth can use to transport their belongings – both bags being replacements for the humiliating practice of being given a trash bag to use as luggage.
The need for Comfort Cases® by foster care agencies is real and immediate. The response by agencies has been overwhelming since Comfort Cases was founded 10 years ago, noted by two examples:
"The children we serve often come to our center after being removed and they have nothing. When we present them with a Comfort Case, their eyes light up and it brings them joy despite what is happening in their life at the current time. We are so grateful for Comfort Cases. We are a non-profit agency and Comfort Cases gives us the opportunity to help these children in ways that we couldn't without the services that Comfort Cases provides." -- Candace Gabriel of The Children's Listening Place in West Virginia
"Comfort Cases® have become a staple for our youth in transition. Many have expressed that the cases have comforted them and helped them settle down in their new place." -- Jamillah Linkins, Hillcrest Children and Family Center, Washington, DC
Starting during National Foster Care Awareness Month and continuing through the year, media personalities, celebrities, social media influencers and other good humans will all be taking the #BagBusters Challenge.
Nicole Ryan, co-host of SiriusXM's Hits 1 The Morning Mash Up, who although neither she nor her children have experienced foster care, has become a vocal and vital supporter of the Comfort Cases mission, including hosting and emceeing the annual benefit in 2022. "After being introduced to Rob Scheer and the Comfort Cases team, I have personally gained a deeper understanding of the significance of fundraising efforts to providing these youth with the respect and dignity they deserve. I have accepted the #BagBuster Challenge by committing to a monthly donation to provide Comfort Cases® to those in need. I am challenging my friends, colleagues and listeners at SiriusXM and beyond to join me in this important effort for our kids."
The #BagBusters Challenge asks that you make a small $10 monthly donation (HERE) and then record yourself stuffing as many of your important possession into a black trash bag in just 20 seconds – similar to what youth in foster care are asked to do when moving to a foster care facility. (Those less familiar or uncomfortable with video can use these social media assets created by Comfort Cases for this campaign.) Then it's as simple as posting on all of your social media platforms, challenging 10 friends to do the same. Here are the easy steps:
1. Go to ComfortCases.org/bagbusters and make your $10 monthly donation.
2. Grab a black trashbag from your kitchen or supply closet.
3. Turn your camera on (on your own, or get help from a friend or family member) and record and then post – being sure to tag: #BagBusters and #NoMoreTrashBags™.
A sample script follows:
"Hi everyone – I just became a Comfort Cases' #BagBuster! To demonstrate the importance of becoming a #BagBuster, I'm filling this trash bag with as many personal items as I can in just 20 seconds. Things that I would want to take with me if I had to leave my house quickly.
"Why am I doing this? Because there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in our country and when they enter foster care, they are provided a trash bag and told to quickly grab what they can of their belongings. Can you imagine? Trash Bags belong in trash cans, not as luggage for a child!
"As a #BagBuster, I am donating $10 a month to Comfort Cases to ensure that children entering foster care get a Comfort Case® instead of a trash bag. When you become a #BagBuster you provide a child with a Comfort Case and since May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, we want to help over 3,500 children this month! Let's do this! I invite: (list at least 10 friends' names and tag them in your post) to join me. Go to your kitchen and grab a trash bag. Learn what it feels like to enter the foster care system as a child. Imagine being a child told to do this right before being taken into a foster home. #Nomoretrashbags™. Become a #BagBuster today!"
Here is a link to a video further explaining why one person became a #BagBuster.
"I was in the foster care system from ages 12-18 and have personally experienced the degrading practice of being given an ugly black trash bag to quickly put my belongings in when being transported to a foster home or facility," states Comfort Cases CEO & Founder, Rob Scheer. "Giving a trash bag to a youth entering foster care is still regular practice. How does giving anyone a trash bag build their self-worth? It doesn't! It tells them that they are as worthy as a piece of trash. My personal mission is to stop this horrible practice and to have our youth – yes OUR youth – treated with respect."
David Thalberg, Stryker-Munley Group, 1 9179522580, [email protected]
SOURCE Comfort Cases