Did you know that many children in the foster care system have to carry around their belongings in a trash bag?
“When you’re a small child, some of your most precious belongings are the things that bring you joy and provide comfort, and when you’re in an uncomfortable situation, so to imagine putting those in a garbage bag every time you move from a foster parent to maybe back to your original family of origin,” Anna Linsley, Wisconsin CASA Association advocate and wife of Packers’ center Corey Linsley, explained. “It’s kind of a demoralizing thing.”
This year, the Packers organization chose the Wisconsin CASA Association to receive money raised from the team’s annual Packers Give Back Celebrity Bowling Event, coming up on June 5th.
The Wisconsin CASA Association then came up with a creative idea for how best to use the money that will be raised from it.
“We wanted to do something that was impactful directly for the kids, so we brainstormed and decided we wanted to create this project called ‘My Stuff, My Bag,” Wisconsin CASA State Director Sue Schwartz said.
Hard-shell suitcases worth about $150 each, with the Packers logo on them, will be donated to children in need using the funds the Packers organization raises through the celebrity bowling event.
Inside each suitcase will be pillows, toys, books, clothing, and toiletries for the children, all donated by other local businesses and sponsors.
“It’s a traumatic time in their lives and we wanted to provide that high-quality level of comfort for them,” Schwartz added.
There are about 7,000 children moving around in the foster care system in Wisconsin, who are often living in temporary housing and family situations.
The suitcase full of necessities will give some of the children who receive them something consistent in their lives that will protect the few things that they own.
“Cory and I, I’ve served on two cases, but we had case where our kids bounced around quite a bit, and they didn’t even really have much, I don’t know that they even had stuff to put in a garbage bag,” Linsley said. “So to provide kids with stuff that will give them comfort, pillows, stuffed animals, their favorite book, those things are really meaningful because they are tied to who they are and even though they’re moving from house to house, that gives them some comfort and identity.”
If you or your business would like to sponsor the items inside a suitcase, contact the Wisconsin CASA Association.