You may have heard or read about Mike and I volunteering with Comfort Cases, so I wanted to give a little more information about this awesome organization that is local to Montgomery County, MD.
What is Comfort Cases:
A charity organization that provides a proper bag filled with comfort and essential items to the brave youth in foster care as they go on their journey to find their forever family.
On any given day, there are over 400,000 kids in the foster care system, many of which have very little possessions or if they do, they are often times given a trash bag to carry the items in. Comfort Cases believe that every child deserves a sense of dignity and a special bag with belongings to call their own.
How I came across Comfort Cases:
I learned about Comfort Cases when I came across a video from Upworthy on Facebook. Rob Scheer, the founder of Comfort Cases told the world his story regarding his time in foster care, and how it lead him to create a non-profit organization aimed to help end trash bags for foster kids. Before I knew it, I found myself on Comfort Cases’ website reading about the different ways I can help. Not only that, but I felt compelled to share his story with others in hopes that it would inspire them the way it did to me.
Why volunteering for Comfort Cases means a lot to us:
Fostering in general means a lot to both of us. Mike spent time in foster care before he was adopted at a young age. Although he was 4 years old, he remembers the feeling of not having anything to call his own. His time in foster care was short but the desire to help other children in foster care has been in him ever since. For me, I have always been conscious and aware of how lucky I am to have my family, especially my mom. I’ve always known that as an adult I would one day open my home and heart to children through adoption or foster. I am not equipped to do that yet, so its important for me to do my part by helping in other ways (donating, packing backpacks, spreading the word, etc.).
Volunteering with my niece and husband and what it taught me:
Last weekend Mike, my niece, and I spent a chunk of our day volunteering as part of the set-up crew for Comfort Cases’ Packing Party. Originally, I was not going to take my niece. I wasn’t sure if she was old enough to help, would understand the cause, or whether she would enjoy it or say “can we go home now” repeatedly. When she asked me where I was going, I told her about foster kids, what the packing party was for, and what sort of activities Mike and I would be doing at the volunteer event. To my surprise, not only did she fully understand what I told her about foster kids but she was excited to have the opportunity to help.
We sorted backpacks, books, and stuffed animals onto tables based on age. We also tied a ribbon around blankets and sorted them onto tables by color. When the packing party officially started, my niece insisted on packing a couple backpacks. Partly because she wanted to see “the fruit of her labor,” but also because she wanted to personally put together a backpack for another kid. While setting up, she said “this is hard work but it’s ok because it’s for the children,” which was amazing to hear as it proves how children are never too young to help. My niece was not the only kid there either, there were several kids around her age. Watching children help children is a great thing to witness.
1,000 backpacks were filled this day.
As we started to leave the event, my niece said “ I wish this could be my job when I am older. I would love to spend my day helping people.” Is it corny to say my eyes filled with tears and my heart with pride?
We also got to meet Rob Scheer, the man that started all of this!
If you want to know more about him and his story, please consider buying his new book called A Forever Family: Fostering Change One Child at a Time, available on Amazon. It’s a memoir about his childhood in the foster care system and the obstacles and discrimination he endured in adopting his children.
How to get involved:
1. Donate money – monetary of any size make a difference
2. Donate your time – Sign up to volunteer with processing donations, counting inventory, assembling bags, staging for delivery, etc. (This is my favorite)
3. Buy items from their Amazon Wishlist (you can have it shipped directly to the center)
4. Donate items that are needed to fill a backpack (travel size toiletries, pajamas, books, crayons, stuffed animals, etc.)
5. Organize a group donation drive
6. Sign up for their mailing list – you’ll get a monthly newsletter with updates on events and volunteer sign up slot opening
7. SPREAD THE WORD – Kindness is contagious
For more information visit: https://www.comfortcases.org