POINT PLEASANT — For a child being taken from his home to be placed in foster care, sometimes just having something to call his own can be a comfort.
The youth and women’s groups at Krebs Chapel Church on Sandhill Road in Point Pleasant recently joined for a project to donate backpacks filled with items to children in those situations. A total of 24 backpacks, 12 for girls and 12 for boys, were given to the Mason County Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).
According to Nikki Fields, president of the women’s group and youth leader, the church filled the backpacks with toiletry items, including shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tissues, combs and hairbrushes. School supplies of markers, crayons and notebooks were also donated, as well as boxes of new clothing.
“Lastly, a stuffed animal was packed into each bag for a little bit of comfort in a sad situation,” Fields said.
Ivy Legg, supervisor of the DHHR Child Protective Services in Mason County, said there are presently about 35 children in foster care through her agency. Oftentimes, she added, when a child is taken from the home, he is not allowed to take any possessions with him. In the situation of a working meth lab in the home, the child is not even permitted to bring a set of clothing.
“The state provides clothing vouchers so foster parents can buy the child new clothes, but they need anything to get them through the night,” Legg said.
Although they are dealing with limited storage space, Legg said socks and underwear are especially needed. Toiletry items, new backpacks, stuffed animals and small blankets complete the list of needs.
Legg was very appreciative of the church’s donation.
“It was very nice, and they were kind enough to even give us the overflow of donations (that wouldn’t fit into the backpacks),” Legg added.
Fields, however, was very reluctant to accept the recognition given by the DHHR staff.
“We did not donate for recognition or praise,” she said. “We want to help serve others as God would want us to.”
Anyone wanting additional information on foster care or how to donate items can reach the DHHR social services department at 304-675-0880.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.