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VALUES program needs backpacks, blankets for foster children

March 15th, 2014 12:38 am by Staff report

VALUES program needs backpacks, blankets for foster children

DUFFIELD — With more than 80 backpacks filled by VALUES foster children, teens and adults during a recent drive, the VALUES team is asking for additional backpacks and twin size blankets or throws to give to kids placed through local Department of Social Services agencies.

The most recent drive provided backpacks to Social Services offices in Scott County and the city of Norton.

"We want to thank everyone for providing backpacks, blankets, books, stuffed animals and school supplies. The backpacks have been a little piece of home for every child who receives one," said Jon Holmes, director for the VALUES program.

Holmes said the program has a good supply of books, stuffed animals and school supplies at the present time, "but we still need backpacks to fill and blankets for children and teens. It's especially difficult when they are removed in the middle of the night with only what they carry in a garbage bag."

The VALUES Backpack Program was created so foster children could be a part of helping others. The children are familiar with what it's like to be taken out of a home, with many carrying their belongings in trash bags when removed from abusive or neglectful situations.

Besides backpacks, duffel bags or overnight bags are also welcome. The donated bags are combined with new pajamas, school and other supplies and given to children as they enter foster care. Blankets should be small enough to fit in a backpack or tote bag.

Those who would like to contribute items should call 1-888-443-1804. Individuals can drop off items at the VALUES office at Addington Hall in Duffield. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

VALUES Therapeutic Foster Care, licensed through the Virginia Department of Social Services, works with children from Lee, Wise and Scott counties and the city of Norton. Children are placed in foster care families within their communities.

The goal of VALUES is to help children reunite with their parents when possible or move into adoptive homes. The VALUES Foster Care Program seeks caring foster parents as well.

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