March 30, 2015

In September of 2014, FLOC was contacted by an organization out of California by the name of My Stuff Bags Foundation. This fantastic agency supplies thousands of duffel bags to kids in group homes, to children in need of foundational support in the midst of transport all across the country.

My Stuff Bags breaks down their bag donation by age group. Each very attractive bag is complete with blanket, stuffed animal, storybook, toy, some soft article of joy that a small child can embrace during a very stormy moment. For children in an older demographic, journals and slippers, simple gestures of comfort are made available in bags offered.

Dealing with many children who are transferred from home to home, the volunteers at FLOC were so happy to be contacted by My Stuff Bags. We completed the necessary application, and within a month, one hundred and sixty fully loaded duffel bags were mailed to our downtown Talbott Tower location.

Eighty of the bags donated went to area group homes, where the teens we work with are in the midst of one of their last home environment options before their emancipation process. The touch and feel, and the thought that accompanies both- that someone somewhere cares enough to offer such solace in a most confused reality- it does much for the damaged heart. There is a stark beauty in the expression of a young teen who has not been offered much in their early years- the genuine look of gratitude in providing some joy in a duffel bag.

The other eighty bags were dispersed at an inner city school, grades 1-2.  I had the unspeakable joy of presenting these bags to an excited swarm of children who marched up individually to gather their bag.  Each child then ran to their desk to pull out each treasure held within with awe and wonder and loud exclamations of both. When our group had made its final offering, the children started singing a chorus of “I love you’s” over and over and over again. Oh, my face is framed in the largest smile ever as I write this. You don’t get moments like that very often in life.

So I thank the incredibly kind and generous souls at My Stuff Bags Foundation for the important work that they do, and for providing the moments that give your heart and mind unconditional remembrances of joy. Another one hundred and sixty bags are on their way as we speak- more beautific moments to come. We are so grateful.

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