As part of National Foster Care Awareness Month, Blue Cross NC’s Healthy Blue Medicaid plan teamed up with Comfort Cases, an international non-profit dedicated to providing hope and dignity to youth in foster care, to host a “Packing Party” on Friday, May 13.
More than 100 volunteers, including Blue Cross NC employees and community partners, filled 200 backpacks with new personal care items including pajamas, a blanket, hygiene kit, a book and more. Over 700 backpacks and duffle bags, in total, from the event were donated to local nonprofits serving youth in foster care and to case workers and first responders to use in place of trash bags during emergency removals. The backpacks and duffle bags will be given to youth entering the NC foster care system.
“Children entering the foster care system often arrive with very few clothes and whatever personal belongings can be fit in a bag.” said Fran Gary, Senior Vice President, Government Markets at Blue Cross NC. “The backpacks provided through this collaborative Healthy Blue and Comfort Cases effort will provide comfort and hope to children and youth making the often difficult and confusing transition to foster care homes. Efforts like these are crucial to addressing the needs of our most vulnerable population – providing dignity and hope and improving health, quality of life, and well-being.”
Organizations that will receive donated backpacks and duffle bags include Methodist Home for Children, Kids Peace, Children’s Home Society, Children’s Hope for Alliance, Congregations for Kids, Raleigh Department of Social Services, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Raleigh Police Department.
"The team at Blue Cross NC are truly ‘Good Humans’ helping those in their community – and a reminder that the world is our community, not just our zip code.” said Rob Scheer, Founder of Comfort Cases. “It is our responsibility to help as many people as we can, and I am so thankful to this team for helping with our mission. In this county alone, there are hundreds of youths in and just entering foster care. These children are often just given a trash bag for their belongings. Is that how we should treat children? They have not asked to be in foster care. We give them the respect and dignity they deserve by providing them what may be their first blanket or pair of pajamas that haven’t been used before… or their own toothpaste or bar of soap.”
To learn more about Blue Cross NC’s commitment to supporting the well-being of children in foster care and their families, click here.