Quinn Skinner attended the Cornwall-on-Hudson Elementary School’s production of “Annie, Jr.” and was inspired to organize a service project to help local foster children.
Quinn, a first grader in the village school, didn’t know what an orphan was, so she started asking questions. The answers convinced Quinn she wanted to help.
“I felt sad that foster children don’t have a mommy or a daddy or a home,” Quinn wrote in a letter requesting donations. “Foster children usually only have a garbage bag to carry all their things. But we can change that if we help them.”
First she wanted to invite them over to dinner and have a sleepover, said Quinn’s mother, Mikki, but they decided to use the internet to find more feasible ways to lend a hand. Through Google, they came across some foster agencies which led them to the organization Together we Rise and the idea to put together duffel bags.
Quinn then drafted a letter requesting monetary donations for the items needed to fill the duffel bags. Flyers, directing residents to the organization’s web site, were posted around town, including the post office, library, and 2 Alice’s.
The goal was to raise $250, but through generous donations, the fund raising effort netted over $900, enough to put together 34 duffel bags for foster children.
Mikki explained when a social worker comes to collect a child, they’re typically given a garbage bag to fill with items they want to take with them.
“Strangers take them away from their houses and I bet that’s kind of scary,” said Quinn.
On June 2, a stuff the duffel bag event was held in the school’s cafeteria. A few dozen parents, elementary students, and volunteers from Cornwall High School’s Key Club assisted.
The children were given special crayons to create a design on the blue duffel bags. An iron was used to set the design into the fabric of the bags.
Next the students approached an assembly line where they grabbed one teddy bear, blanket, toothbrush kit, box of crayons, Minions coloring book, photo album book, and box of granola bars to place into the bag.
The bags were then donated to the Abbott House in New Windsor.