Many a child can be seen at the offices of the Dept. of Children & Family Services every day, departing one home and on their way to another. The transition is often difficult emotionally, but the Kases for Kids program hopes to make the practical hurdles easier with its backpack donation program.
On July 12, the Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club will be holding a backpack drive at the Ralph’s parking lot on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Raymond Avenue from 10 a.m.. to 2 p.m. The Lions Club is primarily seeking backpacks and suitcases in good condition. Often, children moving to foster homes do so with few possessions and nothing suitable to transport them with. Garbage bags are a common replacement.
The Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club has worked with the Dept. of Children & Family Services since 2011, organizing backpack drives. All the bags will be filled with donated items such as toiletries, school supplies, blankets and more. All bags will go directly to the Dept. of Children & Family Services.
Last year’s drive yielded over 240 suitcases and backpacks, according to Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club President Art Rinaman. Though this is an improvement from the 150 bags collected in 2011, Rinaman still seeks more participation from his fellow residents.
“The main thing I like to get across to people is this event doesn’t have to cost them a cent or even a dollar,” said Rinaman. “In fact, it helps them get rid of suitcases and backpacks they are not using and just storing.”
The Dept. of Children & Family Services is also seeking several other items for donation, ranging from comfort items like stuffed animals to necessities like toothbrushes and soap.
“Each item from a stuffed toy, a suitcase or blanket makes a difference to a child who doesn’t have anything to call his or her own,” said Rinaman. “Foster care is hard and we hope that with our ‘Kases for Kids’ program, we can make life a little easier.”