All hands on deck in Rutland to help kids in foster care
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) -Rob Scheer’s childhood fit in a trash bag, worn hand-me-downs traveling from one foster home to the next. Decades later, he’s working to make sure no child in foster care is made to feel tossed aside.
“You’re already in so much turmoil, you’re going through so much trauma and then someone hands you a trash bag. Trash bags were designed for trash, not children’s clothing,” Scheer said.
Scheer’s nonprofit, Comfort Cases, flips the script, donating backpacks of essentials to children in foster care nationwide. He partnered with Moose Lodge in Rutland Saturday to bring the cause to Vermont.
Hundreds gathered to stuff backpacks with brand new pajamas, toys, blankets and hygiene kits. The last item: a stuffed Tommy Moose, the lodge’s very own mascot created to help kids overcome trauma. The backpacks will go to five hundred kids entering foster care across the state.
Dan Companion with Moose International is proud to be reaching young Vermonters in foster care.
“They need support, they need community, they need change and help, and that’s what this is about. We as an organization believe that we can help make change in this system,” Companion said.
Moose Lodge members and Rutland locals loaded the backpacks into a pickup truck. Aryka Radke with the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) is excited to get them to children in foster care around the state.
“It gives them a sense of community and a sense of caring and also dignity as well,” Radke said. “So, this is just fabulous, this event. It really means the world to me that this community came together.”
According to Vermont DCF, there are around 1,050 Vermonters in foster care. Radke says the state plans to order more backpacks from Comfort Cases, particularly those stocked for older children. Moose International hopes to host more packing parties at lodges across the country.
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