At this point, you would think I would stop being surprised since it happens to me so often. I see God work right before my eyes and it never gets old and I never take it for granted. I am so thankful each and every time.

At the beginning of the year, I emailed the Giving Corps Board and gave them three options for our quarterly community service projects. The vote was unanimous. Everyone voted for Giving Bags.

So Giving Bags, as I have dubbed them, are nothing more than your common gym bag. What makes them special is that we are giving the bags to foster kids.

About a week after the board vote, I was talking with a woman who works for Harborcreek Youth Services (HYC), a psychiatric residential treatment facility that houses up to seventy young men, ages ten to 20 years old who have been through a trauma like abuse or a horrific event. Some of the residents are in the Erie foster system.

She mentioned that sometimes the boys come to the facility with their belongings in a trash bag.

That image just floored me. I welled up with tears at the injustice at the thought of children who probably feel thrown away themselves and then to carry their scarlet letter around in the form of a plastic, disposable, throw away, temporary, and not to mention ugly, square rectangle used by the rest of the world to stash away their unwanted and worthless garbage.

It broke my heart. The indignity of it and I was so happy that the board chose that as our community service project. We’ve had a couple fundraisers and I’m hoping we can get at least 50 bags. I guess that doesn’t seem like much, but 50 kids, moving through the foster system with their own personal bag, I don’t know, maybe it will give them a little more confidence. Maybe they will feel like someone cares enough about them to have a bag for their few personal items in this world.

But of course I was meant to talk to that woman on that day, just a week after our Giving Corps board voted to do the Giving Bags and I now know exactly where to take them.



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