Women in Weiser, Idaho, have an outreach project making bags for foster children, which contain a handmade quilt, stuffed toys, personal items, coloring books, crayons and other toys. Usually, when a child is taken from a home, there isn't time to pack belongings. The bags bring comfort to children experiencing trauma and give them something to call their own.
The project began nearly three years ago when Myra Walker saw a program about a similar project on 3ABN. In those three years, Walker, Renee Stiltz and Delma Strawn have donated more than 100 bags to children in three counties in the lower Treasure Valley of southwestern Idaho. Each bag takes about an hour to complete, but each quilt takes six to eight hours.
Shortly after they began, Walker was delivering some of the first bags. A 10-year-old boy was there, and a social worker gave him a bag. Walker watched from a distance as he took everything out of the bag, inspected each item, and cuddled with each toy. That was all the incentive the women needed to keep the project going.
Stiltz says this is a project anyone can do. There is always a need—contact your local Children's Services department and they can let you know how to begin.