MOUNT VERNON — Through the month of September, Kelsey Butler put on a Duffle Bag Drive for local foster kids.
Butler and her husband are in training to become foster parents in Knox County. She said that during one of her training classes, the idea of doing a duffle bag drive came to her.
“They talked about how these children are moving back and forth with their things in trash bags,” Butler said. “It’s embarrassing, and this sends a silent message to others.”
With no real idea of how to get started, Butler made a Facebook event and flyers to post around town. She teamed up with some local businesses to act as drop off points. New and gently used duffle bags were accepted and filled with donations of new personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, baby items, and deodorant.
“So far we have donated about 200 duffle bags to three different agencies in Knox County,” Butler said. This included the House of New Hope in St. Louisville, Knox County Job and Family Services, and the Village Network.
She said she believes that more people should become foster parents. Oftentimes, there are more kids than foster parents and this leads to many kids being sent out of the county.
“You need to be compassionate and be understanding,” she said about what she believes it takes to be a foster parent. She spoke about how parents can’t have unrealistic expectations on these children’s behavior. Their behavior, she said, is often a sign of their past trauma.
Butler said those running the training at Job and Family services are amazing at their jobs and they have made the 40 hour long training enjoyable.
“The training wasn’t bad, a bit overwhelming at first,” Butler said about the training involved to become a foster parent. “We ended up loving it.”
While the official drive was held in September, she said that there is always a need for people to donate items for these agencies.
Donations can still be made to the Gofundme account Duffle Bag Drive. Butler will accept any donations, whether it be duffle bags or hygiene products, and will be donating them to different foster care agencies.
The rest of this article is available to our subscribers.
Do your part to support local journalism
Subscribe to our e-edition to read this and many other articles written by your neighbors.