ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Department of Social Services Foster Care Division recently received a donation of trauma bags for children from Center Roads Baptist Church in Dublin.
DSS Director Vickie Smith said the bags were a mission project at the church’s Vacation Bible School. The group presented 15 trauma bags to the staff that contained a personal note to the recipient and items to hopefully help make the recipient feel at ease.
Smith said Mary Dowless, the missions director for the Vacation Bible School, led the project to create the trauma bags. Smith said the members of the VBS selected the items that were placed in the bags.
Those items include items like handmade dolls, games, toiletries, crayons, coloring books, children’s books, and socks to name a few things. Each handmade doll also carries a special note to the recipient explaining that it was made for them and carrying words of encouragement.
“This helps to comfort children when we have to possibly remove them from their homes or when we are going to investigate or assess reports,” said Smith of the gift. “Three to four times per year, we will get contributions to help (with children in foster care).”
“We would like to say a special thanks to Center Road Baptist Church for showing love and support to these special children,” said Bladen County Department of Health and Human Services Director Cris Harrellson.
Smith said she and her staff are asked periodically what folks can do to help.
“In the past we have received Easter baskets for every foster child,” said Smith.
She said that the staff have also held a suitcase drive in the past as some foster children sometimes don’t have their own suitcase or don’t have time to pack one.
Smith recounted that, during Christmas, the foster care staff received a donation of handmade quilts.
“Each foster child got one of those,” said Smith.
Smith one need the foster care unit is for new socks and underwear.
“That’s one of the first things we have to purchase,” said Smith.
Another need the unit has is for diapers.
“When we have to take custody of babies, we don’t have diapers,” said Smith.
She added there is also a need for winter coats and school supplies.
Other projects the foster care staff offer where folks can donate is the Angel Tree project whereby folks can select a child from a Christmas tree at Walmart and purchase a requested gift.
“The Angel Tree project starts in October,” said Smith.
The staff also handles applications and requests at Christmas for the Bladen Journal Empty Stocking Fund, the Angel Tree project, and Adopt-A-Family.
She said many folk sare not aware, but there is also an adult services unit which assist the elderly with some of their needs.
If you would like to make a donation or find out more about how you can help, contact Vickie Smith or Janet Miller at 910-862-6800.
—Erin Smith can be reached at 910-862-4163.