More than a thousand Central Texas foster children will start school with a brand new backpack and supplies.
The line wrapped around the warehouse at Partnerships for Children, a non-profit working to help fill the needs of local foster kids on Monday.
"Our kids come into the system and a lot of times, they don't have anything. Just the clothes on their backs. It's so important for groups like PFC to come in and fill that void for care," said DFPS Spokesperson Lisa Block.
Partnerships for Children distributed more than a thousand backpacks to CPS caseworkers who will give them to the children on their caseload.
"Crayons, paper, folders, pencils," said Marcus Cantu of Partnerships for Children.
But the backpack is just part of the gift.
"In the lifespan of a child's care, they can be moved on average eight times. That's eight different schools that they start new. This is a chance for them to start with new stuff that's their's, that's not been passed down," said Cantu.
Community donations, volunteers and partnering with Foster Angels of Central Texas made it possible because each caseworker knows the joy it will bring to a child in CPS care.
"They do it for the children. And they mean that. They're very invested in the children and making sure they have a safe, loving home," said Block.
The backpack giveaway is just part of the outreach by PFC. The non-profit also hosts "Holiday Wishes" to provide Christmas gifts to foster kids, the "YES Mentoring" program for kids who have aged out of the system, they operate a Rainbow Room to give CPS caseworkers much-needed supplies and The Heart Gallery of Central Texas.
Every program wants to give kids a chance to feel like a regular kid.
"If we can take that anxiety off their shoulders, we can take that little piece off of them so they don't have to worry about it," said Cantu.
The Heart Gallery of Central Texas and Central Texas News Now will begin sharing stories of local foster kids ready for adoption on Sept. 5 in our "Forever Families" segment. It will come on every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
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