This spring, Arundel Federal employees joined together to help local children entering foster care by sponsoring the Blue Ribbon Project’s Backpacks of Love program located in Annapolis.
The program provides backpacks for children going into foster care. Because it is normally an emergency situation, especially when taken from school, the children have very little; some have only the clothes on their backs. Rather than putting what they do have in a trash bag, the backpacks contain essential necessities like a toothbrush and toothpaste, soft blanket, clothing, books, toys and stuffed animals for kids of all ages who are entering the system.
The goal was to fill seven backpacks, which was far exceeded by filling 17 backpacks with extra items.
“When our donations were picked up, they filled the representative’s car! She was wowed by how much Arundel Federal Savings Bank employees had collected in such a short time,” said Tom Herpel, president and CEO of Arundel Federal. “Sadly, she shared that the number of kids in the foster care program has increased in the past year, so more help will be needed. Even though we completed our mission and exceeded our goal with this initiative, I encourage everyone to visit Backpacks of Love to find out how you can help local children entering foster care.”
Here's how the process works: the Blue Ribbon Project has backpacks ready to go when its team receives a call from the Department of Social Services that a child is being removed. A member of the project immediately takes a backpack to the child's location. This can be at the offices of Social Services, a hospital, or police department. Visit the Blue Ribbon Project (www.blueribbonproject.org) for more information about Backpacks of Love and other initiatives.