Hermiston Chapter 10 Donates Tote Bags for Kids in Foster Care

By Cathy Keeney, Hermiston Chapter 10 president

Every year Hermiston Chapter 10 gets together and helps the community. For the past couple of years, we have helped with donations to the Warming Station. We place boxes at each school and everyone pitches in. The Hermiston School Board has also supported this event. They bring their donation to the school that they are assigned to or to the District Office. We have greatly appreciated their help and support.

This year because of COVID 19, we haven’t been able to actively support our community. But we did not want this to deter our commitment to serve. So, with January being School Board Appreciation Month, we discussed ways to show how much we appreciate our board members and community. We heard of a need in our community. We were informed of a need of assistance of children in foster care –children who are removed from their homes with only the few belonging they can fit in plastic bag. We had found our mission.

As a result, Hermiston Chapter 10 donated 48 tote bags for foster kids to use on behalf of the Hermiston Board of Education. On Feb. 9, 2021, Chapter members Karen Harris and Cathy Keeney presented the offering, along with some stuffed animals, to Jamie Meakins of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS).

“On behalf of ODHS Child Welfare. I would like to thank you for the donation of bags and stuffed animals. Said Jamie Meakins. “Your contribution makes it possible for us to provide children entering foster care an overnight bag filled with necessities, and/or the ability to use the bags for their personal belongings.

She added, “We try to provide every child who enters foster care a new backpack/bag, a new pair of pajamas, new blanket, new socks, underwear, hygiene items, a stuffed animal and a book/journal to help with the traumatic transition into foster care.”

As members of Hermiston Chapter 10, we look forward to once again partnering with ODHS to help our community, our students, and their families.