Collecting goodies for foster kids

Published 9:00am 6 June 2023

Collecting goodies for foster kids
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Picking up a few extra items at the shops to help bring a smile to a child in need is an easy task for students at Clontarf Beach State High School.

The school is again collecting essential items such as clothes, toiletries, toys, games and books to give to children in foster care.

From now until September, the school will be gathering items to bundle into backpacks and suitcases for the not-for-profit organisation Hope in a Suitcase.

Last year, students collected enough items to fill 48 backpacks, but they hope to fill even more this year.

Teacher Belinda Edwards says students have already started shopping for the cause.

“The fact that these kids are thinking of others is really wonderful,” Belinda says.

“They really want to make sure that this year is bigger and better than before so they can help more kids in need.”

Hope in a Suitcase is run by volunteers who are passionate about showing every child in the foster care system they are loved and valued by their community.

In a statement written on the Hope in a Suitcase website, founder Rachael Clancy says when children are taken into foster care, they can sometimes have little or no belongings with them.

“It is a sad reality that each week across Australia, hundreds of children and young people will enter foster care or out-of-home care,” Rachael says.

“Most of the time, when children are removed from their home, it happens very quickly and is quite traumatic.

“It’s usually not possible for them to gather their belongings, therefore it is common for them to come into care with only the clothes on their back, or carrying a plastic bag filled with a few items grabbed in a hurry.

“Sadly, these plastic bags are dragged with them from placement to placement as unfortunately many children will move multiple times before re-unification with their birth families becomes possible, or they find a forever family through legal guardianship or adoption.

“The suitcases we aim to deliver to these children are filled with essential items such as toiletries, (sanitary items for the older girls), underwear, a set of pyjamas and a change of clothing.

“They also include something to cuddle for the younger children, a book to read, a journal or colouring in books and pencils to encourage creativity and provide a distraction away from their turmoil.”

How you can help

To help with the cause, Clontarf Beach State High School will gratefully accept donations from the community and local businesses.

Phone the school on 3480 4777 for more information.


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