There is no feeling like giving back and bringing “sunshine” to someone on a cloudy day.
I love children and I am an advocate for women and children who are fleeing/have fled domestic violence. I have worked closely with The Haven, a women’s shelter, in the past collecting personal hygiene items, clothing and collecting monetary donations.
Doing all of this, just didn’t feel like enough and I knew I was capable of doing more. I wanted to find a way to help more closely, specifically with children.
I know the process of children being taken away from their home, with only the clothes on their backs, is a traumatic experience. This experience brings on a level of stress for these children that they should not have to endure. After much thought and brainstorming, I came up with the idea of a care package these children can be given immediately.
The idea of a backpack that could hold colored pencils, a coloring book, one stuffed animal and a small lap blanket felt like the perfect care package for these kids.
Why all of these things? I felt like a coloring book and colored pencils would be a good way for these kids to take their mind off of what is taking place. This activity would help ease the quick shift they are experiencing. There is something so soothing about coloring. Additionally, I wanted them to have a stuffed animal that they could hold onto. Lastly, I decided on a blanket because a blanket is the perfect way to feel comfort.
After I decided I wanted to do this, I called my mom, Kristie, and told her about the idea and “bags of sunshine” was how I described it. She LOVED the idea and the name. She will be helping me put all of the bags together for these kids. My mom is also getting some of the teachers at her school to work with their students to write encouraging notes that we can add to the bags.
There’s nothing like receiving a personal hand-written note of encouragement, right?
Our goal is to have 50 bags prepared and we will ABSOLUTELY have that! The people in our community have fully embraced this project. It warms my heart to think how supported these children are in our community.
We have collected nearly $500 in donations so far and are receiving physical donations by the day! I will not be surprised if we are able to have 100 bags donated by the end of the year! In all, our goal is to not only serve the children in this parish, but surrounding parishes as well! We would love to bring sunshine to as many children as possible! Please know this is NOT possible without each and every one of YOU!