RVA Parenting: NO child should have to carry belongings in a trash bag

RVA Parenting: NO child should have to carry belongings in a trash bag
Published: Mar. 17, 2017 at 3:19 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2017 at 6:20 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's a viral video that's been viewed millions of times:

"I was shocked, that after all these years, since I had been in the system... these kids were still carrying a trash bag. What are we not doing to change this?" said Rob Scheer in the video.

He's talking about children in foster care, children who come to places like the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls. Children who often come with trauma histories- some have experienced abuse and neglect.

"Children come to us with their belongings in a plastic bag," said Clairborne Mason, President Virginia Home for Boys and girls. "Literally. And when they come here, they have a sense of hopelessness and helplessness."

It's exactly why Rob Scheer and his family founded Comfort Cases. Rob's children were all adopted from foster care - and he grew up in the system, too.

His raw honesty in the video, and through his work with Comfort Cases, has encouraged a movement of people packing real bags with new items for kids in foster care - "comfort cases."

"Foster care for them is something we put them in so we need to make sure we give them everything they need to strive," said Scheer. "And that means something as small as a toothbrush, or even a pair of pajamas with a tag on it."

Lauren Cash is one of those people.

"I was looking for something to do with my daughter to teach her the lessons that were important," said Cash. "And my niece. And just all of our kids. And this is...sitting there watching Facebook one night and watching this video, and I realized this is exactly what we should be doing."

A small home project with a group of moms has turned into a community effort and the promise of hundreds of comfort cases to kids right here in RVA.

"He said, 'I just needed to know that I mattered. It was important to me to realize that I needed to know that I mattered.' I hope that a child will open this bag and open this card and a lot of them I have written on - that you do matter, you are important - and this is not forever, this is just a moment in your life."

That message is right on target for Rob.

"Every child that comes into foster care knows that we are part of their community," said Scheer. "We have not given up on them. We're going to make sure that they do everything they can to grow and be the next leaders."

If you'd like to get involved in making or donating to Comfort Cases, the local volunteers are having an event on May 13 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls.

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