Volunteers pack "Forever Bags" for foster kids

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Non-profits look to foster hope for kids in the court system with special bags they can take with them when they move from home to home.

Volunteers sort through donated clothes to put in "Forever Bags" for kids in foster care. (Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

About 30 volunteers sort through donated items at Peace Lutheran Church Sunday. All the items will go in large duffel bags, called "Forever Bags," full of hygiene products, toys, a blanket, pillow and clothes.

"They come into town with very little. Sometimes just the clothes off their back. Sometimes things that don't even fit. Or sometimes we get babies straight from the hospital that don't even have anything," said Fannye Placke, a foster family services consultant with Boys Town in Grand Island.

Boys Town is one of the foster care agencies in the area who will receive the "Forever Bags."

They currently support 40 kids in foster care. They'll take the bags and give them out to new kids that come through their agency.

Placke said she hopes the bags will provide comfort to the kids as they move from town to town.

"I mean you see all this stuff, and you think "$10 here or there." I can't imagine how much time and effort it took for the whole community to come together for these kids, especially kids that they'll probably never meet," Placke said.

It's all part of Heartland United Way's Day of Action event. They started collecting donations for it about a month ago, and started planning the event last year.

There's 400 kids in the court system between Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick Counties.

"It's really important to find the need and do everything we can to fix it and irradiate it," said Cammie Benson, director of community engagement for Heartland United Way. "There's a need out there so we tried to do what we can to help."

Heartland United Way provided a total of 400 bags for the foster care agencies in the area.

If you're interested in helping the foster kids in Boys Town in Grand Island, you can call them at 308-381-4444.