First Night Bags

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First Night Bags

Audra Doyle, Staff Reporter

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On February 12th, our school created several groups to serve in different places for the day. Animal shelters, nursing homes, daycares, and picking up trash around the school and community are just a few examples of what some of the students did to serve in the community. My group was originally supposed to donate stuffed animals to a Children’s hospital, but we were unable to. Instead, we contacted Mrs. Uland from an organization called Lighting a Path to a New Quest.

  Lighting a Path to a New Quest is an organization that puts together First Night Bags for foster children to prepare them for their first night away. Preparing these bags doesn’t only make the child feel more at home, but it also relieves stress from the foster parents that took the child in with little time to prepare for them.

“My favorite part was knowing that we were making an impact on not only the kids receiving the bags, but also the parents the child was brought to,” said Shana Headrick.

My group had about a month to prepare for this day. We collected so many great items:  toiletry products, clothing items, and comfort items. Things that we collected were coloring books, stuffed animals, and little toys.

“Each morning that we had a 212 meeting, there were more items that someone brought. When we totaled up all the items for the last time, we had just a little over 1,000 items,” said Shana Headrick.

Our sponsors for our service project were our teachers, Coach Casper and Mr. Martinez. Coach Casper contacted Mrs. Uland to set this up and also helped us collect items for this day.  

I chose to work with this group because its goal was to benefit children in need of joy. I am a big believer in spreading joy whenever possible and giving to children being put into the foster system something of their own that is of quality and  helps bring that child a little joy in a dark time,” said Coach Casper.

My group and I were so excited to get the opportunity to do this. My favorite part about this service project was knowing that what we were doing was helping the foster children and also the foster parents. Foster parents never know when CPS will bring them a child, so sometimes when they are not prepared and do not have everything that’s needed to take care of the child, these bags can really help out. These First Night Bags that we prepared for the children have everything that is needed to get the child through the first night in a new home. If our school were to do another 212 day, I would definitely choose to do this service project again, I enjoyed it so much!