Mike and I started to share more about our time volunteering with Comfort Cases. I wanted to provide more information on this amazing organization which is local to Montgomery County, MD.
I first learned about Comfort Cases when I came across a video from Upworthy. In the video, Rob Scheer, the founder of Comfort Cases, shared about growing up in foster care and how it lead him to create a non-profit organization. I shared this video with Mike, and both knew we wanted to get involved.
There are over 400,000 kids in the foster care system, many of which have little possessions or if they do, they are often times given a trash bag to carry the items in.
Comfort Cases is a non-profit organization that provides a backpack filled with comfort and essential items to foster kids as they go on their journey to find their forever family. Comfort Cases believes that every child deserves a sense of dignity and a special bag filled with belongings to call their own.
Volunteering for Comfort Cases means a lot to 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 known one day I will open my home and heart to children through adoption or foster. While I am not equipped to do that yet, it’s important for me to do my part by helping in other ways (donating, packing backpacks, spreading the word, etc.).
Recently, I got to volunteer alongside my niece. We volunteered as part of the set-up crew for Comfort Cases’ Packing Party. I wasn’t sure if she was old enough to help, understood the cause, or whether she would enjoy it or say “can we go home now” repeatedly. 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!
If you want to know more about Rob Scheer and his story, please consider buying his new book called, A Forever Family: Fostering Change One Child at a Time, available on Amazon. It is a memoir about his childhood in the foster care system and the obstacles and discrimination he endured when 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