WILMINGTON, DE. —Oct, 2019 — Three-year-old, “Amy” was frightened and crying as she was being taken from her home and placed into a car seat. A social worker was removing her from an abusive and neglectful home situation due to her mother’s drug abuse.
The social worker tried as best she could, but little Amy could not understand why she was being taken away. It was a heart wrenching time. Then, the scared little girl was handed a blue duffel bag. Inside the duffel was a beautiful new teddy bear, warm fleece blanket, picture book, coloring book, crayons, fuzzy socks and more. Amy’s eyes widened with hope as she looked into the bag. Her tears stopped flowing as she took the bear into her arms. She was comforted as the social worker placed the colorful warm fleece blanket around her legs to give her warmth. Amy was happy to get the crayons and coloring book. She held the bear, crayons and coloring book the entire trip until she was placed in her foster home.
“Thank goodness for that blue duffel,” the social worker shared. “It is a traumatic time for a child. The items in the duffel helped her to calm down. It made everything so much easier for her – and me. And now she has these items to call her own.”
“Amy felt the love and caring that went into the duffel. They helped to buffer her pain and give comfort during a traumatic time — and that’s why we have the My Blue Duffel program,” said Caroline Jones, president and founder of Kind to Kids Foundation based in Wilmington. The organization assembles and distributes over 1,000 duffels each year for children entering foster care and children facing trauma.
On Sunday, November 3rd, from 2-4 pm, the My Blue Duffel Community Service Day will take place at University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center in Wilmington. The event sells out every year with over 450 participants who, for a $40 donation, will enjoy a fun-filled afternoon while filling duffel bags that also include a no-sew blanket, books, coloring supplies and socks.
First Lady, Tracey Quillen Carney is the Honorary Chairperson of the event, as she works to help children overcoming adverse and traumatic experiences. Delaware’s Director of Family Services, Trenee Parker, will speak to how foster children need our help, and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer will give an inspiring talk on how we can help our community’s most vulnerable children when we work together.
Attendees will be treated to a buffet lunch and be entertained by a live band. Other fun activities are also planned. Friends, families, school groups, teams and businesses are encouraged to participate.
Kind to Kids Foundation gives love, hope, guidance and a sense of stability to vulnerable children in Delaware — those who are abused, neglected and living in foster care, and children in poverty. To date, the organization has served over 15,000 Delaware children in need.
Kind to Kids is Delaware’s acclaimed nonprofit organization that serves foster children, and its programs have proven successful in helping underserved children acquire the skills they need in order to become successful in life and grow into happy, productive adults.
Since its founding in 2008, Kind to Kids Foundation has understood the needs of vulnerable children. From the very beginning of a child’s journey into foster care, the foundation works to create a brighter future for each child. Kind to Kids Foundation has created and distributed over 6,000 blue duffel bags to Delaware children entering the foster care system, and facing trauma and homelessness. Blue duffels are distributed to Delaware’s Division of Family Services foster care system, police, firefighters, FBI, homeless liaisons, children in homeless shelters, and more. The organization has helped over 5,000 foster children, in addition to children in poverty with its programs and services.
[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU8Vq8WGetw[/youtube]
Now, when children are removed from their homes, they are given a Kind to Kids My Blue Duffel bag. For abused and neglected children, a simple gift can be rare. The duffel bag comforts and helps them during what may be the most traumatic day of their young lives.
Once in foster care, Kind to Kids helps the children with education programs and Help-A-Kids support services. Education programs – UGrad case management high school education programs to help foster youth graduate from high school and succeed beyond in school and career, and Lifeskills socio-emotional education programs, and Help-A-Kid support services like My Blue Duffel, GiveJoy -life event opportunities, such as a trip to a professional ball game or musical performance ($15,000 in ticket costs distributed every year), Holiday and Birthday Kindness – toys for the holidays and birthdays for Delaware’s foster children ($20,000 in toys distributed annually) .
“Kind to Kids offers love and comfort to children who are victims of abuse and neglect. We help them to understand their value and grow into confident and capable adults, equipped with the skills they need to successfully navigate through their lives,” Jones said.
Kind to Kids invites individuals of all ages from across Delaware to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children through My Blue Duffel Community Service Day.
Tickets may be purchased at www.kindtokids.org