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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 18, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 14Jun00

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.


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