Something to Call Their Own - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/12/04

Something to Call Their Own

There is an effort underway in Pearl River County to give children living in foster homes something they can call their own.

An organization called "Project Homestead" is holding a duffle bag drive to give the kids something to hold their personal belongings in.

Project Homestead leaders say it's a pitiful sight to see children bounced from foster home to foster home carrying their belongings in a plastic trash bag.

"It really saddens my heart because we're all that our children have. The hope is , is that the community would come together as a family and help our children," Family 1st Resource Center Sylvia Mark says.

There are more than 120 foster children in Pearl River County and only 5 foster host families, which means the vast majority of foster children find shelter in surrounding counties or as far north as Jackson.

"When the time comes for them to be up rooted from this foster home to another foster home or this home back to their own permanent home they can get this collapsible duffle bag put their belongings in. And it makes them feel they do have something that belongs to them rather than going in the kitchen getting another trash bag and moving on to the next home," Mark says.

"If they had something that is canvas that they can fold in their drawer and if they have to leave from that foster care again they would have something to put their cloths in we want to give them pride and dignity," Project Homestead Bonita Wynn says.

Project Homestead and outreach program of the Pearl River County Families First Resource Center is asking churches, organizations, businesses and individuals to purchase duffle bags, or donate money so they can buy them.

"It would be a project we can take on to show our kids in our county and surrounding areas that we do care," Wynn says.

If you would like to help you can drop off duffle bags at the Pearl River County Families 1st Resource Center in Picayune or the Department of Human Services in Poplarville.

If you would like to make a cash donation or for information on being a foster parent call (601)798-8313.

By: Al Showers

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