Emancipation backpacks are large duffle bag full of ‘life essential items’ for the Foster youth graduating from High School at 18 years old.
With the assistance of the Woodland Rotary Club and their donation of $2000.00 to purchase the items and the bags we were able to purchase the Cabela duffle bags on sale in January for the ceremony in May for the 19 foster care youth graduating from the system. In April, with the help of my nine-year old daughter and 17-year old son, we left the local dollar store with a nine-foot long receipt. We bought needed items like pencils, notebooks, cups, pots, shampoo, combs, detergent, and more. My children helped make sure we bought 19 of 37 items on our list. That was the easy part. Together we organized the filled 19 Emancipation Backpacks!
“When youth in foster care emancipate from care they usually have very little belongings of their own. They usually are completely on their own without the support of friends and family. Emancipation bags containing basic household items provide youth with the essentials they need to start their life on their own.” Jessica Larsen, Program Specialist for the Homeless and Foster Youth Services.
My hope is this idea will become apart of Rotary clubs everywhere, and every foster child at the age of 18 receive this Emancipation Backpack. Now when they travel to a friends or family home, college, or apartment, they can shower, do homework, cook, and carry their clothing in a lifetime warranty bag, instead of a trash bag.