By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Fifth- and sixth-grade students from Sherwood Middle School’s extended day program have been collecting new bags such as backpacks, small suitcases and duffle bags since June 1. They plan to donate them to kids in the foster care system. Often, these children are moved from home to home and are forced to carry their belongings in garbage bags.
Their goal was to collect 20 bags in 20 days, in time for the end of the school year which was Tuesday, June 20. They met their goal.
“It’s about kids helping kids,” according to Gillian Hohne, Sherwood Extended School Care site coordinator. “Our goal was to give them something special of their own to carry what little belongings they may have when they are moved, giving them a sense of dignity as they move from home to home.”
The idea for this project came from a story that Hohne’s colleague, Jocelyn Eaton, read in Bay State Parent Magazine. It was about a gentleman who was in foster care and was given trash bags to quickly gather his things each time he moved from place to place. Years later, he and his partner decided to adopt a foster child who came with two garbage bags. This was what spurred him on this quest.
The new bags were collected from extended care families as well as staff and will be delivered to the Department of Children & Families.
“Our students just wanted to make these kids in foster care happy,” Eaton said.