Imagine a child entering the foster care system with nothing but the clothes on their back. This is a reality for many local children. In Santa Cruz County, more than 250 children live in foster homes because their families are unable to care and protect them.
Beloved Beauties, a middle school elective for Baymonte girls, wanted to do a service project that would benefit foster care children. Heather Hite, the Beloved Beauties teacher, was familiar with the Journey Bag Initiative. Journey Bags are backpacks which provide personal belongings and comforting items for children entering foster care or being transitioned into new foster homes.
Over the past few weeks, the Beloved Beauties elective coordinated the collection of donated backpacks and items from Baymonte families. Anastasia Torres-Gil, Foster Parent Recruiter for Santa Cruz County, met the girls last week to pick up 42 Journey Bags.
These bags are already making a difference in foster care children’s lives. “They had never had anything new before” said one of the social workers about a very sad situation involving three children who were presented with Journey Bags from Baymonte.