Based on an admirable response from the folks at Ithaca’s Immaculate Conception Parish, more children will be smiling this fall — children who need a few extra smiles.
The parish’s youth-ministry program recently concluded a drive that netted numerous duffel bags, book bags and stuffed animals. The items were dropped off at Immaculate Conception during August and early September, and then brought to the local Department of Social Services by Rich Rasmussen, the parish’s youth minister. From there, they were forwarded to children in foster care.
Rasmussen reported that slightly more than 50 duffel bags and book bags were donated for the new school year. “The majority were brand-new items, which I think is great,” he said. The drive also saw more than 100 stuffed animals donated, some new and many used “but in excellent shape,” Rasmussen said.
This first-time effort at Immaculate Conception was based on a program known as Children to Children. Its founder is Makenzie Snyder, a young girl from Maryland who had heard how foster children often carried their possessions in trash bags when they moved from home to home.
“I think the kids in foster care are kind of a forgotten population,” Rasmussen remarked.