Youth giving comfort to kids in foster care

Girl Scout Troop No. 1764 last week put together 101 “Sweet Cases,” also known as comfort bags, for Colusa County children who enter foster care. 

The Scouts decorated each duffle bag with a personal message and art, and packed it with a blanket, a stuffed teddy bear, activity book, color crayons, and a hygiene kit.  

The project, held in partnership with the Colusa High School senior project of Brenden Garcia, earned Cadettes Sophia Miller, Ariana Avera, Ava Garcia, Danica Chavez, Isabella Munoz, Ruby Howard, Savanna Rochette, and Makinzie Frank the Silver Award. 

“The Silver Award is the highest award that they can can earn,” said Troop Leader Debbie Schantz. 

Brendan Garcia assisted Schantz and troop leaders Christy Avira, Kristina Frank, and Sarah Chavez in mentoring the girls. 

Garcia plans to enter the U.S. Navy after graduation in June, and has an interest in law enforcement and a strong desire to impact someone’s life. 

Foster care is a temporary living situation for children whose parents cannot take care of them, and whose need for care has come to the attention of local authorities. 

“Law enforcement are usually the first ones there at the scene when children are entering foster care,” Garcia said. “This is a small community, and I want to help make (the children’s) lives a lot better because they don’t have what a lot of people have.” 

The duffle bags and supplies cost about $25 each, which the girls raised from the community. Dr. Sher Himmat S. Gill, in Williams, donated the toothpaste and toothbrushes. 

Colusa County Social Workers Kaylin Morris and Benet Guidera collected the bags April 24, after Garcia and the Girl Scouts completed the project at the Scout Cabin, in Colusa. 

The 101 high-quality duffle bags with supplies will be a welcomed gift to children removed from their homes during a crisis and unable to take personal or comfort items with them.

“Many of our kids are moved in the middle of the night,” Guidera said. “They don’t have anything – a blanket or a hygiene kit.”

The duffle bags are something the children will be able to keep as they traverse what insiders call “the system.”

“A lot of the kids we see have their belongings in a trash bags,” Guidera said. “This, for them, is truly wonderful.” ■