Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Relief Society Makes Bags For Foster Kids
Tucson AZ Star 14Jun00 D1
By Phil Villarreal: Arizona Daily Star
TUCSON, ARIZONA -- The Relief Society of the Tanque Verde Ward, Ricon
Arizona Stake in Tucson recently manufactured 300 duffel bags for the Bags
for Kids effort, which seeks to provide children in foster care with a way
of storing their belongings.
The Bags for Kids effort was started by Tucson Child Protective Services
worker Carol Punske and Clinical consultant Sandy Loomis last December when
they realized the need kids in foster care system have. LDS Church member
Tyra Cook then read about the program in the Tucson Daily Star and contacted
Child Protective Services to see if the agency still needed bags. Learning
that the bags were still needed, she organized a work meeting for the Tanque
Verde Ward Relief Society last month.
The women soon organized the work in an assembly line and managed to produce
the first duffel bag after about 10 minutes. In 2 1/2 hours, they produced
70 bags. "We cranked 'em out," Cook said. But the effort didn't stop there.
The women in the Relief Society went home and kept making bags, clearing
more than 200 in a few weeks. By the time the Relief Society turns in the
bags today, they expect more than 300 bags.
"I'm thrilled," said Punske. "Children who are being taken away from abusive
parents should not be forced to move from place to place in garbage bags. It
sends the wrong message to them, to have them take their most important
possessions and put them in garbage bags."
And Cook says the women in the Relief Society are extremely pleased with
their efforts, "There's a huge satisfaction in knowing that we're serving
others and helping others that are in need," Cook said. Since CPS cares for
about 60 children a month, the 300 bags should last about five months.