SOUTH KINGSTOWN—Adoption Rhode Island, RI Office of the Child Advocate and Wakefield-based lawyer Lise Iwon will team up this weekend to hold their second annual Duffle Bag Bash, striving to ensure no child has to move from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag.
Iwon approached Jennifer Griffith, Rhode Island Child Advocate, and Adoption Rhode Island last year with the idea of organizing an event to collect duffel bags to donate to children in foster care, after learning that those children often transport their things in trash bags.
“They have such a challenging life as it is,” said Donna Rivera, communications director of Adoption Rhode Island, “then you have to degrade them by making them move with trash bags?”
According to RI Kids Count, 51 percent of Rhode Island children who have been in foster care for two years have moved at least three times.
Admission for the event—held at the Matunuck Community Center—is either one new rolling duffel bag or a $25 Visa, Target or Kohl’s gift card per adult. Admission for children is one new backpack.
Last year’s event, also held at the Matunuck Community Center, collected nearly 800 bags.
“There was a youth who was adopted right before his 18th birthday,” Rivera began to tell a story of one child who has benefitted from receiving a duffel bag.
“He was saying how many times he had moved throughout the course of his life and how horrible it was to have to move with a trash bag,” she continued. “To be able to have this party provide suitcases and dignity to the kids—it’s just incredible.”
Among its other efforts to improve the lives of foster children, Adoption Rhode Island—a nonprofit agency that offering support services and working to find permanent homes for children in foster care—holds an annual fundraiser to send foster children…