The Bags for Kids Project began in December of 1999. Prior to this year, when children were taken into protective care by the state, they often had to leave their home with all of their possessions in a plastic garbage bag. Rarely did case managers have luggage on hand when in the midst of a crisis.
Two social work professionals Carol Punske, from CPS (Child Protective Services), and Sandy Loomis, from CPSA (Community Partnership of Southern Arizona) recognized that forcing children to use garbage bags as luggage, is stigmatizing, embarrassing, and simply unacceptable. They recruited some friends to spend an afternoon making as many cloth duffel bags as possible. News of this volunteer effort reached the public and on January 22nd of 2000, approximately 200 community members gathered for the first Annual Bags for Kids Sew-A-Thon.
Over the years, the Sew-A-Thon has both thrived and evolved. The event, which began as a simple “sewing day”, has become an annual social gathering for many. In addition to the annual Sew-A-Thon, throughout the year sewers are diligently making bags out of their homes, their churches, and their community centers. Our sewing volunteers play an important role in preserving the dignity of foster children. Whether they sew at home, attend the Sew-A-Thon, or donate supplies, we are tremendously appreciative of their gifts!
Bags for Kids Wish List:
Fabrics - lightweight cotton and cotton blends, mid-weight fabric and even some heavyweight fabrics.
Cording - Any type of cording, ribbon, or soft rope, may be used for Bags for Kids bags.
Thread - Neutral colors
Equipment - Portable sewing machines and sergers in reliable, working condition.