Butler College students join Care Bags initiative to comfort children in care

Teacher Victoria Harrison, Sarah Clancy (Care Bags), teacher Karalee Scaddan and year 12 students. Photo: Martin Kennealey
Teacher Victoria Harrison, Sarah Clancy (Care Bags), teacher Karalee Scaddan and year 12 students. Photo: Martin Kennealey

BUTLER College students have joined a community initiative to provide comfort and essential items for children entering foster care.

Two Year 12 classes recently helped northern suburbs sister Sarah and Rachael Clancy pack items for the ‘Care Bags – Because Children in Care Matter’ initiative that they started earlier this year.

The pair collect donations of age-specific clothing, essentials and comfort items, and distribute the bags to child protection agencies through the Department of Communities.

After reading a Community News article about the initiative, teacher Victoria Harrison contacted Rachael Clancy to get involved.

“We are always looking for opportunities so we can get the kids engaged, trying to use their skills to give back,” she said.

“She said they needed help actually packing the bags.”

Photo: Martin Kennealey

Mrs Harrison said the group of about 25 students were excited about getting involved and packed 80 bags on September 17.

“They were absolutely buzzing,” she said.

“Rachael and Sarah were amazed at how quickly they did it – the girls and boys really got into it.

“The kids definitely want to do more of it – it’s something that we are going to do with other classes in the future.”

Sarah Clancy praised the students for getting “stuck into the packing with dedication and enthusiasm”.

Beth Carmody (volunteer) and Kalib Bellman (y12). Photo: Martin Kennealey

“It was such an inspiring day empowering kids to help other kids and gives me a renewed hope for the next generation,” she said.

“They also seemed quite taken back by the impact the care bags will have on a child’s life and just how far the care bags they packed are reaching – Tom Price, Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Laverton, Leonora and Warburton.”

Ms Clancy said other teachers donated 11 care bags on the day and a design and technology teacher offered to get his students to make wooden toys to donate next term.

“We still can’t believe how a little Facebook page has inspired a community to help in so many different ways to show children entering care that they are not forgotten, that they do matter and make a confusing time a little bit better,” she said.

The ‘Care Bags – Because Children in Care Matter’ Facebook group has grown to more than 1800 members and donated 500 bags in less than four months,

The sisters’ goal is to donate 1000 care bags by Christmas.