LA PLATA, Md. – The La Plata Police Department would like to thank our friends at Project Linus Charles County, MD for their generous donation to The Blue Ribbon Project -Backpacks of Love for Foster Children. Today, Project Linus of Charles County, MD donated handmade quilts, hygiene products, diapers, pajamas, books, and socks!
LPPD continuously collects items (clothing, hygiene items, pajamas, backpacks, and age appropriate toys/games) for the program to ensure backpacks are always in stock for all ages.
The Blue Ribbon Project – Backpacks of Love Program:
During those critical 24 hours after a foster child is placed into care, a Backpacks of Love is delivered by a uniformed police officer to provide essential items such as clothing, hygiene products, pajamas, and an age appropriate toy or game. The La Plata Police Department works closely with the Charles County Department of Social Services and our partners at the Charles County Sheriff’s Office to deliver a backpack of love to a child as quickly as possible.
Here is a brief synopsis of the Backpacks of Love program.
When our founder, Taylor, first entered foster care, Department of Social Services and a police officer came to his school. As he was eating lunch with friends, an administrator came to the table and pulled him away to the office. This was the moment Taylor entered foster care. Taylor was unable to go home to retrieve any belongings. Taylor entered care with the clothing he was wearing and the school books he had with him.
While Taylor’s story starts in the 1980’s and there have been many great improvements since then in how the system works, one thing that has not improved is the condition of a child entering care. When these children enter care, it is normally an emergency situation and things happen very quickly. In most cases, these children have very little. To add insult to injury, the few items these children have are often thrown in trash bags. There is absolutely no reason a child’s belongings should be in a trash bag.
This is where The Blue Ribbon Project’s “Backpacks of Love” steps in to support these kids entering care on a moment’s notice.
Our Backpacks contain essential necessities for kids of all ages who are entering the system. Each backpack is designed to be gender and very age specific. These backpacks include such things as a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, children’s soap/body wash, children’s shampoo, changes of clothing for the child’s age, personal clothing (underwear, socks, pajamas), and age appropriate books and toys.
The way the process works is The Blue Ribbon Project has backpacks standing by and ready to go. Department of Social Services call The Blue Ribbon Project right when a child is being removed. A member of The Blue Ribbon Project immediately takes a backpack to the child’s location. This can be at the offices of Social Services, a hospital or police department. On a few occasions, we have met in a shopping center on the side of the road. The goal is to get a backpack to these children quickly and efficiently.