CASA, an organization that supplies advocates for abused and neglected children, is gearing up for its fourth annual Backpack Project.
When a child is removed from their home, they are placed in a foster home within four hours. As mandated by DCFS, Dept of Child and Family Services, the child must return to school within 3 days of removal. Usually this is a different school based on the location of the foster family. When a child enters care they may only have the clothes on their backs. The foster family is responsible for purchasing everything they will need for school. Many of these children are removed in the middle of the school year and need to purchase all new school supplies to attend the new school.
The Backpack Project aims to ease that transition by collecting and packing a backpack with school supplies. Donations of supplies are needed (see the list at the bottom of this story) and volunteers are needed to pack the backpacks.
The packing will take place on July 26 at Grace Presbyterian Church on Roselawn Boulevard between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Before that, you can drop off donations at the CASA office- 227 La Rue France, Lafayette; and at UBS Financial -River Ranch- 201 Settlers Trace Blvd Suite 3004 Lafayette. For more info on drop locations and other ways to help, call CASA at 337.268.5111.
The goal is to pack 250 backpacks this year. To do that, CASA needs about 100 volunteers. They’re also hoping to fill plenty of “First Night Bags” for children to have on their first night away from their families.
At the volunteer day, there will be craft stations set up for volunteers and children of all ages to make notes with words of encouragement to aid in the transition, key chain pulls and picture frames to decorate.
Here’s the list of needed supplies: